Capt. John's Log
20 Seasons of Archived Daily Great Lakes News
Below images are thumbnails

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7/31/08 Kewaunee, WI

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7/28/08 Manistee, MI
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8/31/08 Manistee
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9/1/08 Manistee, MI

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

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

Archived Daily Log 
(Dating back to the year 2000)

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 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.

3/31/23  Time marches on to April.  Improving weather next week looks promising.  Slider was missed in yesterday's chat about baseball/fishing.  Have a great weekend!

3/30/23  Major League Baseball's opening day.  There's ironic similarities between fishing and the game of baseball.  Tangents begin with steals, fish steals a bait, not a base.  Fish can make runs, but not score.  Both sports can happens in all kinds of weather at anytime of day, or night.  Crowds can make a wave, we all know about waves on the Great Lakes. Worst one is striking out, meaning the dreaded skunk.
            Detroit Tigers are the oldest of all teams in one city, going back to 1894.  Close to the same time
William Shakespeare, of Kalamazoo, Michigan invented the first level wind reel in 1986.  Both sports pump billions of dollars into our economy.

3/29/23  Fishing tournament cheaters get caught and plead guilty.  A pair of OH Walleye tournament anglers who got caught red-handed stuffing their catch with lead weights. Now have to forfeit their 100 grand boat and other penalties.  What motivates people to cheat?  Winning at all costs is not winning when you're a thief.
             Their winnings would have only been 28k.  Cost and shame to their reputation exceeds that 10 fold and will follow them for life. Click cheaters pay the price

3/28/23  In today's split subject photo there's my MC MI boat registration stickers.  It costs me 40 bucks a year for what?  Boat launches I've used at Ludington, Manistee and Frankfort are supported by launch fees.  Onekama has free launch with EZ parking and access that's probably my favorite. Click MI boat stickers
               So, the big question is what am I getting for 40 bucks a year?  Most all MI boat launches have been built since the late 1970s are are supported public launching fees.  MI is currently operating on huge budget surplus that we see no benefit of.

3/27/23  Admittedly, I'm behind when it comes to smart phones.  But that don't mean I can't learn useful functions of this tool when it comes to fishing.  A quick photo will store your fishing license pronto.  Same goers for your boat registration.  Apps cover everything from wind to MDNR's app for regulations and purchasing. Click DNR app
              Smart phone GPS will guide you home if your boat electronics fail.  Most useful is weather radar that can show you cells moving across the Great Lakes. Click cell license
             Older apps are 2.4G, new cell network is 5G.  Have a dual band network at home and need to see if my apps still work when I'm away from home on a 5G connection

3/26/23  Yesterday's 6"-8" of a wet heavy snow does not put us in a spring mindset.  Like you, I'm waiting for the weather to break for the better.  We've been dealing with cold and snow since last November and it's time for warmer temperatures.
                 Tomorrow will be about organization with a useful tool.

3/25/23  2023 fishing licenses are available now at the MDNR's website.  Looks like the new licenses have been available since March 1st, 2023.  Easy to purchase online..  Best part is you can print out several copies and have a file to print out more.
              The best 11 bucks I'll spent this year was for my senior license.  While I don't look for this year to be gangbusters, promise is 2024 from all the small juvenile Kings that made their presence known last year up and down central Lk. MI ports.

3/24/23  Need to check and see when the new 2023 fishing licenses are available for purchasing online.  At any price, the cost is a bargain for the amount of recreational hours spent fishing.  Buying online is fast and simple once you have an account setup with the MDNR.  Last year's license expires on 3/31/23.

3/23/23  There's no joy in announcing the new page covering what happened to Manistee 15 years ago during the Little River Tribe's debacle into commercial trap net fishing. 
               This was a mess from the get-go in 2007 until it mostly ended in 2008 with floating ghost nets creating hazards to navigation.  Page consists of random excerpts from archived daily updates, photos and a whistle blower document. Click LRB Rip-Off
              This sets the stage for the next push of the LRB into the realm of gill netters.  They were not successful 15 years ago and are destined to fail again.  There's no way to make instant mariners, this comes from years on the water with abilities to maintain a sea worthy boat.  Look for more scams when the new Consent Decree is settled this May.

3/22/23  Heard a eulogy at my wife's grandmother funeral that had a good preacher.  He said people spend 90% of their time worrying about things that will never happen.
              Case in point about the Little River Tribe pushing for gill nets.  They've proved in 2007-2008 they have no skills as commercial netters.  Next is the question of boats capable to set long strings of deep water gills nets they don't have.  Lack of experience sunk their boats in the last go-round when every Little River band tribal netter eventually failed.  So, even if they set gill nets don't look for this to be long term.

3/21/23  Taking today off.  Need time to digest pieces and parts of the new page I'm working on that proves what crooks a few members of the Little River Tribe were.  Select individuals stole millions of dollars and ripped off their tribe and us.  Anyone who takes this tribe at face value is in for a rude awakening when it comes to their end of the bargain.
              Good thing is I have all the archived photos, documents and daily updates that layout without any shadow of doubt what scam they pulled.
              This whole Jim Dexter MDNR Fisheries division rubber stamping gill nets shows what dummies we pay money to.  It's sad and laughable what idiots are running the show.

3/20/23  Great news!  Mr. Winter 2023 has met his expiration date and been evicted from the calendar.  Improving weather means more outdoor recreation activities.  Recreation is formed from the word, "create."  It's up to you to make fun stuff happen that makes living life worthwhile.  Personal time/recreation beats the daily ho-hum drudgery.
             In a huge way, looking for the 1st day in the 50s-60s to get my boat ready for the maiden voyage of our shiny brand new season.  It's going be a big joy!

