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With as cold as it has been (relative to a typical summer) the normal water temps have not setup and consequently the salmon are not in traditional locations. Fishing does seem to be picking up quite a bit the last week or so, but still not what would be expected for mid July. A north or east wind still moves cold water into the normal fishing grounds and moves fish to other locations. With no "hot" water around, the fish can use all of the lake which scatters them across the lake -- horizontally and vertically.

There has been pretty good action for Lake Trout and Steelhead out of many ports. Southern Wisconsin waters have had more consitant salmon catches but with the winds and air temps, that is where a lot of what could be called warm water has been pushed.

We just need a week of clear skys with some "summer" heat and low winds to get some action jump started on the Michigan coast. These same cool temps have meant great walleye fishing in Saginaw Bay and the western basin of Erie for much longer into the summer than often happens.

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I hear that every year the last 3 years, of which each year has been progressively worse salmon fishing. The winter was to long, summer to cold, water isnt setting up...this is MUCH worse than any year alot of us have ever seen.There is less fish in the lake due to cuts which is easy to see why there are way less being caught. It will be worse yet next year unfortunatly. Some ports are virtually salmonless many days, at least there are some steelhead and to many trout around.

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The ports with good natural reproduction are doing okay. Otherwise it's lakers for the most part. The lake certainly is changing just not as terrible as most think. I caught an 18lb non clipped fish in front of holland this weekend so they are around just not like 2012

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Well I have not been out due to a broken boat. Been playing inland a bit. I sure would not call all the reports (both on and off this site) I have read bad, especially compared to last year.

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I'm interested to see how the fishing turns out in August and early September when the fish are staging. Last year that part of the fishery was virtually nonexistent because the poor run up and down the state. My guess is August/September will be better this year than last, but last year's April/May fishing was significantly better than this year's. June is the typical slow June (at least for us) the last couple years.

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The ports with good natural reproduction are doing okay. Otherwise it's lakers for the most part. The lake certainly is changing just not as terrible as most think. I caught an 18lb non clipped fish in front of holland this weekend so they are around just not like 2012

Being at a port with/without natural reproduction has little to do with the spring & summer catches. The salmon go all over the lake until ready to stage for sawing runs. Southern Wisconsin has no natural reproduction and have been doing well. Holland doesn't either. Until the last couple of weeks, Ludington, Manistee & Frankfort have been terrible this year too.

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Hmm good point I guess it just seems like GH and muskegon have been doing well in the mud and offshore this spring

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I don't know where all the doom and gloom is coming from. Ryan I am sorta doing like you and living through others. Several times a week I google Ludington fishing reports. Freestyle and stowaway charters come up. They both post reports regularly. They have had many fine trips this season. Frankfort has been hit or miss. Some salmon have been cought at Leland off the manitous.

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Hmm good point I guess it just seems like GH and muskegon have been doing well in the mud and offshore this spring

Big warm water influxes, in particular with the grand I think are helping to congregate bait with the extra cold water this year. We couldn't find water warmer than 53deg last week unless we were in and around the mud in GH it seemed.

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Doom and gloom? I caught 12 mature kings last year. This year two seven pounders and a 15#. I'm at 57 fish this year for 180#, mostly 2-3# browns.

Two years ago in May I pulled a 15 fish limit of kings coho and browns off the pier heads for 136#. Picked up two new guys for the afternoon trip focused on kings and put over 125# in the boat on their ten. Went out two more times the next week, again in my 14', at the piers. The last trip we threw back anything under 12# that wasn't hooked deeply. I caught more weight in fish that week than I did all of last year andthis year combined.

And labor day three years ago 21 kings from 2-6 pm. All my harbor trips combined last year five kings.

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As said Grand Haven and Musk. pump out lots of warm water, and polution which attracts bait, thats why fish hold around it more, even natural reproduction doesnt have alot to with it, the little man which is very high on that list had next to zero return last year, an all time low return to the wier. As far as charter reports take them with a grain of saly that i there livelyhood and there not gunna post the 1 2 and 3 fish trips, who would want to go. There will be good days but they are few and far between and not near as good as what used to be considered good.

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As said Grand Haven and Musk. pump out lots of warm water, and polution which attracts bait, thats why fish hold around it more, even natural reproduction doesnt have alot to with it, the little man which is very high on that list had next to zero return last year, an all time low return to the wier. As far as charter reports take them with a grain of saly that i there livelyhood and there not gunna post the 1 2 and 3 fish trips, who would want to go. There will be good days but they are few and far between and not near as good as what used to be considered good.

The pictures on there sites tell the story and yes at least these 2 do post the bad along with the good.

