Michigan, known as the Great Lakes State, is a haven for fishing enthusiasts. With its vast network of rivers, lakes, and streams, it offers some of the best salmon fishing opportunities in the United States. Whether you're a seasoned angler or a novice just starting out, Michigan's waters are teeming with a variety of salmon species, promising an exciting fishing adventure.

Understanding Michigan's Salmon Species

Before you cast your line in Michigan's waters, it's important to understand the different types of salmon you might encounter. Each species has its own unique characteristics and behaviors, which can greatly affect your fishing strategy.

Chinook Salmon

Also known as King Salmon, the Chinook is the largest of the salmon species found in Michigan. These fish are known for their aggressive behavior and are a favorite among anglers for their fighting spirit.

Chinook Salmon are most commonly found in Lake Michigan, but they can also be caught in Lake Huron and Lake Superior. They typically spawn in the fall, making late summer and early fall the best time to fish for them.

Coho Salmon

Coho Salmon, also known as Silver Salmon, are smaller than Chinook but are equally exciting to catch. They are known for their acrobatic jumps and fast runs, providing a thrilling experience for anglers.

Coho Salmon are found in all of the Great Lakes, but they are most abundant in Lake Michigan. They spawn in the fall, with peak fishing season in late summer and early fall.

Fishing Techniques for Michigan Salmon

Now that you're familiar with the types of salmon in Michigan, let's discuss the different fishing techniques you can use. The method you choose will depend on the time of year, the specific species you're targeting, and your personal preference.


Trolling is a popular technique for salmon fishing in Michigan's Great Lakes. This method involves dragging lures behind a moving boat to attract and catch fish. Here's how to do it:

  1. Choose the right equipment. A sturdy rod and a reel with a good line capacity are essential for trolling.
  2. Set up your lure. There are many types of lures suitable for salmon trolling, including spoons, plugs, and flasher-fly combos.
  3. Set your trolling speed. The ideal speed will depend on the species of salmon you're targeting, but generally, a speed of 1.5 to 3.5 mph is recommended.
  4. Monitor your depth. Salmon can be found at different depths depending on the time of day and the temperature of the water. Use a fish finder or downrigger to help you locate the fish.

Drift Fishing

Drift fishing, also known as float fishing, is a technique often used in rivers and streams. It involves casting a baited hook into the water and allowing it to drift with the current. Here's how to do it:

  1. Choose your bait. Salmon eggs, insects, and small fish are all good choices for drift fishing.
  2. Cast upstream. This allows your bait to drift naturally with the current, making it more appealing to the salmon.
  3. Keep your line tight. This will help you feel any bites and set the hook quickly.
  4. Be patient. Drift fishing requires patience, as you may need to cast multiple times before you get a bite.

Best Salmon Fishing Locations in Michigan

Michigan is home to numerous fishing spots, each offering unique opportunities for salmon fishing. Here are some of the best locations to consider:

  • Manistee River: Known for its large Chinook Salmon, the Manistee River is a top destination for salmon fishing. The river's lower section is particularly productive during the fall spawning season.
  • Pere Marquette River: This river is famous for its fall run of Chinook and Coho Salmon. It's also a great place for fly fishing.
  • St. Mary's River: Located in the Upper Peninsula, the St. Mary's River offers excellent salmon fishing, particularly for Pink Salmon.
  • Lake Michigan: As the most productive of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan is a prime location for salmon fishing. Charter a boat and try your hand at trolling for a chance to catch a trophy-sized Chinook or Coho.

Before you head out, remember to check Getmyboat for boat rentals and charters. They offer a wide range of options to suit every angler's needs.

Michigan Salmon Fishing Regulations

Like all states, Michigan has specific regulations in place to protect its fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices. Here are some key points to remember:

  • You must have a valid Michigan fishing license to fish for salmon.
  • There are size and bag limits for each species of salmon. Be sure to check the current regulations before you go fishing.
  • Salmon fishing is closed in some areas during certain times of the year to protect spawning fish. Always check the local regulations before you start fishing.

In conclusion, Michigan offers some of the best salmon fishing in the country. With its diverse species, numerous fishing spots, and a variety of techniques to try, it's a true angler's paradise. So grab your gear, book a boat on Getmyboat, and get ready for an unforgettable fishing adventure in the Great Lakes State.

Set Sail for Your Next Salmon Fishing Adventure

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