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)

12/6/22  Flashing green LED light did not provide much of a charge in our X-Glow spoons.  Maybe 10% to the outside.  Need to test the multi, blue and red before final judgment.
              For 2023 our LED flashers are no longer pop riveted.  Machine screws and nuts a big step up for replacing a burn out LED light just like our spoons.  Need to update the web page to make this info to potential buyers.

12/5/22  Running a test to find out if the LED lights can actually charge our X-Glow spoons.  This being done in a darkened room with a XG Mean Green as a test subject.
              Test will last 2 hours in a glass to mimic time in the water.  This would be a heck of a bonus.  If the flashing green LED provides glow properties to the spoon?
              Spoons won the annual fall poll as most popular.  Part of this reason was not a sustained deep thermocline in our busy central Lk. MI ports last summer.  Top 50' of the water column is spoon territory.  There is a draw back to the top 50'.  Being the early-late bite accounts for the majority of Kings in the box.  100' deep fish tend to bite all day.

12/4/22  Underwater video of Kings down 120' to 140' is total crap after my latest review.  YouTube uses compression codex to shrink file size where detail is lost.  Especially, if what you're working with isn't all the great in the 1st place. 
             Published in 720p in 2013... when even more detail was lost.  Know I have the original 1080p file size that's a heck of a lot better then what's there now.
             Biggest gain if I can improve the clarity  is watching how the fish swim up and down.  Hope to have this re-edited soon of the hidden world of King Salmon.  720p movie was the direct result of a slow satellite internet due to the time it took to upload large files.  This is no longer a issue with my Spectrum bad boy fiber optic service.

12/3/22  Video update that was shot in 2013.  Never mentioned this before: the special camera carrying 12 pound weight had a UV black light fastened under the camera.  Do know we had several Kings shopping, but none went to thru checkout line.  Fish at depths of 120' to 140' down are mostly shadows.  Did this UV light bring the fish in?
              Which brings me to the point of today's chat.  Having a LED spoon in your spread has to draw fish in from greater distances.  Even if the fish eats a non lit spoon? ...the attraction theory does have merit.  Proably better off watched on YouTube for a better picture.   Which is not all that great in the 1st place.  Click for this video

12/2/22  Late looking for YouTube video of Kings down 140' repeatedly missing the lure.  Will have this for you tomorrow.  There's reveal about how we shot this video.

12/1/22  Hello December and goodbye November.  We're another month closer to the 2023 season and that's a good thing.  Decembers fly by , because of the Christmas.
              In 30 days we'll be saying hello the brand new 2023 Great Lakes Salmon season.  2022 was so-so until about the 3rd week of August and the fishing tightened up. 
              Predict 2023 will be OK.  Bright spot is 2024 when last year's big young crop of Lk. MI Kings will mature.  2024 has the signs of being banner year.

11/30/22  We all need a place to start when it comes to colors and lure selections.  Until you have have a clue? ....picking the right stuff is a daunting task with the many types, sizes and colors.  Been there, done that.  This is where those on the water everyday have the biggest advantage, because they see 1st hand what's working.
               No confidence in your spread of lures is when things get whacky.  Swapping out possible good stuff for a hail Mary shot in the dark.  Don't go down this path.
              Adult Salmon are eating machines.  Don't hold yourself responsible for lack of rodular activity.  Your just not around any fish, in the right mood, at the right time.

11/29/22  Busy with getting orders out the door has my time spoken for today.  Upcoming topic will be all about confidence and how it effects your success.

11/28/22  New 2023 tackle is ready to go at discounted pricing.  For now, each LED piece of tackle sold comes with 2 bonus lights until Christmas specials end.
                Let's face it, this is LED cutting edge technology.  There's nothing else that even compares.  To the best of my knowledge, we're the LED leaders offering spoons, trolling flies and flashers that light up to grab Mr. Salmon attention! Click for LED spoons
                I'm all in on new ground breaking tackle.  That's how our Salmon and Trout tackle evolves.  More weapons in your arsenal adds productivity one fish at a time.

11/27/22  Almost ready to debut the new 2023 tackle deals.  Please standby.

11/26/22  Web work building a new page for the 2023 LED spoons has my time spoken for this weekend.  Must re-photograph all spoons, because pop rivets are a thing of the past.  Screw driver size is 1 for the machine screws.  Bolt is a 1/4", but pliers can work too.  If you need last year's spoons rebuilt? ...Please contact me.

