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)

2/27/21  Good news on all fronts today.  Project 2021 now has patent pending status:  Provisional Patent Number: 63/154,228   Filing Date: 26-FEB-2021.  This will stop down the copy-cat,/knock-off thieves conniving to steal and make money off my hard work.
            Good news continues with more covid vaccines becoming available.  Tom M from E Chicago, IN received his shot from the National Guard recently.  Tom M is noted for his excellent reports and photos from the S end of Lk. MI.  His honest fish reports is keeps us informed and what we have to look forward to.  Click Tom M's covid vaccine

2/26/21  Great News about our patent pending status for Project 2021 that will be filled today.  The new articles and photos that debut this coming Monday are part of the legal proof my invention is completely unique unlike anything prior.
              Patent attorneys entered all the written text in said articles into the filling process to gain full patent rights to put a choke-hold on the bogus copy cats.
              The long journey that began last August will enter a new phase when Project 2021 is introduced at my webstore on 3/1/21.  This will change the way many of you fish.
 Like the part about developing new tackle.  Rest of the production stuff? ...not so much.

2/25/21  Final proof reading for the Project 2021 for the articles set to debut next week.  Worked with images the last couple days that's very time consuming.  Hopefully, I'll be better prepared for tomorrow's chat once I get my face un-stuck for this computer screen.

2/24/21  Seems like Mr. Winter punched himself out during the recent blast of frigid weather.  43° at my place yesterday is a sure sign spring is not all that far off.
               Place where I've sold the most tackle since last January (dollar value) is Soldotna, AK where the famous Kenai River dumps into the Pacific Ocean.  While I can't be there in person, know my tackle is doing an excellent job representing itself. 
         It's lofty dream of mine to visit the Godfather of all Salmon ports ...some day.

2/23/21  Push come to shove time with the world debut of Project 2021 next Monday.  Still have a few production issues we're to dealing with.  Good news is the articles and videos have all been put to bed, other than for minor tweaks.  Covid slow down allowed for the extra time to introduce this game changing tackle like it should. 
              Only drawback? ...I've had to keep up with webstore orders and make all the tackle myself.  Looking forward to bringing shop help back when this China virus has been driven into extinction.  Hiring more help is another option I'm considering.
         My 2020/2021 winter season front yard snowometer stands at 67" (64 + 3).

2/22/21  Next Monday is the big deal for Project 2021 when it's finally revealed.  Job one for now, is to protect my intellectual properties so this invention stays mine.  Patents are hard to get and costly.  Having others steal your brainchild costs more in the long run.
              Delay could be possible if Project 2021 is not locked down with at least a patent pending by next Monday.  This is 1st step towards a gaining full patent rights.
             Began work on Project 2022 that will be in the test phase this season.  Testing is the fun stuff that's an open book yet to be written.

2/21/21  Good news, feel good story for today.  Vietnam vet, Wayne J received his 1st vaccination shot for Covid 19.  The VA in Cadillac is taking care of our vets.  Well done!
               Spoke with a customer from PA today who had his 1st vaccination recently.  So, there is a light at the end of our China virus tunnel.  Click Wayne's 1st shot
               My wife and I are on a vaccine list, but see the need for any and all workers who serve the public getting their shots before us.  These are the people that keep the wheels turning and should be moved to the head of the line after over 65s.

2/20/21 Big snow storm is a good enough reason for me to make this a snow day.  Looks like a foot, or more with the promise of spring only 4 weeks away.
        My 2020/2021 winter season front yard snowometer stands at 64" (52 + 12).

2/19/21  Wow 33° at my place yesterday in Manistee, MI.  Ever better was last night's low temp (19°) was higher then most of the days we've seen in 2 weeks. 
               First day above freezing since the 5th of this month.  Weather has to improve with the days getting longer.  Official spring 2021 is about month out on 3/20/21.  We're gaining 20 minutes of daylight every week.  This is good news we can all appreciate
              My struggle with the USPS's program 17.7 update that's trash.  Support said call.  Called and told me they can't answer.  Suggested to try email support.  Did that and they can't reply.  This what happens when the current Postmaster General is not qualified to run the US Postal Service. Click USPS inept proof

2/18/21  People who fish do so for many reasons.  Some are into hook and cook enjoying the food they put on the table.  Tournament jockeys fish to bolster their ego.  Fishing buddies do it for camaraderie and the reel-challenge.  Families that fish together, stay together with a common goal of recreational bonding.
             My reason is pure escapism.  Getting on the boat washes my soul clean.  Trying to catch fish is a head game that leaves room for nothing else.  99.9% of the time, who made the tackle that's in water is not on the table.  Fishing is a universal language where all walks of life cross the same path.  What a wonderful thought!
            Yesterday, plowed the pole barn road just in case we have an early spring.  Better to plow now before too many freeze-thaw cycles that turns the snow into a glacier

2/17/21  Great News! Nanook is packing up his igloo and retreating back to the north pole.  Frigid single digits and teen for the daytime high temps has been well below normal for the past 9-10 days.  Pushing 40 next week is more good news.
               This is the time of the year when the 2021 season seems a long ways off.  Not for me.  February is on the downward side early season anglers will be on the pond again.
               Do know my 1st trip for Manistee, MI shoreline trolling is about a month out.  Rods and the boat is 95% ready.  So, this will be a splash and go event.

2/16/21  Big deal issues preventing shipping of international orders with Stamps.Com.  The US post office used to be as steady as a rock across the board.  Now, it's big problem with their 17.7 version update that don't work.  Being locked out of shipping international is a huge hit for us.  Did find a work around, but it's difficult to process shipping labels.
            This falls under the broad heading of personal grief caused by idiots!

2/15/21  President's Day, legal holiday for US mail, no orders shipping today. 
               In 2 weeks, long awaited secret Project 2021 will debut.  Will this sizzle, or fizzle?  I'm betting on the sizzle and wide fleet acceptance before this season is over.
            My 2020/2021 winter season front yard snowometer stands at 52" (48 + 4)

2/14/21  Valentine's Day update begins with better weather and improving temps by the middle of this week.  Not the 10°-15° below normal we've been tolerating.  Average daytime for this time in February highs push 30°.  Not single digits of last week.
              My math says 56 days of winter has past.  In 34 days official spring 2021 arrives on March 20th.  March can go either way, but we'll surely see some warm days.
              This brings us ever closer to the big water 2021 season that's not that far off.  By mid-March the boats are beating up the spring Coho in S end of Lk. MI.

2/13/21  Weekend off.  Monday will feature important news about Project 2021.  Not good at keeping secrets.  Proud of keeping this hush-hush since last year.

2/12/21  News from the S end of Lk. MI is their soon to arrive Coho season looks good.  Word is from those who fished LK. MI before the bottom fell out of the thermometer is there were no sub 14" Coho (legal size) caught this past January. 
              Good growth rates, means bait and that's a bright spot for all of us.  Being close to major metropolitan areas the S end fleet size rivals, or surpasses some of the big name ports.  The big deal down S is early season, then it wanes towards summer.
                  MDNR free fishing weekend if you can tolerate the deep freeze.

2/11/21  It's really amazing to offer broadcast quality 1080 HD videos.  During the past 20 years the internet has made things possible we never dreamed of in the 1960s.  I fully embrace all the technology that's offered to us within my skill set. Click video editing
               My video editor can do voice-over narration, display titles/text, speed up, do scene cuts, cool transitions and insert photo overlays.  These are the same tools TV networks have and so do I.  Doing video editing is a major time drain, the outcome makes it all worthwhile.  In 17 days you'll have 6 new movies to ignite the 2021 fishing bug.
              To be able to share HD fishing videos is reel 21st century tech!

2/10/21  Figure we're about mid-point for this winter and we all need to look forward to spring.  When I was a kid in the 1960s, we called people that had to stay at home "shut ins."  Well, we've all been "shut ins" to curb the deadly China virus.
               There will be a spring soon and this Nanook weather will be a distant memory. That's what I'm doing to keep my spirits up.  How you keeping a good outlook?
                Winter is speeding by for yours truly with Project 2021 world reveal due on 3/1/21.  There's 6 new pages of original content, 30 new photos, and six 1080 HD videos made possible by the economic slow down caused by covid.  I put this time to good use!
        My 2020/2021 winter season front yard snowometer stands at 48" (46+2)

2/9/21  Brutal cold snap delayed the good news my injection molding tools have found a new home.  Featured pic is the first tool I had made going back to 2003.  This is a 12" flasher single cavity tool is at least 20k in today's money.  Didn't have the dough back then, being a startup to have a double cavity tool cut.  Click 12" flasher tool
             Presently, we've grown to 5 tools that make 7 different pieces of tackle being: 4.0 spoons, 4.65 spoons, mag meat heads, super mag heads, bullet heads, 12" flasher and 10" BTI flashers.  This been accomplished over the past 17 years.
        My 2020/2021 winter season front yard snowometer stands at 46" (43+3)

