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  Home Salmon Busters™ Great Lakes Info Tips and Trix Capt. John's Log

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Photos from the 4th of July Weekend, 2004

Hi John: "I sent a couple of pics from this past weekends fish wars. The first is a cool one taken on Sat. Morning off the Port of Manistee as the Sun rises. The next is a couple of my Daughters friends holding two Kings weighing 22 and 15lbs caught off your flashers and meat rigs. A question I have is how to keep the fish from sawing the line in half during the fight. I lost one head and my stepbrother who is a meat rig convert lost three this past weekend. All had line protectors. By the way my step brother trolled with 3 meat rigs only on Sat and Sun. Nothing else. He started on Sat at 7.00am and on Sun at 11.00am and he had and he and his two buddies caught their 3 man limit of Kings on the shelf both days. I saw the box on both days and in two days he had at least 300lbs of fish. The average was 15lbs each".....Tom M.


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Bob K. aka "Getaway"                   Ludington King! 7/17/04

7/17/04    Started out today at the stick setting lines at 5:30 am. My initial program was to run spoons early to pick off the "easy" bite, then get tricky when the fish shut down....Well, another plan foiled. I set up and trolled for about 1-1/2 hours only to figure out that my 400+ spoons are just taking up space on my boat.

I quickly switched over to a full meat program. I ran 3 riggers and two dipseys (well, most of the time, only one dipsey was in the water...lol).

This was even looking a bit grim for a while, as I listened to person after person complain on the radio about not getting any fish to hit. Then, I found some just south of the stick in 60-70 fow. We proceeded to hook and land every fish for the next two hours. Between 9 and 11am, we landed 3 fish over 20# (biggest was 22#) and 3 more in the 16#-17# range for a two man limit of dandy kings.

Hot baits were CJRF blue racer/blue-glow 3 fly rig down 70ft and also one out on a low dipsey back 150. The next hot bait was CJRF pearl/glow w/white-glow 3 fly meat rig down 50. My old standby green glow Coyote w/3 squid rig even took one of the "smaller" kings.

I am now a firm believer in the new flasher program. To be honest, I was a little skeptical even though, I have run meat rather successfully for several years. We popped fish after fish while other people in boats watched us, during a period of the day that is generally slow......Capt. Bob Kietzman


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Robert & Allen Muskegon 7/18/04 

"I just wanted to drop you a line from Muskegon. I had the opportunity to take my two cousins boys out for a day of fishing on the big pond. They had a ball as you can probably tell by the picture. We set lines at about 7:00 am on Sunday and fished until noon. They took there limit of kings. We really had fun with them. The Reel Flashers with a Twinkie rig took all but one of the fish. We set up in 75’ of water with two downriggers, a 1lb drop weight on the starboard side and a dipsy on the port side. They lost the first two fish, one on a dipsy and one on the drop weight. Then the drop weight went again with a green blade with a green Twinkie set at 80’. The second fish came on a rigger with the same setup at 47’ down. About 9:00 we ran out to 130’ and set up again and took one more on the drop weight at 80’, one on a glow pearl squirrel with a purple Twinkie set at 57’, one on a dipsy 125’ back with a black mamba and clear red Twinkie, and one on a bloody nose spoon on a half core of lead. 

The fish went to 18lbs and were a good test of the young men's ability to fight a fish. I sure would like the thank you for showing me a new way to fish. This was about the most fun I can remember in a day of fishing. I just loved watching these guys have fun fighting these kings! 

Well, I ordered some more twinkies and a couple more of your flashers. I think I may need some more of the green blades, though. They really seem to do the trick at least for me. 

Have a good day, and maybe we will fish together again sometime"....Capt. Joel O.

8.8.04 Muskegon Report:

"What a good morning to be on the lake. Went out this morning and set lines at 6:30 in 110'. By the time we got all four lines in the water the dipsy set at 120' back with a green blade and a green meat rig went. Set it back in the water and a rigger set at 40' went with a black mamba and red 3 fly meat rig. Took 3 more kings on that dipsy and rigger by about 7:30. Got number 6 by the back of the boat on the dipsy and just as it got to the back the leader at the hook snapped 

Thought that was a bad thing, but it turned out to be a good thing, because if we would have landed that one we would have went in. So we kept trolling to 135' and found a surface break. Landed a steelhead on a lead core with a magnum green dolphin spoon. Went back through the break and it went again and so did the black mamba set a 40' both with steelheads. Made two more passes and caught one more steelhead on the core and one king on the secret one with a chartreuse/gold twinkie set at 50'.