11/25/22  Old school Firedot pattern gets a brand new meaning with a red LED blinking light.  Me and Firedot pattern goes back to 1969 when Luhr Jensen's came out with the Manistee Wobbler that produced limit catches.  Firedot dodgers were responsible for 400 lb. fish boxes with countless 20-30 fish limits back when I chartered (1983-2003).
                I would be amiss if I didn't have this selection in my tackle lineup for 2023 in LED spoons and BTI flashers.  Granted this is an old school original color, but without old school? ...there'd be no new school. Click FireDot Salmon Buster 4.65 spoon

11/24/22  Happy Thanksgiving.  Old school new spoon addition with debut tomorrow.

11/23/22  Spent a good part of yesterday installing LED lights on our new spoons for 2023.  Having a lure that carries it's own auto light source is like a dream come true for yours truly.  Know for a reel fact, summer adult Kings eat glow stuff like candy.  Plus, you can extend your fishing time before the sun comes up, or goes down.  Low light bite with summer Salmon has always been a big deal.  That's when they're easiest to catch.
               Upgraded the way I'm selling these LEDs too.  Each spoon with comes with 2 extra lights and a storage tube.  Tube is essential to keep moisture out, or these lights can get stuck in auto and there's no way to shut them off.  Click new packaging deal
            Tomorrow? ......a new 2023 LED spoon I would leave the dock without.

11/22/23  New for 2023 is red LED lights being added to our tackle lineup.  Know red works.  Seen it in person with our multicolored spoons that blink red, green and white.
So, this was a no brainer to add.  Click LED in red on new mystery spoon
                Noticed in yesterday's photo of the 2 spoons that are exact clones.  Painting lures that consistently come out the same has never been easy for me.

11/21/22  Some things just don't sit well with me after going over the 2022 LED spoons.  Essentially, these spoons were a single use "one and done" when the light burned out. 
                 Not any longer.  Pop rivets were replaced with with machine screws and nuts. Now, lights can be changed at will.  It would be hell, if your light decided to take a puke and this spoon was the best in your spread.  My last 2 times out LED spoon were our best.
                This also opens up the opportunity to change lights on what color LED light the fish are hitting best.  Sure the machine screws slows assembly, but it's time well spent.

11/20/22  Stand by for tomorrow's update when the debut of the 2023 tackle kicks off.  New colors selections and an about face with our LED spoons.
                Date the new spoons will be available is in question.  Holdup will be installing the shopping cart tech and building a brand new page at:
              My snowometer stands at 28" (20 + 8) for the 22/23 season

11/19/22  Tis the season to plow snow.  Boss vee plow purchased in 2019 is mint.  Scoop the blades in to clear up any piles missed.  Vee busts thru the deep driveway snow from the county plows is no effort.  No buyers remorse here.  Click Boss plow
                 New spectrum internet exposed a lot of weaknesses in my WiFi network.  Going from a 15-20 meg system to blazing fast 5 gbps crashed my network's cards/adaptors.  Spectrum router need to be replaced.  Many apps run only at 2.4 gbps.  New dual band 2.4-5 router from Amazon is on the way that hopefully will cure my issues.
              My snowometer stands at 20" (15 + 5) for the 22/23 season.

11/18/22  One of my most perplexing success results came from  Manistique, MI in the UP some years ago.  There was a Alewife die-off with the bait being 2" to 3" in July.  90% of the fish we landed came on our 4.65" Salmon Buster™ spoons.  Click for fish box
               Conventional wisdom says the smaller 4.0 (about 3 3/4" actual) would have been the hot ticket. Not so, match the hatch might be a good saying, but it didn't work.
               Winter crashed in Manistee, MI with 10" lake effect snow.  More predicted today and thru the weekend.  Snow took out my sat TV that needs to be brushed off.
                My snowometer stands at 15" (5 + 10) for the 22/23 season.

11/17/22  Recent article from the MDNR's baitfish research last summer 2 things stuck out.  "Predation and other mortality was low" and size of alewives were, "4-8 inches and included some large individuals greater than 8 inches in length."
                Mortality was low? ...easy to figure out from lack predatory fish.  That's the lengthy gaps in your sonar when you don't mark a fish.  Click MDNR baitfish data
                Size is another interesting fact with Alewives from 4" to 8".  8" Alewife is a giant bait fish that provides a huge amount of calories for growth.
                Smaller bait, 4 inchers is what I saw floating dead on the surface for the most part during the die-off.  Tomorrow?  ...the overused term: "match the hatch."

11/16/22  Many of you might take for granted who live in suburban areas, I'm in total awe of what 300 mbps Spectrum internet connection can do.  Instantaneously with a click is jaw dropping.  Found out high speed internet adds value to out in the boonies property.  Fiber optic cable is much smaller that coax.  Learned not to bend it.
                Had to purchase a new WiFi adaptor.  Old one was rated at 150 mbps and is crashing from the increased speed.  New one is rated at a minimum of 400 mbps.
                Machined about 500 4.65 Salmon Buster™ spoons in the past few days.  This is not the fastest way to precision 1500 holes, but it will work until a new injection mold can be made.  New 2023 LED spoons will have major upgrades know you'll like.

11/15/22  Big deal firearms deer opener.  Almost a national holiday in MI when November 15th rolls around.  Have a safe and successful hunt.  Click 8 pt. Whitetail
                Civilization comes to my house today when I can ditch my satellite Hughes Net system.  Yes, it works, but struggles in rain and snow.  This is my last sat update.  Tomorrow will be 300 megs, compared to approx 15 megs.  Speed is only part of it.  The latency of up to the satellite then back down takes time.

11/14/22  There will be snow for the firearms deer opener tomorrow.  Snow makes it easier to see movement.  Hence the deer, as they quietly move along in the snow.  Tracking is easier too.  A tiny droplet of blood is magnified when the warm blood hits the cold snow, making a much larger red mark.  Click 11/13/22 snow at my place
                Yesterday, we got about 4" to 5" of the white stuff and there's more on the way.  This is just the opening act of what's to come.  Winter is beginning to set in.
               My front yard snowometer stands at 5" for the 22/23 season.

11/13/22  MDNR has shared interesting 2022 baitfish trawl data.  Seen the Steelhead research vessel many time in Manistee docked at the city marina over the years.   We all understand how important baitfish are to our Great Lakes Salmon fishery.  Any trawl data is a snap shot in-time that's only a clue, not a year around firm number.
           Did pickup a couple of interesting points that will be discussed in a few days.  This does show the MDNR is positive light and that's a good thing.  Click MDNR data

11/12/22  This weekend's focus is on machining our new LED spoons.  Have 12 days to get it done.  The 2023 season will be here in about 4 months for the early birds.

11/11/22  Wow, yesterday's tee shirt weather in November for Manistee MI was great.  Fall projects are done just before it turns cold.  Next week will be more winter-like.
                Fixed a major flaw in our LED spoons.  This fix/upgrade will be revealed on 11/24/22.  Got to the party late last season with our LED spoons that were rushed into production in later July.  Not the best time to debut new groundbreaking tackle.
                We've only scratched the surface on what these lit blinking spoons can do.  This line of LED tackle will be expanded with more selections that are money in the bank.  We'll be offering a tackle special on all new LED spoons.  When you see the upgrade, know you'll be onboard with my efforts that makes tackle to last many seasons.
        Today is Veterans Day.  Our chance to remember and honor those that served.

11/10/22  Results of our poll are not showing the MDNR is a positive light.  Too bad, we all want these people to succeed.  Click for 11/10/22 results

Grade the MDNR's Salmon stocking



















77 total 

11/9/22  Purposely avoided adding my 2 cents to the election.  People can make up their own minds without a barrage of negative TV ads.  Seldom do you hear what good a candidate wants to work toward, but you will hear what an SOB. their opponent is.
              I don't miss voting for mostly local issues to keep funding garbage pickup, schools and money for the fire department.
              Who won yesterday's election?  The American people by voting!

11/8/22  MDNR poll is configured to 1 vote a day to keep it fair and honest.  I find no joy with 44% of the vote being a "F."  But it is, what bit is.  The fishin public is passionate about their sport.  Anything seen as a detriment will get low mark.
              Generac needs some love today as running for 2 days straight.  New oil and replacing the 5 year old 12 volt starter battery will be dealt with soon.  Weather is on it's way to turning cold and need everything in tip top shape.

11/7/22  Last Saturday's winds took down a lot of power lines.  Waves on Lk. MI as a gale warning turned into a storm warning (53 to 73 mph) with waves off Frankfort over 15'.
              Been on my Generac home generator and will be for the next 3 days.  Consumers Power restoration is supposed to be on the 10th at 8am.  Right about now, whatever I paid for the Generac system seems more than worth it 3 times at the price.
              Storm took out my landline phone too.  This stopped all credit card transactions. 
Leaving me on well deserved short vacation for the next few days.

11/6/22  Over the years posted many polls and it's plainly clear the MDNR is not viewed favorably.  Yes, they have a major public relations problem.  At of the time publishing today's chat session, "F" is getting the largest percentage of votes.
              Do know it's time for MDNR Fishery Chief, Jim Dexter to be added to our country's unemployment list.  He's presided over the largest loss to our Salmon fishing fleet.  It's time for a new chief to build trust with the big water fishing public.
              Is it possible Dexter is a closet environmentalist that's against Salmon?  Because Salmon could be considered an invasive specie?  That's up to history to answer.

11/5/22  Installed a new poll where you can grade the MDNR's Salmon stocking efforts.  This is your time to sound off and vote about the job the they're is doing.  High marks, or low, it will be interesting to see the outcome. Presently, 76% have voted a D, or F.
              This is the weekend when we play clock yoyo and "fall back" an hour.  So, remember that.  Official change is 2am Sunday morning.  According to what I read, the Sunshine Protection take place fall of 2023.  So, no more clock yoyo after next fall.