2/8/21  Hope your weekend went much better than mine.  Had to plow a path to the satellite dishes Friday night when it was close to single digits.  Battery in my plow truck gave out the following (Sat.) morning when I had to plow again.
            Upgraded the original stock Ford 625 cold cranking amps with a 850 cold cranking amp model.  Joy was swapping it out Saturday in 14° snowy weather.  Batteries seem seldom fail when it warm outside.  It's the cold that takes a toll on them.  Service life out of original battery in my 2014 F250 lasted 7 years.  So, it was time to replace.
            Battery failure was brought about by the 1st major snow event for Manistee, MI.  Know we got plus 12" Friday, more on Saturday, and Sunday too.
         My 2020/2021 winter season front yard snowometer stands at 43" (25+12+6)

2/5/21  Today's scheduled chat is postponed.  Posted this yesterday at 6pm with a wet a snow falling that clogs up my sat dish that will be soon worthless until is cleared of snow.  Forecast says major snow event with totals more then a 1' in the next few days.
             Big news is winter has upgraded to 2.0 with highs in the low teens and lows in single digits for the upcoming week, 10 days, possibly longer.
             Be back Monday, cause I'm not going to fight with the satellite dish.
     My 2020/2021 winter season front yard snowometer stands at only 25" (24+1)

2/4/21  Good news!  Found a new company to handle our injection molding needs. 
Oh, what a relief this is.  Knowing we can have product this year gets me out of a rock and hard place.  Plan is to have our 2021 production run of Magnum Meat Heads in-house sometime this April.  Still have to move our 5 injection molds and colorants, but that will be handled in due time.  Been looking for a new supplier for about the last 3 weeks.

2/3/21  Sun was out yesterday in Manistee, MI.  Mr. Groundhog for sure seen his shadow that predicts no early spring and 6 more weeks of winter.  While we'll get a few nice days in March, it's still wintery until mid-April.  So, I'll take 6 more weeks of winter, but highly doubt on 3/16/21 it will be time to lather on the sunscreen.
            Biggest thing we have to look forward is winter does have an expiration date of 3/20/21. Spring weather will happen by April in Manistee and that means Lk. MI fishing.
    My 2020/2021 winter season front yard snowometer stands at only 25" (24+1)

2/2/21     >>>>>>>>>  Breaking News - Special Report <<<<<<<<
Mr. G. Hog has predicted 6 more weeks of winter for Manistee, MI.  The sun was out yesterday and that's a rare occurrence for my place during this time of the year.
               While G. Hog did not predict an early spring, in 6 weeks on March 16, 2021 we'll hold his feet to fire on spring-like weather (+ or -5° from the target number of 50°)
                   Tomorrow: is King Salmon tagging and fin clipping necessary?

2/1/21  The event/debut Project 2021 is 28 days away to March 1st.  Scheduled 1st Lk. MI trip is 4/1/21, possibly sooner.  Boat is ready and and waiting.  Rods are ready too.
             Folk lore says tomorrow a Groundhog can predict spring with his shadow.  Doubt this seriously, but I think we're all desperate for some good news, fake, or not.

1/31/21  It's been intense lately editing videos.  Piecing scenes together is a long drawn out process.  Good news is: there will be 5-6 new You Tube videos to share with you soon.  Along with several new articles to spotlight Project 2021.
               Pre-pandemic time would not have been available for an all out maximum effort.  Creating new content will have it's rewards in the end with a helluva huge sense of accomplishment.  Just have to keep pushing forward till it's done.  None of this is easy.

1/30/21  Shelf life on January expires tomorrow. We've just about made it thru the longest, darkest and usually the coldest month of winter. 
              Next up is Groundhog Day, then Valentines Day as 2021 marches forward.  My 1st Lk. MI trip is only 59 days away.  World debut of Project 2021 is in 30 days.

1/29/21  Guest fishing report today from Capt. Jesse L. who hails from Soldotna, Alaska. This is where the famous Kenai River enters the Pacific Ocean. 
                Here's what Capt. Jesse said:  "Hey bud, ran that spoon you sent me with the flasher and it was a killer combo on multiple fish yesterday." (1/27/21)
                Combo he was sharing was our 12" White Lightening flasher with the same color in 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoon.  Click AK King and this combo
                Checked the weather for Soldotna and it was cold, like in the low 20° range. Proving that Alaska Salmon fishermen are cut from a hardy piece of cloth.