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Joel O. 8/8/04
 Muskegon Fish

So because we lost fish number six, we ended up getting into the steelhead and ended up with a full box of 6 kings and 4 steelhead.

For a weekend fisherman like me this was one of the best days I have ever had thanks to Captain John and his flashers, the knowledge he has shared with me about running lead core, and fishing in general."..........Capt. Joel


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Ludington 7/18/04 


Here is the Reel Flasher/3 fly catch catch from Sunday (7/18/04). Later, I'll need to order a few more 3 fly meat rigs and like you mentioned, plus I need a couple more black mambas which I'll make arrangements to pick up from you when I get back to Manistee. This program has made fishing a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable.............Capt. Craig


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John, "just want to drop you a note and thank you for all you have done to make my first year a raging success in my book!  The information you have provided since last January on the message board has made it possible for a guy that didn't know a downrigger from a planer board or an outdrive from a trim tab to be able to catch fish and keep it simple. 
Remember my question about the "birds"? I didn't get my boat in the water until 2nd week of June and have been out 8 or 9 times, only skunked once! 

My neighbor is off on Mondays, so we have been going out and getting lines in the water around 7am. Running meat rigs and the JKRF, 3 DR's and 2 dipsies. The last two Monday mornings we went 3 for 3 and 4 for 4. Today was 3 kings and 1 coho. Biggest king was 15 and coho was 8. Green flashers, silver 3 fly rig, green rig, and of course black mamba with red 3 fly cut bait rig. Got one on purple and purple last Monday. The tangles have been minimal and I don't run the middle rigger behind the prop. The cut bait program with your innovative flasher has made it much easier than I could have hoped for. 

It's been fun every time. My wife wishes I could talk about something else. Your straight from the hip approach is refreshing and, as we talked in Grand Haven I admire your courage in taking the plunge to develop your tackle business. 

If someone asked me to describe you it would be as follows: "Innovative, Ingenious, and Opinionated as Hell" and I just love it. Wishing all the success you could possibly envision. 

Enclosed is a shot of the last Monday's catch"..........Capt. Gene


7/31/04 Ludington, MI
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Capt. Mark W.

We had blast in Ludington Friday and Saturday...... Friday were had our limit in 45 minutes and I never got more than 3 lines down. Two outside riggers with your flashers........  1.8-2.0 mph at the ball... and bam... we slammed them. I am completely addicted to them now (Reel-Flashers).

Thanks again for creating a deadly weapon,............Capt. Mark


Manistee 8/1/04
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Capt. Dave, Enforcer Charters 60 minute catch

"I didn't have a charter Sunday am, so I rolled my bride out of bed at  0430 and we were setting lines by 0615. By 0715, we had hooked 7 fish and landed four......we didn't have enough arms available. We were cleaning fish by 9am. 4 fish was plenty.
      I found some 43 degree water way away from the flotilla to the north and was the only boat in the area. For five minutes I had three poles in the water. The rest of the hour I had only one that didn't have a fish on it. Also I heard that there is a net in the 19's. I cannot confirm or deny this, but it is worth noting.
     The attached photo is a tribute to what you preach. Re-rigging 3 fly meat rigs, black dipsies, and fewer rods all work!......Thank You, Capt. Dave 


Lake Ontario 8/5/04 

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    26# King on Green Blade                 The fish they kept & baits used


"This was my first outing with your products on board, some pics from this morning, 17 salmon landed, 5...3 to 10 pounders, 12 between 12 and 26 pounds. 14 taken on your flashers. We ran a 4 rod spread with 2 of us on the boat, we fished from 6:30 to 9:30 am, also missed 6 other fish. Loved the green flasher in the pic, it accounted for the most action, could not keep it in the water, NO $HIT!!! We came in cause our arms were sore." Tom 


Manistee 8/7/04
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Team Fish Weasel

Capt. John-

"Thanks for encouraging me to stick with the meat. I was not a believer, but now I am – big time.

Two friends and I fished yesterday out of Manistee and had the best day I’ve ever had on big tuna. We went 9 for 12 from 10:00AM to 2:00PM with all three lost fish due to chewed-through leaders. All our fish were big kings. We couldn’t close the built-in fish box on my Trophy. I didn’t have a scale handy, but I think a pretty reasonable guess is that our nine fish weighed at least 150 pounds. That is just stupid fishing. Nine of twelve hits came on your chartreuse flasher pulling a green twinkie on a braided line dipsy out 150 feet or off a rigger set at 35 feet (we got sick of fighting them on the dipsy and switched the hot flasher to a rigger rod). The other three hook-ups were on a #4 green ladder back j-plug on either a rigger at 40 or a half-core. Every hit came off the bank just south of the harbor in 65 to 105 feet of water.

