How Is the Salmon Fishing on Lake Michigan?

Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes in North America and is the only one located entirely within the United States. It is home to a wide variety of fish species, including salmon. Salmon fishing on Lake Michigan has been a popular pastime for generations, and it continues to draw anglers from all over the world.

The salmon fishing season on Lake Michigan begins in late April and runs through October. During these months, anglers can expect to catch Chinook (king) salmon, Coho (silver) salmon, steelhead trout, lake trout, brown trout and even the occasional lake sturgeon. The lake also has an abundance of other species such as walleye, bass, bluegill and perch.

One of the most popular locations for salmon fishing on Lake Michigan is near Milwaukee. This area offers some of the best Chinook (king) salmon fishing in the lake.

Anglers can find Chinook near the mouths of rivers such as Milwaukee River and Root River. Other areas where Chinook can be found include Sturgeon Bay, Sheboygan Harbor and Port Washington Channel.

The best time to Target Chinook is usually during May and June when they migrate into shallower waters near shorelines or off-shore reefs for spawning purposes. During this time anglers should use spoons or spinners that mimic baitfish to entice these giant fish into biting.

Coho (silver) salmon are also abundant in Lake Michigan but tend to be less visible than Chinooks due to their preference for deeper waters. Coho can typically be found along deep drop-offs or near off-shore reefs during May through September but can be caught year-round if you know where to look for them. When Targeting Coho anglers should use jigs or flys with flashy colors that mimic baitfish like herring or whitefish.

Lake trout are another popular species Targeted by anglers in Lake Michigan but they tend to be more elusive than other species due to their preference for cold water environments located deep below the surface of the lake. The best time to Target them is during May through August when they migrate closer towards shorelines before settling into deeper waters later in the season.

When Targeting them anglers should use spoons or spinners that have vibrant colors that attract their attention from far away distances in order to lure them into biting your bait.


In conclusion, Salmon fishing on Lake Michigan is an excellent way for any angler looking for a rewarding day out on the water! It offers plenty of opportunities for catching both Chinook (king) salmon, Coho (silver) salmon as well as steelhead trout, lake trout and even brown trout throughout its long season! The key is knowing where and when these fish can be found so you’ll have success out on the water.

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet