Today's photo is courtesy form Ludington, MI's port regular, Capt. Kirk.
Steelhead are a hard fish to catch on a trolled lure that are on their
spawning run. Ran plenty of Lk. MI charter trips in April with
very few caught. Click
Fishing report from Wayne J says a mixed bag is being taken in the N end
of Manistee Lk on spawn. Spawn is the usual preferred bait for
No word from Manistee, MI on fish being taken on trolled lures from Lk.
MI yet. Look for this to change soon with predicted 60° weather.
2/25/24 Lost weekend from fatigue.
Too much R and D and keeping up with orders meant time off to regenerate
to get ready for the 60° weather.
2/22/24 Our Lk. MI season has officially
began in Manistee, MI with 2 docks in the water. This will work
out great for the predicted warmer spell next week with temps
approaching 60°. It was 57° at my place yesterday. Straight
line I'm about 11 miles from Lk. Those living in the City of
Manistee are effected more by cool wind off the big lake.
it's time to get excited for what's to come!
2/22/24 Lost today's chat. Research for
Project 2024 kept me up all night. Fell asleep in my chair for
hours and missed my usual morning deadline (around 7am) by a bunch.
P24 is the most difficult project I've ever tackled. No pun
intended. Upside reward is immense.
2/21/24 Run over with work this morning
when I normally do the updates. Some orders with admin office stuff I'm
not fond of. Had a successful technical test yesterday for Project
2024. This test was key before the next step. If the tackle
manufacturing business was over-run with copy and paste outfits, I could
share every step of the way.
You know the meat rig/meat head business is 20 years old reaching market
saturation. Then, some idiot comes up with an off the wall idea to
make rigs and sell heads using my business model that's 20 years old.
Based on labor, meat rigs are not a money maker and never have been.
Unless you like working to less than 10 bucks a hour.
2/20/24 Let's go way back to the birthing of
the MI Great Lakes Salmon fishing fleet. In 1967 there were 11
deaths, 4 off Manistee and 7 in the Frankfort. Boats were ill
prepared for the seas Lk. MI can and will produce. This shocked
everyone, but an important lesson in respect was learned on the way to
becoming a seaman.
ties into the present day mess at the Platte River mouth by the feds who
seem not to care about the safety of those using the Sleeping Bear
have been drowning and rescues at the Platte River that's 17 miles N by
water from Frankfort, MI. Please let me remind you, at one time
the State of Michigan owned and controlled all of this area.
Click MI river mouth dredge proposal
Since the feds took over, every amenity at M22 crossing over the Platte
River has been removed. Now you have to ___ in a hole in a ground.
If you're a tent camper?...you wash up out of a bucket. Even the
ancient Roman army did provide baths.
2/19/24 Michigan has several new
gun laws. Locked, or in a gun safe if there are minors in your
household is the one that sticks out to me most. You can get free
gun safety kits in Michigan by using the Project Child Safe
Click here for free kits
Red flag for people having issues to keep firearms out of the hands
going thru mental health issues. This one is not clear to me, but it
looks like all guns sales are by permit requiring instant background
checks. This includes private peer to peer sales.
It's your responsibility, as a firearms owner to understand and comply,
or face fines and legal consequences. The possibly of jail time
For home protection an unloaded firearm is useless, so this can be a
tough pill for many of us to swallow. Do I agree with the new
laws? That's not relevant, because the laws are already in effect.
Like all laws there's some good and some bad in it.
Please, research the new MI gun laws for yourself. There's no way
I'm qualified to explain the ins and outs as gospel.
Click new Michigan gun law info
2/18/24 Michigan's new gun law recently
went into effect. This law protects us from stupid people that give
access to school shooters. Like the Jennifer and James Crumbley
who bought their evil criminal son, Ethan who killed 4 students in
Oxford, MI's high school.
Jennifer has rightfully been found guilty for buying and not keeping the
gun locked up from her sicko son. She faces 4 counts that carry a
15 year sentence.
There's lots of parts in the new law that effects us law abiding firearm
owners. Need more research time to boil it down to share with you.
2/16/24 Ending this
week on a high note with great photo from Ludington,
MI's Capt. Kirk. A 38" long fatso Pike pushing
15 pounds is a worthy catch from PM Lake.