11/4/22  Happy Friday as we end another week.  Rain is predicted for this afternoon thru Saturday.  That means my sat dish turns into a lawn ornament, or useless for short.
              11 days from now, fiber optic Spectrum internet will be installed at my place.  Rural Manistee is being upgraded with connection speed many times more than sat dish.

11/3/22  2022 poll for your best method to catch adult Salmon is in the history books.  Spoons won with 45% of the vote.  Flasher-Fly was 2nd with 22%.  Combining attractor/meat/strips program came in close 3rd with 20%. Click 2022 poll results
              Spoons winning is no big surprise.  They've always been close to the top.  Factor in the Great Lakes being effected by N winds that kept the top 50' productive.  Deep is when attractors come into their own and the fish, for the most part, were not 100' down like back some years ago.  Plus, spoons are easiest to fish with no learning curve.
             Next Monday I post a poll where you can grade the MDNR for their efforts with our Great Lakes Salmon.  I'll hazard a guess with an average below C.

11/2/22  Closing out the poll later today.  Above normal October temps have been a godsend for fall projects.  Most of which are done.  Strip production for 2023 is over. 
              Now to move to machining spoons for LED lights.  These lit spoons are no joke! Know they saved me from 2 skunks.  Heard the same from others.  Can only imagine how my LED spoon outcomes would have been better ...if I was just over some fish?

11/1/22  Mentioned bait prices yesterday that only covered commercial strips.  Strips have came and went as far as availability.  That's why I purchased 12 counts of whole frozen herring for around 6 bucks a dozen.  Whole was always easier to come by until about 3 years ago.  Then, it became scarcer than hen's teeth. 
               It's sad for me to see meat slip so far down.  Because it's still the best option for small boats that don't carry a large spread when you have good quality bait.
              Configured the poll to when you can only vote once a day to keep the results fair to all forms/methods of catching adult King Salmon.

10/31/22  Happy Halloween, as our poll continues.  Currently spoons are grabbing about 50% of the vote.  Meat, once the winner many times has fell out of favor with the lowest vote total.  This is a shocker until I ask the question why?  Click poll results
                Lack of bait in 2021 is part of it.  Getting bait scalped prices has to be another.  In the early i2ks, bait was excellent and reasonable priced.  You could get 6 strips from 3 to 4 bucks of premium herring strips far better, then what's available now at 3 to 4 times the price.  Bait distributers have been their own worst enemy!

10/29/22  Installed my long running poll page that goes back to 2003.  This is an annual poll for your best method to catch adult Kings.  Please vote for only July, August, and September fish.  Everyone knows spoons own the spring when Kings of all sizes are relatively easy to catch.  Click 2003 to now Poll Page
               Don't expect any huge shifts, but it nice to know what's working for you.

10/28/22  Ending this week on a good note with October Lk. MI Kings making their presence known.  The glut of small 3-4 pound Kings that were in good numbers at times have grown up to 6 to 10 pound fish.  Essentially, doubling their weight.
               The future is bright for 2024 when these Kings reach full maturity to over 20 pounders.  There were a lot of smaller Kings in May from Ludington to Frankfort, MI early in the season.  This fishery lasted for days, not weeks, so, it was spotty.

10/27/22  EV charger I installed was what's known as a level 2.  Level 1 is a 110 extension cord, but lacks the safety features of a level 2.  Level 3 is a commercial fast charging station that can get you up to a 80% charge in minutes.
                Level 2 chargers can give you 20 to 30 miles of home charging per hour that can be scheduled at off peak electric prices.  Miles gained depends on size of battery and output of charging system.  You can install up to a 50 amp level 2.  I chose 40 amps to have plug-in removable system.  50 amp requires stationary direct hard wiring.
                Double check this, from what I've read 80% extents battery life.  I don't see EV replacing the internal combustion engine yet.  They will in the future.
                For now, EVs are overpriced with a high market demand.  My plan is to wait a year, or 2 for the rush to subside.  Then buy a "run to town" grocery getter.
               What spurred me on was the rebate Consumer Power is offering.  Just need to check and see what it takes to qualify.

10/26/22  Stick a fork in it.  Outdoor EV charger install is done.  Electrician used 6, or 8 gauge wire to my 220v NEMA 14-50P box.  Distance from supply box was around 30' in conduit.  This box can double as a 110v with an adaptor just purchased from Amazon.
                This job took a lot longer then estimated.  First, had to go from a 4' ramp entrance to a wider 6' ramp.  Old 4' wood 5/4 decking, was on it's last leg. 
                Salt to keep entrance ramp clear ate up the original deck screws.  Fixed this with stainless steel screws for more longevity. Click EV charger installed

             Tomorrow?  ....what I've learned about EVs and charging systems.

