It's finally here, the real beginning of the near shore salmon season on Lake Michigan. As of right now you have the following options.
Steelhead : Trail Creek Skamanias, Michigan City : Float fishing with crawlers, shrimp, or spawn, flies including egg patterns, leeches, streamers. Spinners and crank baits pulled through pools produce fish as well. Remember to try and fish these presentations by casting upstream and pulling the bait back toward you. Fish face into current, also important when you observe swirling circular pools, you may have access to fish not just faced "upstream"
Steelhead : Steelhead are feeding in the top of the water column and are being caught from Milwaukee on up to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, as well as from some of the piers in Michigan, among these are Ludington and Frankfort's piers.
Brown Trout : Kenosha and Milwaukee's harbors have a resident population of these big lunker German Browns. Getting them to bite can be a problem, but once it gets a little later in the season spawn and tube jigs tipped with wax worms can be a killer, as well as wide wobbling crank baits and spoons of course.
King Salmon. A few kings have been caught from the piers lately, namely Sheboygan and Milwaukee piers, but I imagine anywhere with extra cold water could bring in some early Kings. They are still fresh and silver, getting one now would be a real treat.
This is a 20 lb. king that a fellow angler named Mike P. caught recently while pier fishing. He caught it in the early a.m. before the sun rose. Congrats on the beautiful 38" King Mike.
"The Run" will be starting in the next couple of weeks as salmon find their way back to their home river after 3 or 4 years in the great lakes feasting on a number of forage fish. Any river can attract salmon, but the most popular locations are ones in which fish are stocked. These include the Root River, Pike Creek, Oak Creek, Milwaukee River, Menominee River, Sauk Creek, and the Sheboygan River. Harbors in which salmon are stocked are also a great place to target returning fall salmon.
If you hook one of these big black gummed meanies be prepared to hold onto your rod, they'll take you for a ride.
At this very moment I have friends in both Milwaukee and Sheboygan, fluttering spoons through the water just hoping for a bite. Is Salmon Fever, Skamania Mania, whatever you want to call it, it's just great fishing. Take this information and go secure a spot on the pier or on the river bank and learn the location, learn the presentation, and before long, learn what it feels like to have a King Salmon or other great lakes salmonid on the line.
In addition to that, the Illinois Perch Season re-opened today, and daily bag limit returend to 15 fish. Since it has been such a cool summer there is a very real possibility of putting dinner on the table in the form of a Yellow Perch fish fry. All those Chicago Perch fishing anglers will be back at it again.
Until next time, good luck out there.