I couldn’t get one to go on either a red or plain green flasher, but we didn’t care. I’ve never hooked that many big fish in one day - ever. Better yet, we were all alone by 10:00AM since it got rough and nobody was catching fish. I am not expecting this kind of result every time out, but you can bet that it will be a cold day in hell before I pull more spoons than meat rigs during the summer.

Thanks again for the encouragement. I sure as hell hope your product sells well, but not to well, if you know what I mean. I’ve attached a couple of pictures of our catch – sorry I forgot put your flasher in the picture (I’m the one in the "State" hat)."

Brian B, skipper of the "Fish Weasel"


"Hot" Flashers in Illinois
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                8/8/04                             Illinois, Lk MI King 8.8.04

Hey John,

"I have continued to hone my skills on cut bait and now that the Kings  are here, we have been doing great. I was on vacation last week and had a couple of late trips by myself. Leaving at 11 am and fishing for only a couple hours each trip, and same hours with an out of town guest last Friday. Everyone over here was complaining about tough the fishing is and we killed ' em. 
     Lemon Lime, Secret weapon and Yellow/Blue Dolphin have been hot, with Kelly green and Frog flies. I will be back to early hours again this week so Black Mamba with Red early has been very consistent. Of course, I have had to put more orders in for the hot colors. I am starting to corner the market on Reel Flashers.
     I really enjoyed the seminar and meeting you, it has made a great summer even better"......Thanks again, Capt. Cliff  Click here for a Illinois Lk. MI King


Rogers City 8/20/04

Hi John,

"I just wanted to say thanks I spent some time in Rogers City last week and your flashers were fantastic. Coupled with the cut bait rigs I was pulling in consistent catches without spending a lot time on the water. We would go out for an hour and a half trip and pull in 3-4 kings per trip. I am very impressed with the yellow tail and the special one. Black Mamba deserves honorable mention.......
    Thanks for making such a great product and I plan to order some more flashers from you in the Fall as I am done for this year".........Capt. Paul C.


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August 28 & 29, 2004

Hi John,

"Fishing was decent this weekend with fairly good catches of Kings each day but the story of the weekend was last night when we could not keep rods in the water. I ran the King Cobra down the chute and the King Crimson (my own personal name for this prototype) on the number 1 rigger. I also ran two dipsies with Hootchies and another rigger with a Hootchie which I switched to a J-plug later. 

All rods took fish but the two riggers with the King Cobra and King Crimson took 20 of our 30 bites and caught 12 of our 18 fish 6 man limit. Many times during the evening the challenge was to see how long it would take to get these flashers back in the water and when we were into fish you could set the rod and stand next to it as it would go off within seconds. They almost always hit the meat first and hit the other rods when the meat was hooked up and they had no other choice in the water."

Capt Craig Kent
Killin' Time Charters


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Sept. 7, 2004

Capt. John,

Hi,........ Just wanted to let you know that you did indeed make me a believer of your products. I know we made believers at the cleaning station. But there are those that when we said "cut bait" curled their noses to it. It made me laugh! Especially, since they had two fish to our five big fish or more!! We ended up catching 44 fish in 7 days of fishing. 
     Every single time we were at the cleaning station Roger had to jump up back into the boat to show the "non-believers" your flashers. As that is all we run now. Have to tell you that Roger made a wish and it came true. He wanted to know what triples were like. Well....with me driving and him reeling there wasn't enough arms for the third pole. Have to say that there was a another Thompson (boat) that was very gracious and let us reel all of the fish in. I now can drive, hole the rod, get the net and reel at the same time. I have the bruises to prove it!!! 
     I know we were a commercial for your products. Just some believe us and some don't. The fish in the box told the story. Sent everyone that wanted to know to Zajac's.  We wish you well with your business. 

Keep us posted, 
Wanda & Roger Co-Captains of the Wandafish


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Manistee September 17 & 18, 2004

We have been too busy this summer to find time to fish. Finally, it slowed down enough for a well deserved fishing trip to Manistee on September 13th. We had found time to keep up with the private message board and knew one thing, we wanted to try fishing with reel meat. One problem - no Reel-Flashers, or meat! 

