Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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Fishing the Lake Michigan
Shoreline, Surf, and Harbors
Lake Michigan has a surface area of 22,300 square miles and 1,660 miles of shoreline. There are more than a hundred cities and towns on its banks. Access areas for fishing the Lake Michigan Shore include: harbors, piers, break walls, power plants, city parks, river mouths and scenic shorelines. During the fall salmon spawning runs thousands of fishermen will take advantage of the many piers, breakwaters, harbors and river mouths. Spring will see many of the same fishermen in the same areas fishing for Brown Trout, Steelhead and spring Coho Salmon. Summer fishing from shore targets perch, smallmouth bass and other fish. Summer fishing at night is a good time to try for salmon and trout that cruise the shorelines under the cover of darkness.
Shore fishing for trout and salmon on Lake Michigan is an art, employing a great variety of tips and techniques depending on the time of year and species of fish sought. Fishing tips and techniques for Salmon, trout, steelhead, coho, chinook, lake trout, brown trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, perch and walleye, northern pike and other species that inhabit Lake Michigan are generic in nature and can be modified and applied to any location. Some techniques which are unique to the Great Lakes have been adjusted and used in saltwater fishing in Europe and the Pacific Coast of North America from California North to Alaska. River and creek mouths, power plants, warm water discharges are areas that will attract and hold fish at certain times of the year. Harbor, piers, breakwaters are natural areas to attract fish. In some states the hatchery raised salmon and trout are released directly into harbors and they will return there year after year. Wind direction also has a direct relation to fish locations. During the summer months winds blowing offshore can push the warm surface water away from the shore allowing the cool water to backfill the void, this cycle will bring bait fish with trout and salmon near shore. There is no one technique that will guarantee fish each time you fish Lake Michigan. Plan to learn, use and master several techniques to become a better fisherman. When fishing the shore of Lake Michigan most will soon realize that 10 percent of the fishermen usually catch 90 percent of the fish. These fishermen usually will employ a variety of tips and techniques to be successful.
The different types of fishing tips, articles and techniques located in the website are logically separated into several major topic categories:
Specific techniques and tips related to each type of fishing can be found in the different categories. Salmon, trout, steelhead and other species of fish fishing articles are also included.
- General Fishing Tips, Techniques and Information
- Shore, Surf, Harbor Fishing Access Locations
- Shore and Harbor Fishing Tips and Techniques
- Surf Fishing Tips and Techniques
- Ice Fishing Tips and Techniques
- Species Specific tips and information
General Fishing Tips, Techniques and Information
- Fish Identification: General information about identifing the various species of fish present in Lake Michigan.
- Fishing Regulations: General information and links to the different fishing rules and regulations for each of the four states that border Lake Michigan: Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.
- Fishing in Lake Michigan: General information about the different types of fishing available:
- Hook Sharpening: A technical sheet from Luhr Jensen that details hook sharpening techniques.
- Maps and Books: Information about various maps and books about Lake Michigan.
- Online Maps: Links to several Online Map companies.
- Using Salmon and Trout Eggs or Spawn for Bait Information about the different Great Lakes trout, steelhead and salmon; techniques for tying spawn sacks or spawn bags; tips on how to gather salmon eggs and spawn; how to cure and store salmon and trout eggs, spawn, roe and skein for use as fishing bait.
- How to catch bait fish with Sabiki Rigs Using sabiki rigs to catch fresh bait fish is a popular technique. Sabiki rigs are multi-hook jigging rigs for catching herring, smelt, alewife, shad and other small bait fish.
- How to make salted Minnows Salting minnows and small bait fish is a popular preservation technique.
- How to catch and collect Nightcrawler worms Collecting and catching nightcrawler worms in spring is relatively easy.
- How to store nightcrawler worms. Properly stored nightcrawler worm can be kept alive for several weeks.
Shore, Surf and Harbor Fishing
Access Locations and Articles:
- Shore fishing access locations Lake Michigan has a surface area of 22,300 square miles and 1,660 miles of shoreline. There are dozens of tributary creeks, streams and rivers that provide excellent fishing. Some of our favorite access areas.
- Shore Fishing Article from the Indiana DNR A PDF article from the State of Indiana DNR with access maps, species facts, seasonal fishing oportunities and fishing information for shore and tributary fishing. (requires Adobe reader)
- Michigan Shore Anglers Guide From the State of Michigan DNR with detailed access maps; seasonal fishing opportunities and recommended fishing tactics for the different shore fishing locations.
Shore and Harbor Fishing Tips and Techniques:
Surf Fishing Tips and Techniques:
Lake Michigan Surf Fishing
Lake Michigan Surf Fishing
Tips and Techniques: