The lakes boats are put away and the riverboats are out looking for steelhead when the weather allows. I have been working on maintenance and getting ready for 2020. I have also been booking trips for next year and some prime weeks are already filling in nicely. Fishing season will be here before we know it.
Before I get talking about the year I want to offer gift certificates for anyone still looking for a gift idea or if you are just looking to get out fishing. I am offering $50 off any full boat trip (4 people) and a river trip with 2 or 3 people. Since I am so late on this, this offer will be available from now till the end of the show season which is March 22nd for me.
Talking about shows, I will be at the Ultimate fishing show in Novi, Grand Rapids ultimate fishing show and new this year, Gaylord hunting and fishing show. I will also be at the Kensington Community church Wildgame Dinner and both nights for the Woodside Wild Game dinner. Both dinners will have trips that I have donated to. If anyone knows of other wild game dinner, let me know as I love working with dinners like these. Preferably in the TC area or in the metro detroit area depending on time. I will be offering pretty much the same deals as what is below.
This year Chromeseekers had it’s best year ever on the water. Also, new this year was another fishing company I created called Michigan Walleye Fishing Charters. I still can’t believe the URL was available and that is how I named this side of the business. You can’t get a more easy name than that. With the loss of my captain job working for another company right before the season started, you guys sure did come through for me when booking Detroit river trips and Lake St Clair trips.
With the new company, I needed another boat. Luckily I found a 17 ft G3 walleye boat. It’s one of those fish and ski’s boat but it did a great job. I have to be a little pickier on LSC with the weather but we were able to get the job done and put plenty of walleye on the boat.
With my move to Frankfort a few years ago I decided it was time to look for a drift boat so I could fish the Betsie and stay at my house. With the growth of my company I knew I didn’t want to spend all my nights sleeping in my truck on the PM river where I originally started guiding. After searching for 6 months one of my clients was selling a stealthcraft drift boat. I was able to buy that boat and move 95% of trips to the Betsie river. Thanks Brandon! If someone didn’t want to do that I stuck to my word and still fished the PM. This was a great move and we had a great season on the Betsie river putting lots of salmon in the boat. Thank you to everyone who made that switch with me. The Betsie will be my river from here on out. If someone still want to fish the PM I am still available for that.
It seems like so long ago but we started 2019 off with steelhead fishing the Big Manistee. The steelhead fishing started off slow due to the cold weather but got better as the season progressed. This year in April we switched over to bottom bouncing which helped put more fish on the line. I have always loved watching that bobber go down but over the years I have noticed that the guys bottom bouncing do better during the peak seasons. I think it has something to do with the pressure that these steelhead get during peak season. So that is why I made the switch and it helped big. I will do the same thing this year and looking forward to it.
So far steelhead fishing has been ok this fall/winter putting a few fish in the boat every trip on the Betsie River. If you want to get out, please let me know. Until March 1, I am doing 6-hour trips for $300 and 4 hours of trips for $250. These rates are for 1 – 2 people. A 3rd person can be added for $75 but does need waders.
Detroit River Walleye Fishing:
We had a great first year of fishing on the Detroit River. If you could feel bottom while jigging, you were catching walleye. The walleye bite was not as good as last year but it was still pretty phenomenal most of the time. We did catch some good average catches and it should only be better this year.
When Memorial day happened we then switched over to trolling the shallows of Lake St. Clair. Trolling the shallows for walleye in some of my favorites ways to catch walleye. It can be fast and furious at times. As the summer progressed, We slowly moved out to the Channel and some of the other hot spots. Although limits were sometimes tough, we still did put plenty of fish in the boat.
Frankfort Big Lake Kings and Trout:
July was pretty quiet with trips do to the loss of the captain job at the other company so I mostly got the big boat ready and spent time with family and friends and working on the vacation rentals business. Towards mid-July, I headed up to Frankfort to prepare for the Benzy Frenzy 333 and what a start we had. After a lot of charter buddies telling me the salmon fishing was slow, we managed to go out and go 7-8 putting a 26 lb and a 22 lb king in the boat. Then the Frenzy happened and we were able to take 2nd putting 69 lbs of salmon on the boat between 3 fish. We were able to beat out some really good fishermen.
Charters then started and just like typical Lake Michigan Salmon fishing lately, we had our good days as well as our bad days. This is due to the DNR cutting our salmon plants down and relying mostly on natural reproduction. There were times when no salmon were around Frankfort due to these cuts. Even though we rely on natural reproduction in the Frankfort area, we also target the plants going up the Lake Michigan shoreline to the Boardman, Meduas creek and all those other areas that get planted. End of July and early August we were able to get after the Lake Trout when salmon fishing was slow. After about Mid August, the Lake Trout shut off and it was strictly salmon.