1/28/21  Today's featured 3 in 1 photo depicts how my mind works.  GPS chart show we hit a good place and a yoyo retrace/reciprocal troll path.  Bait location dictated the turn.
              Only thing that was getting bit?  It was all Super Silver Bullet tackle.  Paired up the divers to match just adds more confidence, not indecision. Click 3 in 1 reel-story
              Reviewing archived photographs is always good for a reel-story.
    My 2020/2021 winter season front yard snowometer stands at only 24" (21+3)

1/27/21  Good news, days are noticeably longer.  It's getting dark at 6pm instead of 5pm like it was in December.  More daylight means spring is not all that far off.
               Good news on January web sales too.  Spoons are outselling meat heads by a 3 to 1 dollar advantage.  This don't happen very often with meat heads mostly leading the way.  Salmon Buster™ spoons hold up well over the seasons.  5 year old spoons look like they just came out of the package, less the teeth marks.  Click SB spoons & Steelhead
             There's nothing to fade, tarnish, chip away or the coating discolor like metal painted spoons.  The colors are molded in for a lifetime of fishing catching service.

1/26/21  In 2013 purchased a Solid State Hard drive for 200 bucks.  2 weeks ago bought a 1 terabyte SSD for less than a 100.  That's 4 times the storage for half the price.
              Data storage, mostly video files requires big hard drives.  6TB regular spinning disk hard drive for 100 bucks with dock on Amazon I couldn't pass up.  These tools are part and parcel of our soon to debut Project 2021 videos.  Click hard drives

1/25/21  About once a year I clean my desktop computers with compressed air from my paint booth.  Anything with a fan, or fins will collect dust from the high volume of air pushed thru the computer cases to keep your system operating like it should.  In a pinch, think the blower end on shop vacs will work.
              Desktops have lost ground to cell phones and laptops.  Unless you have an expensive laptop they cannot do the heavy lifts of video editing.  Click dirty fan
              Size of the screens on laptops is a big short coming too.  That's why I'm a huge fan of desktop work stations that can do everything.  Have 3 frontline desktops.
              Cell phones have their niche for viewing the internet if you can stand the tiny screen.  Consider smart phones a taskmaster and can live without electronic slavery.

1/24/21  The Book of Genesis said on the 7th day God rested.  I'm going to take a hint from the big guy and take the day off too.

1/23/21  It's lot easier to be socially distant in Manistee, MI when the daytime highs don't hit 20°.  Mr. Winter 1.0 has upgraded from a mild 0.5.
              Best news is the shelf life of winter is 2/3rds of what it was back in December.  Official spring begins on Saturday March, 20, 2021 that's less then 2 months away.
              Indoor list for today is rewrites and proof reading the new P21 articles set to debut on 3/1/21.  Amazing thing about penning a new work is after it marinates, there's always a better way to make your point by changing just a few words.
       My 2020/2021 winter season front yard snowometer stands at only 21" (19+2)

1/22/21  Today's thought for the weekend is: it's not how many times you've been knocked down?  It's how many times you got back up.  Adversity comes with big water fishing is automatic.  Miles, miles and more miles of water, most not holding many fish.
               Esteemed visitors of this website have emailed in 3 suggestions for injection molding companies.  Most promising is in Reed City, MI that I've already sent sample parts to.  A big thanks for the help, as we sort thru the options.
              Done business with Kruger Plastics since 2005.  Their tool and die shop made the Super Mag Heads, 10" BTI flashers and 2 sizes of our Salmon Buster™ spoons.  Feel like a dear friend has passed away with this company being dust in the wind.

1/21/21  Our last fish box pushing 200 pounds is today's featured photo that happened on 8/10/16.  Think there was 8 Kings to over 28 lbs and a 12 lb. Laker.  So, the math is works out.  Question is ...will this be my last big catch?  Answer is ...absolutely not!
               Fishing is notoriously uncertain and anything can happen at any giving time.  Adult summer Kings are programmed to bite.  Even if their stomach has contracted and they can no longer swallow their prey.  Keep this in mind: it's not your fault if you're not catching.  It's your location that's not producing.  Click 200 lb. box
            Especially, in this day and age when King Salmon are scarce in the first place.

