Capt. John's Log
25 Years of Archived Daily Log Entries & 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)

6/3/24  Manistee's charter fleet is fishing Lakers to build a box of fish.  Salmon are scattered with a report out past the 300' depths a few adults were being caught.
              Finished installing a new Aftco roller guide on my home built wire diver rods.  Used Spectra line and nail polish on the windings.  Turned out OK, not a pro job, but the fish won't know the difference. Replacement roller guide cost 10 bucks off eBay.  There's 9 guides on each rod worth over a 100 bucks.  Good stuff is not cheap.

6/2/24  Yesterday was slow for the Manistee sports fleet.  Creel census taker counted 1 King in the mid teens and 6 dinks at noon.  Let's say a low bal number of 21 boats out.  That means a 66% fail rate, if they chose to target just Kings.  Time a blow from the S will reshuffle the deck in due time.  Knowing how tough it is, I'm staying onshore until the odds are more favorable.
              The Kings in April and early May arrived early and have scattered since.  We're going to have to rethink and leave what "used to be" behind us and take into account our warmer winters.
             Thanks to Wayne J for checking in with the checker.

6/1/24  Fixed the broken Aftco roller on my wire diver rod.  Had these 10' rods since the later 1980s.  These diver rods have caught tons  and tons of fish over the last 40 some years.  Rods are a Charters Choice/Wolverine brand that came out in 1986 with regular line guides.  Installed the Aftco rollers in the year 2000.  Guess I have a sentimental attachment to old tackle that's a reminder of myself. Click wire rod history article

5/31/24  Had a great boat ride out of Manistee, MI yesterday with longtime friend, Wayne J.  Wayne is a big part of the equation with my Rip Teezer success.  He hand shot every strip in the beginning.  Doing a much better product then I could do.
               Lack of a fishing report is not intentional. Reason? ...nothing happened in calm seas with no bait marked.  Trolled 6 miles for about as many suspended marks.  No big deal, been blanked before & it will probably happen again.
               Our 6 rods were set by about 6:30am & pulled lines at  9:15 am.  Freighter was scheduled to enter the harbor at 11am & wanted to avoid delays.
               Wayne checked the gut bucket at the cleaning station just after 10am & it empty,  So, we weren't the only ones with the black kitty.

5/30/24  Later today might be able to put a wrap on P24 if UPS comes thru.  Standby for more info tomorrow.  Maybe a surprise?

5/29/24  Good day to take it easy with yard chores. Lots to do in the next few days with P24 that was started on 12/17/23.  It's been a process of discovery to improve on the original idea.  Should have final design by the weekend with the test pieces in-hand.
               This whole stinking deal with Ingalls and Fitzgerald is desperate people incapable of success on their own.  So, they have to steal it!.  9 meat rig™ videos by Ingalls with info plagiarized from me shows he don't know his ass from a hole in the ground.  Sad deal You Tube viewers are dumb enough tune into his pile of crap. 

5/28/24  Life styles of the rich and famous is the crux of today's chat evidenced by the Fitzgeralds.  They're having a big time at the NFL Draft held in Detroit, MI not long ago.
                Captions in today's featured photo of this duo are spot on.  Bud stole my trademark and ripped me off for about 500 bucks in a bill not paid since July 2022. 
            Click
Fitzgerald's celebrating at my expense
               
Dr. Stephanie Lynne Fitzgerald, DO who I suspect provides funding for Tangled Tackle.  Stepping outside of the medical profession, in my opinion,  Dr. Stephanie's Hippocratic oath of do no harm does not apply to everyday issues like respecting the rights of others. I did not ask for permission to use today's pic.  Just Like Bud and his mouthpiece Capt. Pinocchio, aka the thug cop, Chris Ingalls who use my trademark, meat rig™ as their own personal playground.

 

5/26/24   As of last Friday there were plenty of Salmon being caught out of my home port of Manistee, MI.  Problem is catching fish over 4 pounds with most being a lot smaller.  Small fish is good, because that's our future.  WI shoreline of Lk. MI has been hot all the way up their coast with spring Coho providing plenty of action.

5/24/24  Have a great and safe Memorial Day Weekend.  Lest not we forget our armed forces who gave all.  Click Memorial Day info
                Using the past as a track record to predict what used to happen is null and void.  April, early May Manistee, MI had good fishing for Kings.  Now in what used to be prime time, not so much.  Warm winters is reshaping our fishery.

5/23/24  Yesterday's stout blow from the S with 7 footers will reshuffle the deck of all central Lk. MI ports.  Probably the the better too.  S is a good wind for May.
                Re-coated my 1986 10' Wolverine/Charters Choice diver rods to eliminate picky fiberglass.  Discovered a broken Aftco roller guide and ordered a replacement from eBay.  It's a easy fix and will use spectra line to wrap-on the new guide.  I have a long history with all 3 sticks in today's featured photo I'll cover in a future chat.  Click for these rods

5/22/24  Upcoming Memorial Day weekend is not a stunner that  looks a little bit soggy with rain, mostly showers.  Not all day events.
              May King fishing has always been inconsistent at all central Lk, Mi ports.  That's why I port gypsy-ed to S Lk. MI at Saugatuck and S Haven.  By the end of May, as S Lk, MI slowed, central Lk. MI was hot.  Last week of May and 1st part of June should be the best, according to my past knowledge.
             Do know some of the reports I've read, looked like the camber of commerce wrote them where everything was gang busters.
             Based on reality there are Kings being caught out of Manistee with no big numbers yet.  This will improve and I hope

5/21/24  Report from Ludington, MI's Capt. Kirk says his focus has been in the harbor that's loaded with bait.  5:30-6:30am is a short bite window then the Kings disappear.  Those fishing further away from port are having mixed results.
                 Tight Lines event out of Manistee, MI showed bunch more Lakers than Kings that were few and far between.  Know there's some bait around the harbor, or the gulls wouldn't be sitting on Manistee's 5th Avenue Beach, feeding at sunset.
                My intent was to fish this morning out of Manistee.   Worked too hard yesterday doing orders fixing the mower and clearing out my schedule.  Fatigued and did not feel safe taking out the boat this morning.  So, testing will have to wait when I feel, I can put my best foot forward and do it safely.

5/20/24  Hottest weekend since last summer and calm water for the Lk. MI fleet was great news.  Tight Line for Troops had an excellent turnout with bonus weather.  Today digging for fish reports to post tomorrow.  Home chores kept me too busy to leave the yard.  Fixing riding lawnmower today, so I can fish tomorrow morning.

5/17/24  If the wind god play nice today round 2 Lk. MI trip out of Manistee, MI.  Round 1 was complete fail with a strong magnet too close to the compass part of my TR1 Garmin autopliot.  Hopefully, today wil go better when I can run some speeds on P24.
                 Looks like a sneak peek of summer will arrive this weekend with temps that might push the mid 80° mark.  We haven't seen this kind of warmth for 7 months.  Weather for weekend is supposed to gorgeous, so go outside and enjoy yourself.

5/16/24  About month ago, WI's Baileys Harbor had their Brown Trout tournament.  Baileys Harbor is due west of Frankfort, MI on the WI side of Lk. MI.  Several 15 to 20 pound Brown were caught. 
              Their Brown Trout fishery is what we used to have back 20 years ago off Manistee, MI.  Limits were the rule, not the exception in the late 1990s early i2ks.  Nowadays it's a Brown once in a while.  Don't know why the MDNR has not fixed our ailing Brown fishery.  This fish is needed at all central Lk. MI ports are needed in April before Kings/Lakers show up. Click WI Brown event results

5/15/24  Pollen time in Manistee, MI.  Tree pollen coats everything outside.  This is especially noticeable on vehicles.  Pollen kick starts Lk. MI's food chain.  Inshore thermoclines will be forming soon with the warming temps. where plankton suspends feeding the bait fish.  In turn, bait draws predator fish like our sought after King Salmon.
               From now until the end of this month there will be good fishing. opportunities.  Kings that were here in April that was a bonus fishery.  Kings in May is a given for all central LK. MI ports.

5/14/24  Messed up on the date of Manistee's hometown event,  Tight Lines for Troops where our military service members are honored.  This do takes place on Armed Force Day, this Saturday, May 19, 2024.  So, this was my mistake by not researching it fully.
               This all volunteer happening has a website where you can donate, as I did with PayPal to help cover costs with the money going back to our veterans. Click for website   Click to donate 

5/13/24  Along with Mother's Day, this past weekend in Manistee, MI was the Tight Line for Troops event.  Manistee goes all out to welcome vets with free fishing, lodging and meals.  This well established do has been going on for about 10 years.
               Other Lk. MI ports have followed suit using the Manistee model.  Think Holland, MI puts on the same deal.
               Don't have the particulars on what was caught.  Do know Saturday morning was lumpy with NW wind in the mid 20 knot range.  I'll do some digging today and find out about the fishing.

5/11/24  Along with Mother's Day, this past weekend in Manistee, MI was the Tight Line for Troops event.  Manistee goes all out to welcome vets with free fishing, lodging and meals.  This well established do has been going on for 10 years.
               Don't have the particulars on what was caught.  Do know Saturday morning was lumpy with NW wind in the mid 20 knot range.  I'll do some digging today and find out about the fishing.

5/10/24  Mother's Day weekend is when we honor the person who brought us into this world.  A mother's love is unconditional that lasts forever.  If you're lucky enough to still have your mother do something extra nice to show your appreciation.  You'll be glad you did!

5/9/24  Central Lk. MI ports, being Ludington, Manistee and Frankfort are all producing decent numbers of Spring Kings according the MDNR fish report.  Which I totally believe.  May Kings are a good gauge of what's to come this summer.  Goal for me is to reprogram my kicker's autopilot and share you a 1st hand report. Click MDNR report

5/8/24  After careful consideration decided to make today's fishing chat about the spring Kings on Lk. Ontario.  Spoke with a customer who fishes Mexico Bay on the eastern end of Lk. O.  He said, as a departure from the past, this year spring Kings are making their presence known.
              Usually, the western end by Wilson, NY is where the hot spot for spring Salmon.  Fished out of Wilson some years back and was amazed at the at the big schools of Alewives we marked.

5/7/24  Delaying today's expose until I have the perfect wording for the 3 people that stole from my wife and I.  Capt. Pinocchio aka Christopher Ingalls is the tail that's wagging this dog. 

5/6/24  Professional grade liar and newbie charter skipper, Chris Ingalls has some of the guides on the Big Manistee River ticked off.  Back about a month ago was cruising the river and using his GPS to mark their holes.  He was seen by more than one guide punching GPS buttons to short cut his way to knowledge he stole from others.  Just like him filching my Trademark Meat Rig™ like it was his own.  Tomorrow, I'll expose his gang of unscrupulous cohorts. 

5/5/24  In limbo with the new lure design until I can get a side view underwater.  Every thing on top looks OK, but that's not what the lure is actually doing.  Learned that from my spoon video.  To shoot a good lure submerged speed test require precision boat direction and accurate speed control.   It's much harder to do this video than just going fishing.  Hopefully, my autopilot returns to normal with the magnet mount spotlight being moved.  Just need to feel a small victory, as encouragement to move forward.

5/4/24  Fiasco on my 1s tLk. MI trip last Thursday was self inflicted.  Magnet mount mount remote spot light was 8" away from the compass ball on Garmin's TR I Gold kicker autopilot.  This unit has been discontinued.  Click TR1 system
              Having an autopilot is a game changer.  Beats putting an inexperienced helmsman any day of the week.  It saves a lot of grief if you fish with your wife like I sometimes do.  Boats at trolling speed are a hand full to keep on a true course.
             Wind and waves are forces that are always against you. Plus, Mr. Otto Pilot  frees up a crew member when you're dealing with a fish.

5/3/24  Things llos good this year for Kings based on the early group of fish that showed up around the harbor for about 2 weeks.  This will only improve with time is my prediction.  That's the good news.  Bad news is yesterday the pocket of fish have moved to parts unknown from what I seen yesterday.
              Fished a short morning for my 1st voyage of 2024 yesterday.  Garmin TR 1 autopilot was a complete fail.  Then, found out parts for this unit have been discontinued.  This fail meant no underwater video of my new project.  Initial water test looked good.  More on this tomorrow....

5/2/24  Have a fish reports for Manistee, MI from 2 days ago.  Spoke with Capt. Paul Schlafley aka Riverside Charters,  Capt. Paul is as good as it gets out of Manistee with 40 some years as a top notch pro. 
             He was out this past Tuesday morning and picked up 2 LTs, 1 Brown and King.  Ranking it as slow fishing.  Action was best around the harbor.  Paul shared, it had been much better with good catches of King Salmon.

5/1/24  Yesterday, was a day I wished never happened.  In my eyes, Manistee icon Wayne J slipped on the boat ramp, falling backwards hard.  Partially, he was in the water.  I tried to move him, but it was clear I needed more help.  Manistee EMS ambulance showed up and took Wayne to the hospital.  Thank God, he was discharged after the x-rays came back negative with no skull fractures.

4/30/24  Big deal day with water-speed tests on a project I've been working on since last December.  Lots of moving parts that need to mesh.  Seas look favorable this afternoon.  Today is when opportunity meets preparation ...I hope!

4/29/24  Happy Monday!  Weather looks like it's going to improve a lot with an end to below nighttime freezing temperatures.  After today the wind will be less.  Hopefully, perfect conditions for my maiden trip of 2024 tomorrow.
                Get to do all the fun stuff today with boat prep in the rear view.  Rigging rods and sorting tackle is a lot better than staring into a monitor screen.

4/27/24  My7 1979 22' Sea Ray is about as ready as it gets.  Startng battery took  close to 20 ozs to top it off.  Both batteries are at full charge and ready to rumble.  Hopefully, this week lure testing will take center stage. 
                Tuesday looks possible if the wind plays nice.  W wind should bring some fish to all central Lk. MI ports once the rain leaves.

4/26/24  Tomorrow is the traditional opener for designated Trout river and streams. Rain has been so-so with the water not being overly muddy.
                 Our MDNR  is asking for your help to limit the spread of invasive species that can cling to your waders.  Worst one I see the Didimo that can cover the bottom, limiting spawning habitat.  This plague has been verified in the upper stretches of the Big Manistee River.  Click MDNR guidelines

4/25/24  Today is about the passing of Lee Bienz from Wellston, MI.  Lee had an innate ability to be successful at any undertaking.  In the 1980s thru the early 1990s he was highly sought after river guide on the Big Manistee River.  By the mid 1990s he went into building river boats. I bought a 17' Rivermaster vee jet sled that served me well thru 2003 when I stopped guiding on the Big M.
                Later 1990s Lee turned his attentions to Lk. MI and became a  charter skipper purchasing a 31' Baha.  Beforehand he crewed for me.  When he 1st got his USCG license he even ran a few trips off my boat when I needed a day off.
               Lee had a wanderlust and could change focus on a dime.  Knowing he would be winner at his next endeavor.  Click for Lee's pic

4/24/24  Lee Bienz formerly from Wellston, MI has went to the big pond in the sky.  Lee was successful at everything did.  He was a outstanding river guide and boat builder par excellence. More on his reel-story tomorrow...
                 Posted a photo Tom M's fatty football shaped Brown Trout caught a few days ago.  12 pounds is a good estimate. Click for this fish

4/23/24  Another fishing report for Tom M. down in E chicago, IN.  Tom gave our Salmon Buster™ spoons a rave review.  Here's Tom's report:

"Took a little longer to get our 15 yesterday the fishing is still great. I hope it holds up. I ran the red spoon is a slider above the bonus spoon you sent me and it had as much action as the bonus spoon in that downrigger had more action than any of the other seven poles we were running.
             The action looks great on those spoons. I gave John the guy that was with me one of the red and one of the orange spoons to use on his boat he’ll probably be ordering some, not sure how to add. Pictures did catch a nice healthy brown on the green frog downrigger on the bottom didn’t weigh. It took a picture and put it right back. It swam away. We’re guessing 12 pounds give or take."

