Best Salmon Fishing in the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are vast, covering the largest freshwater area on earth. For fishermen and anglers, these lakes are the closest thing to heaven, being packed with fish of all kinds.

One of the most common fish in the Great Lakes is salmon. There are about four different species of salmon in the lakes, and sometimes they can be tricky to spot. If you’re up for a challenge, start preparing for a trip to the Great Lakes!

So, where is the best salmon fishing in the Great Lakes? Let’s take a look!

Best Spots to Catch Salmon in the Great Lakes

Finding salmon isn’t always easy, especially when the waters are as deep as the Great Lakes. Here are some spots where you can find salmon along those lakes.

Lake Erie, Pennsylvania

Presque Isle, Pierhead Lighthouse at Presque Island

Lake Erie is the smallest and shallowest of the Great Lakes. That’s why it warms up quickly in the spring and summer. But, likewise, it freezes frequently during winter.

Even though the lake is relatively small, it has a couple of different types of salmon. In Lake Erie, you can find King and Coho salmon, but you need some skills to catch them.

One of these skills is angling, which is using a normal fishing rod with a hook, or “angle,” at the end. The fishing can take a while, but you’ll be walking away with salmon more often than not.

As you travel east down the river, the water gets deeper and colder. This is the perfect environment for salmon to grow. That’s why it’s best to go salmon fishing around late August. However, the salmon season can stretch to the end of October, so you can still catch some fish before the winter starts.

April and May are usually when the salmon procreate. So, it’s generally a bad idea to fish around that period. Fishing during this season can lead to a huge drop in salmon numbers.

Where To Catch Salmon In Michigan

In Michigan, you can catch salmon in Lake Michigan and its numerous tributaries. Trolling is the preferred method for catching salmon in Lake Michigan, especially during the summer when salmon are most plentiful and head for the deeper, cooler waters of the lake.

Manistee Lake, Michigan

Manistee Lake, Michigan

If you’re planning a family fishing trip, Manistee Lake may be the best destination. This area has so many recreational options to offer. You can ride boats, visit the beach, and, most importantly, fish for salmon.

Salmon fishing in Manistee Lake is one of the most exciting fishing activities. The fish there are huge and strong. So, it shouldn’t surprise you if a fish rips a line or jumps three feet into the air.

Manistee Lake offers a large variety of fish. Still, one of its most abundant fish is the King salmon.

The ideal time for salmon fishing in this lake is in late August.

You can still find a few fish all the way until late October. However, if you want the best chance of catching salmon, it’s best to go as early as you can.

The best way to catch King salmon is to find a flock of birds. When you’re out on the water, you can usually see flocks of birds flying around close to the water.

They’re flying around because there are many baitfish in that particular area. Baitfish means that salmon are close behind. So, it’s a good idea to find the birds and wait for the salmon to come around.

Lake Superior, Michigan

Another great lake for salmon fishing is Lake Superior. This is the largest and northernmost of the Great Lakes. Since it’s so large, many areas surround the lake.

On the north side of the lake, you can find Ontario, Canada. Then, if you travel west, you’ll see Minnesota, then Wisconsin, and Michigan in the south.

Salmon prefer deep waters, and it doesn’t get much deeper than Lake Superior. There are three types of Salmon in the lake, King, Coho, and Pink salmon.

The type you’re most likely to have a run-in with is the Coho salmon. Coho salmon feed in the lake until they reach the age of sexual maturity. Then, the salmon will start to swim up rivers. This is the best time to catch them.

The fish will be on the move and traveling in large groups, so they’ll be much easier to spot and catch.

In Lake Superior, salmon will start to migrate in early fall, usually in August. They keep swimming until they reach their birthplace, then they reproduce and die. That’s why it’s a good idea to catch them before they reach their final destination.

Lake Huron, Ontario

Best Salmon Fishing in the Great Lakes

If you’re going on a summer fishing trip, Lake Huron may be the place for you. During the summer, Coho and King salmon both come out and play.

Down in the depths of Lake Huron are large groups of salmon. These large groups usually stay together and stay very deep in the water. So, it’s a little harder to catch them, but that’s good news if you’re up to a challenge.

You can use deep-sea fishing techniques to catch salmon in the summer. Many people say downriggers are an excellent technique, but they require some practice first.

As the water gets colder in the fall, the salmon will start to migrate. They start moving to the mouth of the Spanish River and the North Channel.

When salmon migrate, they move closer to the surface of the water. This makes normal methods of fishing much more effective, and you can easily locate the salmons.

In recent years, salmon numbers in Lake Huron decreased slightly because of the Zebra Mussels. However, the numbers in the area have been improving, and you should be able to catch one for yourself.

Wrapping Up

So, what is the best place to catch salmon in the Great Lakes?

When it comes to the Great Lakes, many pockets are full of salmon and it’s some of the best salmon fishing in the U.S. Not mentioned here, but be sure to read our article about salmon fishing in Wisconsin. To make sure you get the best chance of catching a fish, visit these locations in late fall.

You can find about four different types of salmon. You might also get lucky and have the opportunity to see the salmon jump in the air.

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