1/20/21  Downturn in the economy is taking it's toll.  Kruger Plastics (my former injection molding company) sold to now, Springboard.  Contact person informed me they moved from the Bridgman, MI facility to South Bend, IN. 
              Worse yet? ...Springboard no longer going to make parts for small business like mine.  So, I'm up "you know what" creek without a paddle until I find another injection molding operation to make our flashers, spoons and meat heads
              My 1st concern is what are these folks in a small town going to do for a job?  Kruger had probably well over 50 workers on 3 shifts at one time.  
              Another concern is our tooling.  They have 5 tools that cost a small fortune & a stock pile of colorants worth 1000s.  Hopefully, I can resolve this problem ASAP.
  The big kick in the gut is we were just getting ready to order approx 10k meat heads.

1/19/21  Yesterday mentioned my years with this website and other timelines.  Left out the important part of being in the fishing business for past 38 years.  Going back to 1983 when I quit my paycheck job for good and never considered looking back.
               Longevity for my 38 years is accomplished with never having a plan "B."  That means you already had a hunch plan "A" was going to fail.
               Think most over expect from the fishing business with grandiose illusions.  I've always set my sights within reason.  Seen too many fail who did not.
       My 2020/2021 winter season front yard snowometer stands at only 19" (18+1).

1/18/21  2021 marks the 21st year this website has been on the internet.  That's over 7300 daily updates and counting.  I'm honored every time you visit this site. 
              7300 chats does not scratch the surface on big water fishing & related subjects pertaining to our sport.  So, there's never a shortage of topics to focus on. 
              It's only about 70 days away from my 1st Lk. MI trip of our shiny brand new 2021 big water season.  Reel fun stories have yet to unfold ...and to be told.
              The debut of Project 2021 is 44 days until the world reveal of our 1st production run on March 1, 2021  This is a big time winner-winner, chicken dinner!
              2021 marks our 17th year in the tackle business that has flew by.
       My 2020/2021 winter season front yard snowometer stands at only 18" (16+2).

1/15/21  Wet and rainy this morning with temps in the mid 30s, as 1/2 winter continues.  Each day that keeps the temperature moderate reduces chances of Lk. MI freezing solid. 
              Lake Huron froze over when the baitfish population crashed in the earlier i2ks.  Ice shutting down sunlight that limits the food chain is not helpful.
              From what I seen last August out of the Ports of Frankfort and Manistee, MI we marked plenty of bait and that's a good thing to look forward to in 2021.
             Internet free zone this weekend for yours truly taking off both Sat. & Sun.

1/14/21  Approaching the mid point in January it was 42° at my place in Manistee, MI.  1st 2 weeks of 2021 has been mild that's unheard of at the time of the year.
               Back to fishing.  The 3 and 1 photo that been front and center this week.  All 3 photos have 1 thing in common.  Water temp was the same top to bottom within a couple of degrees.  Deep fish 155' down in April were marked on my sonar.  Fish 60' down and higher in Manistique, MI were marked.  Seeing target zones was a big part of the puzzle.
              The 2019 trip out of Rogers City, MI no such luck on the sonar.  We were not marking fish.  This was a clue to run part of our spread high 20' to 30' that paid off.  High fish do not mark on sonar.  Wary adult Kings up high can become boat shy and scatter.

1/13/21  3 in 1 photo taken 9 years apart that took place in April, July and August.  Each pic was a different location, or port with a variety of water temps and depths.
               How do you figure this out? ...unanswerable.  The process of elimination plays big, if you have an open mind?  Here, experience has been my greatest enemy. 
               Relying on a tremendous bag of tricks that's worked in the past can be a major hindrance.  That's why, ...I like new ports with a clean slate.  This allows for fishing in the moment with no ill preconceived archived notions. Click 3 in 1 pic
               Solving speed and depth are big hills to climb to fend off the black kitty.  My deal is to keep trying new tactics until it works.  Then, ride it into the ground.

1/12/21  Today's 3 in 1 photo starts off with a meat rig catch from 4/25/12 with Kings being caught down 155' in 35° water off the Port of Manistee, MI. 
               These spring Kings were sluggish being only 4° away from frozen that wanted a slow 1.5 mph presentation to pry a bite.  Click 3 in 1 photo
               Second is from 7/20/16 with Kings eager to bite in 60° to 62° water that wanted only spoons moving at 2.5 to 2.8 mph.  This catch came from the UP's Manistique, MI on the northern end of Lk. MI at 30' to 60' down. 
              Wasted most of the morning trying to get dialed in with not much to show for it.  Evening fish was another reel-story when we figured it out.
              Last of the 3 pics in from Rogers City, from Lk. Huron on 8/24/19 that will be carried over until tomorrow when I try summate the never ending unknown of fishing.

1/11/21  March 1, 2021 is scheduled for Project 2021 release/debut date.  Worked long and hard on P21.  There's still a lot of loose ends for the big reveal 48 days from now.
              Been in the rocking chair with mild January weather.  This has been a godsend being spared big snows and frigid temps.  20s and 30s is about as good as it gets for this time of the year.  Even had one day last week that got into the 40s. We've only had 16 inches of total snowfall accumulation for winter 2020/2021.
          Tomorrow's topic will be trying to explain the mystery photo. Click for this pic

1/10/21 Computer is off today and so am I.

10/9/21  Just a quick heads up that a play on words too.  Our Magnum Meat Heads will be on limited supply until we get Project 2021 off the ground.  Do have a good supply for now, but not enough to last thru the season.  Hope to have all shortages fixed by summer.

1/8/21  Going to skip today's chat for the most part.  It's not been a good week for our nation that I'm at a loss of words to explain.  God bless America.
             Be back Monday with a fishing mystery when I was surfing past photos.

1/7/21  Since the FireDot pattern was 1st introduced to the Lk. MI fleet back in the late 1960s, history says this is a reel-summer Salmon slayer.  In my charter days (1983-2003) this color produced 20 to 30 fish limit catches for my guests. Click FireDot August Kings
             It's wrong to think this is just a Coho killer.  August Kings jump on this like stink on dog poo.  Clown suit school bus yellow and red dots are Bozo colors that the fish love for some reason.  When I know, I have to absolutely catch August fish?  There's at least 2 FireDot combos swimming in my spread.  Old school is better than no school.

1/6/21  Next Monday will be announcing the reveal date for the ground breaking secret Project 2021.  This had been in the works since the early part last July.  Keeping it under wraps has been a challenge by limiting what I can share with you, in the here and now.
            There's only 4 people in the world that know what we've been up to, counting my wife and I.  Turning P21 loose when the time is right is crucial.
             For 2021 we'll have a new 3 page article.  Along with 3 new You Tube videos that will debut well before spring.  Have great plans in the works for 2021!
Tomorrow? ...cost effective piece of tackle my boat would never leave the dock without.

1/5/21  Making plans for 2021 is a happy place for yours truly.  Tentative trips to new ports are on the agenda.  If, and when the dark covid cloud has lifted.  New places and returning to old ports like South Haven is a good bet for spring Kings in May.
             Project 2021 is done for the most part.  Have an idea for Project 2022 in the planning stage once we introduce the new game changing tackle for 2021.  Having to stay close to home does have it benefits, when the time is budgeted wisely.
        For the time being just going to enjoy the mild January weather while it lasts!

1/4/21  Reel great news keeps coming!  It's only 86 days until my 1st Lk. MI trip out of Manistee, MI. for my target date of 4/1/21.  Possibly, sooner if the weather breaks early.
             Know we will have some tough winter days ahead that will become a distant memory when my boat is no longer on the trailer.
            My vintage 1979 22' Sea Ray is set up for cold weather fishing.  A complete enclosure with a heater and defrosters keeps the cabin cozy for a couple of fishermen.
            Fishing in not supposed to be an extreme sport when you have to suffer the blustery wind that drives cold to the bone.  Hard to have a good time if you're freezing.

1/3/21  Great news again!  Since official winter started back in December, we gained about 7 minutes of daylight.  By January's end? ...we're looking at better then a 1/2 hour.
            Gaining daylight is what brings spring ever closer.  There will be a 2021 season soon.  My target date is 4/1/21 for my 1st Lk. MI trip out of Manistee, MI. 
            We all need something to look forward to.  Mine is getting back in the boat again!

1/2/20  Great news!  Mr. Winter is opening the new year with temps 10° above normal that should last into next weekend.  Having temps in the mid 30s at this time of the year is a godsend.  Thus far, this winter has been mild.  Only had to plow snow once a couple of days ago that was mostly for the UPS driver.  2" of wet snow last night was no big deal.
             My 2020/2021 winter season snowometer stands at only 16" for now

1/1/21 Happy New Year!  Health, wealth and wisdom for 2021.

12/31/20  Happy New Year's Eve Day.  In a short while, the terrible year of 2020 that inflicted great hardships in our country will be a goner.  2021 will be a lot better.  Looking for to next year and the renewed promise it brings.  Have a happy, safe, and great 2021!