We headed on our journey to Manistee and were lucky enough to find Captain John home and relaxing in his easy chair. We quickly explained our dilemma. He welcomed us and frantically began digging through his private stock. He found enough pieces to get us fully rigged for our new adventure. As he prepared the rigs, he refreshed our memory on the proper techniques of fishing with reel-flashers and meat. He showed us first-hand how to prepare the meat and put it in brine for us. 
We left with a smile on our faces and a bag full of goodies. As is our luck, the wind began to blow terribly. When it was finally safe to go out, we fought Mother Nature and put our bag of goodies to the test. WOW! There were times when we couldn't keep Black Mamba and the "Secret One" in the water. We have pulled spoons, dodgers and squid, dodgers and flies, hoochies and J-plugs over the years, but this Reel Flasher/meat program out fishes any other method. We listened as other boats lamented on the radio that they weren't having much success. We were having a blast! It's a good feeling to go to the cleaning station and have more nice quality fish than anyone else. 
We have known Captain John for 4 years now, from his river charters. We have found that he enjoys helping people catch fish as much as if he was catching the fish himself. We have learned a great deal from the TONS of info on this site. 
Our daughter-in-law was along for her first salmon fishing trip. Thanks to this program, she now is addicted! She couldn't wait to get pictures to show everybody. Thanks again Captain John. We look forward to meeting more of you for fishing in AuGres (spring 2005), as we are being told that this will be an annual event.

Thanks for all of your help,
Roger & Cindy H.


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John, you know I am having more fun that an ole sheep farmer should be allowed to have. I also know that you are having fun. I have followed you ever since you made the last trip from Manistee to South Haven with your boat. I hold you in the highest admiration for what you have accomplished in three short years. Your knowledge, enthusiasm and marketing skills are phenomenal. You have not stumbled any step of the way and I know there were plenty of traps along the way that could have sidelined your vision and progress. Not only that, you look 10 years younger than you did last year when I saw you in Grand Haven.

When you wrote the first article on cut bait and your flasher it was the answer I had been looking for. You said it was simple, forgiving and less was more. Right after purchasing my boat I was shaking my head on how I was going to ever get an understanding of how to catch fish without it turning into an agonizing trial and error nightmare, say nothing about the expense. Now each time I go out, it is with confidence, no second guessing my setup. I just focus on locating fish.

I had no idea retirement could be so enjoyable and healthy. You have been and are my mentor. I'm just glad I waited this many years to get started because you have made it so easy.

Today was the first day using the green label herring and secret brine. I could not believe how aggressive they hit and destroyed those fillets. I was almost glad we didn't land all 6 fish as it was too damn hot to clean fish.

Thanks for your friendship and looking forward seeing you in Frankfort in August, I'll be a spectator of course. Gene

PS: Now I have to go to your shopping site and figure out what I need to order. Last year's stuff is getting pretty thin as you probably noticed.

Gene M
Allegan, MI
Holland/South Haven/Mobile
Boat Name: "REEL TRIP"
1978 21' Renken Cuddy/140 Mercruiser


9/5/05 Algoma, WI

Here is my final report from Algoma for this year. 

Fished for three days with a three person crew aboard the Sea Dog. We set up Friday in 80 FOW and trolled out and never looked back. We found an area centered around 410 FOW that was a 'Honey Hole' in anyone's mind. We took ten fish three days in a row from 320 FOW to 500 FOW.
      Our biggest catch was on Friday with fish to 17 Lbs. I do not have that picture available. This one is from Saturday. DickieP and Captain Terry also came out to join in the fun on Sunday. The funniest or funniest part was catching adult kings with meat rigs set up on downriggers at (by the way DickieP says to mention I kicked his A$$ to take the record) 269', then 277' and finally at 288' with 12lb cannon ball sat a GPS  speed between 2.0 and 2.4. Our magic number for the Magnum wire dipsy divers set on 3 was 290' out. These out performed the riggers by at least 3 to 1.
    Our hook up average was down the first day at 10 for 20, but improved daily to end with a 10 for 13. The three deep fish all  came on the Blue Spot with blue 3 Fly rigs. The dipsy squadron shined with the Glo Pearl Squirrel by far leading the way, complimented by the Puke, the Undertaker and the X-Glo Blue. 
    It was important to include red somewhere in the 3 Fly rigs of Gold, Yellow and Red skirts. I won't 
babble or gloat any more but wanted to let you know as I did on Memorial weekend that my investment last winter paid off with "Priceless" memories. 

Regards and Thanks for the Superior Product Line 

Blue Rhino aka Capt. Jim H.


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