4/22/24  Today's fishing report is from E Chicago, IN by longtime website friend, Tom M.,  Yesterday they fishing S Lk. MI.  Here's Tom's exact words:

"Got out for the first time this year with my daughter and friend John fishing was really good. Been good for the last week the bonus spoon you sent me caught Fish on the downrigger 15 foot back ... Click for Tom's catch
            I really like it didn’t weigh any, but I did weigh John Warren’s biggest fish yesterday which was four 4 lbs. 14 oz. none of our fish were quite that big but really nice. Thanks again John. Hope everything’s going good going again tomorrow morning and then looks like the weather’s going to belly up."

4/20/24  Looking for a window on Lk. MI to shoot an underwater video of the soon to debut P2024.  Perfect conditions are in clear water less than 10' deep.  That way the light bounces off the bottom for better exposure.  Resulting in a clearer video.  You cannot hide product weaknesses from the camera.  Below is a video showcasing my Salmon Buster™ spoons against the competition:
                     Click for this side by side spoon test

4/19/24  1st good Lk. MI fishing news from Manistee, MI for the 2024 season.  There was a mixed bag catch (Browns, Lakers and Salmon) caught out in front of the harbor in the stained water, or river plume yesterday.
                 Inside word from Ludington says some Smelt are in the bellies of what's being caught,  Last I heard, inshore waters of Lk. MI on the beach was 42°.  Smelt tend to run what the temp hits 44°.
                 If Manistee took off yesterday have no doubt Frankfort and Ludington are doing the same.  Good to hear the fishing is finally picking up.

4/17/24  Finished the 1st swim meet with P2024 that was better than hoed for.  New bait has a winning  enticing X wobble and the up-down top to bottom rolling motion of a Rapala, as seen from the surface.
                Video record was a success.  Audio was an epic fail.  Mic was a brand new Rode that pops and cracks, rendering the sound track useless.  Must get on the water and do underwater video.  What's seen from form the surface is not what a fish sees.  But this is great motivator to get the boat wet ASAP.

4/16/24  Going to a swim meet with P2024 today.  Have 2 configurations, both with variances for fine tuning.  5 months ago this idea took root that has the potential to be a game changer on how you fish big water.  Will be doing video to cover this historic occasion, as I watch my baby crawl out of the crib.
                Did a thorough web search to find how much pollen descends on Lk. MI with no luck on hard tonnage numbers.  So, I need to keep looking.

4/15/24  The dreaded tax day.  Deadline to file personal taxes is April 15th.  If you've waited this long?  ...you're ranking as a master procrastinator  zooms to the top of the heap.  I file business excise tax, state sales tax and of course personal taxes.  So, I'm no stranger to tax day deadlines.
                Working on an overlooked topic of pollen that goes beyond allergies.  Lk. MI is not a bottom up food chain.  It's enriched from in-flow and what the wind provides.  Tree pollen is dense in my area of Manistee, MI.

4/13/24  Cleared out all tasks to budget time devoted to P2024.  The P will either stand for pain in the ___, or progress.  If all goes according to plan might be able to get in some preliminary water tests.  Monday's chat ...I hope is filled with optimism and not back to the drawing board.  Want this lure to be the ultimate best creation I've ever designed.  Time will tell this reel-story ...hopefully!

4/12/24  Posted a photo of the new mic system mentioned a couple of days ago.  These wireless mics are a lot smaller with rechargeable lithium batteries.
                This is a GoPro 12 with the Volta handle that can provide over 4 hours of run time.  Plan is to make this my hardtop cam to capture all rodular activity in the back of the boat.  Like the word, rodular?  I made this one up on the fly during a charter back more then 20 years ago.  Click GoPro and mic

4/11/24  Manistee, MI's fishing report grapevine runs at 5G.  It's been amazing quiet with not many fish being caught as of yet.  This echoes the weekly MDNR fishing reports too.  Good fishing spreads like a 10G wildfire.  Slow fishing is when we get the silent treatment, because nobody likes to admit losing.
                New plan of attack for P2024 is on maneuvers.  Typical for me? ...after I explore/try every way how not to do it, success will happen.  Defeat only makes victory that much sweeter is the way I have to look at it!

4/10/24  Upgrade my video equipment to a new GoPro 12.  GoPro's audio leaves a lot to be desired.  To improve audio new a new to 2 mic wireless system.  This will allow for capturing what's being said during fishing.  Watching someone turning a handle without the interactions of those on board sucks.
                This afternoon will be shooting a maintenance video to fine tune the new mics.  Video gets easier the more you shoot.  Want my ducks in a row for the underwater tests of P2024.  If we can conquer some bumps in the road?

4/9/24  Eclipse was a lot of hype and not much else where I live in Manistee, MI.  Never noticed any darkness whatsoever while working on barn projects.  Cleaning up last fall's projects took most of the afternoon.
              Yesterday's temps pushing 70° was stirred up positive feelings for the 2024 big water season.  There's a lot of fun and good times on the way.

4/8/24  Eclipse day brings to mind Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee story and beer by Corona, being the haze that surrounds the sun.
               From about noon thru the end of eclipse have plenty of tasks in the pole barn on deck.  Manistee is said to be 89% coverage of the sun.
              Need to spruce up my attitude about P2024 and see why it hasn't been done before.  Feeling like I lost the 1st  battle, but not the war.

4/7/24  Trying to summit Mt. Everest in the tackle world.  New prototype was a big time disappointment in sizing/fitment.  Right now, it looks like I've climbed Mt. St. Helen the day it erupted.  Setbacks we all face them.  Hope to come out the other side with a product I can work with and be proud of.
            Keeping in mind, I do not control the CAD tech doing this project, be we need to get on the same page for progress.  Not quite back to square one and did see some helpful design mods.  So, all was not lost with the test tooling.

4/5/24  Reaching for the pinnacle of lure design and concept requires hard work.  Behind the scenes effort to pull off any successful lure that catches fish.
               Today P2025 becomes reel.  Pieces and prototype parts are being delivered today.  Know I can bring this together during the water testi8 ng phase.  Question is? ... how long is it going to take.

4/4/24  Hot topic of lately is the eclipse.  Channel 7 News out of Traverse City is saying a good chance of cloud cover.  We're only going to have a partial in Manistee.. Lakes Erie and Ontario will have full eclipses.
               Pieces and parts of P2024 are due to arrive tomorrow.  Ultra ready to shift gears and get on with the testing.  So, hang on news will be forthcoming.

4/3/24  Prepping for the arrive of test P2024 prototypes.  I'd like to show you every step in the process.  Unfortunately, design pirates are lurking.
               One SOB lure maker copied my spoon in record time for the market.  Unscrupulous people with no morals are a part of life.  Copies are never the original and his fake spoon fell on the trash heap of history.
              There's no way I can explain the hours that goes into lure design.  It's a lot once you're turning an idea into tackle that catches fish.
               Improving weather next week is a gift from heaven.  Should be able to test and video underwater action.  Just find the clear water for best results.  For me?  It's beyond fascinating to watch what a lure does in the drink.

.4/2/24  If you don't know how to do it? ...you can bet it's covered on You Tube.  Case in point, had a fault code come up on my 7 year old Generac home electrical system.  Internal diagnostic tool said, check battery.  Ended up being a loose positive connection.  Put some Diaelectric grease, tightened both terminals and fault code was gone.  So, it fine now.  As much as Consumers Power electric goes out? ...home generator was the only way to go.
               What's not covered is P2024 grass roots, seat of the pants engineering.  So far, it's been 99% thinking with 1% hands-on effort.  That's about to change soon as we enter the water testing prototype phase.  Then, conquering production challenges that are destined to popup.

4/1/24  Please no lame April Fools jokes today.  Things are looking up for the 2024 season.  1st 3 months of this year, every month has been twice of what it was last year.  Mainly, because 2023 sales were pitiful with the previous seasons casting a long dark shadow on Lk. MI's King Salmon fishery.
              Increased sales is a sign that there's hope for this year now that the MDNR has raised the plants more inline of what it used to be.  Before they had a brain fart and cut the stocking numbers to all time lows.

3/29/24  Easter Weekend edition begins with best wishes for this holiday.  Yesterday turned into a marathon of phone meetings on design refinements to P2024.  All for improvements  is reel-progress.  Should have working prototypes by this time next week.  Feeling a lot better today then last Monday's limbo designing challenges.  Know you'll see the merits of P2024 in due time!

3/28/24  Good day to play hooky and watch the Detroit Tigers open their MLB season at the Chicago White Sox today around 4pm.  Did mix in some work with more design changes to P2024.  This is my most complicated build to date.

3/27/24   Tree huggers won another battle.  Coyote hunting was open year around.  Now it's closed to protect the whelping season on Coyote pups from April 15 thru July 16.  This beyond ignorant, because it coincides with the fawn drop.  The dummies at the Natural Resources Commission voted 4 to 2 in favor.
                  I'm willing to bet large the 4 in favor do not live in the woods having their pets killed and chewed on by a Michigan apex predator.  Coyotes are not dogs.  They eat dogs, cats, fawns and anything alive in the woods.
                 Only good part is: allowing private landowners a free hand all year long.

3/26/24  Doing research for a new video for a new video.  Research is si I don't sound like a dummy.  Video will be about getting more life out of the 1st chain of command, being your boat's batteries.  Without juice you're staying dockside.

3/25/24  2024 MI fishing licenses are available for sale now. Bought mine yesterday.  Senior licenses are only 11 bucks.  Regular MI resident is under $30.00.  Smudged the important numbers on my licenses for obvious reasons.
                 The whole process purchased online took less then a minute, because I already have account setup.  Click my 2024 Senior License
                 Pushed add to cart, credit card info was auto-filled by Firefox.  Presto-amazo it was done.
Click Online Fish Licenses         

3/24/24 With the advent of P2024 waiting in the wings, it's essential to raise the bar with my video skills.  Underwater video is fascinating.  Seeing in reel time what a fish sees is a whole different ballgame compared to viewing from the surface.  What looks fine from the top view is not actual lure movement.
               Going to 4k on all my new videos is more a legacy issue.  1080 HD is no longer the new kid on the block,  UHD 4K is 2160 is twice 1080 HD.  Screens are getting larger to make good use of new tech for clearer video imagery.
             My front yard Manistee snowometer now stands at 72"

3/23/24  Success is a word we all like.  On the 2nd try was able to publish a 4k dogs in the backyard video.  Learned You Tube's codex condensed a 3 gig file down to 1 gig of 4k video that's 9 minutes long.  Fly in the ointment is it took You Tube 50 minutes to render the finished video.  More on this tomorrow...

3/22/24  Ventured into 4k video.  1st try was a fail with corrupted files during the upload to You Tube.  Learned a 9 minute video is 3 gigs of 4k video data.  Video card in this computer was  300 bucks.  This is is considered lowball/cheap when it comes to handling 4k and a above video.  Plan was to build a new computer, but P2024 cash outlay has new puter is on hold.
                The PCU in this computer is 6 years old.  Was almost top of the line in Intel chips back then.  This box did handling the cache and rendering OK, but on the slow side.  Need to conquer all 4k issues.  Soon, I'll have prototype hard parts ready for underwater video testing.  This is an ultra important part of P2024.

3/21/24  Sidetracked yesterday ferrying our 10 year old standard Poodle, Buster to the vet's office close to Ludington.  He had a large lump on his side. removed.  Waiting for word on the biopsy and hoping for the best.
                Capt. Greg McC. is running perch trips on Manistee Lake.  Forward facing Garmin sonar is keeping him dialed on on how the fish move.  He's been producing 25 fish limits of some mighty fine table fare. Click Manistee Lake Perch
                I checked out his equipment and it's all top notch.  He has some serious coin in his river/Manistee lake boat. Click Capt. Greg's website

3/20/24  Today's story when time allows will be about a savvy charter skipper sending his clientele  with 25 perch per person.  Click for this skipper
                 How does he do it? ...using the new tech of forward facing sonar made by Garmin who was the 1st to market FFS.

3/18/24  This is 3rd hand info from a trusted source.  Lk. MI action out of my home port of Manistee, MI has been hit and miss.  A couple of fish a trip.  Being Brown Trout and Lake Trout.  So, no big numbers yet.  Wind has been an issue with fast moving cold/warm fronts every few days.
                Probably a good month away from a more stable fishery with higher numbers.  On second thought, a couple of fish a trip is a good deal for the first half March.  Just a few years ago the harbor would have been iced in.

3/17/24  Happy St. Patrick's Day and the luck of the Irish be with you.  You can make your own luck by staying the course.  Not by getting pulled off a program known to work for you.  If you're not taking bites?  Don't blame yourself for no fish around your boat.  Swapped out tried and true for a shot in the dark, probably is not going to increase your odds.

3/16/24  Best fishing going in Manistee, MI is for Yellow Perch in Manistee Lake.  Minnows and wigglers and you're all set to take some mighty fine eating.  Just about any anchored buoy in the freighter channel will produce.  Dedicated Perch anglers use automatic scalers to preserve the skin.  Those really good at it, butterfly the fillets  This has to be a labor of love to keep the bones out.  Perch and Walleye are tied in book for the best eating fish out of freshwater.

3/15/24  Steelhead fishing in the Big Manistee River is a no go.  Fish are scarce as hen's teeth according to a reputable guide I spoke with yesterday.  Can see the reasoning behind the MDNR's decision to cut the limit to 1 fish a day.
                Bass and Walleye has seasonal limits in many lakes and rivers to protect them during the spawn.  No such luck with Steelhead, unless they're in a designated Trout stream.  Then, there's methods used to catch Steelhead when light line is used.  Essentially, tiring the fish to the point of exhaustion when they cannot be revived for release.  Seen this when the fly fishing began to take over the Big Manistee when I quit guiding in 2003. 
               While the fish may swim away, 3 miles downriver seen perfectly healthy fish belly up.  Not all Steelies survive the spawning process.  There is built in mortality.  Those fish are easily identified with fungus on them.

3/14/24  We all learn from our mistakes.  Person in charge of publishing MDNR fishing reports made a massive error.  Report for the Manistee says Kings were reaching their peak along with Coho and Steelhead.  This has to be from 2023.  I'm sure the person in charge will take steps to proofread.  Click MDNR report
              MDNR fish reports starting backup is a good sign spring is here.  We've had so many record breaking warm days, it no longer any big news.

3/13/24  Wish fish managers when giving a presentation would do so in people speak.  First drop the metric thing, we're on yards feet and inches derived from the British in the 1800s.  Metric is the International system.  To help understanding, drop the hector that's about 2.4 acres.  Grasping the subject matter is hard enough we don't need to be doing conversations in our head. Humm? ...a meter is 3.28 feet and so on and so forth.
               Least favorite job on my boat is making sure the water level inside my lead acid batteries is where it should be.  Batteries are usually put in hard to reach areas.  Failure to maintain your batteries is costly.  Losing time on the water can never be recovered.

3/12/24  Over slept this morning and it felt good.  Watched part Sea Grant's Ludington meeting last evening.  Dan O'Keeke's presentation on baitfish was well done.  Commend Dan on his answers that were honest and straight forward.  When asked something beyond his knowledge, his I don't know proved this.
               On the catching front, Ludington proved the early Brown Trout fishery is not extinct, but on life support.  Capt. Kirk caught a couple yesterday.  Both the same year class, with one being a good pound heavier from it's football shape.  A big thank you goes out to Kirk for the fish photos to freshen this website up.  Click for Browns

3/11/24  Have my link and password for Sea Grant's Zoom Ludinton meeting about our fishery that begins this evening at 6:30pm.  I will give a report o what was being presented.  Knowing full well, the experts shot themselves in the foot about baitfish assessments that caused the biggest mass exodus of the Salmon fleet since the late 1980s during the BKD crisis.  The MDNR cutting off the King Salmon plants  at the knees, even when the returns was at all time lows is unforgivable.  Not sure, the rosy path of natural reproduction was supposed to save us.  Needless to say, NONE of this panned out.

