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Wanting to start scheduling a trip to try my hand at Great Lakes salmon fishing.  Run timing, is there a peak month and what area to look toward with a charter?  Thank you

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It is not necessarily a matter of spawning runs, which yes, traditionally are better mid to late August.

Usually king and coho fishing will begin at the south end of Lake Michigan in late April/early May.  Kings will usually then work north up the coast.  Best fishing out of Holland last year was Mother's Day to Memorial Day.  August king fishing never materialized as it has in the past out of Holland.  Presumably, though not certainly, this is due to decreased stocking.  Northern ports such as Ludington and Manistee would probably be the places to go late summer.

 

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Some of the best coho fishing is in April and May on the south end of the lake but the fish are small, 1-3 lbs.  That is fairly reliable fishery.   The best king fishing last year was in May due to conditions that had fish concentrated in the SW side of Michigan.  That is not a sure thing, King fishing was tougher there in prior years and sometime Wisconsin gets the concentration in spring.  It is really wind and water dependent.   A more predictable fishery is from the 3rd week of July to mid August off north central MI and WI.   Salmon populations are down in recent years from lower stocking and inconsistent natural reproduction.    It seems the best fishing in recent years is dependent on water conditions concentrating bait and fish.   If you could pick your port as close to your dates based on recent conditions, that will result in the best success but that can be tough when booking travel and charters in advance.  If you can fish weekdays, you can book a charter on short notice.   Scroll back in time on the Lk Michigan salmon reports forum and you can get a feel for the action last year.

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