3/19/23  Mr. Winter 2023 swan song has let us know he's not done, just ...quite yet.  Past few days have been windy and chilly.  Highs in the mid 20s and lows in the mid-teens seems more like January weather, rather then days before official spring.
             Looks like after tomorrow, we have clear sailing with predicted spring-like highs in the 40s from tomorrow on.  Good to see relief on the horizon.
             Started a new page to document the scams of the Little River Tribe with their go-round fake attempt to be tribal trap net fishers.  Most of which is from 2008.  This page will feature photos,  documents and excerpts from archived daily updates.

3/18/23  In my 23 years of daily updates none are as important as sport fishing vs. commercial fishing in our Great Lakes.  For the most part, sportfishermen support their fishery thru license fees.  Commercial fishers pay squat!
             There's a wide disparity in the worth of hook & line sport fishing vs. commercial netters.  Commercial fishers do not care there's an advisory for pregnant women on Lk. Trout.  Their goal is to take as much, as they can the shortest amount of time.
             Drive behind my chat for today came from WI's Steve B. who keeping us informed with WI commercial netters pushing to target Lk. Trout.  Fishing is supposed to be about recreation and fun that needs our protection.  Click WI article about LT netters.

3/17/23  Happy St. Patrick's Day.  California Salmon anglers are not going to have the luck of the Irish with their Salmon season being closed.  Closure extends to Oregon down to Mexico.  This is the worst possible news for our brother W coast fishermen.
              We all know there's issues with the spotty King fishery for past 4-5 years, but at least we get a fair shot at catching some.  Click CA Salmon closure article

3/16/23  As of March 9, 2023 is officially listed as my trademark for Rip Teezer™ from the US patent office.  Now I get to use™ to protect the name of my soft plastic strips that's been a game changer for the way I fish.  Haven't used bait, strips or whole since 2012 and never feel I'm at a loss for doing so. 
              Seen the X-Glow strips out produce bait more than once is side by side tests.  This was a project learning exercise in in-house manufacturing that took months.

3/15/23  1st fishing report out of the Port of Manistee, MI says a few Browns have been caught S of the harbor.  A better yet unconfirmed report mentioned the harbor was better.
               Inshore, on the beach fishing is all about water temp.  Below 38° never produced well for the charters I ran.  40° to 44° was prime with easy limits in April.  This outstanding fishery dried up by 2005 to very inconsistent results.
               If was fishing today? time would be spent working the color break where the river water meets Lk. MI that's always attractive to bait fish.

3/14/23  Burbot are an oddball species that don't hit a trolled lure very often.  In my 50 some years of fishing the Great Lakes, may be boxed around 10.  They curl up in the box like a snake and are said to be good eating.  Know from filleting a few of them, there's not much meat, only good piece is the tail section behind the rib cage. Click for Burbot
             Bob L was kind enough to email us a photo from his buddy that was ice fishing in the U.P.  Interesting part is a LED light was added above what he was jigging.  A brown trout took the LED setup too.  His only 2 fish of the day came on the LED rigged lures.

3/13/23  About a week away from the official start of spring 2023.  Looks like 30s and some 40s, as we approach the changing of the seasons.
              Going down the rabbit hole of the soon to be here gill nets at all central Lk. MI ports is hard to get way from.  I have history with the trap net fiasco in the mid i2ks here in Manistee, MI.  Made it a point to list all locations with GPS coordinates.  Safe zone was always the deeper side in 200' of water.  Expect to do the same this May when the new consent decree takes hold.  Safety for you will never be overlooked on my end.

3/12/23  Still trying to hash out that Pandora's Box Lk. MI gill nets open.  For 40 years everything was against gill nets.  The MDNR gave the fake Little River Tribe 6 million dollars for trap net fishing.  This money was stolen in a quick money grab.  Tribe chief had to go on the lamb, because there was fraud going on.  Little River Tribe was not a tribe according to the Department of the Interior.  They got tribal status from an add-on in a port-barrel congressional bill.  Townsfolk in Manistee voted a referendum against a casino.
              Granted the MDNR has little negotiating leverage when the federal court confirm tribal fishing rights.  Bad part is what ever the tribes agree to, look for their end of the bargain not to be upheld.  Witnessed this in Manistee with nets not being marked, being lost, because they were to lazy to pull them when winter approached.

3/11/23  Dave Caroffino from the MDNR wins the dummy of the month award for saying gill nets were in some way going to protect Lk. MI fish.  Obviously, this idiot just crawled out of a dung heap to be spokesman on Channel 9 TV News out of Cadillac, MI.
              Caroffino is part the Jim Dexter criminal cabal that allows contaminated fish to be sold to the public.  MI Department of Health has a poor track record going back to Flint, MI's lead contaminated water.  Dioxin laden Lk. Trout will be a big national story someday.

3/10/23  Posted 2 new photos today courtesy of Wayne J.  1. it's game on for Lk. MI out of Manistee, MI with 2 docks installed at the 1st Street boat launch.  Click docks in
              2.  new entrance to launch your boat is across the road where the entrance to the Lakeshore Motel that's now the Hampton Inn.  First impression it looks like a cluster where you have to drive around and thru boat parking.  Time will tell how this works out.
              The Hampton Inn is getting a free ride building a 5-6 story motel/hotel.  Tax payers of Manistee bought and paid for sewers, power grid and roads.  So, Hampton gets all this stuff for free, even has the right to change roads. Click new launch entrance

3/9/23  Video update about prey/baitfish trawl data.  To decipher approx 2.5 acres is a hectare.  25mm make a little over an inch.  You can get a taste of what's going to take an hour to watch.  I recommend viewing it on YouTube by clicking here.

3/8/23  Plan was to dig into the history of downriggers, that's postponed until tomorrow.  Changes to Manistee's boat launch are in the works that concerns a new entrance.
             These changes are to accommodate the multi-story Hampton Inn being built on the old Lakeshore Motel property across from the 1st Street Beach. Click more info
              This a white elephant that's not going to show a profit.  Hampton needs 25,500 rooms booked a night out of 36,500 nights (100 room building).  25.5k is 70% that read once motels/hotels need to be profitable.  This must be a tax write off the Hampton Inns.
             No problem to book in the 4-5 warm months.  Wind coming across the lake during winter will teach you what the meaning of cold is.

3/7/23  This weekend is clock yoyo time.  We'll "spring" forward 1 hour to DST (Daylight Saving Time).  The US senate unanimously passed a bill to make DST permanent.  My web research didn't mention this bill being signed by the president.
            Know there's more people for it, than against it.  Biggest gripe is about school kids going in the dark.  Fix this by starting schools as hour later.  Debate goes on about DST saving energy that's not a black and white issue, because of today's LED lighting.

3/6/23  Don't know about you, but I'm ready for some tee shirt weather.  Winter is getting long in the tooth and ready for it to be over.  We've been dealing with winter in Manistee since last November and it's time for spring like temps.  Granted, we've had a very mild winter.  Fact is tee shirt weather is good to look forward to.
           Posted a photo of a King we released when my best bud, John J was still with us that's a good example of warmer days ahead & hopefully soon!  Click JJ & released King

3/4/23  Have a great weekend, you more than deserve it!

3/3/23  Before picture of crud inside my computer shows the dust and dirt that can accumulate over a couple of years.  Blown out with compressed air it's squeaky clean on the inside.  Unfortunately, the after photo was too blurry to use. Click computer crud
          Partitioned the new 2TB SSD where I have drive G 750GB of space.  Will be installing Linux's Ubuntu OS distribution as I try to move away from Microsoft.  You can run Microsoft programs inside Linux with a program called WINe.

44° at 11am yesterday says March 2023 came in like a lamb.  Average daytime highs will continue to climb this month into the lower 50s by month's end.  We're less  than 3 weeks away from official spring, as our mild winter passes into history.
            Spring cleaning my computers with compressed air to blow the crud out.  Computers fans process massive amounts of air and that means dust.  Have some before and after photos I'll post tomorrow.
            Newly cloned 2TB SSD is working fine after a few few password hiccups on high end software.  Will be partitioning cloned C drive later today.  Prices on new SSDs have fell like rocks to very affordable prices.  SSD stand for solid state drive, no spinning disks.

3/1/23  Hello March 2023!  We're just weeks away from official spring and you know what that means ...Great Lakes fishing!!  In like a sheep/lamb, might best describe today's weather.  Out like a lion?  We'll just have to wait and see, as time marches on.
             Upgraded the sata hard drive (SSD) in this computer to 2TBs from 1TB by cloning it with Crucial's Acronis.  The cloning process takes hours, but it's actually quite easy.
             1TB will be a backup drive with a functioning WIN 10 OS in case Microsoft's forced updates corrupt my system like early last week.  Only thing left is to install the new 2TB SSD when I open the computer case later today for a remount.  When the case is open will blow the dust out with compressed air (used to air brush) in the shop.
                        My guestimation snowometer stands at 74" (72 + 2).

2/28/23  Featured photo of graph shows when BKD (Bacterial Kidney Disease) cratered the Lk. MI King catch rates in the late 1980s.  This devastated my charter business when I was in Frankfort, MI.  While still able to fill boxes of LTs for Lk. MI customers, repeat business melted away like a snowflake on a hot stove. Click Salmon graph
              Same time frame Lk. Huron's King/Chinook Salmon catch went up.  In 1989 moved my summer charters to Port Austin, MI and did see a rebound in repeat customers.  Fishing off the tip of Michigan's thumb was top notch.  EZ limits of LTs when needed, but enough Kings to keep charter customers happy with mixed bag and big numbers.
              Left Port Austin, dockage was too iffy at Bruce Deshano's marina who owns OffShore Tackle's inline boards   Bruce mentioned more than once about selling it.  So, long term moved back to Lk. MI out of the Port of Manistee, MI at Riverside Marina in 1991.

2/27/23  Posted an interesting graph with MI stocking and catch rates on King (Chinook) Salmon from 1968 thru 2015.  It shows the peaks and valleys with a fishery that's in a constant the state flux (always moving).   Highest Lk. MI catch rate was 1986 and then again in 2012.  Granted it doesn't take into account 2016 until now.
              Know everyone has concerns about the gills nets ready to descend on central Lk. MI ports.  1986 peak was just after tribal gill netters took massive amounts of Lk. Trout from Little Traverse Bay (Petoskey) to S of Manistee. Click Salmon graph
              Lk. Trout preferred bait is Alewives according to what I've read.  LTs eat 24/7 365 days a year.  Know cold winter water does not take Lakers off the bite.  In 1990 caught limits of LTs down 100' in 34° water in early May in Lk. Huron's Alaska Bay E of Port Austin, MI.  To be continued tomorrow.....

2/26/23  Tomorrow's focus will be every cloud has a silver lining.  New hire training session went well.  Plus, I knew his uncle back 20 some years ago.

2/25/23  New hire employee training day this afternoon.  Need more help to free up my schedule to get more water time.  Trained a new prospect a week ago yesterday.  This turned into a ___ storm.  In week he had my tools and supplies, nothing was ever done. 
               Concern on my part was to retrieve materials and tools, because no emails, or phone calls were answered.  Got lucky when he secretly dropped off all the stuff.  Glad it happened this way to save an awkward face to face meeting.

2/24/23  Ending the week on a positive note that says progress.  Printing 3D diver rings is moving along nicely.  Made about 40-50 rings in green, black and red.  It's a marvel to have in-house production.  Still amazed on the tolerances I designed in so these rings fit size "0" dipsey divers.  Injection molding tool wear over time and actually grow larger.  That had to be taken into account during the design process.
            Big predicted snow storm was a fizzle with only 4"-5" of wet heavy snow.  Next week every day is predicted to be above freezing for Manistee, MI.
             My snowometer stands at 72" (67 + 5) for the 22/23 season.

2/23/23  Fixing issues is a battle we fight all to win.  Never will Microsoft's Win 10 updates grind me to a halt.  Seen price drop on sata SSDs (solid state hard-drives).  Ordered a 2TB at $120 to clone the 1TB in use.  Plan is to clone existing SSD and replace with the new 2TB.  1TB will be on standby for a swap to keep my business up and running.
              Windows 10 is good thru 2025 with Microsoft support.  Then, Win 10 is a dead duck and Windows 11 takes over.  Big snow storm is dumping inches now.
             Tip: software purchased online comes with a product code for activation.  I have a folder in my documents named, keys.  All codes purchased are archived in case of moving to a new computer, or catastrophic operating system fail.

2/22/23  Recuperating from a marathon to get my business back up and running after a computer meltdown.  Not self inflicted, but Microsoft's Win 10 buggy update .net framework.  Think this a bigger deal and just has not made the news it ...yet.
              Big storm is on the way.  In like a lion, out like a lamb is long standing March myth.  You can make your own mind up, 30s and snow showers is what a week from today is about (3/1/23).  Just that much closer to spring fishing and demise of winter's grip.

2/21/23  Catastrophic computer failure from Microsoft Win 10 update.  Took out the network/internet side completely.  Had to do a fresh install.  Lost all of my programs.  This is deep deep do.  Called Microsoft paid support,  Never called me back.  Lost downloaded programs, do have product keys to re-installation. 
              Not to mention passwords that were lost.  I'm taking a day off from computer where I've been living for the past 15 hours, trying every workaround to no avail.  Be back Thursday once my severe computeritis wanes.  Not being able to print shipping labels had us shut down. No big deal, jumped thru hoops before and no doubt I'll have to do it again.

2/20/23  Downhill side of winter for sure.  Especially, with the warm temps in the low 50s this past weekend.  Know there's some winter left, but my thought have turned to readying my boat.  Next warm day, when schedule allows, plan on working the boat.
              Need to stow last summer's tackle and gear up with lighter line and spoons for inshore shoreline trolling.  If and when the smelt show up is the big question.  If they do, places N of Manistee's harbor like the Barr Lk. outlet will be holding fish (mostly Lk. Trout).
             If and it's a big word, 25'-30' of water possibly could have some Kings like in years past in April.  Off the harbor is a prime area when the water temp is in the 40s.

2/19/23  We're about 1 month away from official spring 2023.  It's entirely possible could be on Lk. MI out of Manistee, MI in 3 weeks. When our mild winter changes into spring?
              My anticipation builds.  Feeling the water surge underfoot refreshes my soul.  This year will be my 55th season chasing Salmon and Trout on the Great Lakes.  Count myself as lucky to have chosen such a fascinating & challenging lifelong path.

2/18/23  Some want dive charts.  Don't waste your time.  Error on line counter reels can be almost 15% to skew chart data that I view as mostly fiction.  Divers attain more depth the slower you go, if you're looking for the 110' down fish.  2mph seem to give most depth.
              Know with our cupped diver rings on 35# test Spectra Black Spot, dialed on 1 can hit bottom in 100' of water with 185' of 30# test 7 strand wire.  120' deep is possible when you add our 10 oz Diver Diggers.  There's no easy answer on dive, or any lure depth.
             That's why when the fish ain't biting, find out for yourself by banging bottom.

2/17/23  Today's featured pic is 44 tabs for our cupped diver rings.  The cup in the ring allows for a screw to go thru the tabs to make it moveable.  Unlike the stock rings that never fail to break the holding tabs.  Click 44 3D printed tabs
               In house 3D manufacturing is a fun project.  Takes about an hour each to print the tabs and rings.  Cupped rings just like the cup on your prop makes it more efficient.  Making tackle from idea to final finished project is rewarding.
                  My snowometer stands at 67" (63 + 4) for the 22/23 season.

2/16/23  Busy with my 3D printer making the cupped diver rings that dive deeper with less rod strain/drag than the magnum large rings.  This is an original design to enhance performance and solve the problem of broken tabs on the Luhr Jensen stock ring.  Having moveable tabs that never break off makes my rings a bargain.
             With the up and down water temp swings of Lk. MI there's times when a ring will take the diver below the fish.  When temp is high forego the rings and get distance away from the boat for spooky mid-day adult Kings.

2/15/23  Ludington in person workshop has been closed.  Reason? ...not enough people signing up.  It's sad in way to see lack of public interest of a long running seminar.
               The rot with the MDNR Fisheries Division begins at the top with Jim Dexter.  He's the most failed CEO since the crook, Bernie Madoff.  Dexter has been promoted to the point of utter incompetence.  Examples like cutting the King plant even though the returning Kings at the Little Manistee River Weir were at all time historic lows. 
               Then, the MDNR gives WI the lion's share of the Lk. MI King stocking total.  WI's share of Lk. MI is far less than what MI has.  Closer is saving Lk. MI from what happened to Lk. Huron's Kings 20 some years after the fact ...duh?  Nail in the coffin was there's no bait.  Then, in a few short years there's dead bait all over the surface of Lk. MI.

2/14/23  Happy Valentine's Day.  Give your loved ones a hug.  For me? ...that's a wife of 50 some years and 3 wonderful doggies.  Human affection is good.
               Seems the Ludington Workshop is having a hard time getting attendees and might cancel this 40 bucks a person to listen to speakers that have lost our trust.  They could give me 40 bucks to attend and I wouldn't walk across the road to claim the $40.  Much less to hear self appointed experts that cut the King fishery off at the knees.
               MDNR and those associated have lost all public credibility and have a 80% disapproval rating from polls I've ran in the past.  It's sad to see the inmates running the asylum and actually get paid with no regard for those who make their living from the Salmon fishery.  This includes charter operators, deckhands, & tackle manufacturers.  Plus, Lk. MI business such as marinas, campgrounds & towns grown dependent on Salmon.

2/13/23  It's game on for the 2023 season.  Those fishing the S end of Lk. MI on IN waters having been doing awesome on Perch and Coho.  Perch are on minnows and soft plastics.  Sizes are over 10 inchers to jumbos.  This is as good as it gets for table fare.
               Coho are a tale of 2 cities depending on location fished.  Some are having to sort for 14" (legal size), while others are catching 20" plus fish. Click Perch & Coho
               This is the earliest I know of the start of the new 2023 season unless you fished from an icebreaker. 48° and full sun at my place yesterday echoes the warm winter.
               Must thank S Lk. MI reporter, Tom "the frog" M. for filling in with today's topic.  This year marks 20 years of knowing him and it's time to give him a nickname, aka Frog.

2/12/23  Tyler M from Juneau, AK made today's update possible by emailing  his 1st winter King Salmon.  Juneau is located in the S part of AK on what's called the inner passage of sheltered waters.  The weather this week for Juneau ranges form 32-38.  So, it's not terrible cold, but still, plenty chilly. Click winter AK King and map
             Trolling open water in February is a not what the Great Lakes fleet does, due to ice issues.  Water temp we have at this time of the year is another piece of the puzzle that holds us back.  Although, about 10 years ago, caught Kings off Manistee, MI in 34°-35° down deep, 125' to 150' in mid-March over 200' of water.

2/11/23  Checked weather high temp for Manistee, MI since January 1st.  In the past 40 some days, only 6 were below freezing.  Interesting to note, from the 17th of February, average high is above 32° and it gets progressively warmer thru March pushing 50°.
               The Lk. MI season kickoff usually is E Chicago, IN as soon as the ice clears from the harbors.  Will call and check with sources on what going on today.  Know the IN fleet hits the pond early for the Coho bite.

2/10/23  Cleaning the shop, it was a mess.  Plastic shaving from machining spoons neded to be vacuumed up.  Want the shop presentable to 2 new potential hires.  Hope they work out, have 2 more people interested from my Craig's List post.  This will bring my workforce to 4 people doing small jobs that melt into 1 big one during final assembly.
               My snowometer stands at 63" (61 + 2) for the 22/23 season.

2/9/23  Yesterday it was 43° at 4pm according to my thermometer.  That's balmy for Manistee, MI at this time of the year.  Willing to bet we've had more days above freezing since January 1st then we had in a long time ...maybe ever?
             Weather like this is manna from heaven for river guides.  Not fighting everything freezing like steering, shift linkage and line frozen to the rod guides making guiding easy.  20 years ago when I quit guiding, never had weather like we had this year.

2/8/23  In the process of hiring more help for the 2023 season.  Great time train is now well before July-August crunch time.  Manufacturing Meat Rigs™ is labor intensive and a tough way to make a buck.  Making them last for many seasons comes from replaceable hook leaders and cushioned crimps that do not weaken the main string of flies.
            Double snelling hooks is not easy.  This job takes about a 100 snells to master.  Singles are OK, but for maximum hooks on divers, copper and lead core 2 hooks are better.

2/7/23  2023 boat registration alert.  The 2023 season is not all that far off.  It's wise to check the sticker at the end of the MC numbers to see if you need to renew.  Registration expires ends on March 31st.  Still plenty of time to get this done.
              In 50 some years as a boat owner in MI I have forgot this more then once.  MI Secretary of State does send out forms to fill out.  Then, send you your stickers.
              For the hours of recreation, boat registration is a bargain.

2/6/23  Don't know much, but what I do know? ...I know very well.  Anything negative effects MI's Great Lakes Fisheries.  The 2 words "gill net" are a punch in the gut to all who ply the waters for Salmon and Trout.  Gill nets kill everything ...period!
            2 miles of gill nets off Manistee, MI will decimate the Lake Trout stocks in 2 years.  LTs are more, or less a homebody fish.  If there's bait and the right temperature? ...Lakers do not wander like Salmon do.  That why the new consent decree is so bad.
            Negativity breeds less interest.  Understandable with the high cost of owning a boat suitable for big water.  It's a major chunk of yearly income to operate.

2/5/23  There's 46 days of official winter left.  This means there's a reel possibility we could be fishing off Manistee, MI in about 6 weeks.  Earliest I can remember fishing out of my home port was around the 15th-20th of March. Click 4/19/01 Brown Trout
             Up until 2002-2003 early season shoreline Brown Trout was a big deal out of all central Lk. MI ports.  3 Browns per person limits were fairly easy to come by for the fleet.  Nowadays, you're lucky to catch few before this fishery evaporated.  MDNR was stocking big numbers of Brownies to no avail.  Hopefully, this fishery will come back.

2/4/23  2023 Ground Day was cloudy, hence no shadow.  This means a early spring if you believe in folklore.  Worst case is 6 more weeks of winter that's highly tolerable.
             Coldest weather of 2023 has been here for the past couple days.  Not to fear, February thaw 1.0 begins this coming week with temps in the 40s.