10/25/22  Been using a product called Home Defense that comes in a gallon with a pressure sprayer.  Spraying on the doorways and any other entrance points helps keep out bugs of all kinds.  Including the Asian Beetles.  These nuisance bugs like the corners of my pole barn where the die and pile up to over an inch thick.  My wife had one bite her on the eye lid that caused an infection requiring a trip to the doctor's office. Click bug spray  

10/24/22  Temps in the 70° range caused the dreaded Asian Beetles to swarm at my place in Manistee, MI.  First introduced to the U.S. by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a biological control agent.  People that did this were bio-engineering an invasive specie.
                 These little nasty suckers bite.  Just found out they are drawn to white.  The color of my pole barn and house.  So, we get loads of them.  Click more beetle info
                 Only saving grace to these bugs is when the wind is offshore, the swarms get blown into Lk. MI and the fall Steelhead slurp them up. Click Steelhead stomach proof
                                Tomorrow? I control them.

/22/22  Have a great weekend and enjoy the warm temps and sunshine.  Buttoning up several outdoor projects is on the plate.

10/21/22  Maybe the nicest weekend we're going to see for a long time.  It's a good window to package the Rip Teezers that undergo 5 day curing/drying process.  Strips will soak up herring scent that's stored in the packaging.
                Being able to go from raw base materials to finished tackle amazes me.  Perfecting the color mix and temperature requirements was no easy task.  It's rewarding and both fascinating at the same time to go from nothing to a fish on the line.

10/20/22  Working on major lure upgrades for 2023 that won't be announced until we get closer to Christmas.  Making tackle better with more functionality is good.
                Should have the EV charging station up and running soon.  EV in my eyes is a close to home short trip grocery getter.  In a few years as more public fast charger are available cross country will be the norm.  Towing presently is a not.

10/19/22  Civilization has arrived to the rural boonies of Manistee, MI.  On 11/15/22 Spectrum fiber optic internet connection will happen at my place.  I'm going from a 10-20  meg Hughes Net sat dish to 300 meg wired Spectrum at less money than Hughes.  Plus, no 20 gig limit like Hughes.  The internet gods have smiled upon yours truly.
                Not having to waddle thru snow to clean off the sat dish in blizzards is another bonus.  Faster speeds will allow uploads to YouTube in a blink of an eye instead of waiting a 1/2 hour.  Conducting business on the net will get a whole-lot faster!

10/18/22  Small window when the sat internet dish is working.  In the nick of time, just completed shipping orders last night before it went on the blink from rain.
                Snow, the dreaded 4 letter word looks to being us a sneak peek.  7" is predicted for Cadillac, MI tonight.  Probably see about half of that.  Maybe less if the warm waters of Lk. MI hold the snow back and it's all rain.
               New for this year will begin a report on what each year is noted for the Great Lakes fleet.  Wish I'd have done this back in 1999 when this website debuted.

10/17/22  Sporadic internet connection.  Rain has this website on hold.

10/16/22  Today's story about a trio of Colorado fishermen busted for over limit and illegal fishing equipment (snag hooks).  Greed overtook common sense with an estimated haul of close to 50 Kings from Tippy Dam on the Big Manistee River.  Close to 500 pounds is what the MDNR COs wrote them up for.  Click illegal haul of Kings
               Ticket cost will be huge.  These anglers can think about how stupid they were on the long drive back to Colorado with much thinner billfolds. 

10/15/22  You can't fix stupid.  We all know that.  Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominski did themselves for more harm then the money they won by having web-crawler A.I. algorithms that have indexed this pair in possible criminal activity in every data base possible.
                That's why I seldom you use last names to those of you send in photos and fish reports.  I just use a single capitalized letter and that's enough to suffice.
                The short term term winnings the damage down the road is immense.  This kind of stuff applies to mortgages, credit cards, credit ratings and everything else.  The long term price will exceed whatever money this duo took under false pretences.

10/14/22  Jacob Runyan, 42, of Ashtabula, Ohio, and Chase Cominsky, 35, of Hermitage, Pennsylvania got caught cheating during a Lk. Erie Walleye Tournament.  Now, this duo is up on felony charges after swindling their way to over $100k in winnings.
                Stealing is an innate survival strategy passed down to us from prehistoric times that most of us ignore and play by the rules.  Any tournament that does not have observers every step of the way is ripe for dishonesty.  Question is how much is your reputation worth to win by cheating?  ...mine's way over 100k. Click for more info

10/13/22  Updated my Pine Creek photo study page that goes back 16 years.  Taking photos of the same gravel bar every year since 2007 is fascinating.  This year was a major anomaly with many young 24" spawner Kings from what I seen. Click Pine Creek page
                Kings have never been overly huge in this trout stream.  To me? ...these fish are kind of a mystery strain that seem to run later after the crowds have long since left.  Fact is in August you don't catch many adult Kings under 36".

