April, May & June 2023

4/15/23 Ludington, MI
King& Lk. Trout

Spring Kings
Ludington, MI

8" Alewife
Lake Michigan

S Haven, MI
1st King!

Click here for my first Salmon I caught on Oct. 1, 1968

Archived Daily Log 
(Dating back to the year 2000)

6/30/23  This is the weekend to avoid the main 1st boat launch in Manistee, MI.  The Forest Festival is going on with a carnival taking up most of the space to park.  Stronach boat launch on the S end of Manistee Lake can handle larger boats.  Launched my 22' several times with no issues.  Another alternative is Onekama that has a free launch in town.   Manistee has scheduled their fireworks on July 2nd.  So, the 1st Street beach and boat launch will be a mad house.

6/29/23   Planned topic about our strips and scents have been superseded with a fresh fish report from Ludington, MI's Capt. Kirk. He fished yesterday morning and caught a mixed bag of LT, Kings and a Steelhead for a 1 person limit.  Think he fished solo.
               Kirk's fish per hour based on his normal 3 to 6 rod spread, he keeps pace, or exceeds charters when you factor in the hours fished per rods.  Click Kirk's catch
               He fishes a easy spoon program at 2.5 miles an hour.  Concentrating more on fish location, than a spectrum of wild "hail Mary" colors to produce.

6/28/23  Yesterday's air outside was nasty with the smell of acrid smoke and dull gray skies.  I live in the woods with miles and miles of trees pulling CO2 out of the air.  Can only imagine how bad it was in urban areas.  Supposed to clear up some today.
              Tomorrow's update will be titled, scent make sense for only a few cents.  I'll run down the reel facts from what I've learned with scent on our Rip Teezers™.

6/27/23  Hit a major milestone with my webstore.  Started in 2005, we just shipped our 10,000th order.  This does not count phone and tackle store orders.  10k is big news to me proving without paying for advertising a small tackle manufacturer can flourish with products on the cutting edge.  No competitor has the niche specialty items like us.
                     Today we're on order number 10,005 and climbing!

6/26/23  Last weekend's Bud Pro-Am tournament in Manistee MI looked like it was decent fishing for most boats.  Biggest King was 24 pounds and there were respectable amounts caught sprinkled among the 58 boats competing.   Winning pro boat tallied up 270 pounds of his 20 allowable fish (10 per day, 2 day event). Click event final standings
              This tournament morphed for being a top 30' of water over plus 400' of water dominated by Steelhead back 20 some years ago.  Nowadays, it's a contest with Kings and LTs in closer to Manistee's shelf.  Probably inside of 300' for the most part.

6/24/23  Waiting for the final results from Manistee, MI's Bud Pro-Am tournament.  Thus far, there's 1 King over 20 and several high teeners being weighed in.  Tomorrow's update will be expanded on info gleaned from this long running event.

6/23/23  Our BTI 10" fish flashers have been rediscovered by the Lk. MI and Lk. Huron fleets.  Had to pull an all nighter to ship flashers today.
              10 inchers and 12 inchers do not share the same geometry.  Water force required more curvature in the tail section to get it to roll/kick right.  Spent 2 months in the design phase with several prototype test sessions back in 2005.
             BTIs will swim a fly with a side to side lifelike wobble.  To get this same action in our meat rigs™ I shortened the 3 fly rigs to 2 flies for perfection.  Rest is history.             

6/22/23  1 day into summer 2023 and it's warm in the high 80s in Manistee, MI.  We've already been in the 90s a few weeks back.  Heat is good to kick start the food chain.
               It's no big secret the past few seasons have not been record setters for Kings.  But if you're in it for the long haul, this year is showing promise to return to times of old.
               Should have good info on how the Kings doing are after this weekend's Bud Pro Am Tournament in Manistee.  This contest dates back to the 1980s with entries pushing 200.  Now, it's more like 50 to 60 competing boats in AM and Pro divisions. More than enough for a good sample size of the state of our fishery.

6/21/23  Another great Fathers Day photo from last weekend.  Longtime friend of this website and I, Capt. Jack sent in today's featured pic of fun times on the water.
               Several years back, made Jack a custom 12" Silver Bullet flasher with his name on it.  As luck would have it, this was his moist productive setup out of Harbor Beach, MI on Lk. Huron. Jack had a wonderful time with his children that like fishing too.
               Calm seas on both Lk Huron and Lk. MI blessed both sides of MI.  Weather-wise this was one of the nicest Fathers Day we had in several years.  Click Jack's flasher

6/20/23  Fishing is more of a journey, rather than a destination.  Fishing without wonderful people to share the pleasure of catching would be lackluster.
               Longtime friend, Mike D sent in today's featured photo of his nephew, Tommy and a nice 18 lb. King.  This young man Tommy reeled in 3 of the 4 fish they caught on Fathers Day.  What a great way to introduce the young set to our sport.
              Known Mike D since probably the late 1990s when he booked a spring charter out of my home port of Manistee, MI. Click 7 year old Tommy's goodie King

6/19/23  Lk. Trout showed up in big numbers about the middle of last week off the Port of Manistee, MI.  Charter boats are pulling limits pounding the bottom with divers and riggers.  Many charters use our Silver Bullet BTI 10 inchers with spin n glos.
             Knew laker fishing took off with the amount of orders for the bullets.  This rush sold out all of our stock.  Not to fear, more will be here in about a week.
             Another reel fact is there is plenty of bait off Manistee.  Some Kings were caught yesterday, but the main focus was on LTs.  Click 6/16/23 Manistee LT catch

6/18/23  Fathers Day 2023.  A time we set aside to honor all fathers.  Fathers Day is a given in the charter business for a booking.  Taking dad fishing is a great idea!

6/17/23  If you plan on trailering your boat on US31 N thru Manistee to ports further N the US31 drawbridge is going to be traffic nightmare with lane closures and detours.  Trying not to hit this construction zone during peak traffic hours.  $12.M in repair work on this drawbridge will last thru March 2024.  So, it's going to be a mess for a while.

6/16/23  US31 is the major N-S route thru Manistee, MI.  There's some big changes on the way if all goes according to plan.  Removal the rail road tracks on the N end of town will eliminate the RR crossing on the curve by Pier 31/Solbergs Marina that jams up traffic.
              Next remove would be the swing trestle bridge at the mouth of Manistee Lake.  When this RR bridge is in the closed position it holds up marine traffic to Sengs, Moonlight and Pier 31 marinas for boats with high profiles.  I was able to squeeze underneath it, but had to remove all the rods in the hardtop mounted rocket launcher on my Cherokee.
                            More on this traffic topic tomorrow...

6/15/23  Admin paper work for 4 hours yesterday afternoon and only 1/2 way done.  Behind the scenes forms paper work written with hard to understand legalize.  Not fun!
               Tons of pollen have been pushed into our Great Lakes.  This is fertilizer for the food web that kick starts all facets of the fishery.  This could be part of the reason the Kings scatter by mid-June when the bait moves offshore to feed.   Not to fear, the Kings will be returning as full blown heavy adults around mid-July.
               End of this month Manistee will see a small run of a few adults returning to the Little Manistee River.  So, there could be a few big guys on the way.

6/14/23  Today's featured photo is the scent pad packed inside Rip Teezer™ packaging.
Pad is a 1/8" micro fiber for diffuser aromatherapy.  Perfect for scent retention.
              Even better? ...there's enough scent on the pads to flavor up the new strips for a few applications until you can order Re-Scent, or Alaska Herring oil from our webstore.
              Thought this was a reel-genius idea/move on my part.  However, a true genius would have done this when our strips debuted years ago.  Click new scent pad

6/13/23  Confidence is an important tool when it comes to fishing.  Confidence leads to more water time for lures  Not constantly swapping out colors ...thinking you're doing something wrong in the selection department.  Trust me, you're not! 
              It would be nice if all fish bit 24/7, but they do not.  The eternal mystery of fishing is not supposed to be easy every time off the dock.
              Confidence in our Rip Teezer™ now begins when you open the package.  You smell fish from the new scent pads.  Even though refined herring oil is used during production, the pads puts our soft plastic replacement strips over the top.
              Me as a manufacturer boosts my confidence when charter skippers re-order Rip Teezers from on the water success.  Know my design efforts are on point.

6/12/23  Lost today, busy with shop and personal tasks.  Yesterday's chat about the scent pad in our strip will have to carry today.

6/11/23  Product upgrade for our soft plastic Rip Teezers™.  These herring replacement strips will now come with scent pad of our proven Re-Scent.  This is a great way to see how effective the strips are with 100% baitfish extract.  Best part know 1st hand how well this sauce works. This another big leap forward in tackle enhancement.  Having the strips packaged with scent pads leads to more success.  Click Rip Teezers

6/10/23  Fire danger alert for N MI.  Living in the woods, been thru a forest floor fire that burned 1/2 mile of federal land on my N property line.  You get your priorities straight in a hurry when the ground is burning next to your place.  1st was our pets. 2nd computers to keep records for business.  Everything else was a mishmash. 

6/9/23  MDNR's free fishing weekend that been expanded to include ORV and launch access without the required recreation passport.  If you want to introduce new folks to fishing in MI it won't cost them a dime.  MI as a state is just about as good as it gets for multi-species.  Walleyes push our ranking over the top of the rest.
           Have a great weekend.  It's been a few tough weeks for me dealing with unsavory issues and need time to decompress.

6/8/23  Fishing is supposed to be about fun.  Transitioning from a charter skipper to a Great Lakes tackle manufacturer is one of my greatest joys.
             Getting bogged down in legal battles with trademark pirates is not fun, but necessary.  Knew when I renewed my trademark I had to stop this rampant theft.
             Making our meat rigs™ is not path to riches.  Unless you can find workers that willing accept less than the going minimum wage. Click for cheater TM pirates
             With bait rigs being available for 20 years, I'm sure market saturation is making it difficult for some makers to sell product.  So, they steal my TM to boost sales.

6/7/23  Burning bridges in business and in small towns is bad.  Unless the bridge already collapsed under the weight of gross misconduct.  Deadbeat Carl Bud Fitzgerald owner of Tangled Tackle Co. and Christopher Ingalls from Dark Blue Charters knowingly abused my trademark, meat rig™ for their personal financial gain. Click for overwhelming proof 
            Me being nice is not going to fix this.  Already tried that.  Being marginalized & my trademark being diluted by 2 people with no respect for my rights is not going to happen!
                                     More on this tomorrow....

6/6/23  Covered the N end and the XG Frog color yesterday.  Moving to the far S end in today's featured photo for Tom M out of E Chicago, IN.  Tom has expert status on how and when to run the froggie meat program.  He's proven this over the years.
             Spoke of him this winter and after review it just didn't come out right with me not giving him a enough credit for wise lure color selections.  Click S Lk. MI King
             North, south and all points in-between our XG Frog is about as good, as it gets on Lk. MI.  This color is proven to produce from spring thru the fall.  How many lures do you have a aboard that can do the same?

6/5/23  Today's featured photo is from Top 40 Charters in MI's U.P.  He was fishing in the extreme N end of Lk. MI close to Fairport, MI.  Besides a good King the reel story here is the longevity of our soft plastic herring strips aka Rip Teezers™.  Think Capt. Steve's  XG-Frog 12" combo is on it's 5th season.  Cost to own per year is a bargain.
             This will be a good a start for tomorrow's chat about chasing the new stuff every year.  While new endless models are thrust on the public by many tackle companies,  New don't make it better, than proven tried and true colors. Click for strip and King Salmon

6/2/23  Latest word for Manistee, MI's harbor is deadsville since the bait left.  Boats fishing off the shelf and deeper water were still catching spring Kings.  Please keep in mind, with all fishing reports are in the past tense of what happened yesterday.  In a few short hours fish can move 10 miles, or more to favorable feeding grounds.
             Interesting factoid is the Manistee's harbor is smaller than Ludington, or Frankfort.  Even though Manistee has more commercial freighter traffic.

6/1/23  When big schools of bait/Alewives come into the harbor to spawn, the predatorily fish will come right along with them.  Good catches are coming in the harbors at central Lk. MI ports.  Even the MDNR fishing report mentioned this.  Click MDNR report
           This is perfect for the small boat fleet to get a whack at these fish before they scatter and head for deeper water. Click for 5/30/23 sonar bait
           Know the fleet numbers are down after more then a few years of scarce spring Kings.  Look for many to return as good as the fishing is.

5/31/23  Just not used to negative issues and dealing with the legal system.  Going pass on the expose for now, as not to tip my hand.  Will be covered in-depth next week.
               On the brighter side, spring Kings continue to be on a tear off central Lk. MI ports.  This is the best it's been in many years.  Evidenced by today's featured photo from Ludington's Capt. Kirk.  6 Kings & 2 Steelhead is good am catch.  Click 5/30/23 fish
               This the time of the year when small boat fishermen can get in the action fishing in and around the harbor.  Spring Kings are aggressive biters.

5/30/23  Legal meetings this morning.  Will expose a competitor of what he said when I told him his rigs were a POS tomorrow.  What he had to say shocked me and will shock you too.   Come to find out he's just a front man for a machine shop without a clue to design, or cost to manufacture.  Been holding this back, but he needs to be exposed.

5/29/23  Have a wonderful Memorial Day.  Please take time to give thanks to those that gave all and didn't get a chance to enjoy their favorite activities today.  There's no winners in war, only the grave digger trade at full employment.  During my life lived thru the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan wars & a few others that are too small to mention.

5/28/23  Posted a photo of a jumbo spawner Alewife that was alive and well until it met it's fate when a big King gobbled up not from from Ludington, MI's harbor.
              Harbor was loaded with bait the last I heard from local expert angler, Capt. Kirk. Seeing the harbors filling up with Alewives again  is almost like hitting the lottery.

5/26/23  Have safe and great Memorial Day Weekend that is the unofficial kickoff for the summer season.  No word on the looming Consent Decree yet.
               Extended season on Onekama, MI's Portage Lake for perch.  Spring Kings at all central Lk. MI ports is the best it's been in several years and that's wonderful news!

5/25/23  Federal court day for the new Consent Degree for the next 20 years, if the tribal fishers agree to it?  Should be some word in the news of how this went.
              Overall it's dumb for this to be an issue.  A billion dollar sport fishery vs. commercial netters worth far less just don't add up.  Then, again, it depends on the judge, if he has any interest in preserving the fishery, or hands over the fishery to the tribes.  Time will tell, but don't get your hopes up until we know the final agreement.

5/24/23  While seeking a buyer tackle company for sale in 2024, I'm still working on new never seen before tackle projects.  So, by no means have I thrown in the towel.
               Innovation is when I'm at my best.  Not being a carbon copy and breaking my own trail has been at the forefront when I quit chartering and guiding in 2003.
               Best move I've ever made is being able to serve you with what no other manufacturer has.  Plus, top notch quality that makes our stuff last for years.

5/23/23  Growing gracefully was obviously written by someone who has not experienced aging.  So, it's a big lie!  All crucial body systems are subject to wear and tear.  In my case vision with wet macular degeneration causes some vision loss.  Yes, you can still see, but not like when you were 20 years old.  Hearing is another 24/7 long haul sense.
              A lot of this is up to chance with what DNA
sequence genes you were born with.  It's up to nature on how you age.  Know you can't teach an old dogs new tricks is another big lie.  All of my computer skill sets were learned after 55 years old.
             Good thing about fishing is everyone is created equal in the eyes of a fish.  At any age fishing is a challenge that extends your youth!

5/22/23  The fish are still biting in Central LK. MI, as evidenced by today's featured photo.  To make this report even better there's 15 pound Brown with Kings at, or pushing 20 pounds that came from Ludington yesterday.  Click for these Ludington Fish
               Ludington's own Capt. Kirk came thru with another timely report to keep us informed of his success.  Looks like we're going to have a great season!

5/20/23  Armed Forces Day is set aside for our military.  We can honor them by not having more wars.  Human life is precious.  The nearly 60,000 US service members were killed in Vietnam.  This is a tragic loss.  The 60k could have included the person who could have cured cancer and other major diseases.  Now, we'll never know....

5/19/23  Just going to let the video ride for another day.  The second half is important and brings issues into focus.  Let's hope this bears fruit.

5/18/23  Hope yesterday's posted video help you get a better understanding of the Consent Degree mess.  13 minutes 30 seconds is the important part.
               This is my 3rd go-round with sport vs. commercial fishing here in MI going back to the late 1970s when the Soo tribe emptied Little Grand Traverse Bay.  Area they wiped out with gill nets was between Charlevoix & Petoskey MI.
              Know the fishing public is vary passionate about their sport, or we wouldn't invest the time and money.  But this whole issue is like quicksand, the more you struggle the deeper you sink.  Best bet is to look at our options, if the gill nets become reality? 

5/17/23  Public TV channel WCMU covers a recent episode on MI Out of Doors covered by Steve Shultz in-depth commentary concerning the new Consent Decree and the push for gill nets by the tribes.  Steve's informative discussion is in the second half.
              Reel fact is sports and commercial fishermen have been at odds, because of different goals.  Commercial netters idea is to take and take until there's nothing left.  So, this is not just a tribal issue, it's a preserving the fishery issue.  Click for this video

5/16/23  Think all fishermen have to be optimists. Failure, doom and gloom are not options when it comes to fishing, or you'd never leave the dock.  That's why seeing more spring Kings this spring has kick started my outlook.
              Hitting my double nickel 55th season chasing Great Lakes  Trout and Salmon this year.  I've learned is more spring Kings transfer to more tackle busting summer adults.