2/2/23  My ground hog hunt didn't go too well.  Woodchucks in Manistee are scarce during early February for sure.  Did find Meijer's has the market cornered on ground chuck.  So, that will have to suffice for today's wacky folklore prediction on winter's duration.
            History shows over the last 150 years, groundhogs only have a 39% of being right about predicting spring.  Just talking about the end of winter brings us that closer to outdoor activities and open water big lake fishing.  Click groundhog info

2/1/23  Delayed until tomorrow.  Out hunting for a groundhog.

1/31/23  Recent update from the MDNR on the new Consent Decree.  Skimmed thru the mumbo jumbo legalize that almost put me to sleep.  Bottom line is the Lk. MI tribal netters get about 3/4 of Michigan's coast with a lot of focus on Lake Trout.
              There's no amount of signing petitions and donating money that's going to stop the gill netters.  "That's just ain't gonna happen!".  Click decree update
               Sizing up your foe you need to know you're dealing with militants that don't give a damn about the sports/charter fishing fleet.  So, there's no reasoning with them.
They can be stopped from selling their catch of fish that shouldn't be allowed for sale, because of contaminates to an uninformed public.  It's gonna get messy, but can be done.
             Proof of militants, silver lining is the next up for my topics.  

1/30/23  If you checked out the map of MI state record fish, you'll see no cold water species of Salmon and Trout came from Lk. Huron.  Lk. Huron the water is rinsed thru from the St. Mary's River to the massive opening in the S end where the enormous St. Clair River drains it.  Factor in the cold water coming from Lk Superior.
              My charter days on Lk. Huron at Port Austin, Grindstone City and Harbor Beach my fish per hour was probably better then Lk. MI thru the 1980s.  Had more 5 specie catch charters on Lk. Huron with it's varied fishery.  Lk. Huron has always treated me good going back the 1970s, just not quite as many large fish, as Lk. MI. Click for records map

1/29/23  Good day to rest after backlog of orders are ready for shipping tomorrow.  Not extra busy, but enough to keep today's chat at a bare minimum.

1/28/23  DNR came out with a new interactive map that shows the weight/size of all MI state records.  State record Lake Trout came from Lk. Superior at 61 lbs.  Largemouth Bass pushed 12 and state record Coho is 30 pounds and change.  Central Lk. MI is well represented with records for Atlantic Salmon, Kings & Steelhead too. Click for map.
               My snowometer stands at 61" (57 + 4) for the 22/23 season.

1/27/23   Good day to change the date and get a start on orders.  End of the month order always go up and that's what's happening now.
                40 bucks at the door to attend the Ludington Workshop is outright ludicrous.  Personally, I see the whole DNR fisheries division as a ship with no rudder.  Their goals change faster than the weather.  Every dollar the State of Michigan invests in the Salmon program/stocking, MI gets 10 bucks back.  It's sad to see MDNR slip like they have.

1/26/23  Ludington Regional Fishery Workshop will take place February 18, 2023 from 9:00am-2:15pm at West Shore Community College Administration and Conference Building 3000 North Stiles Road, Scottville, MI 49454.  Lunch is provided.  35 bucks to attend for pre-registered, 40 bucks at the door.  Pricey to say the least. Click for more info

1/25/23  2023 marks my 40th anniversary in the full time fishing business.  Since 1983 I have not earned a dime doing other jobs.  That's why I said "fulltime."
              20 years as a charter operator and river guide (mostly for Steelhead).  Ran big lake charters on Erie (walleyes), Huron and Lk. MI from 1983 thru 2003. 
              Ran my last river trip 20 years ago this November on an awesome note.  Caught and released 9 Steelhead all in the same run.  The fish kept coming, but the sole guest I had that day had enough and called the trip short.  9 river rockets will drain anyone.
              November in 2003 switched over to tackle manufacturing that been a reel-joy.  I've enjoyed every aspect of my career and look forward to more.

1/24/23  Decisions, decisions, and more decisions on how many more years I can carry the workload I have now.  Covid screwed the pooch for more people hired to take the burden of me.  I have the greatest job in the world, worked for this the last 40 years.
              Thinking out loud, breaking my tackle lineup to parts is the simplest and fastest way to sell.  Know I will not waste my time with rip-off artists that don't have a down payment on a free lunch.  Figure a 100 bucks into my PayPal account will buy a hour of my time to discuss and make sure it's a good fit for a ....maybe new owner.

1/23/23  Good news, we've completed the 1st month of winter.  That means there's 58 days before Mr. Winter slips into retirement.  Weather has been peachy since the Christmas blizzard for more good news.  Temps are going to be moderate this week.
               Tomorrow is a update I'm not looking forward to, as I plan my future.
             My snowometer stands at 57" (56 + 1) for the 22/23 season.

1/22/23  Ice coverage on the Great Lakes is at an all time low for this time of the year.  Lk. Mi only coverage is Green Bay.  Rest of the lake is pretty much open.
               No ice means sun penetration keeps the food chain growing.  Warmer water aids in Trout and Salmon growth too.  So, I see this as a good thing.
               Here's a link to an article about ice coverage: Click Great Lakes ice

1/21/23  Spending hours of time researching my next computer.  Choices are endless and so are the price points.  Moving forward on 4k fishing videos will be worth it in the end.  Looks like 1500 bucks for this new build.  Over the counter computers are loaded with unnecessary bloat ware.  Dislike Windows 10 and 11.  I have a shell program that turns 10 back with Windows 7 for the operating menu.  Microsoft keeps changing operating systems with no regard for the end cost to consumers.

1/20/23  Skipped today, busy with shop projects.

1/18/23  The technology that's available to us today is beyond incredible.  All you have to do is take advantage of it.  Can't wait to see future fishing 4k videos direct from YouTube on home big screen TV.  Run of the mill Great Lake fishing shows grinning and someone turning a reel handle and not much else.  Seldom to you get any whys and wherefores that went into producing said fish.  More, or less tackle commercials with no substance that leave us wanting info to learn from.  We're never too old to learn!