10/12/22  Annual trip to Pine Creek that's a tributary of the Big Manistee River.  Viewing point is on Huff Road N of M55 about 5 miles W of Wellston, MI. Click Pine Creek Kings
                Been doing an unscientific photo collage going back to 2007 of the same gravel bar in October when the Kings on spawning.  That's 16 years of archived pics.
                This year there was a marked increase in numbers.  But size was not big.  Never saw a King over 36" procreating future generations.  Most were sub 30" fish.  Photo shows the Kings with white fungus, as they're almost done spawning ready to die.
              We're going to hit with plenty of rain in the next few days.  That means my sat internet system will be struggling to stay online.  Spectrum has installed new fiber optic cable covering the area around my place in Manistee.  When it's activated and can get hooked up is anybody's guess.  More on Pine Creek tomorrow.

10/11/22  Nice day to check out the spawning Kings in Pine Creek and add to the photo timeline that goes back years.  This is always a great play to visit.
                Busy making Rip Teezers for 2023.  Inventory was short in XG frogs, black mamba glow, XG HRP, mountain dews and a few other colors. 
               This a process that requires total concentration, because you're working with plastisol that needs to be heated to 375°.  This transforms the liquid into a solid when it cools.  Everything is hot including the molds that turn out the strips.

10/10/22  Columbus Day 2022 is a federal holiday and no USPS mail today.  Check on the "fall back" time switch that around November the 7th.  In the fall 2023 there will be no more clock yoyo.  Congress passed a law and phased this out.
                Decompress will be discussed tomorrow, as homo sapiens as a specie try to adapt to a 24/7 lifestyle thru electronic tethers that limits personal down time.

10/8/22  Lk. MI Steelhead and by DNR reports juvenile Kings.  Out over deeper water according to Capn. Kirk that sent in today's photo.  There's a large 17 lb. Steelhead in the box that does not give a good size representation.   Click Kirk's jumbo Steelhead
            Late season, when Lk. MI. is calm enough to fish can over some of the best fishing numbers-wise of the season.  Plus, targeting Steelies is big fun.

10/7/22  Wrapping up a good week.  Incremental progress with our soon to be trademarked Rip Teezers.  Sent in the money and paper work 7 months ago.  If goes as planned, that will be 4 US Gov. trademarks that cost about a grand each.
             Protecting a brand is nothing to take lightly and separates me from the fly by night copy cats that plague the tackle industry.  Been associated with Salmon tackle going back to 1968 and know the quick buck pirates don't have staying power.

10/6/22  It's ironic that the thing I'm probably best known for meat rigs™, is something I never wanted to do, because it's low production time consuming work.
              Found out the fatal flaw in the Twinkie Twinkie rigs was one continuous string (40 lb. mono) from the bead chain to the hook (2 knots). 
              The 40 mono was good for maybe 5 fish.  Then, leader frays meant a complete re-do.  Spent many a night to have rigs ready for the next morning.  Solved this defect with a replaceable leader, but that made twice the knots.  Added double snelled trebles that added more time/work.  This was a godsend to keep the main 3 fly string pristine.
              My plan was to just make heads and let others make the meat rigs™ which I coined in 2004.  Trademarked these 2 words that's marketing nirvana.  Meat rig™ is trademark is like Kleenex that used over a board swath of tissue products.

10/5/22  Going back to August of 2003 there's a long story on how I came up with 2 iconic words of the Great Lakes Salmon fleet, being meat rig™.
               Metzler creator of the 3 fly rig named it, Twinkie Twinkie Cut Bait Rig featuring Rhys Davis heads.  These heads didn't last long under charter high fish output. The hole in the tail ripped out after about 10 fish.  Davis heads were flimsy & needed constant attention to get the correct roll.  Davis had total monopoly on strips in the early i2ks.
              My plan with Metzler was to supply him with heads in 2005, because the work that goes into making 3 fly rigs is very time consuming (till this day, never wanted to make 3 fly meat rigs™).  Metzler, who was also a charter skipper chose to stay with Rhys, or he wouldn't have had bait to sell from his tackle store.  The meat wars were just beginning.
                               To be continued tomorrow.....

10/4/22  With me? ....making meat work was an expensive 4 year process dating back to 1999.  Biggest cost was the frozen herring I had air freighted to MI.  I bought every type of bait head & flashers that were supposed to work.  Most of this stuff was absolute junk.
              The path to where we are now, began in 2003 when I started running 3 fly cut bait rigs.  This improved when I added the fish shaped flasher. Click Geo Metzler
              Hit it big when I started buying 3 fly cut bait rigs from George Metzler, who invented these rigs.  Purchased a lot from him who lives in New York.  After he saw the demand, I invited him to fish with me out of Manistee, MI on 8/11/03. 
              So, this was no overnight instant success story.  George was an immense help.
                                     To be continued tomorrow.....

10/3/22  Renewed my Meat Rig™ trademark for the next 10 years.  I came up with these 2 words back in 2003 just as meat fishing broke bigtime.  I've been lax on enforcing my rights. This going to change asap.  Those using my trademark can either pay, or end up in court.  Reputable manufacturers do a search before naming their tackle, as not to infringe on existing trademarks.  Something many companies seem to have forgot.

U.S. Serial Number: 85638185
U.S. Registration Number: 4312073

Sep 30, 2022
The declaration of use or excusable nonuse filed for the above-identified registration meets the requirements of Section 8 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. 58. The Section 8 declaration is accepted.

The renewal application filed for the above-identified registration meets the requirements of Section 9 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. 59. The registration is renewed.
The registration will remain in force for the class(es) listed below, unless canceled by an order of the Commissioner for Trademarks or a Federal Court, as long as the requirements for maintaining the registration are fulfilled as they become due.


10/1/22  Pole barn projects today.  Must take advantage of the nice weather and make Rip Teezers.  It's fascinating to take a bucket of goo and transform into a strip that will catch fish and last for many seasons.  Know of strips 2 years old and still catching with nary a sign of being torn up.  Important announcement coming Monday.

9/30/22  The MDNR has instituted a new policy for deer hunting.  Now you have to report deer harvest/kill within 72 hours, or be in violation when penalties will cost you.  It's the DNR's game.  So, if you're going to play, it's by their rules.  Click MDNR harvest page
                DNR leverage comes in when a number is issued when you take your deer in for processing.  Here's a video link to get an app for your phone: YouTube video

9/29/22  Steelhead is a fish we haven't heard much about this year, at least from my sources.  The MDNR skipped a year to harvest eggs at the Little Manistee River Weir when covid hit us in the spring of 2020 (If my memory serves me correctly).
              With October being almost here, Lk. MI has usually has a terrific Steelie fishery.  This a reel favorite of mine when Steelhead rise to the occasion to grab the top prize of MI's most stunning Trout specie, bar none.  MDNR latest fish report mentioned juvi Kings being caught off Manistee, MI, but nothing about Mr. or Mrs. Steel.

9/28/22  4 day rainathon ends today.  That's the good news.  Bad news is we might get a hard freeze tonight that foretells of the next 7 months of temps below 32°.
              Part 1 on the oil change in my 15 hp. kicker that should be done soon.  The Suzuki has a warning light alert on oil changes that mark 100 hours.  This means possibly 3 years before this task rolls around.  If I did this every day? ...might be a hour job when I don't have to figure out what needs to be done for shroud disassembly.

9/27/22  Recent rains and more on the way is going to draw adult Kings into feeder streams.  Pine Creek should have some fish in it.  Need to do a short road trip to confirm.
              High water will draw Steelhead into the river too.  I'm sure there's plenty of Steelhead waiting to be caught on Lk. MI for the late season anglers.  Might try for one more trip, as soon when the oil change in the kicker motor is done.

9/26/22  Iffy internet connection from rain effecting my Hughes Net satellite again.  Took me 4 tries to get these few lines posted.  Indoor work making tackle is the task at hand.  Just about sold out of our LED spoons and that's a good thing.  In the future machining more for 2023 is another job in the not too distant future.
               This week I'll be finishing up painting 12" Mambas and if there's time left over, our Rip Teezers need attention too.  XG Black Mamba strips are almost out.

9/25/22  Cool, wet dreary fall weekend limiting all outdoor projects such as, stacking wood for the winter.  In MI we're always getting ready for either summer, or winter.
              Still have to change the oil in my 15 hp. kicker.  All the things I like about my Suzuki 4 stroke? ...this is not one of them.  To change the oil filter both sides of lower shroud must be removed to gain access to the filter cap.
              So, pole barn projects out of the rain will be my focus for the next few days.

9/23/22  As if on cue, the temp dropped to 33° this morning.  Fall is definitely here.  Maple trees are beginning to change color and drop leaves.
               Left a lot on the table this year.  Unfinished business, because I never had the chance to do night patrol with our new LED spoons.  The few times I was out, temp was not agreeable to fish late.  For whatever reason? Kings key on the "glow in the dark baits."  Will make a concerted effect in 2023 for an all nighter.  Know this is unplowed ground.  Know I have the lures to make this work when the right conditions exist.