5/15/23  Lk. MI is 46° on the surface according to the Ludington data buoy.  Then, transitions to 40° to anything after 25'-30'.  Prime temp for spring Kings.
              What I noticed about  the spring Kings at central LK. MI since the 1st part of April is the girth of the fish.  There's no doubt last year's crop of Alewives and the die off kept Kings fat and sassy for the fleet this year and beyond.
              Know with the amount of Kings around there has to be some bait around to keep the big guy bruisers available for Lk. MI anglers.

5/14/23  Mothers Day a special time set aside for the person who made us possible.  Be sure to show your mom some love today.  Like the song by Joni Mitchell, "you don't know what you have until it's gone" fits with the passing of my mother 20 years ago.

5/12/23 From the reports I've seen, most all MI ports have spring Kings.  This is a departure from the past when the Salmon stayed in the SE part of Lk. MI until later May.  Warmer winters and no ice is reshuffling the timetable of our King Salmon fishery.
                            Have a great Mothers Day Weekend!

5/11/23  Chat from 4/11/23 mentioned the Lk. MI water level being down 2' or more.  Warmer then normal winter allowed more evaporation days on Lk. MI. 
              Evaporation is how most of the water is lost.  Dropping Lk. MI water levels effects ports that do not have a major river system.  Ports like Leland, Onekama and Arcadia just to name a few subject to getting sanded in from wave action.
              For now, Arcadia harbor is closed to larger boats with 2' to 4' of water in their channel.  Hope this issue is resolved soon.  Click mouth of Arcadia channel

5/10/23  New 73 lb. world record for catch and release for Lake Trout caught in Colorado.   This giant weird looking LT was 47" long with a 37" rotund gut girth.
             Interesting part is the article where I found this said it took only 13 minutes to land this behemoth.  Lakers over 12-14 pounds have vertical layers fat in the fillets.  Betcha there enough fat in this fish to deep fry a turkey.   Click for the reel article

5/9/23  More good news concerning the status of the spring Kings at central Lk. MI ports.  Manistee County Sport Fishing Association held the annual small boat big fish contest that was dominated by Kings from 15 to 20 pounds this past weekend.
            Compared to this 2022 tournament when only one 8 pound King was registered.  That's a super huge increase and shows the Kings are definitely on the rebound.  Factor in this is only early May that will improve as the month wears on. Click event standings

5/8/23  Best news we Great Lakes Salmon fishing folks we can hear.  Kings were caught in respectable numbers yesterday out of Ludington, MI by my local favorite Capt. Kirk.
            He had what looks like 4 double digit fat healthy Kings boxed.  This is a big deal with Kings in decent numbers showing up this early in May.  This should only improve during the coming weeks as more bait moves toward shore. Click Kirk's Kings
            Kirk's weapons of choice was the high action Gold Orange Crush and the Pearl Icy Blue 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoons.  He used both of the colors/spoons with great success for at least the last 5 years.  These are proven no brainer bargains.

5/7/23  Let's all enjoy reel-fact spring is here full force.  Outside projects will be my focus today and working on tackle.  Good times ahead for all of us.

5/5/23  Improving weather means improving spring fishing.  Water temps govern the whole food web.  From plankton, to bait to predator fish rising water temp is good news.
             We've finally turned the corner and spring is here in full force.  Now is the time to jump start summer projects after a lousy chilly weather. 
             Cost of a big water fishing rig is the same if you use it, or not.  The "or not" part is loss of recreation that makes to joy of life worth living.

5/4/23  DNR reports are encouraging for spring Kings from St. Joe to Muskegon, MI.  They even mentioned Manistee with a few Kings being taken in the stained harbor plume to 30'.  In about 6 weeks we'll have a better handle on what to expect this July and August.
             Need to thank everyone who've purchased my tackle since 2004.  Without those believing in me to spend their tackle dollars would have never made it to 2023.  Know for a reel-fact nothing was left on the table and make tackle to last many seasons.

