My business is to provide people the opportunity to sample the exciting and challenging fishing available at the southern end of Lake Michigan. This page is dedicated to showing a bit of the behind-the-scenes work it takes to do that and to highlight the trips and fun my customers are able to experience.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Fine Feast

People often ask me what’s the best way to prepare the salmon they catch on the Brother Nature. I always ask them if they remember the scene in Forest Gump when Bubba starts listing the ways to cook shrimp. It’s like that with salmon. You can broil it, grill it, bake, fry, poach, smoke, pickle and don’t forget salmon loaf, salmon cheese balls, salmon..... There’s no bad way. I also tell them to first cook it the way they prepare the walleye, bass, bluegills, catfish or other kinds of fish they catch. My theory is they know how that tastes, cooking their salmon the same way gives them a basis for comparison.

All that being said, the Wadas family (mentioned in my previous blog) didn’t follow that advice when preparing the cohos they caught for the main course for their Easter meal. Here’s a photo of the main course, just out of the oven.

Looks good to me!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I hate beating up customers so I elected to stick close to shore yesterday instead of heading out to laker-land 7 or 8 miles offshore and risk the prediction for stiff winds a'comin'. Storms and strong winds had muddied the nearshore areas and put the shallow-water fish on hold the last several days.
Pressure was on since the family told me they were planning salmon for their Easter menu. Three hours into the trip, it was looking like perhaps a trip to the supermarket for some farm-raised stuff would be needed. An Storm Rattlin' ThinFin saved the day down by the 3rd light out of the East Chicago Marina. Then another coho hit a dodger/fly on the way back to the second light, followed by a 3rd, between there and the first light. "Good," I told them, "We've gone from a 'couple' in the box to a 'few' in the box. One more fish and we can say we did okay and 'caught some'."
I'm happy to report, we caught some and some more and the Wadas family ended up with enough for Easter and another meal in the future.

Pictured here is Michael Wadas and friend, Ally Ylo with her first fish ever!

I don't know if the sunny skies helped, the fish just turned on (a little) or it was the fish-god smiling.
I have a group from Iowa for the next couple days. They always bring foul (fowl?) weather so we will be answering the radio as the "Gore-Tex" team.
Wish us luck. Only 2 inches of rain predicted......

Friday, April 15, 2011


I should have known the "Perfect Storm" would be a-brewin’ this weekend. Doug Wheelock and he Iowegian Team of fishermen were scheduled to make the drive from Sioux City, Iowa for 3 days of Lake Michigan fishing. Not that we have never had nice weather when the Iowa-guys have come for the last couple of decades. We’ve experienced the rare day of calm seas and warm sun. Usually, however, they bring wind. Often lots of wind and then think back to the rainy days, the snowy days, the hail storms and other weather anomalies. So it’s no wonder I’m writing this instead of just leaving the harbor for another day of adventure on the Brother Nature.

The wind is howling at 30-knots–due east. When we quit, yesterday it was 21knots northeast and we climbed over a few 8 foot waves heading back to Hammond Marina.

Calumet Harbor, built prior to WWII, offers several miles of protected breakwall for a northeast wind. So that’s where we went on day one of the Iowegian visit. It took about 15 minutes to bounce the two miles from Hammond to the detached breakwall and about 5 minutes to hook up with the first coho.

I’d like to report the action stayed that fast but it didn’t. It never died completely and actually, as the day progressed the bite got better. Perhaps as the waves outside the breakwall intensified, it pushed more fish to the inside. Our last 5 fish came in about 15 minutes.

When Wheelock and I fished in Ludington last summer, our best lure was a "Wonder Bread" J-Plug and so with rumors of kings being caught, recently, we put one of them out, mid-morning. Lucky for Roger Gruber, Wheelock was playing a coho when the downrigged J got bit. Doug knew it was the "big-fish" rod and has been known to jump the rotation at the sound of a reel’s drag being tested.

Gruber wrested the rod free and ended up with a trophy brown trout to score top honors for the day. Of course, with 19 cohos to go with it, no one went home with empty hearts.

So we are sidelined today and with the winds predicted to veer to southerly quadrants tomorrow, dawn will find us, slickered against the rain, ready to do battle.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I don’t deny being a fisherman. I don’t deny choosing travel destinations on the quality and quantity of fish which swim in nearby waters. But don’t think I can’t participate in other adventures (in addition to catching some fish) when I’m away from home.

I just got back from several days at Canyon of the Eagles Resort on Lake Buchanan west of Austin, Texas. Sure, I caught some fish. Nice ones! Purebred stripers, white bass and man-made hybrids of these species. But let me show you a couple of the other "views" of Texas I was able to see on the trip.

Paddle Sports are all the rage, these days. Canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding is booming. I’ve canoed plenty of times, so when the opportunity to jump into–or is it onto–a kayak, I jumped. Fun stuff and an interesting view of Texas and Lake Buchanan--over my toes and the pointed bow of the kayak.

The next afternoon, I met William. I called him Willy and he was the horse I was assigned at the Post Oak Farm a short distance away from the Canyon of the Eagles. On Willy’s back, I got a more traditional view of Texas as we meandered through the scenic pastures and woodlands, not much changed from the days of the cowboys.

My thoughts? I may buy a kayak–I can see the fishing potential. Willy will remain a resident of Texas.

Canyon of the Eagles: www. canyonoftheeagles.com

Post Oak Farm: www. postoakfarm.com

Sunday, April 3, 2011

LADIES DAYS (and others)!

It’s been an interesting 4 days. It’s not common in late March or early April to have the opportunity to fish 4 days in a row. I don’t usually get that many bookings and when I do, the weatherman doesn’t cooperate enough to allow it.

On Wednesday, I fished Abby Seitzinger (seven years old) who brought along her dad and uncle to do the driving. She was the fisher-person! We fished out of East Chicago, specifically at the Indiana Harbor Ship Canal. I don’t remember Abby losing any fish, but her "drivers" did. Still, the cohos were cooperative and she coached them on to their limits.

Thursday, I hosted a trio of Michiganders who headed "south" to get some fresh fish to eat. You can see from the photo, they got their wish, with several bags of coho filets to keep them in meat until "spring" moves north to their normal fishing lakes.

Friday was a group from Kansas who drove 500 miles to catch some fish. They were joined by one Indiana friend. We had a great time. The fish mysteriously vacated the ship canal, but we located them offshore of the U.S. Steel Gary Works a few miles away and ended up with 15 beauties in the cooler before the rains showed up.

Finally, on Saturday, a long awaited "family reunion" sort of trip. A couple of years ago my brother and his wife set up a "gift certificate" to their son and his new wife of a Lake Michigan Fishing Trip on the Brother Nature. By spring, Carrie was with child and in no morning mood to fish. By the following spring they were well into child care activities to plan a trip so this year, Grandma babysat while Grampa, Justin and Carrie came to fish. We found the fish right outside the marina and slowly picked away to a catch which included the first steelhead of the year, as well as limits of cohos. Carrie caught the first, last, biggest and several fish in the middle.