Frequently Asked Questions
What to bring?
- Michigan all species fishing license (daily or annual) good for the dates of your trip. They can be purchased online at http://www.mdnr-elicense.com/welcome.asp or at any license retail center or sport shop. Not required for people 16 and under.
- Soft soled shoes with non-marking soles (no work boots or black soles please)
- Hat or visor
- Sunscreen for your skin and lip balm for your lips
- Digital camera with charged battery and plenty of space on the memory card
- Video camera
- Motion sickness medication if you are prone to motion sickness. If you don't know if you get motion sick, assume you do and take precautions. We recommend taking Bonine or Dramamine the night before your trip and the morning of your trip. Ginger is a natural motion sickness remedy, so also try ginger candy or ginger snaps.
- Appropriate clothes for the season. Lake Michigan water temps generally cool the air down as much as 10-15º, especially during the spring months.
- Rain gear if rain is in the forecast. (we can hide under the hardtop, but fighting fish is done outside)
- Snacks or food in a small cooler
- Cooler for transporting your fish fillets home at the end of the day (we will clean and bag your fish for you)
- Beverages of choice (no glass containers please)
chinook (king) salmon
Chinook Salmon (known as King Salmon or Kings) will make up the bulk of your catch most of the year. They are an exciting fish to catch and are excellent eating. They average from 2-20# with 6-15# being the most common. No other Lake Michigan sport fish pulls like a King. A King typically matures in four years, and then returns to the river where it was born and prepares to spawn. The largest Kings are generally "4 year olds".
Steelhead (Rainbow) Trout
Steelhead (actually a Rainbow Trout) are genetically the same as stream trout, however, when they live in Lake Michigan they grow to a much larger size. One of the most exciting fish to catch in the Great Lakes, they can certainly be a challenge to get into the boat. They are the acrobats of the Lake, known for high flying jumps with lots of twists and backflips. Steelhead are often caught in the top 10-20 feet of water even though the water depth may be 300+ feet. Steelhead typically average 3-7#, however fish in the 10-15# range are common. Unlike Kings, steelhead do not die after spawning.
Commonly referred to as lakers or just trout, lake trout are often found close to structure. Lakers are the home bodies of the Great Lakes. Often, when a school of lake trout is located, they can be caught in that same spot day after day. In the summer months, lakers are mostly caught at deeper depths near structure that holds baitfish. Although lakers don't fight like a King, they still put up a good fight and are often some of the bigger fish of the trip. Lakers mature more slowly than salmon, so they can only be kept from May 1 through September 30 of each year.
Often referred as silver salmon or just Cohos, they are similar in appearance to Kings, but quite different when it comes to the fight. Cohos like to roll, jump and do whatever they can to get off the hook. Their average size is smaller than Kings, but they are considered one of the tastiest fish. Cohos typically run between 1-6# but can sometimes get much larger. They travel in schools, so where you find one, there are usually many more.
Browns are usually caught in the springtime. Although not as plentiful as they once were, the Brown population has been making a comeback in the Ludington area in recent years. Browns are typically caught in shallower water and can put up quite a fight. Typical Brown sizes range from 2-6#, but often larger 10-15# fish are caught.