Northern Pike spawn in the spring (March/April).
No doubt this was a heavy female loaded with eggs
and prey fish from inside Ludington's pier heads.
2/15/24 In the
early 1970s, Sleeping Bear Dunes National
Lakeshore was created. Then, Senator (R)
Phil Hart was responsible. That's when the
MI State Park was taken over by the feds that
ripped out the shower buildings and installed
"stink to high heavens" pit toilets. This
was a major downgrade for the campers that use
1 bureaucracy to a larger more powerful
bureaucracy has made things hard for those who
want to fish out of the mouth of the Platte
River. Feds want people to gawk, but not
take anything from their zone of control.
Feds installed hiking trails and eliminated
access to Lk. MI with zero safety regard for the
2/14/24 Happy St.
Valentines Day. Posted a drone aerial of the
Platter River where it empties into Lk. MI.
If you look closely, you'll see some rocks across the
river downstream that diverted the water flow.
In turn, using water flow to make it's own channel.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s is area was
the Super Bowl and World Series of incredible Coho
Salmon fishing. Limits were common for those
riggers were a waste of money, because you couldn't
keep 1 in the water. Many times on the way
down, the rigger would go off. This where &
when I learned about these transplanted west coast
fish, Coho/Silver Salmon.
Click drone pic of the mouth
Valentines Day alert for tomorrow. This is
one holiday you don't want to forget.
My plan is to take my wife of 55 years out for
for some chow.
Story about a fisherman convicted of changing
the flow of the Platte River is in the works.
This hero showed the Federal Park system a safe,
cheap, and effective way for boaters access Lk.
MI into Platte Bay. Feds that have
dominion over the water flow is a pure BS.
I've had issues with the park rangers going back
to 1969 thru 1982.
2/12/24 Office duties, you know the
mundane tasks like filing business taxes that have an earlier date then
the federal personal tax day of April 15th. Computer backup on all
files is a must do on external hard drives in case the worst happens.
My OS is Windows 10. Microsoft has moved Win 11. They will
have updates for Win 10 thru 2029. Win 11 does not mesh with 10.
All MS users us will need 11 eventually. Alternate is to risk
updating the BIOS in the mother board.
2/11/24 Super Bowl Sunday 2024.
Today shows us we don't need an excuse to throw a party, even if we
don't have a dog in this fight. Shocker to me was 70 million are
placing bets on today's game. Risking their money on performance
If I'm going to place a bet? ...it better be on outcome I can control.
Making Project 2024 a sure thing based on odds I control 100%.
Yesterday's topic about river guide weather is on the back burner.
Had to run tests and get precise measurements plus, or minus .002".
Then, order test materials.
2/9/24 Strong winds pushed 60° temps at
my place in Manistee County, MI yesterday. Not bad for early
February. Next week is predicted to be much colder.
Baby steps in
P24 engineering process that loaded with decisions. Making sure
components mesh with careful thought with show the right path.
There is no instructions, rules, right, or wrong. Best analogy is
flying by the seat of your pasts.
Know I have a
skilled eye developing tackle. Been watching lures in the water
since 1968. Since 2003, gained tons of experience making winning
Tomorrow? ....river guide weather
2/8/24 What's going on with the weather?
Predicted high for today is 56° that's more inline with March.
Next week is more 40s are on the way.
Click weather history
reports I've seen says for St. Joe to Chicago fish are being caught on
the open waters of Lk. MI. Reports like this about about a month
ahead of the norm.
Big thank you
to Wayne J. for his drone photo of Manistee's 1st Street public launch.
Flying a drone takes a lot of skill that only comes by logging flight
Star Trek 50 years
ago drones were only science fiction. Now it's every day
technology with wars making use of remote combat.
Click Wayne's drone
2/7/24 Spring training for the 2024
season begins with knowing your opponent. Today's video gives you
a mission (if you chose to accept it) to locate and vanquish your foe.
There's a twist to this video, because it's an Atlantic King Salmon
planted in S America proving how desirable Kings are anyplace on this
Click 60 lb. King video
They reign supreme over all other Salmon species, including Atlantics.
Click Record King
training for the Lk. MI fleet has came early this
year with 2 docks in at the Loomis Street launch in
Ludington, MI. Manistee usually wins this
honor among central Lk. MI ports. You can bet,
Manistee is not far behind.
