Capt. John's Log
20 Seasons of Archived Daily Great Lakes News
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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)

12/3/21  With the holidays come up, it's important I order all the needed incidentals now.  Well before the holiday shipping rush.  It's difficult to do business between the holidays and considering closing down the week between Christmas and New Years.
              By ordering early, today new 10" BTI Silver Bullets will be in-house.  This beat the USPS shipping estimate by a day, or 2.  Need these new flashers to complete standing orders we have on the books.  Have a great weekend, be back Monday.

12/2/21  There's 5 species of coldwater Salmon and Trout we fish for on the Great Lakes.  All are fun, but King Salmon top the list.  The awesome power of Kings must be experienced and cannot be bought.  Kings can peel away 50 yards (or more) of line on a stout drag in a hurry.  Then, bulldog you for the next 20 minutes is beyond my words.
               Kings are the money fish that support the Great Lakes tackle industry.  A boat rigged well enough to fish the big water is no cheap affair to search out Mr. King.
               If you like this kind of stuff, consider it a blessing.  Many wander aimlessly thru life with no passion.  Lacking the zest of living does not effect Salmon fishing public.

12/1/21  September well into October 2-3 year old juvenile Kings were being caught out of the Port of Manistee, MI.  This was a long overdue returning visit by Mr. King Salmon.  While not in the numbers of yesteryear, it's big step in the right direction.
              This is a good way to gauge on what to expect in 2022.  Signs are ever better then last summer when central Lk. MI adult Kings were on the upswing.
              Know we're about 4 months out on the southern Lk. MI kickoff that happens in March when the Coho get reel-active.  S Lk. MI spring Kings usually happens in early May.  Then, runs into early June depending on how far north you fish.  Know on the good news front, there's a heck of a lot better prognostications then in the past several years.

11/30/21  Tied up all loose ends on our webstore with updated shopping cart code and new tackle deal photos.  Need to push the pause button on this website today. 
              Too many hours last weekend says R and R is on the agenda for today.  Intense mind work glued to a computer monitor is just as tiresome as physical labor.
               Best thing about my webwork is once it's done?'s done and can perform for years with no muss, no fuss.  Not relying on others is another benefit.
               Tomorrow? upbeat outlook for the 2022 season, based on last fall.
         My Manistee snowometer reads a combined 12" total for winter 2021/2022.

11/29/21  World debut of our new tackle for 2022.  Now, you get to see what I've been working since last September.  Silver Bullet BTI 10" flashers were the top of the heap best sellers in 2021.  Expanded on these with 2 new colors: Blue and Green.  Designed these to be full sun all day producers with ladder backs on white holographic sequined lure tape.  Photos don't do this pattern justice when seen in person.  Click for Combo Deals
                We have 4 new combos that include matching spoons to cover all the bases.  Have lots more to share after some much needed rest from the all-nighter I pulled to get this job done.  Kinda surprised myself to finish most of it last night.
            My Manistee snowometer reads a combined 10" over the past few days.  On the ground we have about 4 inches.  Mr. Winter is waking up early.

11/28/21  Hopefully later today, or early tomorrow we'll be able to debut most of our new 2022 tackle lineup at our webstore asap.  Be glad to get this work out of the way.
                 Days are flying by and winter has arrived for Manistee, MI.  Snow and daytime high temps below freezing seems like the norm for now.

11/27/21  Racing time to get all the new tackle completed for photos today.  Included in this year's specials is the XG Ghostbuster color. Click GhostBuster Rip Teezer
                Lost n the shuffle to get strips into production overlooked this combo and spoons.  Ghostbuster pattern produced my best boxes of Kings going back to 2016.  Having a Rip Teezer in the perfect matching blue-green glow was a no brainer.

11/26/21  Making new tackle is today's focus.  Have all the holographic lure tape cut and ready to install.  Flashers and spoons are up first.  Next week companion meat rigs™.
                Microsoft is not leaving well enough alone with Windows 10.  Windows 11 is their next big move that makes perfectly good working computers old hat.
               I built, or more appropriately assembled this computer that I use for business and webwork 7 years ago with all top of the line electronics.  Now, I'm told this machine cannot be upgraded to Win 11.  What a crock of you know what.

11/25/21  Have a great Turkey Day!  New stuff is on the way!!!

11/24/21  New supplies for 2022 tackle are on the UPS truck for delivery this afternoon.  Plan is to cut lure tape this afternoon and photograph the new tackle to share with you tomorrow thru the weekend.  Pre-turkey day is officially here!
                 Tangled Tackle Store, here in Manistee, Mi has a starter assortment of our soft Salmon eggs.  Don't know where this is going, but it will be interesting to find out.

11/23/21  Thanksgiving week that's main theme is being thankful.  We all have things in our life to be thankful for.  If you're sucking wind under your own power? thankful. 
I have a bunch of friends that are no longer here with us, that I'm thankful for.
                I'm thankful for you taking the time from your day to pay me a visit.  Looking at the good things in your life is a heck of a lot better than the alternative.
                I'm thankful for the new lure tape that will be delivered to tomorrow.  So, I have some knock your socks of newly designed tackle to share with you soon.

11/22/21  Number 1 selling 10" BTI flashers during the 2021 season was the Silver Bullet.  For 2022 we'll be adding 2 new variations in Blue and Green.
                It's only a matter of days before new tackle for 2022 is revealed.  Flashers and spoons haven't been upgraded with new designs for 2-3 years.  Don't believe in the hottie of the year that fades into history next season just to sell tackle.  My creations/designs are iconic proven colors and patterns that stand the test of time.
               Soon the yak will be over and new stuff will be brought into the light.  Have just about all the code installed to display items.  Photos are next on the list.

11/19/21  Good weekend to take off.  Lots still on my plate to kickoff the 2022 season with new tackle specials.  Hopefully, the video Chris G and I shot on a calm picture perfect Lk. MI last August will be added to my YouTube list of over 60 and counting.
                 Monday I'll be back with a missed opportunity last July I'm still kicking myself in the butt for not doing.  Good thing is I try not to make the same mistake and set aside time in July 2022 to get out of Dodge.  Breaks to us all good.  Busting the normal routine of work-work-work is something I need to get better at.

11/18/21  Moved forward trade marking Rip Teezer, after the US Trademark and Patent Office in the Commerce Dept. partially turned down Strip Teazer.  This is and was way more grief than I need, because I have to rebrand and correct everything associated with Strip Teazer.  Not fun, but needs, and will get done.
                Own several trademarks that's essential protection from those with no scruples ready to cash in on my hard work for the fast buck with zero effort.
                In 6 months, or thereabouts Rip Teezer will be able to carry the ™ mark.  USTPO registration number for Rip Teezer is serial number:

11/17/21  A few outside projects are on my list for today.  Need to install battery maintainers/tickle chargers in my 1979 22' Sea Ray.  After filling the water levels with distilled water.  Easy job with big rewards next spring when the boat is splashed.
               Spreading myself a little thin with all the work to kickoff the 2022 season.  Installing items/new tackle requires html code and scripts for the shopping cart.  This is intense, no room for error max mind effort.  Good thing is it only needs to be done once.
There's no master plan when I design web pages.  This time consuming process explains itself as the webstore pages take on a life of their own.
               Began making flasher/meat rig combo deals that will debut on Thanksgiving Day, or sooner.  Have a video in the works from last August that needs completion too.  Like I said, I'm spreading myself a bit thin.  Amazing part? will all get done eventually.  

11/16/21  Fishing of any kind should not be over complicated.  During research for our soft eggs, both singles and 4 egg cluster watched a video.  His method required a bobber stop, and a piece of small plastic tubing that was threaded above a free hanging hook. 
                That's a lot of hoops to jump thru before tossing your bait into a river.  See no reason our soft eggs cannot simplify this by just running the hook thru the eggs.  Just like you'd do with the simplest form of threading a worm onto a hook.
                Completed the labels for packaging for our eggs.  Was able to do this in-house with a laser printer that displays our product nicely.  Click packaged eggs

11/15/21  Firearms deer season starts today.  Recent snow will be a plus for those hunting in Manistee, County MI. Click 1st snow at my place
                Today's photo why we rush to finish soft plastic production before we were froze out of the pole barn.  We can use injection machines in the shop if needed.
                We were able to project and make enough Rip Teezers to last well into spring 2022.  Even found the time to get a starter stock of our soft glow eggs.
      Will add 3" to my snowometer and run snowfall totals as we close in on winter.