9/22/22  1st day of official fall 2022, as we bid goodbye to summer.  Fall is when we build tackle for next year.  This when we can do things at a leisurely pace for 2023.
               Busy installing a EV charger.  Consumer Power is offering rebates up to $500 for accepted brands.  I chose the Charger Point brand that's due to arrive by 10/3/22.  Then, jump thru the hoops to get 400-500 bucks off our electric bill.
              Purchasing a EV is a 6 month wait, or get on a list to even order one.  It will be interesting to see big oil's criminal tactics being taken down several notches.

9/21/22  Money can't buy experience of 20 years as a fulltime charter skipper and 18 years as a river guide.  Seeing in the 1st person what works and what don't from 1000s of hours on the water stands proudly behind all the tackle we make make.
              Motivation to rush into production our LED tackle was years in the making.  I knew going in was going to be a tremendous weapon in our arsenals.  This was a no brainer that came from decades on the water.  Cross platform fishing on all 5 of our Great Lakes for Trout, Salmon and Walleye is the journey brought me to where I'm at today.

9/20/22  Carrying yesterday's chat about lures carry their own light source.  Not the type you charge with a light.  1st spoon I seen was an ET spoon in the mid-1980s out of Harbor Beach, MI.  This spoon had double split rings with a piece of mono strung between both rings with plastic tubes to hold a small cyalume stick on the bottom of the spoon.  Did OK with this spoon, but nothing great.  Filed it away in my bag of charter tricks.
              Transposed this idea to some mag streaks and did extreme well on mid-day suspended Lk. Trout in the 1990s out of Manistee, MI.  Lakers ate this lit spoon like candy as long as they were up off the bottom.   To be continued tomorrow.....

9/19/22  My association with lures that carry their own light source began in the late 1970s, or early 1980s.  1st was a large J-Plug styled bait called the Dandy Glo made by Jim Bedford who was also an outdoor writer.  Bedford is probably better known for his river tactics with in-line spinners for Steelhead.  Jim wrote several articles covering Steelies.
             The Dandy Glo used a full sized cyalume stick.  This plug was larger than a #5 J-Plug.  I caught fish on it, but the glow stick was only good for about 8 hours.
              Next, in the early 1980s was the Northport Nailer J-Plug that unscrewed from the tail where you inserted a smaller cyalume glow stick.  Size was probably a #4 J-Plug.  I did better on Nailer plug.  But once again the chemical stick lasted for about 8 hours.
             To be continued tomorrow on the motivation that led to our LED tackle.

9/18/22  Received an email from kayak angler, CBull titled, "Quick Limit on EPB" which stands for E Platte Bay 17 miles N of Frankfort, MI that shared,

"2 hours and your new flashing green and ghost buster spoon, got it done on East Platte Bay. Broke off the Ghost Buster, now trying the SUV." Click Chuck's limit

            It's good for me to see verification from fishin' folks having success!

9/17/22  Installing a level 2 EV charger that's been an ongoing process.  Delivery time on the model we chose is a good 2 weeks.  Home model level 2 chargers give us about 30 miles for every hours on the charger.  Learned that the last 20% of charge is the slowest when current draw is limited by the vehicle. This is to protect the battery.
             EVs make up less than 6% of auto sales in the US.  Not too many years from now EV's market share will grow exponentially.  More public level 1 chargers are being installed every day.  EVs are great local grocery getters.  Towing heavy loads is a not.

9/16/22  Today's featured photo is from Chuck B, or Cbull with a nice catch of Coho Salmon from E Platte Bay (about 15-17 miles N of Frankfort, MI).  This is same area I caught my 1st MI Coho on 10/1/1968.  So, I'm very familiar with this awesome fishery.
              The park service had their panties in a knot, because the Platte River changed direction and made a deeper channel from boat navigation.  The feds use to hire a drag line bucket & dig a channel for the fishermen, but that is no more. Click Chuck's Coho
              Chuck is dedicated kayak angler and works extra hard for his fish.  His kayak is entirely human powered and that's a lot of work to travel miles and troll too.  The good thing about E Platte Bay is that it's sheltered from most wind, except from the NW.

9/15/22  MI is increasing the Lk. MI King Salmon plant to 1 million fish up from 650k.  This not the big deal, as you might think.  It wasn't all that many years ago Manistee, MI's yearly stocking rate was around 650k in this port alone.
              There's is nobody that want to see the MDNR succeed as much as I do and the readers of this website.  Common sense says this year's Alewife die-off was there not enough Salmon to eat the bait.  So, now we get only a partial number that we used to get. Then, there's a big question of how many of the stocked fish survive?  Recent history shows the number that become 4 year old King is abysmal. 


Continued below back to the year 2000:

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

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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