Fishing Articles — salmon

Cranking for Kings by Tony Ensalaco

salmon salmon fishing Stories and Editorials

Cranking for Kings by Tony Ensalaco

“Hey Tony, why don’t you take a couple of these and give them a try,” said long time Michigan river guide Steelie Dan Manyan. Our drift boats were anchored next to one another on the lower Pere Marquette River. It was late August and the fish were just starting to make their return to the lower PM. If judging by how bright the salmon were in the system, the actual ritual of spawning won’t be taking place any time soon, I thought to myself. “What are they?” I inquired, hoping not to seem like I wasn’t up to date on...

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Catch the Skein Train for Kings (How-to Cure) by Matt Straw

salmon salmon fishing

Catch the Skein Train for Kings (How-to Cure) by Matt Straw

When a salmon river warms and drops, low and clear as air, the skein train pulls into the station. Big kings can be seen sulking abjectly in the deepest, slowest pools of the river. Petulant and lazy, they simply move aside, letting every presentation we try slide on past. They refuse crankbaits, flies, and plastics. They watch hair jigs dance overhead without moving. Indifferent kings will even turn their snouts up at 12- to 14-mm beads, which I was ready to anoint successors of bait as the most consistent producers of river kings a couple years back. But the title...

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Salmon and Steel on Michigan’s Muskegon by W. H. “Chip” Gross

Lake Michigan Michigan salmon salmon fishing steelhead Steelhead Fishing

Salmon and Steel on Michigan’s Muskegon by W. H. “Chip” Gross

Each autumn, as the leaves begin to tint and turn, Chinook salmon—also known as kings because of their great size—leave Lake Michigan by the tens of thousands in search of natal rivers all along Michigan’s west coast. Within weeks the fish will spawn and die, but until then they provide some of the best fishing of the year for inland Great Lakes anglers. And adding to the fishing bonanza in those same streams are steelhead, lake-run rainbow trout known as “steelies” or silver bullets. Guiding anglers to both salmon and steelhead on Michigan’s Muskegon River is a longtime fishing guide...

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Targeting Giant Kings by Matt Straw

Boats Lake Erie Lake Huron Lake Michigan Lake Ontario Lake Superior Michigan salmon salmon fishing

Targeting Giant Kings by Matt Straw

On the West Coast, it’s called a “tyee.” In the Great Lakes, a 30-pound king salmon has no special designation, but it’s probably destined to hang on a wall somewhere. A 30-pounder might look small on the Kenai, but it’s a big salmon almost anywhere else. With some species, it’s possible to target the biggest specimens. Trophy bass, walleyes, and pike can be selected for with bigger baits, or targeted in bodies of water where genetics produce titans. But, with some species, it’s next to impossible to target only the biggest specimens with traditional techniques. Most people feel king salmon...

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Salmon Roads And Jigging Spoons by Matt Straw

Lake Erie Lake Huron Lake Michigan Lake Ontario Lake Superior Michigan Rivers & Lakes salmon salmon fishing

Salmon Roads And Jigging Spoons by Matt Straw

Water courses from a salmon river into pulsing Great Lakes currents. River-scented water flows this way then that, at the behest of wind, gravity, and a spinning world. Eventually, river sediments mix with deeper, twisting currents that always point eventually to the Atlantic. These are the salmon roads. “Mature kings out in the big lakes begin to split off from the feeding year classes at some point in July,” says Captain John Oravec of Troutman Charters on Lake Ontario. “They find their own feeding grounds and water temps as they’re drawn to inshore staging structure.  But kings don’t stage around piers...

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