11/14/21  Started on the considerable task of posting tackle specials at our webstore.  Strictly an indoor job timed perfectly with the onset of wintery weather. 
                Photos to shoot, new video, making tackle and creating the code/script to display items at our webstore will take me the rest of this week.
               Key word in the about statement is "creating."  A job that explains itself as the project moves forward.  The creation part is what I like most about my work.  There's no right, or wrong way.  Only way is to make everything easy to understand.
     New 2022 Rip Teezers unseen are mint.  Saved my best brain storms for last.

11/13/21  Fall of the year is when we begin digging the foundation for the next season.  While the footers are not poured with concrete yet, ground has been broken.  Good news there was a much needed uptick in last summer's King fishery. 
                It's not back to what it was, but it's step in the right direction evidenced by good numbers juvenile Kings being caught well into October.
               Snow is predicted Manistee, MI.  Up to 5" according to the weatherman.  This will be good for the opener of firearms deer season that begins this Monday.  Snow lights up the woods and makes tracking a lot easier.  Good luck and have a safe hunt.

11/12/21  Productive week for yours truly by finishing soft plastic production for now.  Today's featured pic is our 2022 single Salmon eggs in XG Green Glo.  Same performance glow colorant that's in our Rip Teezers.  Click glow in the dark eggs
                Coincidently, this lime green was my best river/stream color in a single egg yarn fly back when I put the waders on to slosh around on MI's waterways.  The sound of a steam, river, or brook is when you sense nature's full calming effect.
                Investigated paths forward with eggs.  First take is this part of the tackle business is more beat up than Great Lakes spoon manufacturers.  Don't plan on getting rich from selling soft plastic eggs, but it does make use the expensive injection machines.

11/11/21  Today wraps up all soft plastic production.  Have a good supply of Rip Teezers and enough single eggs and spawn clusters to last for a while.
                 2-3 hours more is required before I put the bed the injection machines for winter.  Having machines do the work made better parts and faster too.  Should be able to post some photos of the eggs with tackle store labeling soon.
                 This is just in time, because the weather is getting colder with snow predicted.  Cut it close, but it will done and that's the important part.

11/10/21  Finally have the time to devote to our 2022 soft plastic scented Salmon eggs.  Much of today will be spent designing labels and making bar codes.
               The Bass tackle industry coined the term, "soft plastics."  To me this material is more like a soft flexible rubber.  Has all the same properties too.
               Designing labels to print in-house is a time consuming process.  Centering the print to fit on a small area and including pertinent info sounds lot easier than it is.
               Debating with myself to call our single and 4 egg clusters: rubber eggs.  Do know they work in the river according to Chris G's report from last weekend.  Unfortunately, the Steelhead that hit his rubber eggies on a bobber setup broke off.

11/9/21   Rip Teezer is the new name for our formerly known as Strip Teazers.  Silver lining is our strips are not quite a year old.  So, better a name change now then a 2-3 years down the road.  Trademark infringement on our part have been avoided.
               Have a lot of web-work to rebrand the strips that will be done soon.
               R.I.P. Teezer is an interesting spin on the word rip.  See shorter names as a plus.  Prior to me inventing the word, meat rig™ in 2003 the name was a cumbersome cut-bait rig.  Meat Rig took off, while cut bait rig has fell by the wayside.  Not many in the fishing business of laying claim to an everyday word used by the fleet.

11/8/21  Ran into issues trying to trademark Strip Teazer with the US Trademark and Patent Office.  Could have defended this ™ mark with an uncertain outcome.  Saw this as sending good money after bad.  Decided a name change would be a better move.  Arguing with the government is more grief than I need.
              Applied for the Strip Teazer trademark in August of 2020 once I knew we had a product that works.  So, this was not about me dragging my feet.
              Trademarks are an absolute must.  There's a whole world of unscrupulous crooks waiting to copy someone else's work for an easy buck.  Tomorrow I'll reveal the new name that should pass the ™ process.  Cost to trademark is $600.  So, this is no cheapie deal.

11/7/21  Target date to debut new tackle is the Monday of Thanksgiving week.  The 2022 season will become reel on 11/22/21.  Have new colors for strips and we'll offer new 2022 10" BTI /2 fly meat rig™ combo deals that will include strips.
              Have a new YouTube video in the raw footage that needs editing.  Editing is a painstaking process to come up with a polished video.  Condensing 50 minutes down to the most important parts of 10, or less is a task I enjoy.

11/6/21  Getting ready is the 2 words that covers daily life.  Seems like I'm always getting ready for winter, spring, summer and fall.  Lack of preparedness is the other end of this stick that causes major grief and can cost big time dough.
              This week's "ready" program is to put battery maintainers on everything.  This saves money in the long term.  Able to get 4-5 years out of all my batteries.  Be it plow truck, boats, or my riding mower's battery going on 7 years. 
              Goal is to get things "ready" while the weather is in the 50s.  Need to tie up loose ends on our artificial scented Salmon egg production.  This requires packaging and labels that need to be designed.  Then, test market them at a few tackle stores.
              Throw all that on top of 12 face cords of wood that needs to needed stacked.  Wood heat is a luxury, but work.  Cleaning the flue pipes twice a season is a chore.

11/5/21  Finished the long running poll, years in the making (since 2003).  Shocker for me? ...was plastic strips came in behind, by 1 vote less than the choice Herring cut/whole.
              Meat program held sway over all the choices, by just edging out spoons.  So, for me, this was a big win on both fronts.  Never dreamed plastic strips would be so close.
              Plastic strips were at a disadvantage, because herring was readily available in WI and NY with different DNR laws than we have in MI.  Click for Poll Page
             Posted today's chat a day early.  Have lots on the plate.  Making and packaging scented soft plastic eggs is on the front burner today.

11/4/21  Today's entry is 4279 miles away from Manistee, MI courtesy of Steve L. who lives in Switzerland.  Joy of my job is meeting people from all parts of our 3rd rock from the sun.  Switzerland has purchased a lot of our Salmon Buster™ spoons.
              Steve has caught some monster sized Pike on them.  Today's featured photo confirms the monster size is not an exaggeration.  The big Walleye? ...I think it's called  Zander in the EU.  Great to see fish pics from distant places. Click Swiss fish pics
              Know the Northern Pike like them in Arcadia and Manistee Lakes too, from fishing trips, not all that long ago.  Plus, we already  know the Salmon chomp on them too.

11/3/21  The work of re-stocking sold out items at our webstore continues for the 2022 season.  It's a massive task to make sure all tackle is in-stock.
                We got hit hard on Diver Diggers (lead weights for divers).  Salmon Bombs (round clip-on balls) was another item that was sold out by early August.
                2 and 3 fly meat rigs™ inventory has been rebuilt. The offseason is the time to prepare with educated guesstimates of what's need to make it thru next year.
                Strips and meat heads are in good shape too.  Our trolling flies are up next.

11/2/21  Early poll results say a meat program is holding sway over other forms of fishing when you combine soft plastic strips and herring.  Other choices vary every year by year.  While meat seems to hold at 25-40% since this poll was introduced in 2003.
              Setting for this poll allow users to cast 1 vote per day to keep it fair and honest.  Skewed polls prove nothing and are worthless.
              Compiling data and then archiving it is when computers shine.  The years can change.  Showing slight ups and downs on your best/most productive method for Salmon.

11/1/21  Installed our annual poll about your best method for adult Salmon.  Keep in mind, this is pointed at summer adult fish. Not the springtime when spoons are hot.
              Combined herring choices.  Prior it was one, or the other in separate vote boxes.  New to this year's poll is plastic strips made it into the poll for the first time.
              Been running this poll that dates back to 2003 when I, as in me alone, showed the fleet how deadly a meat program can be.  Before meat was just an oddity, not a fleet standard.  This was my transition into the tackle business.  Click Poll Page
              That and I was just tired of beating myself up in the charter business.  Skippering a charter boat is not the glitzy dream job many of you might think.  It's relentless work when you factor in the hours spent on the water.

10/31/21  Overlooked an important color combination for our Strip Teasers last season.  This pattern has produced my 2 heaviest boxes of fish over the past seasons, both in spoons and flasher/meat rig™ combos.  The hectic pace 2020 and 2021 seasons never allowed the time to dial-in this hush-hush color (for now).
                Confidence comes with successful past history of fish production.  Know this brand new strip selection for 2022 will get bit by the fish and a huge hit with the fleet.
                Timing has everything to do with the tackle business.  Good things comes to those who wait.  Look for new 2022 product reveals on Thanksgiving 11/25/21.

10/30/21  Started on soft plastic Salmon eggs for 2022.  Have fluorescent red and orange done.  Yesterday worked on the XG Chartreuse eggs with excellent glow properties.
                Have 4 egg clusters and single eggs that will be a lot easier to rig compared to looping 8mm faceted hard plastic beads above the hook.  Click chartreuse eggs  
                These can be inserted on the hook with no problem.  We have floating and neutral buoyancy eggs that should be ready on soon.
                End of September we began 2022 Strip Teazer production run.  It took a about month to finish this project.  The right color adds confidence? ...discussed tomorrow.