3/10/24  Here's a friendly reminder to check the expiration date of your boat's registration.  Overlooked this before and discovered it during my 1st launch of the season.  This meant a quick trip to the MI Secretary of State to avoid a costly ticket.
               Updated total season snowfall at my place in Manistee, County, MI.  Last time posted was 1/13/24.  We've been getting snow in drips and drabs in the 1" to 4" mounts.
         My front yard Manistee snowometer now stands at 67"

3/9/24  Reacquainting myself with the GoPro menu.  It's been over a year since shooting any video.  With P24 capturing in a movie is the only way to go.  This year, everything filmed will be in 4k that's a big step up from 1080.  It's remarkable we have this technology to do pro video productions in-house.  Plus, I enjoy the whole process.
                Need to update my snow totals that will be done soon.

3/8/24  This is the weekend when we spring forward a hour to adjust for Daylight Saving Time, or DST.  Not fond of clock yoyo that moves us into the dark ages with it being dark at 5:30pm.  This a dumb idea that accomplishes little. 
            Time switch is 2:00 am this Sunday.  Posting this as not to forget which I always do.  Computers and some clocks like what's in my Ford F150 do this automatically.

3/7/24  Life is a learning process, if you chose to keep an open mind?  Learning several new ins and outs in the research and design phase of P24. New tackle begins with an idea.  That's the simple part, bringing it to a finished product is when the reel-work begins.
            Hope to have working prototypes in the next 4 weeks to keep P24 on schedule.  The fun part takes hold full force when the 1st fish hits the net.  Know this will happen and need to have my boat ready for underwater action video.  Once you see it in person and when it does, ...know beyond any shadow of doubt, you'll like it!

3/6/24  This coming Monday evening (3/9/24) MI Sea Grant is holding their annual Ludington meeting at W Shore community College in Scottville, MI.  Sea Grant's presentation lasts from 6:30pm thru 9pm.  Like the compact nature compared to the old format that was an all day deal.  Click more info and registration
            Please keep in mind, under the best circumstances info is data that leads to hypothetical evaluations.  Nothing as vast, as our Great Lakes fishery is written in stone.

3/5/24  It pains me to say Indian gill nets are back in MI waters of the Great Lakes.  I seen firsthand in 1970s UP Indians emptied the Lake Trout in Little Traverse Bay between Petoskey and Charlevoix in a little over 2 months in 18' tin boats.  Boats they have now and a lot more efficient.  So, expect the worst & hope for the best. Click net info
           There are warnings on Whitefish and Lake Trout limiting intake.  Most troubling is no pregnant women should consume these fish.  Our politicians  from both side should be all over this like stink on dog doo for endangering the public.  Warning labels are a must!

3/4/24  The MDNR came up with another hoop to jump thru for those guiding on our inland waters.  Such as stream, rivers and lakes.  Back when I run trip trips, a USCG license was all you needed.  River guides with no CG icense called for a MI guide license to take customers on  just rivers and lakes. Cick another MDRN brain fart 
           Make-work government bureaucracies getting involved in private business is plain stupid.  Glad I'm no longer part in this end of our Great Lakes industry.  Dealing with multiple government mandates is a pain in the you know what.
           Stuff like this is uncalled for, because the safety record of captains and guides is stellar with only 1 fatality over close to the last 50 years.

3/3/24  Yesterday started the process of readying my 1979 22' Sea Ray for the Lk. MI season.  Like the 1979 part, because that's when Sea Ray built bullet proof boats.  Doubt many the boat made nowadays will be around 45 years for now.
             Checking all systems today before even considering pulling the boat out of the pole barn.  Outstanding is checking the water level in the batteries and washing the windows.  Rods and reels need to be made ready too.

3/1/24  Welcome to March 2024.  Official spring is only about 3 weeks away the begins on the 19th of this month.  Next weekend we get to play clock yoyo and "spring" forward a hour.  2023 Fishing licenses are good until the end of this month.  I'll buy mine when they 1st become available.  Improving weather this weekend will bring out more boats looking to shake off cabin rust from being  indoors.  It's a great time of the year for fishing folks.

2/29/24  Bonus Leap Year Day ushered in by huge temperature swings.  We've went for the 70s 2 days ago to 15° this morning in Manistee, MI.  Cold front came in with high winds that knocked pout my electricity yesterday morning,  Not to fear, Generac is here.  Having stand alone home generator is one of my best investments (about 7k).
             Weather snippets of this the earliest 70° temps that predates the old record by 8 days.  February is not known for tornados, but 2 were confirmed down-state.
             Going to spend my extra day on Project 2024 with phone conference to my CAD designer.  It's essential we're on the same page, as we tool up for rapid prototyping.

2/28/24  67° yesterday to 23° today with snow.  Huge swings in the weather says spring is just about here.  Warming trends always bring S wind and big waves.
               Next week even warmer weather is on the way if the long range hold true.  It's been hit and miss Smelt runs that happen when the water is around 44°  Barr Lake outlet N of Orchard Beach State Park was a smelt hot spot a few years back.

2/27/24   World 1st for my line of tackle happened yesterday at Ludington, MI.  Capt. Kirk took a double digit Laker on our Icy Blue 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoon. Click Feb. Laker
               Never in Central Lk. MI has our tackle caught a Lk. MI fish this early.  Like Bob Dylan's song,

2/26/24   Today's photo is courtesy from Ludington, MI's port regular, Capt. Kirk.  Steelhead are a hard fish to catch on a trolled lure that are on their spawning run.  Ran plenty of Lk. MI charter trips in April with very few caught. Click mint Steelhead
               Fishing report from Wayne J says a mixed bag is being taken in the N end of Manistee Lk on spawn.  Spawn is the usual preferred bait for Steelhead.
               No word from Manistee, MI on fish hitting trolled lures from Lk. MI yet.  Look for this to change soon with predicted 60° weather. 60° weather.

2/25/24  Lost weekend from fatigue.  Too much R and D and keeping up with orders meant time off to regenerate to get ready for the 60° weather.

2/22/24  Our Lk. MI season has officially began in Manistee, MI with 2 docks in the water.  This will work out great for the predicted warmer spell next week with temps approaching 60°.  It was 57° at my place yesterday.  Straight line I'm about 11 miles from Lk.  Those living in the City of Manistee are effected more by cool wind off the big l

2/21/24  Run over with work this morning when I normally do the updates. Some orders with admin office stuff I'm not fond of.  Had a successful technical test yesterday for Project 2024.  This test was key before the next step.  If the tackle manufacturing business was over-run with copy and paste outfits, I could share every step of the way.
              You know the meat rig/meat head business is 20 years old reaching market saturation.  Then, some idiot comes up with an off the wall idea to make rigs and sell heads using my business model that's 20 years old.  Based on labor, meat rigs are not a money maker and never have been.  Unless you like working to less than 10 bucks a hour.

2/20/24 Let's go way back to the birthing of the MI Great Lakes Salmon fishing fleet.  In 1967 there were 11 deaths, 4 off Manistee and 7 in the Frankfort.  Boats were ill prepared for the seas Lk. MI can and will produce.  This shocked everyone, but an important lesson in respect was learned on the way to becoming a seaman. 
             This ties into the present day mess at the Platte River mouth by the feds who seem not to care about the safety of those using the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore.
             There have been drowning and rescues at the Platte River that's 17 miles N by water from Frankfort, MI.  Please let me remind you, at one time the State of Michigan owned and controlled all of this area.  Click MI river mouth dredge proposal
              Since the feds took over, every amenity at M22 crossing over the Platte River has been removed.  Now you have to ___ in a hole in a ground.  If you're a tent camper?...you wash up out of a bucket.  Even the ancient Roman army did provide baths.