5/3/23  I have a good long attention span that's good for 20 years, but it's time for me to call it quits in the tackle business after this season.  Haven't had shop help for orders since the Covid crap hit the fan.  Being in my mid 70s it's a stretch to keep up.
            Hung the for sale sign on michiganangler.com listing tackle for sale in 2024. 
Next year the Salmon tackle business will see a major rebound.  Click 4 Sale

5/2/23  The beginning of May looks and feels more like the 1st of March.  Temps in the 30s with rain, wind  and snow is pitiful for this time of the year.  Average temps 15 to 20 degrees below normal is nobody's idea of fun after being cooped up all winter.  Like if it wasn't enough joy already, wind took out electric at 4:35am. Generac backup power is on.
             Looks like we're out of the woods later this week with 70s on the way.
         Big announcement tomorrow that has to do with my 20 year attention span.

5/1/23  Month of the spring Kings is here.  Southern ports like St. Joe, South Haven and Saugatuck will see what this year's crop is like.  Towards the end of May and into the 1st part of June central Lk. Mi ports will take over.  Used to get a 3 week window that's not near as long now.  Trick is to be on the water when the Kings are within reach.
             Manistee's channel to Lk. MI will busy with many boats jigging for Walleye from Last Saturday's opener.  Never caught a Lk. MI Walleye, some in big river. 

4/29/23  Big water fishing is a shared experience between fishing friends is more rewarding.  Better yet? ...if you've known them for a long time.  I've went from a long list of excellent folks to fish with down to almost zero.  Most have went to the big pond in the sky.  Others can longer go due to health issues.  Cherish those you fish with.  Heaven forbid, there will come a time when your options no longer exists.

4/28/23  Tomorrow, the last Saturday in April is the Trout stream opener.  Brook Trout are excellent table fare bar none.  Brookies can be found in any cold water stream.  Often underneath banks and in log jams.  They can be aggressive biters and fight like hell.
               Antrim County's Jordon River is where I've caught my largest Brook Trout on small 3 egg spawn bags.  Creeks you can step across will have fish, but they'll be small.  Worms covering the hook work excellent too.  Click Brook Trout info

4/27/23  Temperatures have been running 10°-15° below normal for about the past 10 days.  Lows in the mid 20s is not spring like weather.  I'm sure this has held fleet pressure back from the looks of things from the MDNR port reports. Click DNR reports
               Next week Wednesday is hump day when more normal 50s and 60s settle in for the long haul.  Been biding my time for some decent weather.  Reason?  my time on the water is very limited and want to enjoy the outing.

4/26/23  I'm sure you've heard about forward facing sonar used by the bass fishermen.
Now Garmin has a deep water application named, LiveScope™ XR System.  Advert says it's good to 500' deep in freshwater and 350' in saltwater. Click XR System
              Featured photo shows deeper than 150' and out to 160' in front of your boat.  Drawback is the plus 3k price and that don't buy the display.
              This new tech will expand in the future and the cost will come way down.  Biggest plus to to mark bait.  Salmon are always moving, bait balls will be more static.

4/25/23  Lk. MI's water level is down maybe 2' from the past few years.  This is no big deal for most who use major launches.  When you launch at a ramp like Manistee, MI's 9th Street ramp it's sand and gravel bottom that's hard on water pumps. Click 9th St.
              Another issue depends on where you dock.  Pier 31 marina, formerly Solbergs has a shallow sandy mucky bottom that eats raw water pumps in straight inboard drives.  Good advice is to have have a spare impeller kits onboard for a quick fix.  These can be hard to locate in-season.  Raw water pump rebuild takes less then an 1/2 hour.

4/24/23  Been avoiding the slippery slope of the new gill net Consent Decree like the plague.  There's no way to win as the tribes are flexing their muscle.
              Do know the Soo tribes want free access to all treaty waters.  Do know in the 1980s these were the people that wiped out the Lake Trout fishery in a lot of areas.
             Do know there's a tribe, or tribes are pushing for subcontractors to do the fishing.  This is only speculation on my part, but past history leads to the Little River Band of failed netters that sunk boats and never pulled their nets.  This fake Manistee tribe had no seamanship skills and created hazards to navigation.

4/22/23  Long over due personal projects day.

4/21/23  Sometimes it's good to remind myself just how good the glow properties exhibited by our spoons, flashers and meat heads. 
              This didn't come easy, or cheap locating the right master-batch colorants for injection molding.  Figure in, being a more, or less a rookie having tackle turn out like today's featured spoon is a gift from the fish gods and a lot of hard work.
             New test XG Super Frog for 2023 is in the works.  Please note the bright glow ladder back not equaled by any other manufacturers.  Click new test Froggie

4/20/23  Working on some new spoon colors that feature XG ladder backs.  This lure tape is the absolute best glow on the market that costs around 600 bucks a roll.  Should have photos of the glow properties in tomorrow's chat.  Procrastination is something I excel at, or I'd have the new pics posted already.