10/30/21  Started on soft plastic Salmon eggs for 2022.  Have fluorescent red and orange done.  Yesterday worked on the XG Chartreuse eggs with excellent glow properties.
                Have 4 egg cluster and single eggs that will be a lot easier to rig compared to looping 8mm faceted hard plastic beads above the hook.  Click chartreuse eggs  
                These can be pushed on the hook with no problems.  We have floating and neutral buoyancy eggs that should be ready to go  by Thanksgiving.
                End of September began 2022 Strip Teazer production.  It took a about month to finish this project.  The right colors add confidence will be discussed tomorrow.....

10/29/21  Day off after finishing up strip production after weeks in the works.  Saved my best new pattern for 2022 last and it turned out mint.

10/28/21  Next 4-5 days is all I have left to finish soft plastic injection for this year.  Next week is all W and N wind and that means days in the 50s, or above is past history.
                Chilly weather delays the crucial drying time.  This an important step to have strips soak up the herring scent.  Instead of 4-5 days to cure, temps in the 40's pushes this to 7-10 days.  I can tell by feel when the strips are fully cured, ready for more scent.
                This has been a battle against time, as we transition more towards winter.  When you're racing time, the relentless factor of time always comes ends up the winner.  

10/27/21  Continuing yesterday's topic has to do with growth rates of  Salmon.  Coho spent the last 18 months of their life in the Great Lakes.  During this time span they gain .56 pounds per the 18 months based on a 10 lb. Coho, or Silver Salmon.
                The growth rate of Coho picks up during the last 7 months, March thru September when they go from a 3 lb. fish (approx.) into a 10 pounder.  That's a pound a month according to my 6th grade Jethro Bodine math.
                Once the record 47 lb. King is aged, it with be interesting to figure how much this fish grew based monthly.  Biologists can age a Salmon by it's scales, under a microscope.  Similar to counting tree rings we're all familiar with.

10/26/21  Emailed Cadillac, MI's Mark Tonello, MDNR Fisheries Management Biologist. Asked Mark for the age of the record  47lb. King caught last summer. Here's his reply:

Not yet.  Spoke with Jay Wesley, and he does plan on trying to get a structure to age the fish eventually.  Not sure when that will happen.  When it does, I’ll make sure to let you know.  I’m very interested in finding out how old that fish was too!"   Mark Tonello

10/25/21  Today's subject choice is about Pine Creek mentioned last week.  The DNR has a rich history of stocking this stream that goes back to the 1880s.  Cadillac, MI MDNR's Mark Tonello wrote a most excellent study with capture rates of a variety of fish species. 
                Learned there is natural Coho along with the Kings reproducing in Pine Creek after reading Mark's informative resource report. Click Pine Creek MDNR info
            Posted this same link about 10 years ago and it's time to recycle it again.

10/24/21  It's above my pay grade to comment on climate change.  In today's tribal politics the right and left would argue what color of blue the sky is.
                It's simple to know that warmth creates warmer water and that keep the food chain alive and well in the Great Lakes.  Except where algae blooms turn toxic.
                On 10/20/21 according to the last clear satellite surface image, Lk. MI off Manistee, MI was 62°.  This a good heat bank to keep Lk. MI from freezing over.
                In 2002-2003 Lk. Huron had a huge Alewife die-off when it iced over and devastated this lake's King fishery.  Producing long skinny starving Salmon with big heads.

10/23/21  Posted a photo of some Marigold flowers we started from seed last March by our pole barn.  It's late October and they're still flowering/growing in Manistee, MI.  We have not had a frost, or freeze yet ...which is a long ways from anything close to normal.
               Summers in  the northern lower peninsula of MI have always been volatile, but we have a lot more warm muggy nights. Click October flowers in Manistee
               Last time I checked surface temperature of Lk. MI it was 62°.  That's on the warm side for this time of the season.  Lk. Superior is one of the fastest warming lakes in the world too.  Now experiencing algae blooms.  Is climate change for reel?
                How it effects our Great Lakes fishery tomorrow.... 

