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)


8/1/20  Used to be 20 some years ago, the best weeks for Salmon fishing (both Coho and Kings) was the last week of August/1st week of September.  This has changed.
             Nowadays, the 3rd week of August is probably the peak for Kings.  Then, it tapers off drastically.  That's why I'm saving my efforts to fish everyday (when possible) later this month.  This is going to require a dock.
            That's why I'm installing a 2nd bilge pump with auto switch in my 1979 Sea Ray 22' trailer boat.  These hulls, the basic platform are built like a tank with a 1/2" of hand laid fiberglass in most part of the boat.  The power system is ancillary and can be changed quite cost effectively compared to buying new boat with less construction value.
            I've bought new boats.  Had a late 70s Rinker (17') & an early 80s Bayliner (22').  Both of these boats had major glass problems with substandard hulls. 
            I learned hard lessons and mistakes not to be repeated.  How many new boats are going to be around 41 years from now like my vintage 1979 Sea Ray 22' trailer boat?

7/31/20  A new Consent Decree is being negotiated with the tribal fishermen over treaty rights.  What little I've heard is not good.  We'll have to wait and see how this plays out.
              The Consent Decree that happened 20 years ago led to a money grab from the Little River Band that setup phony fishing operations that cost us $2,000,000.00.
                                Have a great weekend and stay safe!

7/30/20  As you drive N on US31 from Manistee, MI a little ways, you'll see signs from tackle stores saying they have bait.  So, much for the false shortage rumors.
              Herring is the default choice when it comes to meat fishing.  Unfortunately and mistakenly, the MDNR has flagged west coast herring as a potential source of VHS.  I had tests by the University of Indiana and it was clean.  Getting it here is another issue.
              Herring is not the best bait I ever used.  Anchovies are.  Fresh frozen anchovies are firmer, with much better scale retention, and a strong natural scent.  Getting bait quality anchovies from the west coast is, like I said, is another issue, I don't have time for.
             Biggest thing holding me back from the bait business?  There's no commercial warehouses with frozen storage storage close.  Bear Lake, MI used to have one.  Now the closest storage to me is in Hart, MI and that's way S of Ludington.
             This source of bait has been an issue since I, as me, showed the fleet what meat was capable of in 2003.  Since then, there's been a few suppliers, but none have stuck around.  Keeping frozen bait, frozen is the risky part.

7/29/20  This is the time of the season when I get panicked fishermen desperately looking for reel-bait.  This shows a major lack of planning and that can't be fixed.
              I don't know who has what, when it comes to herring, or strips.  This the China virus is making me a one man army.  Just don't have the time to help their search.
             Do know, when bait is available? it, buy lots of it.  Keep it in the freezer.  I have bait that's been frozen for over 10 years old and still plenty useable.
             Procrastinators, good luck because I yet to hear anyone carrying whole bait.

7/28/20 Trying to come up with a plan for an out of town event.  Been to the U.P. ports of Manistique (Lk. MI 2016), Munising (Lk. Superior 2017) & Ludington a few times in 2018.
              Highlight of my summer in 2019 was fishing out Rogers City on Lk. Huron. Found sunrise side fishermen tend to be a little more friendly than the Lk. MI crowd.
This year I to plan around the China virus and probably have to stay closer to home.     
              Looking at Frankfort, MI this August, because of the low numbers of virus that's about the same as Manistee. Think we all need to look forward to something. Getting away for a few days with a change of scenery does the head good. Frankfort is one of the most scenic ports on Lk. MI only surpassed by Leland. Time for some reel-fun!

7/27/20  End of our 90° weather for a while ...I hope.  July at my place has had at least 10 days over 90.  Some summers we rarely see these hot muggy temps.  With heat, comes wind from the S and that can make Lk. MI very uncomfortable to fish.
              A long day of rough water brings on fatigue as every muscle in your body fights to compensate from being in a salt shaker all day.  You will sleep well at night!
              Manistee, MI's Salmon Splash Tournament concluded last weekend.  From what I seen on the tally sheets the fish take, and size was down from last year.
             Embarking on developing a new product is full of challenges.  You can't imagine the amount of time this takes, because there's zero room for error.
              Fun part is the "on the water" testing when you see the plan come together.  This provides reel-proof, in reel time you know it's works before purchasing.
             This is the motivation needed after designing the Salmon Buster™ spoons in 2014.  It's time to move forward.  Besides, it gives me a reel-reason to go fishing!

7/26/20  Sometimes the outcome of a fishing trip is how big the grins are.  Chris G chose to fish Lake Trout a few days ago when he took his son and nephew.  They got into a few late afternoon LTs out of the port of Manistee, MI.  Click youngsters with big grins
               Don't have any recent reports on morning fishing.  Know the afternoon-evening fleet is struggling to catch Kings out of Manistee.  Look for this to improve soon.
               Land line phone is back up.  Some dummy repairman left the junction box open down the road from my place and the wires got messed up.

7/25/20  Phone land line is down.  This effectively shuts me down, because our credit card terminal runs on a land line for billing.  Guess, I'll just enjoy this weekend off.

7/24/20  It's amazing how resilient the USA is.  Even with the China plague we're still moving along.  This the time of the season most have waited for to search for Mr. King Salmon with a capital "K".  We're in what I consider prime time thru the last week of Aug.
              Tackle sales were off the first 4 months.  Now, sales are about the same as in 2019.  This is as victory considering the slow King fishing in 2019 at most MI ports.
              Have a great weekend and enjoy of Great Lakes.  If you have a good catch, or a reel-e-big King?  I will be jealous in the nicest way.  Good fishing to all!

7/22/20  You wait for time to go fish the big water.  You wait for decent weather with tolerable seas.  You wait for a bite.  Waiting is part of our sport.
               Patience plays a huge part in the outcome of landing fish.  Trying to bulldoze an over 20 lb. King to the net don't work.  Seen 1000s of fish lost.  That's part of the charter/guide business.  Some just come off.  Most were lost due to "fish fever," closely related to buck fever.  That's when the eye on the prize builds too much excitement.
              The last 50' of the battle with Kings nowadays is when you need patience.  These are not the roll over and die Kings of the 1980s that ran out of gas.  These fish have evolved/adapted to their freshwater homes and are full of fight.  Requiring patience and smooth rodsmanship right up to the time you slide a net underneath them.

7/21/20  It's pushing 5am.  Just finished an all-nighter to get process and ship orders.  Night shift would be lonely, if it wasn't for my poodle-lab who thinks he's an employee. 
              Dare not to go to the shop without him, because Scruffy will bark at the shop door and wake my wife who's a light sleeper.  Happy wife, happy life.
              Planned update ...while postponed will focus on patience and how valuable it is.  Check back tomorrow to see how to put patience to work for you.

7/20/20  Ludington's big tournament week came to a close yesterday.  Day 2 of the Bud Pro/Am was cancelled due to bad weather.  Pro winner took home 10 grand.  Am was 4k.
               I fished this tournament in 1986 and 1987 and the participation was 3 times as many boats, as nowadays.  Back then, it was called the Lowrance Tournament and paid 10 grand on the pro side.  In today's money 10k in 1987 is worth 23k now.
               Finished top 1/3rd in 1986 (70 pro boats) and top 10 in 1987 (think it was 8th, or 9th).  Seas were miserable in 1987 on day 1 (6' to 8') and not much better on day 2.
Do remember we had the 2nd, or 3rd heaviest box on day 2, but day 1 catch was pitiful.

7/19/20  Lk. MI was not in the fleet's favor yesterday.  Wind from the S ranged from 17 to 25 knots at Big Point Sable between Ludington and Manistee, MI.  Today looks a little better, but not by much.  Tomorrow the weather is predicted to bring us some relief from the 90° temps and 90% humidity.  Low last night at my place was 80°.
              Going to try to fish Lk. MI later this week out of Manistee in more tolerable seas.  Waves over honest 4 footers are miserable to fish in any sized boat.

7/18/20  Mentioned 30# 7 strand wire line yesterday.  Mistake most make is they use reels too small for wire divers.  By smaller reels mean the size of Diawa 47Hs or 47 LCs.  You need the next size up.  I have the older metal frame Okuma 45D Catalinas that are being sold now under the Cabelas name.  Best drag I've found is on the Diawa SG57 LCs.
              Larger framed reel provide a lot more power to handle adult Kings on wire. Plus, it like power assist when you crank in a diver flasher/meat rig™/fly.  These larger framed reels can easily handle a 1000' of wire and plenty of backing.