4/19/23  Spring Kings are not light sensitive like the adult summer bruisers.  Usually, spring Salmon of all parts of the family tree will bite all day long.  Remember you're dealing with an aggressive eating machine.  Kings go from a 1/4" egg to possibly a 30 pounder in 5 short years.  Not many freshwater fish can even come close.
              Signs for this spring is promising with a few springers already being caught.  Mid May into early June has produced my best results in all central Lk. MI ports.

4/18/23  Beam me up goes good the theme of Capt. Kirk's boat, Enterprise.  Even better he's beamed a few Kings onboard this early in the season.  These are scouts for the main herd due to arrive in a matter of weeks at central Lk. MI ports. Click Kirk's King
              Featured King photo shows Kirk had a weather window before the wind from the SW got to puffing over 20 knots.  Big Point Sable weather station has been out.  I reply on the wind data from the big point that's checked every time before leaving the house.
             NOAA says this station will be available again soon, I hope.

4/17/23  Ludington longtime local, Capn. Kirk has a unique program the day I fished the same waters as him about 5-6 years, being straight out of Ludington's harbor in 40' to 60'.
              My boat took 4, all respectable Kings.  Kirk got into double figures by using 6 planer boards and half lead cores, 150'.  Trick is Kirk uses 17 pound test lead core that's a lot thinner than the fleet standard 27 pound test.  The thinner core is more stealthy.
             When Kirk fishes shallow know he used our in-line 3/8 ounce keel sinkers when on the beach with a 5'-6' lead, close to shore.  Kirk's passion for fishing speaks for itself over the past 40-50 years.  Big thanks for keeping us posted.  Click Kirk's 4/15/23 catch

4/16/23  Good news, Capn. Kirk took another decent  King yesterday morning out of Ludington, MI.  Kirk said he fished N and his King came on the Gold Orange Crush 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoon.  Enhanced story tomorrow....

4/15/23  Early heat waves always comes with high winds, mostly from the S.  This elevates fire danger.  High winds knock branches into power lines results in starting fires.  Went thru this a few years back when the woods caught fire about 500' N of where I live.  Fire stayed on the ground and burnt undergrowth for a good half mile.
              When you smell smoke as we did, all kinds of issues come up fast.  Like what to save and scoot.  Had the dogs and computers disconnected ready to load.  Luckily the fire never came that close to the house.  Some forces you just can't control.

4/14/23  MDNR has started the port reports for the 2023 season.  Mostly pier and river fishing for now.  Some reports from LK. MI, but they were scant.
              Temps in the 80s for Manistee, MI are rare.  Make sure to enjoy this prelude of summer weather this weekend.  Next week is a lot cooler.

4/13/23  Been is a rush to complete outdoor projects while the warm weather continues.  Hold up on my boat trailer with a bad bunk stringer is semi solved.  Going to put a splint under the bad spot to get by until the boat is docked for a few days to replace bunk.
              20 years after leaving the charter business still get old customers wanting to rebook.  Nice to know loyalty last this long.  Don't miss lake chartering a-at-all.  It's a tough job with long hours when you're trying to support yourself 12 months with a short 3 month window, unless you port hop like I once did.  Hours involved is immense.

4/12/23  Mum is the word from Manistee, MI for fishing reports.  Point man, Wayne J lives in the city maybe 15 blocks away from the ramp.  Wayne relayed to me there'sust not many boat fishing.  Know he almost checks everyday.
              Do know somebody will find some fish.  Then, the word spreads like wild fire as anglers pile-on looking to cash in.  Always remember, there's is a first and when the first finds the fish, their reward is the most bountiful.

4/11/23  Next Monday I'll be offering a 23% discount on most tackle at my web store.  Timing is everything and we're too close to tax day April 15th to garner attention.  I'm overstocked on heads and meat rigs mostly with the King catch being off last few years.
              Plan is to reduce as much inventory as possible.  Then sell my tackle business in 2025 when the fishing will probably be banner year.  Seen slow tackle sales before and enjoy and use the time for projects that wouldn't normally have time for.
              Get outside and enjoy a the warm weather we've all yearned for!