2/19/24   Michigan has several new gun laws.  Locked, or in a gun safe if there are minors in your household is the one that sticks out to me most.  You can get free gun safety kits in Michigan by using the Project  Child Safe website.  Click here for free kits
                 Red flag for people having issues to keep firearms out of the hands going thru mental health issues. This one is not clear to me, but it looks like all guns sales are by permit requiring instant background checks.  This includes private peer to peer sales.
               It's your responsibility, as a firearms owner to understand and comply, or face fines and legal consequences. The possibly of jail time certainly sucks.
              For home protection an unloaded firearm is useless, so this can be a tough pill for many of us to swallow.  Do I agree with the new laws?  That's not relevant, because the laws are already in effect. Like all laws there's some good and some bad in it.
              Please, research the new MI gun laws for yourself.  There's no way I'm qualified to explain the ins and outs as gospel. Click new Michigan gun law info

2/18/24  Michigan's new gun law recently went into effect. This law protects us from stupid people that give access to school shooters.  Like the Jennifer and James Crumbley who bought their evil criminal son, Ethan who killed 4 students in Oxford, MI's high school.
               Jennifer has rightfully been found guilty for buying and not keeping the gun locked up from her sicko son.  She faces 4 counts that carry a 15 year sentence.
              There's lots of parts in the new law that effects us law abiding firearm owners.  Need more research time to boil it down to share with you.

2/16/24  Ending this week on a high note with great photo from Ludington, MI's Capt. Kirk.  A 38" long fatso Pike pushing 15 pounds is a worthy catch from PM Lake.  Northern Pike spawn in the spring (March/April).  No doubt this was a heavy female loaded with eggs and prey fish from inside Ludington's pier heads.  Click fatso female Pike

2/15/24  In the early 1970s, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was created.  Then, Senator (R) Phil Hart was responsible.  That's when the MI State Park was taken over by the feds that ripped out the shower buildings and installed "stink to high heavens" pit toilets.  This was a major downgrade for the campers that use this park.
             Trading 1 bureaucracy to a larger more powerful bureaucracy has made things hard for those who want to fish out of the mouth of the Platte River.  Feds want people to gawk, but not take anything from their zone of control.  Feds installed hiking trails and eliminated access to Lk. MI with zero safety regard for the fishing public.

2/14/24  Happy St. Valentines Day.  Posted a drone aerial of the Platter River where it empties into Lk. MI.  If you look closely, you'll see some rocks across the river downstream that diverted the water flow.  In turn, using water flow to make it's own channel.
              In the late 1960s and early 1970s is area was the Super Bowl and World Series of incredible Coho Salmon fishing.  Limits were common for those dialed in. 
              2 riggers were a waste of money, because you couldn't keep 1 in the water.  Many times on the way down, the rigger would go off.  This where & when I learned about these transplanted west coast fish, Coho/Silver Salmon. Click drone pic of the mouth

2/13/24  Valentines Day alert for tomorrow.  This is one holiday you don't want to forget.
My plan is to take my wife of 55 years out for for some chow.
              Story about a fisherman convicted of changing the flow of the Platte River is in the works.  This hero showed the Federal Park system a safe, cheap, and effective way for boaters access Lk. MI into Platte Bay.  Feds that have dominion over the water flow is a pure BS.   I've had issues with the park rangers going back to 1969 thru 1982.

2/12/24   Office duties, you know the mundane tasks like filing business taxes that have an earlier date then the federal personal tax day of April 15th.  Computer backup on all files is a must do on external hard drives in case the worst happens.
              My OS is Windows 10.  Microsoft has moved Win 11.  They will have updates for Win 10 thru 2029.  Win 11 does not mesh with 10.  All MS users us will need 11 eventually.  Alternate is to risk updating the BIOS in the mother board.

2/11/24  Super Bowl Sunday 2024.  Today shows us we don't need an excuse to throw a party, even if we don't have a dog in this fight.  Shocker to me was 70 million are placing bets on today's game.  Risking their money on performance of others.
               If I'm going to place a bet? ...it better be on outcome I can control.  Making Project 2024 a sure thing based on odds I control 100%.
               Yesterday's topic about river guide weather is on the back burner.  Had to run tests and get precise measurements plus, or minus .002".  Then, order test materials.

2/9/24  Strong winds pushed 60° temps at my place in Manistee County, MI yesterday.  Not bad for early February.  Next week is predicted to be much colder.
            Baby steps in P24 engineering process that loaded with decisions.  Making sure components mesh with careful thought with show the right path.  There is no instructions, rules, right, or wrong.  Best analogy is flying by the seat of your pasts.
           Know I have a skilled eye developing tackle.  Been watching lures in the water since 1968.  Since 2003, gained tons of experience making winning tackle.
                              Tomorrow? ....river guide weather

2/8/24  What's going on with the weather?  Predicted high for today is 56° that's more inline with March.  Next week is more 40s are on the way.  Click weather history
             Fishing reports I've seen says for St. Joe to Chicago fish are being caught on the open waters of Lk. MI.  Reports like this about about a month ahead of the norm.
            Big thank you to Wayne J. for his drone photo of Manistee's 1st Street public launch.  Flying a drone takes a lot of skill that only comes by logging flight time.
           Star Trek 50 years ago drones were only science fiction.  Now it's every day technology with wars making use of remote combat.  Click Wayne's drone pic

2/7/24   Spring training for the 2024 season begins with knowing your opponent.  Today's video gives you a mission (if you chose to accept it) to locate and vanquish your foe.
              There's a twist to this video, because it's an Atlantic King Salmon planted in S America proving how desirable Kings are anyplace on this planet.  Click 60 lb. King video
They reign supreme over all other Salmon species, including Atlantics. Click Record King

2/6/24  Spring training for the Lk. MI fleet has came early this year with 2 docks in at the Loomis Street launch in Ludington, MI.  Manistee usually wins this honor among central Lk. MI ports.  You can bet, Manistee is not far behind. Click MLive confirmation
            Manistee born and bred home town local, Wayne J informed me there were tin boats boats trolling N of the harbor 2 days ago.  He mentioned there were a few boats on Manistee Lk. looking for Perch of front of Seng's Marina.
            If the trajectory of warmer winters continues, upsetting the apple cart is an understatement.  A lot of events and businesses are already feeling the pinch.

2/5/24  Took the weekend off.  Doing today's update a day early, due to a 7:30am eye doctor's appointment.  I'll be getting a shot in my left eye for wet AMD that causes your retina to bleed.  It's a manageable disease that helps retain eyesight.
             It will take me the rest of today to recuperate.  Mostly form the dilation process that allows the doc to see the retina, but it takes about 6 hours for your eye to get back to normal.  Getting a needle stuck in your eyeball don't hurt much.  But the idea of it is a bitter pill to swallow.  Needless to say I'm not looking forward to this.

2/2/24  Groundhog is pure American folklore fun at it best.  Today is when we rely on a terrified groundhog, Mr. Punxsutawney Phil is dragged from his den to be displayed in front of a large crowd of people waiting for him to predict the arrival of spring.  If he don't see his shadow, look for an early spring.  Shadow means 6 more weeks of winter.
              Poor Phil probably thinks he's on the way to the pressure cooker unwilling as an  participant.  All kidding aside, and worthy to note today is the 1/2 point of winter.  So, we're on the downside of a winter, for the most part, has played nice.

2/1/24  Did a web search for the cost of fresh Pacific Chinook/King Salmon.  Cost was $27 a pound and the fish they were selling was in the 7 pound average.  Bringing the end cost to $189 for a fresh 7 pound King.  That's some serious dough we take for granted.
            Don't think for a minute the Indians don' to searches.  They are ready to reap this bonanza,  Factoring in west coast Chinooks are harder to come by every year.
            My point: is the by-catch in gill nets will certainly have Salmon in them.  Caught too many Coho and Kings on the bottom.  So, don't think Salmon are always suspended.
            Indian netter's mind set has zero to do with sport hook and line fishing.  When a minority controls the majority the USA is not the democracy we're lead to believe!