Click MLive confirmation
and bred home town local, Wayne J informed me there
were tin boats boats trolling N of the harbor 2 days
ago. He mentioned there were a few boats on
Manistee Lk. looking for Perch of front of Seng's
trajectory of warmer winters continues, upsetting
the apple cart is an understatement. A lot of
events and businesses are already feeling the pinch.
2/5/24 Took the weekend off. Doing
today's update a day early, due to a 7:30am eye doctor's appointment.
I'll be getting a shot in my left eye for wet AMD that causes your
retina to bleed. It's a manageable disease that helps retain
take me the rest of today to recuperate. Mostly form the dilation
process that allows the doc to see the retina, but it takes about 6
hours for your eye to get back to normal. Getting a needle stuck
in your eyeball don't hurt much. But the idea of it is a bitter
pill to swallow. Needless to say I'm not looking forward to this.
2/2/24 Groundhog is pure American
folklore fun at it best. Today is when we rely on a terrified
groundhog, Mr. Punxsutawney Phil is dragged from his den to be displayed
in front of a large crowd of people waiting for him to predict the
arrival of spring. If he don't see his shadow, look for an early
spring. Shadow means 6 more weeks of winter.
Poor Phil probably thinks he's on the way to the pressure cooker
unwilling as an participant. All kidding aside, and worthy
to note today is the 1/2 point of winter. So, we're on the
downside of a winter, for the most part, has played nice.
2/1/24 Did a web search for the cost of
fresh Pacific Chinook/King Salmon. Cost was $27 a pound and the
fish they were selling was in the 7 pound average. Bringing the
end cost to $189 for a fresh 7 pound King. That's some serious
dough we take for granted.
for a minute the Indians don' to searches. They are ready to reap
this bonanza, Factoring in west coast Chinooks are harder to come
by every year.
is the by-catch in gill nets will certainly have Salmon in them.
Caught too many Coho and Kings on the bottom. So, don't think
Salmon are always suspended.
netter's mind set has zero to do with sport hook and line fishing.
When a minority controls the majority the USA is not the democracy we're
lead to believe!
1/31/24 Touched on important topics this
week. There's a broad spectrum of matters that effect our Great
Lakes fishery. I keep my anger in check by knowing most of this is
out of my hands and hope for the better. Don't worry about things
you can't change.
Don't take my comments made yesterday about Rep. Jack Bergman of which
way I lean politically. Jack does a lot of this I don't agree
with. But one this is for sure, the Ds cater to the
minorities. Giving us zero relief from the catastrophe of gill
nets in the future. Since the early 1970s seen every court issue always
favored the Indians.
1/30/24 US Dist. 1 Congressman, Jack
Bergman urged in a letter to MI Gov.
revisit the 2023 Consent Agreement allowing the
Indian tribes to use gill nets. This is the part where our MI
sport fishing community got sold down the river by the MDNR.
Expect little to come of this, but it is a good election year move.
Click breaking article
I get a kick out of
Bergman who says the election was rigged, except for his. Because he
won. Then, he takes credit for projects in the Infrastructure Bill
he voted against. Politicians are like cars, they all do about
same thing, only the spelling changes.
1/29/24 This coming April the 8th there's
a full solar eclipse that will track across Lk. Ontario. It would
be interesting to have that happen during August prime time for Kings.
We could learn if it's a hourly timed activity by the fish. Even
though we know Mr. King does not wear a watch. To be out there, in
the afternoon, then have a flurry of hits during the eclipse would be an
eye opener. Click Eclipse chart
1/27/24 Incremental baby steps in the
research phase of Project 2024. Weighing options eventually will
show the right path. Transforming an idea into working tackle is
all consuming for me. Money involved to bring new tackle onboard
is a big risk that can only be minimized with careful planning.
It's called leaving no stone unturned. Out of all the my original
tackle designs? ...Project 2024, by far ...has the biggest potential
1/26/24 This is confirmed. There
has been a 22 lb. Silver Carp caught miles above the electric
barrier that's supposed to prevent upstream migration. Proving the
barrier is only a detriment, not, in truth a barrier at all.
Click breaking Asian Carp news
If the Silver Carp get a foothold in major rivers like the St. Joe and
Muskegon, the parties over. Our 6 billion dollar sports fishery
will go extinct.
Corp of Engineers has a billion dollar project in the works that will
not be completed for several years. Plus, this issue has been
dragging on the 10 years.
Political clout from Chicago will keep their waterway open between Lk.
MI and the Mississippi River. Plain and simple solution is to
close this waterway.
1/25/24 The MDNR stocked 14.5 tons of
fish in 2023. That's an impressive number from effort put forth by
those who work for the DNR. That number includes all fish from
Walleyes, Musky, Salmon and Steelhead. What impressed me the most
was the 344,860 fall fingerling steelhead planted by the Wolf Lake
Click for more info
1/24/24 Temps in the 30s are a big
improvement over last week's artic cold snap. Good news is it's
supposed to stay like this into next week.
Need to be careful and not get bogged down in issues that will be
settled in the courtroom. Every minute wasted on swindlers that
did me wrong, takes away from project 2024 that's been at a standstill.
Click for the internet swindlers
What goes around, comes around is another way of saying their day will
come. Have something reel special in the works for the cop bully,
Christopher James Ingalls.
1/23/24 Tangled Tackle liar, Carl,
"nobody's" Bud Fitzgerald pled ignorance, not knowing the
difference between a trademark ™ and a copyright © symbols in his
response to my attorney. In spite of hanging 100s of my meat rigs™
on his racks back some years ago. Plus, I told him it was my
trademark to boot to make sure he was informed.
Stealing is a survival strategy as old as man itself. Stealing,
then covering it up with lies is to be expected in a failing business
with someone of low moral character.
My most sincere apologies for having to even having to bring this up.
Know you don't come here for me air my dirty laundry concerning a
boldface liar, sneak, and thief.
1/22/24 Here's my list of tackle stores
that have went belly-up/out of business: Army Surplus Store, Reilly's,
Northwinds, Fishermen's Center and Zajaks. In a town of less than
7k and a county of under 30k there's not a large enough customer base to
support year around tackle stores. Slicing the pie even thinner,
Don's and Instalaunch are still going along with the desperate owner at
Tangled Tackle who stole my trademark to keep afloat.
have been wronged by a 3 person conspiracy that knowingly took money out
of my pocket & stole food out of my refrigerator. Offenders to be
1/21/24 -6 that equates 6° below zero.
Making it one of the coldest days we've had in the past few years.
Mr. Winter is taking a break this week.
Cold as this week's been, saved a project that's strictly indoor work.
Updated all 2023 entries in my Captain's Log that goes back to the year
2000. 2023 archive involves 6 pages, 4 of which are from scratch.
Save all this info in case reference material is needed.
Impressive part that's over 8000 daily chats.
Click archived 2023 info
Many in the fishing business look for instant gratification/success,
thinking it's a race not a marathon. Achievement comes from putting your
time in and learning the ropes.
My front yard Manistee snowometer now stands at 47" (44 + 3)
1/20/24 There's hope on the horizon
starting this Monday with a return to winter 1.0. Predicted temps in the
30s and 40s. Noticed there was still a hint of daylight at 6pm.
That's about a 1/2 hour daylight more then we had a month ago.
Plow truck is fine. Moved a lot of snow yesterday afternoon.
Vee plow is impressive that way it blasts thru 4' pile of snow.
Straight plows don't do that. In the vee configuration there's no
slide slippage like with straight plows. that can get you stuck.
My front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 44" (42 + 2)
1/19/24 We've been wobbling thru a mild
winter no snow with temps in the 30s and 40s. Then, just like John
Force's 5000 hp. funny car Mr. Winter explodes out of the gate.
Dropping temps to single digits and enough snow to train an Alaska dog
T.G.I.F. times 10!! Plow truck going down this week has been a
royal pain. About a grand later, that includes towing: (170), new
battery (225), and starter replacement (490) with electrical diagnosis
(for juice parasites) at a shop here in town.
Hopefully, it's fixed. Need to plow what's on the ground and get
ready for another 10" of lake effect snow this afternoon/evening.
My front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 42" (36 + 6)
1/18/24 The MDNR 4/1/2024 reduction in
the river Steelhead limit to 1 fish per person says our MI Steelhead
population is facing challenges. This a drastic cut for mostly central
MI rivers. Parent stock these fish goes back to the 1920s, maybe
earlier in the Little Manistee River according to a book I have that was
published in the 1930s.
