Fishing the Lake Michigan Shoreline, Surf, and Harbors
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:
- Fish Identification: General information about identifying the various species of fish present in Lake Michigan.
- The Fish of Lake Michigan by Wisconsin Sea Grant
- Wisconsin Fish Identification Script and App
- Trout and Salmon Identification by GLSFC
- 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.
- Illinois Department of Natural Resources
- Indiana Department of Natural Resources
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
- 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.
- Collecting Salmon and Trout Eggs Technique for collecting single or loose salmon or trout eggs for fish bait.
- Removing Salmon and Trout Skein Technique for removing skein or roe from salmon and trout for fish bait.
- Curing Salmon and Trout Eggs, Technique 1 How to use commercial salmon and trout egg cures to preserve the spawn.
- Curing Salmon and Trout Roe, Technique 2 Technique on how to use commercial salmon egg cures for curing salmon roe.
- Curing Salmon and Trout Skein for Egg Clusters Technique on how to use commercial salmon egg cures for curing salmon or trout skein to make egg clusters.
- Air Curing Trout Skein for Egg Clusters Technique on how to air cure trout roe or skein, primarily used for Ice and Still fishing.
- Homemade Salmon and Trout Egg Cures How to make your own egg cures for preserving salmon and trout spawn for use as fishing bait in spawn sacks, single eggs and egg clusters.
- Adding Krill Scent to Salmon and Trout Eggs How to add krill scent to cured salmon eggs.
- Adding Krill Scent to Salmon Roe How to add krill scent to salmon roe berries.
- How to make Spawn Sacks How to make your own spawn sacks with salmon and trout eggs for use as bait.
- How to use a spawn sac machine Using a spawn sac machine can help simplify making spawn sacs.
- Freezing Spawn Sacs An angler friend Bill, freezes spawn sacs using uncured eggs.
- Adding Spawn Sac Floaters Adding Spawn Sac Floaters to make spawn sacs more bouyant.
- How to suspend Spawn Sacks How to suspend spawn sacks off the bottom using drift balls
- Imitation Dough Bait Egg Clusters How to use a Troutberry Dough Bait Press to mold Imitation Trout or Salmon Egg Clusters.
- 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 opportunities 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:
- Shore Fishing Etiquette: Simple things and ideas that will make shore fishing more enjoyable for every fishermen.
- Fishing Crank Baits for Trophy Great Lakes Brown Trout: Using crank baits to catch large trophy Brown Trout is a deadly fishing technique. Older browns will not waste much energy chasing small lures. They are looking for a meal, not a snack.
- Tube Jigging for Trout and Salmon Technique: Using tube jigs under a slip bobber is a deadly fishing technique when used shore fishing in harbors for trout and salmon. This technique can be used in all open water seasons.
- Berkley Powerbait Micros for Trout Techniques: Using Berkley Powerbait Micros fishing from shore in harbors for trout. This technique can be used in all open water seasons.
- Floating Spawn Sacks and Eggs for Steelhead Fishing Technique: Floating spawn sacks and eggs for Steelhead and Rainbow Trout is an effective technique. This technique can be used in all open water seasons.
- A-Just-a Bubble Rainbow Trout and Steelhead Fishing Technique: Using an A-Just-a Bubble float for light weight bait casting for Rainbow Trout and Steelhead. This technique can be used in all open water seasons.
- How to determine the depth to set your float from shore: When using a slip float, determining the proper depth to set your bait in most harbors or from shore can be challenging.
- Using Berkley Gulp Trout Dough Bait Fishing Technique Video: Video showing techniques for using Berkley Gulp Trout Dough Bait.
- Luhr Jensen Technical Reports: (requires Adobe reader)
Surf Fishing Tips and Techniques:
Lake Michigan Surf Fishing Equipment used:
- How to make Sand Spikes or Rod Holders for Surf Fishing Sand spikes or Surf Rod Holders are a requirement when fishing the surf. There is nothing that will destroy or ruin a fishing reel quicker than laying the fishing rod on a sandy beach.
- How to make a PVC Sand Spike for loose sand
- How to make a Sand Spike
- How to make a Rod Holder for firm ground
- Waders and Boots for fishing the Surf The surf fishing is done in a a wet environment, waders or boots are required unles you plan on getting wet.
- Tackle Storage and general tackle used surf fishing A five gallon bucket with a lid makes the best universal tackle storage for surf fishing. See what tackle is generally put in a typical surf fishing bucket.
- Landing fish when Surf Fishing Landing fish when surf fishing can be done with or without a net.
- Fishing Reels for Surf Fishing Fishing reel and line recommendations for surf fishing.
- Fishing Rods for Surf Fishing Fishing rods used for surf fishing.
Lake Michigan Surf Fishing Tips and Techniques:
- Basic Bottom Fishing Rig Setups used when Surf Fishing There are numerous basic bottom fishing rig setups typically used by fishermen surf fishing. Three of the more popular setups are described.
- Cutting bait chunks and strips for surf fishing Surf fishing with whole, cut chunks, or strip baits made from bait fish is an effective technique. There are a variety of bait fish that can be used in the Great Lakes.
- How to rig whole, chunk, and strip baits for surf fishing How to rig whole, chunk, and strip baits for Trout and Salmon when surf fishing.
- Surf Fishing for Brown Trout after Dark Surf fishing for Brown Trout after dark with glow in the dark spoons can be very productive.