7/17/20  T.G.I.F.  This week went by in a hurry with visions of big Kings coming to the net.  For this to happen you need good tackle.  The Triple Fish mono we sell out performs other mono at 3 times the price.  Our 45# test copper is the fleet standard.
              Word on stainless steel 30# test 7 strand for wire divers.  Purchase in 1000' spools.  600' spools are most popular, because they're a few bucks less expensive. 
              Wrong, because sooner, or later you're going to get a bad spot in the wire.  If you have a 1000' on the reel, you can afford to lose (cut) 200'-300' of line off and still be in fine shape to keep fishing.  It pays to keep an extra spool aboard.  During season it's  hard to find 30# ss wire in tackle stores. Click to check out wire & line

7/16/20  We're only a few days away from "prime time" for adult Kings.  Manistee, MI seems to have more Kings then 2019.  How many more? ...time will tell us that.
               Super good news!  Major League Baseball returns tonight on TV at 9pm with an intra squad Tigers game from Comerica Park.  On cable channel: Fox Sports Detroit.

7/15/20  How you feel about wearing a mask depends on your household and when you were born.  Let's step back to the 1950s when Polio reared it's head every summer.  Killing 1000s and debilitating more.  Parent's worst nightmare was their children getting infected.
              My wife came down with Polio and her brother died from it in 1953.  Polio short circuits the nerves and attacked my wife's legs.  Good news is made she a full recovery.
              In 1954, or 1955 there were mass inoculations given at school.  I remember standing in line and getting this shot.  We all got a ice cream cone after the shot.  Ice cream at school?  This was a big deal for us, because schools never had it.
              Nowadays, with the science deniers and anti-vaccine skeptics doubt this prevention measure would have been available to all the children in the USA in mass.
              Polio is much like the China virus and can be spread in the air.  Dummies that insist in not wearing a mask will just prolong this sickness and keep hurting our economy.

7/14/20  Everyone likes a reel-success story.  Here's Mike K's exact words:

"My son Zach and I made our first journey to Lake Ontario over the Holiday weekend. This was on our bucket list to catch fish in every great lake. Lake Ontario was our last to fill, & boy did we. This lake is still baitfish factory & going strong!!!! Every fish was stuffed with alewives and smelt. We limited every day, within a few hours. Click Lk. O big King
             Black Mamba and Green frog meat rigs on divers and 300 copper were on fire. XG-Ghostbuster spoon was hot on the riggers. Here is a few pics, thanks for making a great product that works in all of our Great Lakes!!!!!" ...Tight Lines, Capt. Mike

7/13/20  Need to postpone today's update.  Do have a good one from Lk. Ontario courtesy of Mike K. waiting in the wings with some great photos.
              Presently, we're running a day behind on orders at the webstore.  Hopefully, this virus stuff will be over with a vaccine soon.  So, we can be properly staffed.

7/12/20  MI Gov. Whitmer, by executive order, now mandates masks must be worn, or face a fine when in public places.  Such as a grocery stores.  This should have been done a long time ago, as far as I'm concerned.  Other people have no right to infect me, or my wife with their breath.  Kudos to President Trump for finally wearing a mask in public!

7/11/20  Lost 3 hours yesterday when UPS A-holes deactivated my account for no good reason.  My last UPS bill was paid on 6/20/20.  Feeble reason that gave me was my account was not being used.  Which is a big giant lie! 
               Tech support with a heavy, hard to understand foreign accent said to me, "we did this to get your attention."  UPS could have contacted me by email.
               Lost time was installing patches, updates and account entry info in Quickbooks shipping manager.  Showing, I tend blame myself first, not the source.

7/10/20  Long string of days in the 90° range ends today for Manistee, MI.  More heat is on the way next week too.  Just not quite as hot.  Been working the nightshift in the tackle shop to avoid the 90% humidity and high temperatures.
              Now is the time to think about sharpening your attractor/fly/meat program, as Lk. MI soaks up the warmth and drives the thermocline ever deeper.
              Best on my boat last weekend with our 10" BTI flashers with meat, or flies.  Same goes for Wayne J's AlumaCraft's "Take Five."  White Lightening/Moon Jelly with a fly has been his best putting a King, or 2 in the box every morning he's been out of Manistee

7/9/20  Hindsight is always 20/20.  Looking back and seeing how to do things more efficiently haunts me from my 4th of July dealing with Mr. Nasty.  Should have pulled the only 2 lines (riggers 1 and 2) and went to dead stop.  Rather than keeping the boat going at 2 mph to keep the big King from getting into the rigger wires.
            It was sheer luck we landed on a big school of bait on the 4th before daylight.  Balled up bait means there's predator fish about. Click 2nd king on the 4th
            Our White Lightening color selections will be change to the fleet consensus "Moon Jelly" handle this lure tape goes by during the off season.  Why? ..the big boy on the 4th whacked our White Lightening 4.65 Salmon Buster™ spoon with only the moon as a light source.  It was pitch black pre-dawn when this fish bit.