10/22/21  Manistee weather can hold off for a day, or 2.  Have a better topic from Michigan Sea Grant's Dan O'Keefe on MI river Steelhead natural reproduction vs. stocked.  Stocked or planted Steelhead contribute to this fishery greatly.  Dan always puts out and informative read and have subscribed to his list.  Click for Sea Grant Article
                Guided fall thru early spring from 1985 thru 2003.  Mostly for Steelhead and have a lot of respect for this aggressive fish.  Great Lakes trolling and river fishing is a different mindset.  In the lean years on Lk. MI after BKD, the river kept me in business.

10/21/21  Production is on the downhill side of Strip Teazers for 2022.  Some old standby colors were overlooked like, Monkey Puke.  This color cycles thru the fleet every 10 to 15 years and matches our heads and spoons.  So, it was a no-brainer to add.
               Big news is the pattern that was neglected that will debut the end of Nov.  This color produced my best and biggest boxes of Kings over the past few years.  Injected 140 strips in this hush-hush pattern yesterday and they turned out sweet!
                          Tomorrow? ....what's up with the weather?

10/20/21  Pine Creek video was made some years back.  Enough for me to critique the camera work.  Most movies the cameras are still and the subject matter moves.  This one is the camera is moving, doing all the work.  This is called panning.
                This video was one my early efforts with acceptable cam work, with zoom at times.  Sound track with the sounds of the water and narration was unscripted and free flowing, just like Pine Creek.  So, I gave myself a C+ rating.  Always room for improvement.
            It's 6:45am and I'm heading to the pole barn to make a new pattern that was overlooked last season.  Stay tuned for a new color to debut around Thanksgiving. 

10/19/21  My annual visit to Manistee, MI's Pine Creek began in 2007 tat's been shared with you.  There's an impressive 15 years of photos all taken from the same place on the same gravel bar with Kings spawning. and completing their life cycle.
                This is a sad and happy event.  Sad to see a bunch of fish dying.  Happy to see there's a new crop on fish to return in 3 to 5 years (mostly). Click Pine Creek pics
                2021 showed more Kings in Pine Creek in a number of years.  Groups of 6 and 7 instead of 2s and 3s working the gravel.  This is a completely unscientific visual  judgment call.  But is does seem to lineup with what July, Aug. and Sept. King fishing was.

10/18/21  Video update Kings spawning in Pine Creek today made in 2012.  It's still the same today with Salmon completing their life cycle.  This year I saw more Kings on the gravel in a number of years.  Click for this video
                Instead of packs of 2 and 3s, it was 6s and 7s in the choice spots.  Male fish get aggressive and will push each other around jockeying to be next to females dumping eggs.  Hens turn sideways and with their tails fan/move a lot of gravel.

10/17/21  Updated my Past Results page to include July, August and September 2021.  Past results goes back to the year 2000 posted quarterly.  This is great reference library  for a lot of reasons.  The ebb and flow our Great Lakes fishery is all there.  One thing is for certain, nothing stays the same for very long. Click Past Result pages
               Tomorrow the focus on Manistee County, MI's Pine Creek that is a protected trout stream where King Salmon can reproduce naturally.  For me this is a mesmerizing event watching these fish complete their life cycle.  If you've never seen this in person I'll do my best to bring you up to date and post a link to a video I made about 10 years ago.

10/16/21  Frog Heaven is today's title line.  Made about 140 XG Frog Strip Teazer yesterday afternoon with the new injection machine.  Being able to inject on the Z axis made for a smoothly-blended 2 color line.  Click Frog Heaven
                Prior, some 2 color shots were semi streaky and no consistency.  The fish didn't seem care, but I did.  Today's production goal? ...120 XG Kevorkians.

10/15/21  Have a great weekend.  Cutting it close on strip production with waning daytime high temps.  Chilly last night at 43°.  Today and tomorrow are being devoted to dialing in the new injection machine ordered last December. 
              Finally arrived about a month ago.  Stuck with 2 pricey plastic injection machines for now that could end up a "good thing" in case one goes kaput.

10/14/21  Cell phone died recently.  Went thru a bunch of failed fixes starting at the SIM card that was replaced.  Conclusion? ...the fail was in the cell phone itself and lost files.
                As I jot down today's chat, I'm backing up all of what's in my documents folder.  Ever though, there's auto backup is turned on.  Having all the important stuff on 2 spare hard drives is a lot better than 1.  Losing all my company/personal  files is a not!
                Lots on the upcoming agenda.  Have to cover the spawning Salmon in Pine Creek for the 15th consecutive year.  Our annual poll began in 2003 on your" best method for adult Kings" will be featured too in the not too distant future.
                To be a success in the fishing business there's no such thing as "overnight."  That's why many charter operations and tackle business become not viable.  When grandiose plans meet reality? ...many are forced go out of business.

10/13/21  Between a rock and hard place with strip production.  Need inventory to last us thru next April by estimating demand.  My guesstimate is our strips will have increased demand from the fleet that put them on trial last summer. 
                So, there is a decent number of fisher folks that know they work.  In our favor is there was zero herring, or herring strips available last August.
                This made me look a lot smarter than I am.  Do know there's plenty of work that needs to be done.  Plus, brand new color selections of Strip Teazers to be added.

10/12/21  I keep mentioning Strip Teazer production for 2022.  Today's pic is 400-500 strips in the drying/scent process.  This is a 4-5 day air drying deal that can't be hurried.
The drier the strips are? ...the more herring scent will be absorbed during packaging.  This is probably the most important step in the whole scheme. Click strips in production
                This is not a hard job.  However, this is a time burner with most of effort devoted to mixing and heating soft plastic.  Injection part goes quick.
                Every time I open a freshly poured mold and see good quality parts/strips?  There's a lot of personal satisfaction seeing this was only a brainchild a year ago.

10/11/21  If you fished out of Manistee the 1st part of last August there was plenty of days the shelf/dropoff was a dead zone.  Water I fished on 8/2/21 was devoid of anything down to 100' and was all 70°.  I mean nothing, no bait no fleas on the line, nothing.
                Boats that fished plus 400' and deeper did well on Kings and Coho.  Sterile band of water on the inside was not the place to be.  Unless you like the smell of a skunk.
                The trailer boat fleet tends to be homebodies. Most few troll a few miles N and few miles S of Manistee.  Venturing further away is a chance to reap big rewards.

10/10/21  Big deal for today it to make a big load of XG-Green Frog Strip Teazers.  This is our number one seller and we need to restock inventory depleted by late summer demand.
                Several selections of BTI 10" Flashers need work too.  This summer seen an unexpected resurgence in sales of the 10"ers.
                Tomorrow's chat? ...where the fish were at if you weren't catching them.

10/9/21  Have a great weekend.  This coming week the warm weather holds.  After that, cold could present issues to continue making strips in my un-heated pole barn.  About 75% done and will have kick-up the output, or put on a snowmobile suit.
              Have XG Frogs, our best selling strip in the works.  Green and Blue UV strips is my task for today to stay on schedule.

10/8/21  Central Lk. MI ports have experienced some of the calmest seas in recent memory.  October is generally a wind month, but not this year.
               Kings and Steelhead have been caught out of Manistee, MI in 150' to 300' of water.  Having juvenile Kings at this time of the year, bodes well for next season.

10/7/21  Today's' photo is 2002 when I was running a jet-boat on the Big Manistee River October thru April.  This topic expands on the 10/4/21 chat about spawning colors on river fish.  While Kings are dark, March-April Steelhead are richly colored.  Some males will develop a double red stripe like in today's photo.  Click colored spawner buck Steelhead
              Spawning male Coho are another fish that can sometimes have full vivid red sides, pure black jaw lines that fade into creamy-bright stunning white.

10/6/21  It's ironic that yesterday's topic was about Covid.  The same day my wife's brother was diagnosed with the China virus.  He's an over 60 anti-vaxxer and showing symptoms.  He's coughing a lot and just plain sick for now.
               Here's where the dilemma begins, because there's nothing we can do to get him back to good health.  Like I said yesterday, Covid effects ever corner of our life.
               I have no clue how this is going to end.  Do know, after almost 2 years of being a one man army my patience is wearing thin running a tackle business.

10/5/21  Covid 19 death toll is officially at 33 for Manistee County, MI with a population of approx. 24,000 people.  2310 have been infected that's been registered. 
              This number is probably much higher for those with mild cases, or asymptotic.  Over 10% plus is safe bet from a China virus that's effected every corner of our lives.
              Data numbers are for a county with a low population density.  Well below the national average.  Factoid tells us more people lived in Manistee in the 1890s/1900s.
              Shortages, lack of manpower and shipping delays for my tackle business has been a big struggle to maintain stock/inventory and ship orders as fast as we do.
              What brought today's topic to mind? ran out of Milk-Bone Mini Dog treats.  I can go without.  But not my dogs who enrich my life beyond measure!