The highlight of the summer was on a Sunday afternoon putting a Michigan Tuna, a 31 lb King Salmon in the boat. When Nate put the net around the fish we couldn’t believe it. It was one of the biggest Kings I had ever seen. We also had one of the craziest nights of salmon fishing. Rods were going off all over the place and we didn’t have enough people in the boat. Nate and I worked our tails off and Don and his buddies did a great job keeping the fish out of each other’s way. I think we landed like 6 out of 9 kings. The fillets of fish that went home with them seamed endless. Other then the 333, it was once of the biggest average of fish we had. It was a great night.
A week before labor day we saw our first good push of King Salmon up the Betsie and we were right on them with the new drift boat. It started off like a normal year where at first light we were catching fish chucking thundersticks. After the first few hours of lights, it turned into a skein bite. You could see the fish moving around in the holes. As the days started going by in September, we started seeing rain. Then more rain and the rain never stopped. Rivers hit record high levels for September. I started to wonder if I need to build an ark. The skein bite becomes very tough at times but the thunderstick bite got better and better sometimes lasting all trip long. It was a ton of fun catching these fish on thundersticks all day. We hooked a ton of fish this year but due to their size, controlling them in the small Betsie river was sometimes not an option. If you did catch one, you definitely had a story to take home and you earned it.
Charters have slowed down since and I was able to put in my time for hunting. As many of you know, I drew a Bear Tag for the east side of the state after 10 years of waiting. With all my hard work I put in between trips toward a bear, it was not looking good. They were not showing up on camera and baits were not getting hit. But, somehow during the last week, we were able to get a good bear coming into the bait and I got the job done within 3 minutes of climbing into my tree. The bear was somewhere between 200 and 225 lbs and just barely missed pope and young. My deer season was a quick one and I was able to put a 6 point down and a giant public land 10 points onto the ground. It was the best hunting season I have ever experienced and I am already looking forward to 2020. I hope all my clients that hunt were able to get out and enjoy the woods. I look forward to hearing the stories on our next trips together.
Below are my prices to get out with me for next year. All trips you can add a 3 or a 4th person for an additional fee depending on the boat. If you book a second trip with me for the year you do get $50 off a full boat trip. River Salmon and Steelhead river trips do get $50 off for a two-person 6-hour trip. Also, take note that I will be available a little earlier for Detroit River Walleye in April. Mid-May I will be pulling my boat out of the Detroit river and trailering it for the rest of the season to have access to more fish. This will allow me to have access to the St Clair River Walleye fishing, Lake St Clair and still allow me to fish the Detroit River. The fishing can be hot at different locations and I don’t want to be stuck on the Detroit River if it slows down in mid-may like it sometimes does.
I will be leaving the walleye fishery to head up to Frankfort to fish for Salmon and Trout starting July 2nd. The Lake Trout bite has been epic the last couple years and I want to get in on that. Plus, who doesn’t love being in Northern Michigan in July. The rest of the season we will be chasing salmon and steelhead in NW Michigan. If you have a specific day you want to get out, make sure you get a hold of me as soon as possible as some seasons are starting to fill in. I already have limited spots available during mid-September for kings.
People / Price / Event
1 – 2 $375 Betsie or Manistee Steelhead now through April 12
1 – 3 $400 Detroit River Walleye – April 17th – End of May
1 – 4 $350 for Silver Bass May 15 – June 5
1 – 3 $350 Lake St Clair Walleye: May 20 – June 28
1 – 3 $425 Frankfort Salmon and Trout: July 5th – Sep 7
1 – 2 $375 Betsie River Salmon: Aug 24 – Oct 10
1 – 2 $375 Manistee River Salmon October 5th – ?
1 – 2 $375 Betsie and Manistee River Steelhead Oct 1 – ?
I have big goals for this year and I am looking forward to getting the season moving. I am hoping to trade in both Lake Boats and get a more economical boat. Preferably a Smokercraft Offshore or a Hewescraft of some sort. I want something that will allow me to chase both salmon and steelhead. If you have ever owned a boat, you know exactly why I want to do this 😛 (B.ust O.ut A.nother. T.housand). I will not be getting rid of any boats until I have that new boat and it’s inspected.
I am also looking for a part-time guide and deckhand to help me out with some trips. You must be local to the Frankfort area or have a place to stay during peak trip times, self-starter, punctual and drug-free. There are no exceptions.
This is getting pretty long so I will end it on this note. I want to Thanks each and everyone one of you that books with me year after year. The multiple trips, the tips and everything in between. I am very humbled that I have some of the best clients that allow me to do this every year. I look forward to sharing more adventures with everyone. Thank you for letting me be your Captain!
P.S. I will be signing off of Facebook and Instagram starting on Christmas day for a month. If you need to reach me, you can get a hold of me here or through my phone.