Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lake Michigan Kayak Fishing Report : Salmon and Trout : September 5, 2010

Strong west winds and cool September nights have turned the lake over and has set the wisconsin harbors and river mouths in motion for shore fishermen, and small craft fishermen alike.  Water surface temperatures from the state line all the way up past Milwaukee range from 48 degrees to 53 degrees.  Water inside the Milwaukee harbor runs an average of 55 degrees as of Sunday.

My first time out this fall started at dawn on Sunday morning as I launched my newly fitted Kayak from the beach at the mouth of Pike Creek in Kenosha, where there was a colony of tents and shore fishermen hoping to tie into their first King of the fall.  I did a 2 mile loop, marking an occasional stray fish in the 15 foot deep range.   I kayaked out to 30 feet of water and hooked back to shore, as the other handful of boats out all pulled away one by one to deeper water where more fish could be found.  I wanted to get the Kayak in Milwaukee harbor where I knew more fish would be holding.

I launched from the rocks near the channel head light and set out in calm waters under a blue sky to the middle gap.  I was marking dozens of fish and bait clouds inside the wall of the harbor which dissapted after heading out of the main gap into the lake.  A freighter headed past and sounded its horn as it passed through the channel under the Hoan bridge.

Wind was steadily rising from the south and clouds were moving in.  I made a line to the North gap and began trolling counter clockwise circles through the gap.    At 1:45 p.m. I hooked and landed my first Kayak salmonid.  It was a small but beautiful brown trout.  It hit a Green Dolphin Magnum Stinger spoon behind a dipsy diver in 29 feet of water.   There was 30 feet of line on counter.   As winds had continued to rise I battled across the harbor to my launch point and pulled out and headed south to Racine to meet the crew I salmon fish with, I haven't seen them since the end of Steelhead season in the spring and was looking forward to catching up.  After arriving at the channel head and swapping fish stories from the summer I began casting a jig with a 5" gulp minnow.  A Steelhead had been landed by my friend Mike shortly before my arival.  Another friend Andrew, who runs the fishing website Fishing-Headquarters, which you should all check out, swiftly hooked a beautiful fall King Salmon at about 9 lbs.  After the sun set I hooked on a glow spoon (a 3/4 oz. Moonshine) and stuck the biggest Steelhead I've caught to date.  32" of chrome, beauty.

It was exactly how a start to the salmon season should go.  Just increadibly excited about the fall.  You can expect regular reports from here on out.


  1. Sounds like you had a tremendous weekend. Congrats on the kayak salmon and the steelhead is a brute. Tight lines brother.

  2. Nice Fish!!

    I just purchased a fishing kayak this weekend and want to start fishing Lake Michigan, but have no idea where to start. I have fished rivers and lakes for bass and walleye all my life, but have never caught a trout and have no idea how to fish for them. Any idea where I can start? Any sites you recommend for a rube like myself?

  3. Nice! Although I was there the entire time and took the photo, it's good to see an account of it in writing.
    Good fishing with you! Till next time!
    I think you should have told Dale you got your fish at Montrose instead of Racine (if you did) hahaha Me and Mike were talking about the "what ifs" while out there today.

  4. Dale probably would have liked it better, that's a good point. I was hoping for even a shout out in the fishing report, oh well. You guys get any action yesterday?

  5. None. I missed one at the spot in Racine, winds drew us away after 45minutes. Then we were in Kenosha for almost 2 hours. Mike missed a Steelhead or Coho, little guy. Lots of guys out, some Browns were jumping in the harbor, but few fish being caught.

  6. Greetings. I have been following your blog for a while now. Great job. Really nice photos, great writing and some really cool innovative approaches. This however is over the top cool!
    thanks for the report.


  7. Thanks for following Mark, I appreciate the kind words.

    Andrew, sorry you missed that one. I hit a nice Steelhead from my kayak Saturday afternoon in Racine. Where are the Kings!?

  8. It's the wooden board rig! Is it working / holding up well?

  9. Sounds like you guys up in the northern part have really good time catching Salmons, Trouts and Steelheads while down here at the TX Gulf Coast we are still having good catches on the Specks and Flounders.
    Best regards from TX and Always Tight Lines

  10. Thanks author for Lake Michigan Kayak Fishing Report.