12/30/20  Fast forwarding a day to point out the mussels in the stomach of a King caught back in 2008 just after the 4th of July.  This was well before the King Salmon numbers dwindled when the MDNR made stocking cuts. Click mussels in stomach 
                Didn't notice these tiny shells when I took the photo.  If I did? ...sure would have focused with more photos.  This is a rarity for sure. 
                Can only speculate on how they got there with 2 choices.  1. Alewives had mussels in their belly that were dissolving.  2.  This mid-size King was into oysters on the half shell.  Guess, it's meant to be a mystery?

12/29/20  Year end computer maintenance means all machines need attention.  Use 3 boxes and a laptop for mobile.  Started yesterday with all recent updates. 
                 Passed my yearly verification known as, PCI compliance for credit card security that was a chore.  This where gets it's fancy security seal of approval.  So, customers know their credit card info is well protected.
                 There's always some kind of issues when dealing with computers that are tasked with complicated jobs.  Taking care of a network is a lot to bite off.  It's a job I dread and why I'm not big on smart phones.  Already spend a lot of time at my computer work station.  Why would I want to carry another one around in my pocket?
                 My view of cell phones?'s electronic slavery that turns into an addiction for a large segment of the population.  See Detroit Tiger fans behind home plate in the high dollar seats.  Instead of watching the game?  ...they're fiddling with their phones.

12/28/20  Video update that's about eliminating quagga mussels comes from the Port of Leland, MI.  You'll see why Leland is one of my most favorite ports.  This also goes with the mussels I found in a Salmon stomach that will be expanded upon tomorrow.  Click for this video

12/27/20  Report on the early March-April fishing from Manistee, MI continues with 2019 results.  April was all Lake Trout.  A mixed size of 5 to 12 pounder and not that many of them.  There were zones lure clogging weeds inshore in early April that made trolling impossible, unless we cleaned our 6 rod spread continuously. Click 2019 Lake Trout
                End of May going into early June did catch a few Kings pushing 20 in 2019.  Fish per hour was downright pitiful.  Struggled to find fish on a confined schedule.
                  My 2020 early season was a wash with no fishing till July.

12/26/20  Didn't clean sat dish until 2pm.  Decided to save today's effort and expand it for tomorrow.  Then, wrap it up on Monday with a useful tip from my area.

12/25/20  Merry Christmas to all.  Tomorrow's chat might be delayed about what to expect about early spring (Mar-Apr-May) fishing at central Lk. MI ports. 
                Seems Mr. Winter has woke up with a bad attitude and is predicted 15" of lake effect snow in Manistee, MI.  This will render the sat internet useless until I clear the white stuff off the sat dish in sub 20° temps.  This will be done later in the day.  So, it might be delayed until Sat. when I can wrap up this fascinating subject.

12/24/20  Merry Christmas Eve Day to you and yours.  Donated our Christmas spending to help feed those in need.  Seen 400 cars in-line waiting for food in my home town.
                It's one thing to see this from a distance on TV.  But when you see it in person, in your home area it punches home how bad things are for some folks.
               If you're in the grateful position of being able to donate?  Please support your local food bank and help the needy.  Together can fight our way thru the covid crisis.

12/23/20   What to expect in Manistee, MI's early season continues.  The 2017 early season April fishing was OK.  There were some Browns in early April, if you got lucky and hit the right spots.  By around the 1st of May, Kings were being caught off the harbor areas of Ludington and Manistee.  No big numbers for my efforts.  But 3-4 fish in the 10 to 20 pound class for a morning fish is a heck of a good time.
                2018 my April fishing was a bust.  May was another story with a fair number of Kings off Ludington's harbor to pockets south of the project.  There were a few Browns and Lake Trout mixed in for the locals.  My boat only caught Kings.  No big numbers, but don't need that many spring Kings pushing 20 pounds to call it a happy-happy trip.

12/22/20  What to expect in Manistee, MI's early season?  The total unknown for sure.  Can give you a replay from 2015 to 2020.  Looked back in my yearly photo folders for info.
                2015 Manistee had some Browns in early April.  Around the 1st of May Ludington was seeing some Kings caught.  This was the year I went to Wilson, NY in May and did decent on spring Kings to 20 some pounds on Salmon Buster spoons™.
                2016 early inshore April fishing off Manistee was choked with weeds that made trolling an exercise in futility.  This was the year I installed enclosed cooling on my 1979 22' Sea Ray.  So, I could put a heater/window defroster for chilly mornings.
                2017 Manistee's early season will be tomorrow's headline and focus.

12/21/20  First day of the official winter season.  It's also our shortest day of the year too.  Gradually, our days will become longer.   Spring 2021 is only about 90 days away.
                 The weather in Manistee, MI has been mild compared to years past.  Haven't had to plow snow and that a rarity for the north country.  Know there's storms and snow in the future.  We'll get thru it and crush the China virus in the new year.
              Tomorrow? ....what to expect from Manistee's early March-April inshore fishery.

12/19-20/20  Computer is off for the weekend and so am I.

12/18/20  In less then 2 weeks we can say good riddance to the terrible year of 2020.  That can't come fastest enough for me.  2020 sucked for everybody!
                I'm looking forward to having shop help in 2021 to build and expedite orders.  This is a huge task that I did solo.  This prevented me from getting out on the Great Lakes this year until the 4th of July and only a few times in August.  This was the 1st season out of the past 50 missed the early season March/April fishery.
               Having a good conversation going when you're working helps the time fly by.  Extra help adds order speed and accuracy.  By keeping track of each other's work.
               Offline weekend for me.  Shop construction needs my full attention. 
        Monday's topic will be about Manistee, MI's early season and what to expect.

12/17/20  Timing is everything when it comes to new product roll out.  The mood our country is in right now (from the China virus), it's my firm belief you could introduce sliced bread for the first time and it would be a historic flop.
                 That's one of the reasons I'm holding back the debut of P15.  Knowing better days are ahead and a bright future for our country as our population gets vaccinated.

12/16/20  Snowometer is back again this year.  It's a rough gauge what's shoveled, or plowed.  November was very mild and not much snow in a departure from the past.
                Cold temps in the teens are here.  Official winter only days away.  Cold makes heating my house with wood easier with a hotter burn.  Resulting in less creosote buildup.
                 My 2020/2021 winter season snowometer stands at only 10" for now.

12/15/20  Checked the size of the Chinooks/King Salmon planted by the MDNR in 2005 and 2010 in Manistee County, MI.  Size is about the same as what the DNR is stocking now.  Numbers of Kings planted is not that far off, down about 30% from 2005 and 2010.
                Survival rate is where the big crash is.  Don't think anyone has the answer.  Least of all  Do know, in the past 3 seasons, I've caught very few adipose clipped fish in the central Lk. MI ports of Ludington, Manistee and Frankfort.
                Exception is in 2019.  Fished Lk Huron's Port of Rogers City, MI.  Here, 3 out of 4 Kings were adipose clipped, or stocked Kings.  Click Rogers City King Salmon

12/14/20  Plans for the 2021 season are full underway.  Construction projects expanding storage in my tackle shop should be done by the end of this week.
                Keeping a positive outlook and looking forward to better days ahead in the new year is front and center.  This is helped along by planning trips in 2021 for the early season.  Missed out on the early S Lk. MI action this year due to stay at home orders right when our season was beginning.  There's light at the end of the tunnel with China virus vaccines that should have our country moving back to normal.

12/13/20  Day off to work on projects in my shop.  Running out of room and need to be creative to find more storage for tackle.  This looks like a 2 day job to hang peg board around the pain booth.  Need to do this while there's time available.
                See being a solo work act until more vaccinations make our world safe again.  Manistee, MI had 30-40 cases of covid around Labor day.  Now it's pushing 500.  In a county of 20,000 plus, that's a lot.  Plus, those spreading it with no symptoms.

12/12/20  Great Lakes big water trolling boats are highly complex machines.  Listing all the electric motors in today's chat about my vintage 1979 22' Sea Ray.  Odds are having them all work 100% of the time? a not.

Bilge pumps
Hydraulic Mercruiser trim pump
CD player
Heater fan
Defroster fan
TR1 Garmin auto pilot
Bilge exhaust fan
Starter motors (Merc. & Suzuki)
Radar array
Trim tab pump


That's 18 twelve volt DC electric motors and counting.  Gremlins are bound to pop up.  Factor in, 2 sonar/GPS units, a marine radio and a Fish Hawk down rigger read out and there's all kinds of issues waiting to happen.

12/11/20  It's approx 100 an some days to April 1, 2021.  This is my target date for early season Manistee, MI shoreline trolling.  Possibly, earlier if I chose to head to the S end of Lk. MI for March Coho.  It's reel-nice to see a window to hit Lk MI again.
                 Buttoning up my boat for the 100 day nap, noticed water levels in my batteries were low.  Today, will be adding distilled water to the correct level.  Trickle chargers keep my batteries in tip top shape for several seasons.  Prior to low amp trickle chargers only got a couple of seasons.  Batteries are expensive.  Take care of them.

Continued below back to the year 2000:

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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