1/17/23  January thaw 3.0 continues.  Since the end of December daytime high temperature have been above average.  No snow at my place.  What was here melted.  This highly unusual for the middle of this month.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.
              Shopping for parts to build new computer is a pay as you go deal.  Purchasing case, Windows 11 Pro, power supply and optical drive this month.  Next month GPU/graphics card, motherboard, CPU, and RAM are on the list.
             Assembling a computer from components is no big deal.

1/16/23  From now on, all boat/fishing videos will be shot and edited in 4k.  Previous 1080 was good, but 4k will have 4 times the pixel count for ultra clear pro grade movies.  Trying not to get too far behind with the current technology is my reasoning.
             Built this computer used for updates and 1080 video about 6 years ago.  Upgrading to 4k will take more processing power.  Shopping now for cpu, motherboard, ram, case, graphics processor/card and case.  Hoping to build this omputer under $1200.

1/20/23  Spending hours of time researching my next computer.  Choices are endless and so are the price points.  Moving forward on 4k fishing videos will be worth it in the end.  Looks like 1500 bucks for this new build.  Over the counter computers are loaded with unnecessary bloat ware.  Dislike Windows 10 and 11.  I have a shell program that turns 10 back with Windows 7 for the operating menu.  Microsoft keeps changing operating systems with no regard for the end cost to consumers.

1/20/23  Skipped today, busy with shop projects.

1/18/23  The technology that's available to us today is beyond incredible.  All you have to do is take advantage of it.  Can't wait to see future fishing 4k videos direct from YouTube on home big screen TV.  Run of the mill Great Lake fishing shows grinning and someone turning a reel handle and not much else.  Seldom to you get any whys and wherefores that went into producing said fish.  More, or less tackle commercials with no substance that leave us wanting info to learn from.  We're never too old to learn!

1/17/23  January thaw 3.0 continues.  Since the end of December daytime high temperature have been above average.  No snow at my place.  What was here melted.  This highly unusual for the middle of this month.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.
              Shopping for parts to build new computer is a pay as you go deal.  Purchasing case, Windows 11 Pro, power supply and optical drive this month.  Next month GPU/graphics card, motherboard, CPU, and RAM are on the list.
             Assembling a computer from components is no big deal.

1/16/23  From now on, all boat/fishing videos will be shot and edited in 4k.  Previous 1080 was good, but 4k will have 4 times the pixel count for ultra clear pro grade movies.  Trying not to get too far behind with the current technology is my reasoning.
             Built this computer used for updates and 1080 video about 6 years ago.  Upgrading to 4k will take more processing power.  Shopping now for cpu, motherboard, ram, case, graphics processor/card and case.  Hoping to build this computer under $1200.

1/16/23  Russian is being spoken in the below video.  Not hard to decipher.  The crux was the tandem treble hook pig stickers that prevent lost fish.  No matter what country you're from, the brotherhood of fishermen transcends politics, race and creed.
              Nice to see some live fish action.  Reminds us of what's to come in 2023.  Yep, the clock is clicking with the mid point of January crossed.  Click for this video

1/15/23  Posted a short video Atlantic Salmon video in horizontal. Click for this video

1/14/23  Test Link for Baltic Sea Atlantics on our XG-Frog Super Mag meat heads.  It's a cell phone vertical short movie, but it tells a good story on how effective snelled double trebles are.  Hope to flip it horizontal and show it here.  click for this video

1/13/23  There's a back story on yesterday's photo thought to be from Lithuania.  Actually, it's from Kaliningrad, Russia.  Customer had to do some creative shipping to get tackle into the Russian Federation.  Maybe restrictions due to the Ukraine war?
              Do know the Black Mamba SUV Salmon Buster spoon has seen some serious use with all the tin red coating on the VMC hook being gone. Click Black Mamba SUV

1/12/23  Photos from the Baltic Sea's winter Atlantic Salmon season today.  One of the perks of my job is to see fish caught on my tackle across the globe. Click huge Atlantic
               Our Salmon Buster Lexan spoons are probably the best saltwater spoon ever made.  Nothing to fade, tarnish, or paint that chips and peels off. Click Blk Mamba SUV
               No metal spoon has the dart and dive erratic action our Salmon Busters do.  Buster do not ride tail heavy at slow speeds.  Proven to catch from 1.2 to 4.0 mph.
              Know my spoons will never reach the popularity of those that play tackle store bingo with tons more selections than necessary.  But that's what keeps them in business.

1/11/23  It amazes me the leaps and bound across all technology fields.  Went from a Herters flasher in 1969 to a 6" paper sonar machine in 1977.  LCD mono screens in 1996 to a full color 12" sonar/GPS in 2006.  So, no matter what was cutting edge, wait a few years and it will be old news.  Newer electronics can come with future software upgrades.
              I try to purchase the mid-price point.  Router recently purchased is working like it should after 2 firmware updates.  802.11b was the 1st WiFi available back about 20 years ago..  Several upgrades later we're now on 802.11ax.  My Linksys router, over WiFi can handle 190Mbps on the new 802.11ax protocol.  Internet speeds I could only dream of before Spectrum fiber was installed last November.

1/10/23  Adjusted for inflation the price of multifunction displays i.e. sonar/GPS has not been priced out reach. 3K will get you a decent one.  That's about what I paid 10 plus years ago for the 12" Raymarine, formerly Raytheon.  About 6 years ago this machine had a firmware update that made it even better. Click 12" Raymarine
              In today's photo the split screen, 50kz on top with wide angle with some detail lost.  The 200kz bottom screen shows more detail with a fish suspended off the bottom and scattered bait to the right of the trap net lead.  Good to have show and tell demos.