4/10/23  70° yesterday says welcome to the 2023 season.  Finally warm temps are here with high 70s predicted this week.  Shifted gears getting my boat ship shape is the task at at hand.  Dealt with a stuck slider door on my pole barn that was sand locked.
              Great Lakes season will start moving pretty fast now.  There's a lot to look forward to after being cooped up all winter.  It's no secret the few summer King seasons were lack luster.  Look  for an upswing in bigger fish and more available as last season's banner spring crop of juvenile Chinooks grow up.  Indicators are highly promising!

4/9/23  Have a great Easter.

4/7/23  The new container port facility on Lk. Erie at Monroe MI is flying under the radar.  I'm familiar with this area and foresee a huge complex on the Raisin River.  The Raisin flows into the S side Brest Bay that's a perennial magnet for Walleye fishermen.
             Question is what kind of new invasive species is more world-wide shipping going to bring to our Great Lakes?  1st seen Zebra mussels on a stick fished up off the bottom in this area in 1985 when I ran charters during late May, June, early July Walleyes on Lk. Erie.

4/6/23  Early season April Kings are a challenge at central Lk. MI ports.  It's a big reward when you land any April King, because the main herd is still over a 100 miles S at ports like St. Joe, Saugatuck and South Haven.  Click Icy Blue SB 4.0 catch
             Icy Blue 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoon is a pearl base with in-house custom powder blue laminated ice chip lure tape.  This spoon is a proven winner going back to 2018.  How many spoons do you own that have that kind of longevity? Icy_Blue 4.0 SB spoon
             Know we're going to be in good shape for above average sized Kings this year.  Not sure on the numbers, but bait was thick during the die-off last year.

4/5/23  Ludington, MI's Capn. Kirk drew 1st blood when it comes to the 1st big King for this season.  Kirk was my former UPS driver for plus 10 years and is darn good at early and late season fishing.  His track record speaks for itself.  Click 1st big King for 2023
           Kirk said his big guy came on a blue and white spoon, but can't confirm is it came on the Icy Blue 4.0 Salmon Buster spoon he's used with great success in the past.  This Icy Blue spoon has done me right out of Ludington too. Icy_Blue 4.0 SB spoon

4/4/23  April tax season that's a quadruple whammy for us.  2022 business taxes and personal taxes are a must do.  Throw in the 1st quarter excise and State of MI sales taxes for more must do tasks,  Office admin stuff is not my strong suit and never was.
             Touched 60° at my place in Manistee, MI yesterday.  Nice to be outside with just a sweat shirt on.  Unfortunately, never had a chance to prep my boat.  Today looks like this afternoon to get a start.  Have to replace a bunk on the Sea Ray's trailer.  Have the carpet.  2" by 6" that 16' long transport from lumberyard is still in the thought stage.

4/3/23  Looks like we're finally going to see some springtime temps.  This coming Wednesday it supposed to be in the mid-to low 60° range for Manistee, MI.  Been a long long time since we've had this kind of weather.
            Plan on spending a good amount of time getting my 1979 22' Sea Ray ready for this maiden voyage of 2023.  Figure in about 2-3 hours should be ready to go.
            Removing the snow plow is something I'm looking forward to.  Have to that before putting the camper on for out of town new port adventures.

Continued below back to the year 2000:

2023 Results
January, February & March

April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November and December

2022 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2021 Results
January, February & March

April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November, & December

2020 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September

October, November & December

2019 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2018 Results
January, February & March
April, May, & June

July, August & September
October, November & December

2017 Results
January, February & March
April, June & June
July, August, & September
October, November & December

2016 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2015 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September

2014 Results
October, November, & December
January, February, & March
April, May, & June

July, August, & September

2013 Results
January, February, & March

April, May, & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2012 Results
January, February, & March
April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2011 Results
January, February, & March
April, May, & June

July, August & September
 October, November, & December

2010 Results
January, February, & March

April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2009 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August, & September
October, November, & December

2008 Results
October, November & December

July, August, & September
April, May & June
January, February & March

2007 Results
October November & December
July, August & September

April, May & June
January, February & March

2006 Results
October, November & December
July, August & September
April, May & June
January, February & March

2005 Results
October, November & December
July August & September
April May & June
January February & March

2004 Results
October, November & December
August & September 
June & July  April & May
January, February & March

2003 Results
Jan Feb  Mar  April & May
June & July  Aug & Sept

Nov & Dec

2002 Results
Nov & Dec  Oct  Sept  
Aug   July   June  May  
April  March  Feb  Jan

2001 Results
April Brown Trout  
May & June
July Salmon
Aug. Tuna Time

2000 Results
Dec. Nov.
   Oct.  Sept.
July   June
May  March & April
January  February