On the other hand, our Chinook/King Salmon limit is a lot more liberal
when compared to Washington State anglers can only keep 1, maybe 2 of
fin clipped hatchery fish. Naturally reproduced Salmon with no
clips have to be released. I keep an eye out for west coast info,
because that's where our Kings came from.
Click W coast King info
1/17/24 Had a genius moment yesterday.
That only happens between seldom and never. Here's the
setup: started off at 3° and rose to 7°, as woes with my plow truck
continue to haunt me. Tried to fix it outside that was a akin to
training for the Iditarod for the best part of 2 hours. My hands
were next to frozen.
Click truck going to
Went in the house to warm up and de-thaw my paws. Kat my female
Lab let me use her ears to warm my 10 digits. She didn't mind a bit and
kind of liked the attention.
when my epiphany hit that was pure genius level. Said self,
there's garages in town that can do this inside. So, called a
towing company to haul it to the truck hospital. Prognosis is
unknown at this time. Ticker has code red electrical issues.
1/16/24 Good news is we're halfway thru
the darkest, longest and coldest month of winter. Full blown hard
winter now. Good to see the days until spring shrinking.
Bad news is I have big time problems with the law. Murphy's Law
that is! My 2014 F250 has major electrical gremlins discharging the
battery. Have bush fix interrupter terminal I'll install later
this morning for a quick fix. Too cold to play wiring specialist.
My front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 36" (32 +
1/15/24 NBC news over hyped the
recent storm, calling it a bomb cyclone blizzard.
We ended up OK with about a 1' of snow on the
ground. Most of which, fell yesterday as lake
effect. Adding a good 6" of the white powdery
Big news is the single digits temps of Eskimo
weather we're going to have for about a week.
1st use of my vee snow was last Saturday for this
season. No complaints here by me. Could
have been many times more. Like it was 10
My front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 32" (26
1/14/24 There's a
conservation group in the State of Washington
asking Biden Administration to list Chinook/King
Salmon as an endangered specie.
"The Wild Fish
petition says that the king salmon, also
known as Chinook, are threatened by climate
change and competition from hatchery-raised
fish, and that existing state and federal
management are failing to stem their decline."
no Great Lake fish that motivates people to
spend thousands of dollars to pursue Kings.
Reason is simple. No fish in MI can
compete with the sheer brute power Kings over 30
pounds offer the fleet.
Click for State of WA dilemma
Front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 26" (22
1/13/24 Back about a week a new state
record for Burbot was set in IN. Up until now, weather has
allowed boat fishing in S Lk. MI. Vitals on this fish was 14.3 lbs
and was 37" long. Caught by Anthony B from Cedar Lake, IN.
Click for more on the catch
long career going back to 1968, only caught about 10 Burbot while open
water trolling on Lk. MI. Caught them dragging the bottom for LTs
and on a suspended spoon Salmon program. Burbot are a creepy fish that
can curl up like a snake.
Front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 22" (17 + 5)
1/12/24 MDNR's one Steelhead limit goes
into effect 1/4/2024 from rivers and streams. Going back to the
mid 1980s, river limit was the same as our Great Lakes. Being 5
fish a day. The DNR cut the limit to 3 in the 1990s. Now to
only 1, while big lake is still at 5 in MI waters is unfair to river
anglers. WI allows 5 Steelhead too.
Click DNR info
OK, you can play
catch and release in the river. Survivability is going to come
into question for light line fishermen that bring the fish to thepoint
of total exhaustion before landing them. This will cause
mortality. Years guiding on MI's rivers, seen a good amount of
dead Steelhead floating downstream from natural causes in April.
1/11/24 Moving forward progress was made
yesterday in baby steps after a a phone meeting with
CAD designer. This where everything begins.
So, it of utmost importance to be on the a path to
the same page. For me, it's all encompassing
when it come to bringing a new piece of tackle to
the big water fleet. Better yet? ...make it
another world first!
My front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 17" (16
1/10/24 Late last
fall, Ludington native, Capt. Kirk C hit the
lottery when he snagged the bottom. He
ended up retrieving 4 J-Plugs and Thunderstick.