7/8/20  China virus is effecting every corner of the business world, including mine.  During our busy times of the season, usually have a couple-three people helping with orders in house.  Can't take a chance on the virus coming into my home with my shop being attached to my house.  So, I'm the lone stranger trying to do the work of 3.
             This is impossible.  Resolved myself to do what can be done and not try to be Superman.  Extra help is most missed with my time making, processing, and shipping orders.  Not filling holes in the inventory we're low on.  There will be stock storages,
             Tomorrow some useful snippets about the Kings off Manistee, MI.

7/7/20  Part 2 of my 4th of July trip with Wayne J continues with catching another much more manageable King pushing 15 lbs. around 7am on a diver towing White Lightening 10" BTI flasher with our Pearl Glo Trolling Fly.  Click for Pearl Glo Fly Proof
            This was a first on the pearl iridescent fly aboard my boat.  Knew it would work. Only had to stick it in the water for final proof.  Some things you just know ...will catch!
            Had a 10-12 pound Laker become unpegged 20' behind the boat when he started that surface thrashing stuff.  It seems LTs get scrappy when they see the boat.  This MIA fish was on on the wire diver with 10" BTI Super Silver Bullet Meat Rig™ Combo.
            I spent my last 10 years in the charter business out of Manistee, MI.  Time taught me whites and silver/chrome are good attractor colors until about 2nd-3rd week of July when the glow stuff gets hot.  Whites & silver/chromes tend to work all season long.

7/6/20  Bad Boy King begins the 4th of July morning fishing report.  Setup in 0 dark thirty in 55' two miles S of Manistee, MI.  Port 3 rigger was sent down 50' with the 4.65 White Lightening Salmon Buster™ spoon just above the thermocline at 2.5 mph.
            As Wayne J and I trolled SW, about 5 minutes in, the bad boy decided to step it off with us.  This lunatic King went side saddle 70' and jumped on the starboard side of the boat.  Then, it sounded, went straight down and hung out deep in the cold water.
            This ornery King was a tag team joint effort between Wayne and I.  Wayne took it from the git to 20 minutes.  I took the last 20 in a close in brawl to the net.
            This fish was both a curse and a blessing at the same time.   Taking over 40 minutes to land on 20# test mono.  Dealing with Mr. Bad Boy prevented us from having more than 2 lines in during ultra prime time.  Our deadly diver program sat idle.
            Plus, us with the aft deck LED lights on, this alerted boats coming out from the harbor we were into fish and some dropped in around us. Click 4th Bad Boy big King
                 There's a lot more to be shared.  To be continued tomorrow..

7/5/20  Full report tomorrow that's encouraging for the central Lk. MI ports of Ludington, Manistee and Frankfort.  From what I seen on the 4th, things are looking up.

7/4/20  Went fishing on Lk. MI out of Manistee and enjoyed the time off and company of Wayne J. aka Take Five.  Did tolerable, full fishing report soon.

7/3/20  Have an enjoyable 4th of July Weekend and stay safe.  Updates are taking a mini vacation till Monday.  We all need time off for the reel important things in life, like fishing!

7/2/20  Fresh hot off the press: Manistee, MI fishing report from Wayne J. aka "Take Five."  He started early yesterday morning.  Had lines in by 5:30am and took 3 fish before whitecaps chased him back to port around 8am. Click Take 5's catch
             The Salmon Buster™ 4.0 XG Bluetail did the heavy lifting.  Boxing 2 Kings with largest pushing 18 lbs.  He took a decent Lk. Trout on our White Lightening (moon jelly) 10" BTI flasher and a XG Green BTI fly to top off his morning.
             Predicted weather is hot with no rain till next week.  Seas are on the fleet's side for the 4th of July Weekend.  Salmon fishing, while spotty appears to be on the upswing.

7/1/20  Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.  It's entirely possible there will be no reliable vaccine for the China virus.  Some viruses like HIV still don't have a cure.
            Found out, Covid-19 health care workers have a lower infection rate, than the general public.  They wear masks, the public at large?'s a percentage.
            Our economy will never be a 100% until this health care crisis is over.  Take Vice President, Mike Pence's sound advice and wear a mask.  It's your responsibility to society when in public places such as grocery stores, please!

Continued below back to the year 2000:

2020 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June

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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