Fishing in the fall is fun when you target salmon and steelhead

Michigan offers some fantastic fishing during the fall months – particularly for salmon and steelhead. In fact, now can be the perfect time to target them, if you know where to go and what techniques to use.

Profile of Atlantic salmon

Atlantic Salmon
Fishing for Atlantic salmon is huge on the St. Marys River; in fact this spot is considered the best recreational Atlantic salmon fishery west of the East Coast. Most anglers troll for this species using downriggers, but other popular methods include fly fishing with wet flies or spin fishing with plugs, spinners and spoons.

Chinook SalmonProfile of Chinook salmon
These fish are often called “kings” and their size shows there’s a good reason for it! Popular spots to target them in the fall include Great Lakes piers, streams along the Lake Michigan coast, or inland streams such as the Manistee (Tippy Dam), Pere Marquette and St. Joseph rivers. Artificial bait is what most anglers use to appeal to this species, but salmon eggs are popular as well.

Coho SalmonProfile of coho salmon
This popular species can be caught in Lake Michigan at any time, though some of the best fishing happens in early fall. In particular, the Manistee River is very active for this species in late October and in the Upper Peninsula the Anna River is a great destination for this salmon. Lots of anglers use spinners, spoons and plugs when fishing for this species.

SteelheadProfile of steelhead
Michigan is considered one of the best steelhead fishing destinations in the country with several well-known spots located throughout the state. These include the Manistee, Muskegon and St. Joseph rivers in the Lake Michigan watershed, the Au Sable River in the Lake Huron watershed, and the Huron River in the Lake Erie watershed. Most anglers head out in November and/or December (if they’re not hunting) to target steelhead and use a variety of techniques to do so – including spinners, plugs and single salmon eggs floating under a bobber.

Don’t miss your chance to catch a big salmon or steelhead this fall. For even more information on fishing in Michigan, including rules and regulations, visit michigan.gov/fishing.


Michigan’s statewide trout season closes September 30
Another fishing season is drawing to a close as Type 1 and 2 streams and Type A and D lakes will officially end on Wednesday, September 30. But don’t fret, there are only a few short months until the spring opener (April 30)!

For details about the statewide trout season, check out the 2015 Michigan Fishing Guide.

For all things Fishing in Michigan – visit michigan.gov/fishing.