Along with the cannonball and rigger release.
This is a easy 70 buck windfall ...if you're
into this kind of lures.
Looks like the hapless loser had his rigger
cable break. Setting the trap for other
anglers that snagged into his jumbled mess.
Click Kirk's lottery
My Manistee snowometer stands at 16" (13 + 3)
1/9/24 Looks like
Mother Nature has her snow machine back from the
shop with a major overhaul. Snow is
predicted today and most of this week in the 4"
to 8". Seeing we've only had 13" total for
my part of Manistee County, MI, this is
for next week is not good with cold temps with
highs in the midteens. This will fire up
the lake effect snow from Lk. MI big-time.
had a winter with a lot of snow since the winter
of 2013-2014. This sticks in my mind when
I tried to retire in FL and found out retirement
was not for me.
1/7/24 Just learned there is an actual
breed of dogs recognized by the AKC in 2013 called, Chinook Dogs. This
is a rare breed that looks like a mix between a Lab and German Shepard.
These dogs are of the working group that pulled sleds in AK.
Said to be easy going house pets, along with other good qualities.
Click AKC info
If I owned a male Chinook dog? ...naturally, I would name him, King!
1/6/24 Working on a new trolling fly that
will debut Monday. This was a duh on my part overlooking this
iconic patter for so long.
Click new s2024 fly
1/5/24 Big water anglers can count
themselves as lucky to live in th day and age. Advancements in
marine electronics is a dream compared to my 1st 1983 charter boat.
Back then it was paper sonar machines. Not the color untits we have now.
did that by the seat of their pants. Because LORAN C navigation
machines were 3k in 1982, adjusted for inflation in today's prices is
over 9k nowadays.
What to run tackle
programs is loaded with a lot more choices too!
1/4/24 2024 is my 24th year of everyday
updates. That's over 8,000 daily yaks and counting. Big
water fishing is such a broad canvas there's fresh topics continuously.
year marks my 20th year since I stepped away from the grind of
chartering & guiding on MI rivers transitioning into tackle
manufacturing. Accomplishments are many, but that's in the past.
There's more to come, because the best hasn't been invented yet.
point when it comes designing new tackle that's an all encompassing job.
Started work on Project 2024 that's going to be a game changer once I
work thru several issues. There's always a answer. Finding
it is a time consuming thought process.
1/3/24 Today's featured photo is from
design I donated to Thingiverse that has all kinds of free 3D models the
public at large can print out. The construction begins with 2
pieces (head and tail) that need to be glued together.
user made several with custom paint jobs. You can tell he's into
dots. Even the dots have dots. A big Salmon on the hunt might
consider it a mercy killing when he whacks one. Good thing about
DIY is it's your own creation with no rules.
printing goes back to 2015 making prototype Salmon Buster™ spoons.
A world 1st I'm proud of some of my printed spoons caught Salmon on
7/4/2014. This set the path forward to go into production.
There is no metal spoon on the market that has a wider trolling speed
sweet spot from .4 to over 4 MPH. Fact is done this at both
1/2/24 New for MI residents this year is
the 10 day wait to purchase firearms. This new law was written to
cover all firearms while semi automatics are involved in mass shootings.
weapons purchased recently were a 597 semi-auto Remington 22 caliber as
a replacement. For coyote hunting bought a 22-250 Swift bolt
action Savage. Both of these are budget firearms.
Transactions required a day wait at Dunhams here in Manistee that was a
nightmare. Due to an uncooperative store that meant 2 trips to
something has to be done about mass killings. Can accept the 10
day wait, if this prevents an active shooter in Miejers here in Manistee
...while my wife is shopping there. Here's where law abiding
citizens are being penalized by non-civilized murders. Our normal
laws should not apply to these
1/1/24 Happy New Year! 2024 is a
leap year. So, we get a bonus day at the end of February.
2/29/24 is yours to add an extra day to your calendar. I'm going
to spend mine getting my 22' 1989 Sea Ray ready for the new seaon that's
only weeks away from the Cohofest kick-off in S Lk. MI.
Early Coho weight is a good gauge to see growth rate.
Huron comes on later. Early 1980s caught 5 fish limits of Kings in
the first part of March downstream from the Marysville power plant on
the St. Clair River