10/4/21  It's all good news when it comes to the improving fishery in Lk. MI.  Right now, Manistee, MI is experiencing some of the best late season Lk. MI Salmon and Steelhead catching in a number of seasons.  Percentage of improvement is hard to measure.
              If we use my tackle sales gross to equate that to how much the fishing has increased?  Then, this fishery is up over 30% ...when compared to last year.
              The Big Manistee River above the High Bridge launch is producing decent fishing for adult Kings, as today's featured pic from Chris G. shows.
              Adult Kings are no longer the pretty silvery giants the inhabit our Great Lakes.  They turn brown to olive green, as they mature into spawners.  Think of it as camo. 
So, these fish can better blend in with their surroundings. Click 10/1/21 Big Man King

10/2/21  Late season central LK. MI fishermen are beginning to score on Steelhead fishing the close in temperature breaks in the top 30'.  Some Coho and Kings are being reported too.  This is great news as Lk. MI continues to rebound.
               Today's photo is from Ludington. MI angler Capn. Kirk know as an outstanding early and late season specialist.  In a short afternoon trip he boated 3 nice silver bullet Steelhead fishing straight out from port.  Click Kirk's Steelies

10/1/21  Big deal opening day for archery Whitetail Deer.  Advancements in bows and the popularity of cross bows has made this only second to the firearms deer season.
              I live with the deer year around and no longer have the desire to take deer. Which would be relatively easy where I live.  I see deer as varmints eating my pine trees, bushes and garden.  Deer around my place are very gamey and don't taste as good as some of the farmland venison taken in the past.  Carcass disposal with CWD is another reason that makes butchering your own deer a problem.

9/30/21  Plans to fish Lk. MI yesterday fell thru.  My wife, former 1st mate and fishing partner since 1965 wasn't feeling good.  She would have soldiered on, but you don't stay married for 50 some years by putting your spouse in an uncomfortable place.
              All was not lost.  Stayed home and made King Kryptonite Strip Teazers that we were almost out of.  Still have 5, or 6 selections that need attention.
              September has fell by as "you know what" approaches.  Goal is to get all loose ends tied up before the snow flies.

9/29/21  If the wind and sea forecast hold true? ...going to fish Lk. MI out of my home port of Manistee, MI this afternoon.  Late season fishing is always a good indicator of bait and how many juvenile Kings are lurking about.  Can only comment on my used-to-be times for Lk. MI.  September that was a mixed bag.  First week, or two of October central Lk. MI was hot for Steelhead as these fish were staging before going up river.
              Mindset behind today's trip? ...there's not that many good days left of 70° daytime highs and been hitting hard on strip production.  A day off sounds reel-good!

9/28/21  Today's featured photo is something we all like to see.  That being the next generation of young anglers being brought into the sport of Salmon fishing.  Chris G's son is tight on a decent Big Manistee River King above the High Bridge launch. 
               Plus, his son hooked up on the fish by his lonesome floating bobbers with skein.  Capturing special moments in time like this with 2 intense fishermen makes this photo all that more special and a great reason to own a camera. Click for this pic
                River fishing for Salmon is another world compared to big lake fishing.  You do have a captive audience.  But the Salmon are not aggressive like on Lk. MI.  If you can deal with the crowds? ...river fishing is a fine fun way to extend your season.

9/27/21  To be in any business, you have to be a self starter.  Been trying to rebuild inventory of our Strip Teazers.  We got hit pretty hard with strip orders in late August. Several selections that are low like the XG Green Frog that must be replaced.
               I'm in a race against time to beat the coming cold weather.  Because all the equipment and supplies are in my pole barn.  This was the best place for a number of reasons.  Safety is number one that keeps the fumes out of my shop.  Pole barn is wide open and airy.  Have a large window fan blowing over where the material is heated.
               Another reason is we installed two dedicated electrical circuits on 12 gauge wire to handle the power load.  Put up a lot of LED lights for a nice bright work area too.
               I rather be a self starter hooking up my lake boat, but that's not in the cards until there's enough strips made to make it into next spring.
               New injection machine has been a work in progress.  Eating up large chucks of time.  This is a new design and there's bound to be kinks that need to be sorted.

Continued below back to the year 2000:

2021 Results
January, February & March

April, May & June
July, August & September

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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