1/9/23  Just a bunch of things going on.  Trademark for Rip Teezers™ has been accepted.  This has taken more then a year with the USTPO; United States Trademark and Patent Office.  Costly too, about a grand when all things are said and done.
            Sonar photo of the trap net lead don't give you much to work with.  Leads were marked with hard to see gallon jugs.  Flag staffs on the ends were more visible. Trip for the net photo was to mark it on my GPS, then share with the Manistee fishing public.  If someone was to get hung? ...kiss all your tackle goodbye.  Click sonar net pic

1/8/23  UPS is off the chain when it comes to shipping packages to AK.  For a 1 pound, 12" by 4" by 4" package, UPS wanted $104.54 to ship to Juneau, AK.  USPS did for 8.95.  Ever since UPS went public rates have climbed thru the roof.
             Updated my shipping policy/options at that now says, "no UPS shipping" to AK.  USPS does it for 90% less.
             Called the customer about the switch that turned into a good conversation.  Tyler's area is concentrating on winter Kings that prefer fish shaped flashers.  Asked him to send us some photos of my tackle on the job.  Hope he does.

1/7/23  Mild January temperatures will continue to the 15th according to long term forecast from Underground Weather.  This not good news for those wanting to ice fish.  Fairly warm 30-40s temps will not build solid ice for foot traffic.
     Warmer than normal temps will keep Lk. MI ice free with a continuous food chain.

1/6/23  Looking for positive news.  Found out today is 11 minutes longer then the first day of winter back in December.  By the end of this month our days will be close to an hour longer then 12/22/222.  Daylight will grow exponentially, as we move toward spring.
             Trying not to get bogged with the net issues soon to be upon us.  Part that hurts is ports that I know best are being targeting.  Best bet for now it to wait and see what happens and set a foundation to dry up all retail fish outlets.  Tribes know there's advisories.  I see their fish being shipped out of state to an uninformed public.

1/5/23  85 days until April 1st.  Probably 60 days away from the S. Lk. MI early Coho-fest.  Fishing out of Manistee, MI can begin earlier in March that used to be known for April Browns, but that fishery has dried up.  Now, it's mostly Lk. Trout with some Kings, if you're lucky enough to be in the right spot the right time.
            Started work on a new forum on my neglected message board that had 100s of active members reporting for various ports around the Great Lakes.  Haven't had the time with the Covid cutting my shop help to zero.  Plus, Scruffy for company in the wee hours.

1/4/23  Semi sick day. did some work on orders.

1/3/23  First order of business for me is to backup all my files up to 12/31/22 in case of a computer meltdown.  Next is to close out the last quarter of 2022 business-wise.  Doing tax related stuff early frees up time around filing deadlines.
            Next is to plan for what might happen this season in central Lk. MI ports.  Gill nets is a fact of life we're going to have to face.  Little River band tribal netters have terrible track record.  Their boats sunk at the docks and lost trap nets up and down the coast of Manistee, MI waters.  Plus, the their net marking system was almost nonexistent.
            Have an idea about creating FACT: Fish Action Committee Team so we can track where and what markets Lake Trout might be sold to the public.
            When gill nets wiped out the Lk. Trout in the late 1970s and early 1980s there was no internet to keep us all on the same page on where the fish went.

1/2/23  First reel-day of 2023 and the future it holds.  The new year is all questions now waiting for history to be wrote.  Good question for me, "is how many more great fish pics" like in today's featured photo of Manistee local, Wayne J. hoisting a goody King.
            Some pictures are just meant to be.  Wayne's red shirt, silver King during sunrise over Manistee, MI is a hard one to top.  Fill flash used to front light the subject gives breathtaking results when used at the right time. Click for this photo
       Know we have a lot on our plates for the 2023 season will discussed this week.

1/1/23  Happy and best wishes for you and yours in 2023. 
12/31/22 noon, Linksys date to see if the router crashes after 2 required firmware updates.  The sky is the limit on prices and choices.  I just want a simple router that works/networks across my 3 desktops, laptop, TVs, phones, tablets at both 2.4G and 5G.

12/29/22  Ending 2022 with a few days off. Time off will be used installing a new dual band router.  This will be the 3rd router since Spectrum fiber optic high speed internet was installed.  Most of this stuff is way-way over my head.  Didn't need to know any of this tech with my former slow sat system  Now, I need a dual network 2.4g and 5g.  Plus, Mac network for wife's iPad.  That's 3 networks to make blending the old with the new WiFi 6.

12/28/22   Van's Towing in Manistee did a stellar job getting my plow truck out of the ditch.  Concern was not damaging the plow pulling the truck from the front.  Traffic was another problem issue.  Mission was accomplished safely.
                  While I didn't ask, or expect it, neighbor ponied up a 100 bucks to make my mistake a little more bearable.  Semi busy with orders and that's a good thing.

12/27/22  Stuck for an update today.  I mean really stuck when my plow truck went off a 3'-4' embankment on my  neighbor's skinny driveway.  Was trying to do him a favor who has not marked this driveway.  Wrecker is coming today around 1pm.

12/26/22  Clean up day from all the snow we've had in Manistee, MI.  Did partial plow job 2 days ago.  Vee plow impressively pushed 3'-4' drifts with ease.  Just like Moses parting the Red Sea.  Now, need to get the snow in "out of the way" stacked up piles.
                Supposed to rain later this week that will turn snow banks into unmovable glaciers.   Brutal weather the past 3 days.  Good to see this storm into the rear view.
             My snowometer stands at 56" (48 + 8) for the 22/23 season.

12/25/22  Merry Christmas to all.


Continued below back to the year 2000:

2023 Results
January, February & March

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


For complete results of all fishing trips, fishing reports & general info
and a peek into my archived log for the past seasons, 
click the below link:

Past Results

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