1/31/24  Touched on important topics this week.  There's a broad spectrum of matters that effect our Great Lakes fishery.  I keep my anger in check by knowing most of this is out of my hands and hope for the better.  Don't worry about things you can't change.
                Don't take my comments made yesterday about Rep. Jack Bergman of which way I lean politically.  Jack does a lot of this I don't agree with.  But one this is for sure,  the Ds cater to the minorities.  Giving us zero relief from the catastrophe of gill nets in the future. Since the early 1970s seen every court issue always favored the Indians.

1/30/24  US Dist. 1 Congressman, Jack Bergman urged in a letter to MI Gov. Whitmer to revisit the 2023 Consent Agreement allowing the Indian tribes to use gill nets.  This is the part where our MI sport fishing community got sold down the river by the MDNR.  Expect little to come of this, but it is a good election year move.  Click breaking article
           I get a kick out of Bergman who says the election was rigged, except for his. Because he won.  Then, he takes credit for projects in the Infrastructure Bill he voted against.  Politicians are like cars, they all do about same thing, only the spelling changes.

1/29/24  This coming April the 8th there's a full solar eclipse that will track across Lk. Ontario.  It would be interesting to have that happen during August prime time for Kings.
               We could learn if it's a hourly timed activity by the fish.  Even though we know Mr. King does not wear a watch.  To be out there, in the afternoon, then have a flurry of hits during the eclipse would be an eye opener. Click Eclipse chart path

1/27/24  Incremental baby steps in the research phase of Project 2024.  Weighing options eventually will show the right path.  Transforming an idea into working tackle is all consuming for me.  Money involved to bring new tackle onboard is a big risk that can only be minimized with careful planning.  It's called leaving no stone unturned.  Out of all the my original tackle designs? ...Project 2024, by far ...has the biggest potential upside.

1/26/24  This is confirmed.  There has been a 22 lb. Silver Carp caught  miles above the electric barrier that's supposed to prevent upstream migration.  Proving the barrier is only a detriment, not, in truth a barrier at all. Click breaking Asian Carp news
              If the Silver Carp get a foothold in major rivers like the St. Joe and Muskegon, the parties over.  Our 6 billion dollar sports fishery will go extinct.
             Army Corp of Engineers has a billion dollar project in the works that will not be completed for several years.  Plus, this issue has been dragging on the 10 years.
             Political clout from Chicago will keep their waterway open between Lk. MI and the Mississippi River.  Plain and simple solution is to close this waterway.

1/25/24  The MDNR stocked 14.5 tons of fish in 2023.  That's an impressive number from effort put forth by those who work for the DNR.  That number includes all fish from Walleyes, Musky, Salmon and Steelhead.  What impressed me the most was the 344,860 fall fingerling steelhead planted by the Wolf Lake Hatchery. Click for more info

1/24/24  Temps in the 30s are a big improvement over last week's artic cold snap.  Good news is it's supposed to stay like this into next week.
               Need to be careful and not get bogged down in issues that will be settled in the courtroom.  Every minute wasted on swindlers that did me wrong, takes away from project 2024 that's been at a standstill. Click for the internet swindlers
                What goes around, comes around is another way of saying their day will come.  Have something reel special in the works for the cop bully, Christopher James Ingalls.

1/23/24  Tangled Tackle liar, Carl, "nobody's"  Bud Fitzgerald pled ignorance, not knowing the difference between a trademark ™ and a copyright © symbols in his response to my attorney.  In spite of hanging 100s of my meat rigs™ on his racks back some years ago.  Plus, I told him it was my trademark to boot to make sure he was informed.
              Stealing is a survival strategy as old as man itself.  Stealing, then covering it up with lies is to be expected in a failing business with someone of low moral character.
              My most sincere apologies for having to even having to bring this up.  Know you don't come here for me air my dirty laundry concerning a boldface liar, sneak, and thief.

1/22/24  Here's my list of tackle stores that have went belly-up/out of business: Army Surplus Store, Reilly's, Northwinds, Fishermen's Center and Zajaks.  In a town of less than 7k and a county of under 30k there's not a large enough customer base to support year around tackle stores.  Slicing the pie even thinner, Don's and Instalaunch are still going along with the desperate owner at Tangled Tackle who stole my trademark to keep afloat.
              I have been wronged by a 3 person conspiracy that knowingly took money out of my pocket & stole food out of my refrigerator.  Offenders to be named tomorrow..... 

1/21/24  -6 that equates 6° below zero.  Making it one of the coldest days we've had in the past few years.  Mr. Winter is taking a break this week.
               Cold as this week's been, saved a project that's strictly indoor work.  Updated all 2023 entries in my Captain's Log that goes back to the year 2000.  2023 archive involves 6 pages, 4 of which are from scratch.  Save all this info in case reference material is needed.  Impressive part that's over 8000 daily chats. Click archived 2023 info
              Many in the fishing business look for instant gratification/success, thinking it's a race not a marathon. Achievement comes from putting your time in and learning the ropes.
                My front yard Manistee snowometer now stands at 47" (44 + 3)

1/20/24  There's hope on the horizon starting this Monday with a return to winter 1.0. Predicted temps in the 30s and 40s.  Noticed there was still a hint of daylight at 6pm.  That's about a 1/2 hour daylight more then we had a month ago.
               Plow truck is fine.  Moved a lot of snow yesterday afternoon.  Vee plow is impressive that way it blasts thru 4' pile of snow.  Straight plows don't do that.  In the vee configuration there's no slide slippage like with straight plows. that can get you stuck.
                My front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 44" (42 + 2)

1/19/24  We've been wobbling thru a mild winter no snow with temps in the 30s and 40s.  Then, just like John Force's 5000 hp. funny car Mr. Winter explodes out of the gate.  Dropping temps to single digits and enough snow to train an Alaska dog team.
              T.G.I.F. times 10!!  Plow truck going down this week has been a royal pain.  About a grand later, that includes towing: (170), new battery (225), and starter replacement (490) with electrical diagnosis (for juice parasites) at a shop here in town. 
              Hopefully, it's fixed.  Need to plow what's on the ground and get ready for another 10" of lake effect snow this afternoon/evening.
                My front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 42" (36 + 6)

1/18/24  The MDNR 4/1/2024 reduction in the river Steelhead limit to 1 fish per person says our MI Steelhead population is facing challenges. This a drastic cut for mostly central MI rivers.  Parent stock these fish goes back to the 1920s, maybe earlier in the Little Manistee River according to a book I have that was published in the 1930s.
              On the other hand, our Chinook/King Salmon limit is a lot more liberal when compared to Washington State anglers can only keep 1, maybe 2 of fin clipped hatchery fish.  Naturally reproduced Salmon with no clips have to be released.  I keep an eye out for west coast info, because that's where our Kings came from. Click W coast King info

1/17/24  Had a genius moment yesterday.  That only  happens between seldom and never.  Here's the setup: started off at 3° and rose to 7°, as woes with my plow truck continue to haunt me.  Tried to fix it outside that was a akin to training for the Iditarod for the best part of 2 hours.  My hands were next to frozen.  Click truck going to hospital
              Went in the house to warm up and de-thaw my paws.  Kat my female Lab let me use her ears to warm my 10 digits. She didn't mind a bit and kind of liked the attention.
             That's when my epiphany hit that was pure genius level.  Said self, there's garages in town that can do this inside.  So, called a towing company to haul it to the truck hospital.  Prognosis is unknown at this time.  Ticker has code red electrical issues. 

1/16/24  Good news is we're halfway thru the darkest, longest and coldest month of winter.  Full blown hard winter now.  Good to see the days until spring shrinking.
              Bad news is I have big time problems with the law.  Murphy's Law that is! My 2014 F250 has major electrical gremlins discharging the battery.  Have bush fix interrupter terminal I'll install later this morning for a quick fix.  Too cold to play wiring specialist.
                My front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 36" (32 + 4)

1/15/24   NBC news over hyped the recent storm, calling it a bomb cyclone blizzard.  We ended up OK with about a 1' of snow on the ground.  Most of which, fell yesterday as lake effect.  Adding a good 6" of the white powdery stuff.
               Big news is the single digits temps of Eskimo weather we're going to have for about a week.  1st use of my vee snow was last Saturday for this season.  No complaints here by me.  Could have been many times more.  Like it was 10 years ago.
                My front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 32" (26 + 6)

1/14/24  There's a conservation group in the State of Washington asking Biden Administration to list Chinook/King Salmon as an endangered specie. 
"The Wild Fish Conservancy’s 68-page petition says that the king salmon, also known as Chinook, are threatened by climate change and competition from hatchery-raised fish, and that existing state and federal management are failing to stem their decline."
            
 There's no Great Lake fish that motivates people to spend thousands of dollars to pursue Kings.  Reason is simple.  No fish in MI can compete with the sheer brute power Kings over 30 pounds offer the fleet.  Click for State of WA dilemma

                     Front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 26" (22 + 4)

1/13/24  Back about a week a new state record for Burbot was set  in IN.  Up until now, weather has allowed boat fishing in S Lk. MI.  Vitals on this fish was 14.3 lbs and was 37" long.  Caught by Anthony B from Cedar Lake, IN.  Click for more on the catch
             In my long career going back to 1968, only caught about 10 Burbot while open water trolling on Lk. MI.  Caught them dragging the bottom for LTs and on a suspended spoon Salmon program. Burbot are a creepy fish that can curl up like a snake.
                     Front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 22" (17 + 5)

1/12/24  MDNR's one Steelhead limit goes into effect 1/4/2024 from rivers and streams.  Going back to the mid 1980s, river limit was the same as our Great Lakes.  Being 5 fish a day.  The DNR cut the limit to 3 in the 1990s.  Now to only 1, while big lake is still at 5 in MI waters is unfair to river anglers.  WI allows 5 Steelhead too.  Click DNR info
           OK, you can play catch and release in the river.  Survivability is going to come into question for light line fishermen that bring the fish to thepoint of total exhaustion before landing them.  This will cause mortality.  Years guiding on MI's rivers, seen a good amount of dead Steelhead floating downstream from natural causes in April. 

1/11/24  Moving forward progress was made yesterday in baby steps after a a phone meeting with CAD designer.  This where everything begins.  So, it of utmost importance to be on the a path to the same page.  For me, it's all encompassing when it come to bringing a new piece of tackle to the big water fleet.  Better yet? ...make it another world first! 
                   My front yard Manistee snowometer stands at 17" (16 + 1)

1/10/24  Late last fall, Ludington native, Capt. Kirk C hit the lottery when he snagged the bottom.  He ended up retrieving 4 J-Plugs and Thunderstick.  Along with the cannonball and rigger release.  This is a easy 70 buck windfall ...if you're into this kind of lures.
              Looks like the hapless loser had his rigger cable break.  Setting the trap for other anglers that snagged into his jumbled mess.  Click Kirk's lottery

                 My Manistee snowometer stands at 16" (13 + 3)

1/9/24  Looks like Mother Nature has her snow machine back from the shop with a major overhaul.  Snow is predicted today and most of this week in the 4" to 8".  Seeing we've only had 13" total for my part of Manistee County, MI, this is tolerable.
            Long range for next week is not good with cold temps with highs in the midteens.  This will fire up the lake effect snow from Lk. MI big-time.
            We haven't had a winter with a lot of snow since the winter of 2013-2014.  This sticks in my mind when I tried to retire in FL and found out retirement was not for me.

1/7/24  Just learned there is an actual breed of dogs recognized by the AKC in 2013 called, Chinook Dogs. This is a rare breed that looks like a mix between a Lab and German Shepard.  These dogs are of the working group that pulled sleds in AK.   Said to be easy going house pets, along with other good qualities. Click AKC info
               If I owned a male Chinook dog? ...naturally, I would name him, King!

1/6/24  Working on a new trolling fly that will debut Monday.  This was a duh on my part overlooking this iconic patter for so long. Click new s2024 fly

1/5/24  Big water anglers  can count themselves as lucky to live in th day and age.  Advancements in marine electronics is a dream compared to my 1st 1983 charter boat.  Back then it was paper sonar machines. Not the color untits we have now.
           Navigation? most did that by the seat of their pants.  Because LORAN C navigation machines were 3k in 1982, adjusted for inflation in today's prices is over 9k nowadays.
           What to run tackle programs is loaded with a lot more choices too!

1/4/24  2024 is my 24th year of everyday updates.  That's over 8,000 daily yaks and counting.  Big water fishing is such a broad canvas there's fresh topics continuously.
             This year marks my 20th year since I stepped away from the grind of chartering & guiding on MI rivers transitioning  into tackle manufacturing.  Accomplishments are many, but that's in the past.  There's more to come, because the best hasn't been invented yet.
             I'm on point when it comes designing new tackle that's an all encompassing job. Started work on Project 2024 that's going to be a game changer once I work thru several issues.  There's always a answer.  Finding it is a time consuming thought process.  

1/3/24  Today's featured photo is from design I donated to Thingiverse that has all kinds of free 3D models the public at large can print out.  The construction begins with 2 pieces (head and tail) that need to be glued together.
            Thingiverse user made several with custom paint jobs.  You can tell he's into dots.  Even the dots have dots. A big Salmon on the hunt might consider it a mercy killing when he whacks one.  Good thing about DIY is it's your own creation with no rules.
            My 3D printing goes back to 2015 making prototype Salmon Buster™ spoons.  A world 1st I'm proud of some of my printed spoons caught Salmon on 7/4/2014.  This set the path forward to go into production.  There is no metal spoon on the market that has a wider trolling speed sweet spot from .4 to over 4 MPH.  Fact is done this at both speeds.

1/2/24  New for MI residents this year is the 10 day wait to purchase firearms.  This new law was written to cover all firearms while semi automatics are involved in mass shootings.
            Last 2 weapons purchased recently were a 597 semi-auto Remington 22 caliber as a replacement.  For coyote hunting bought a 22-250 Swift bolt action Savage.  Both of these are budget firearms.  Transactions required a day wait at Dunhams here in Manistee that was a nightmare.  Due to an uncooperative store that meant 2 trips to town.
            Understand something has to be done about mass killings.  Can accept the 10 day wait, if this prevents an active shooter in Miejers here in Manistee ...while my wife is shopping there.  Here's where law abiding citizens are being penalized by non-civilized murders.  Our normal laws should not apply to these
psychotic criminals.

1/1/24  Happy New Year!  2024 is a leap year.  So, we get a bonus day at the end of February.  2/29/24 is yours to add an extra day to your calendar.  I'm going to spend mine getting my 22' 1989 Sea Ray ready for the new seaon that's only weeks away from the Cohofest  kick-off in S Lk. MI.  Early Coho weight is a good gauge to see growth rate.
             Lk. Huron comes on later.  Early 1980s caught 5 fish limits of Kings in the first part of March downstream from the Marysville power plant on the St. Clair River

Continued below back to the year 2000:
 

2023 Results
January, February & March

April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November and December

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

2021 Results
January, February & March

April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November, & December

2020 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September

October, November & December

2019 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2018 Results
January, February & March
April, May, & June

July, August & September
October, November & December

2017 Results
January, February & March
April, June & June
July, August, & September
October, November & December

2016 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2015 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September

2014 Results
October, November, & December
January, February, & March
April, May, & June

July, August, & September

2013 Results
January, February, & March

April, May, & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2012 Results
January, February, & March
April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2011 Results
January, February, & March
April, May, & June

July, August & September
 October, November, & December

2010 Results
January, February, & March

April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2009 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August, & September
October, November, & December

2008 Results
October, November & December

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

2007 Results
October November & December
July, August & September

April, May & June
January, February & March

2006 Results
October, November & December
July, August & September
April, May & June
January, February & March

2005 Results
October, November & December
July August & September
April May & June
January February & March

2004 Results
October, November & December
August & September 
June & July  April & May
January, February & March

2003 Results
Jan Feb  Mar  April & May
June & July  Aug & Sept
October

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.
Aug. 
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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