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not saying there lying, but i would be shocked anyone on the lake that fishes more than once a week has averaged over 5 KINGS per trip. Alot of guys can catch trout and steel, to mix in with a salmon or 2 and make a good trip.THeres a popular guide on the muskegon that always gets the steelhead if you go by his pics. And many guys have busted those lies many times. Just saying there is few fish around, and few if any big secrets out there. So noone is killing them day in and day out. You can look at the tourny weights that dont include trout and see how bad it is. Look at the returns to the wiers and see how low the numbers were last year, and its now 50% lower on numbers this year.

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We have started to very nice catches of kings between 12-22 pounds . when the water starts to set up many charters are taking between 8-15 kings per trip. The problem like last year is the wind never blows out of the same direction for more than a few days.

I personally believe there are still decent numbers of kings to be caught but it very spot specific unlike years past where the fish were all over.

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Fishing is definitely not easy this year, but it's not impossible to have a good trip either. In four trips last week I didn't have less than 3 king bites. Part of the problem is 2012 and 2013 set expectations so high (2012 for 20 fish catches and 2013 for 30lb kings) that it's hard to temper expectations back down. Most of the conversations about how bad the fishing is usually include a reference to 2012, which was a banner season lake wide. It seems like each season has been so vastly different that it's hard to tell just how bad it is. Obviously with stocking cuts there is going to be some decline in king numbers, but as long as I can keep putting a few kings in the boat and supplement them with some steel and lakers I suppose that will be enough for me to keep enduring those amazing sunrises and sunsets with friends and family on lake Michigan a little bit longer :-)

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My logs go back to 1995. Every fish on both of my boats since I bought them. The last two years have been by far the worst for me on kings. Worst than when I had two rods, a 14', and no tow vehicle. Worst than dialing in my four winns, which took a few seasons.

Browns oddly, my two best. Granted I fished for them longer. Burn 15 gallons offshore looking for kings when I know I can probably limit on browns in the 14' burning a gallon? Not the size we saw before they petered out in the early 2000's, but way more per trip.

Last year awesome steel fishing. This year under similar conditions I caught my first one last night. Can't figure that out.

We had some lean years on kings, but nothing this depressing. Had several solid years for kings long before 2012, with July 2009 being a high water mark. Seven limit trips (at three per person) in a row. We are seeing lots of smaller alewives this year. I hope that's not because the river plumes are warm and concentrating the bait.

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What charter boats are averaging 8-15 kings per trip? I talk to quite a few and know 1 that has hit double digits on kings one time since may.

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20 years of logs is great info. I started keeping detailed logs 5 years ago and enjoy looking back at the trends, but the rest is memory. My dad used to keep his logs in the 70's and 80's before fishing went downhill and sold his gear (only to start over again early 2000's). I don't buy a lot of what the DNR is trying to sell the public, but I truly hope their intentions are good and they can find that balance that gives us consistent fishing with a healthy bait population.

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the only reports are from the same few ports every week?

This my friend is true. There are a lot of guys here from the West Michigan area that still post a bunch (thank You to them). There is no doubt the fishing is not as good as is has been up, and down the lakeshore.

A bunch of guys are just not fishing as much anymore.

Good luck if you make it out.

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I didn't have any expectations fir this year because of 2012. I didn't get to fish out of any of the hot ports so my catch rates were normal. But last year wasn't very good. Might have to sell the Islander to someone that would use it on Saginaw Bay for walleye. Because I could care less about catching lakers. And when I went out last week all we could catch was lakers. From a 3 color leadcore all the way down to 90 all over 120' of water. Every rod had a hit in a 3 hr period.

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This is by far the worse year I have ever had in grand haven yes we have had kings up close in the mud the last couple weeks but the bite is very short we fished 16 hours over the weekend with only 5 bites

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The last read I got from a guy actually involved with monitoring the alewife population/ reproduction/ egg counts. Stated they where impressed with the number of eggs showing in the female population sample this year!They where generally suprised and encouraged! This bodes well for the plants since the reduction was based on the alewife crash. No bait no plants less bait less plants. He was genuinely encouraged that if what they are seeing continues the plant numbers will be going back up in the next year or two! Lets hope so!!!

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Might have to sell the Islander to someone that would use it on Saginaw Bay for walleye. Because I could care less about catching lakers. And when I went out last week all we could catch was lakers. From a 3 color leadcore all the way down to 90 all over 120' of water. Every rod had a hit in a 3 hr period.

If I didn't enjoy going over to Saginaw and Erie I would be considering selling. I have a feeling there is going to be a large number of salmon boats on the block next spring and a glut by the end of the year.

As of this year we have approx. 2.76 million less catchable Chinooks swimming in Lake Mi than we did in 2012. This does not take into account the poor spawning conditions experienced around the lake in 2012 due to low water levels so the number is most likely greater than that. Figure less Chinook being caught this year and last year and the number probably evens itself. That is a substantial drop! And remember the adults this year are still from the 2012 plant so we'll have 1.38 million less fish to fish for next year than we do this year! You think this year was tough for kings you better get ready......

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