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Lake Michigan, WI (June 24, 2024)

For anglers chasing King Salmon, early morning has been a must, and the key is to slow down. Lines down at 4am and the bite happening at day break if you’re “rolling meat” with a Yakima Bait Co Spin-N-Fish tipped with an oil-based fish like tuna from the grocery store.  Try smothering the bait in a garlic scent to produce a scent trail as an added attractant. Run your spread at around 1.6mph in a “V” pattern so outside lures run shallowest and inside lures run the deepest.

Steelhead are active on the surface (30ft-up to the top) and feeding on bugs so brighter, 3-4in spoons have been the ticket. While the spoons are small, 1/4 to 1/2 weight is needed to stay down as trolling speeds should be 2.3 to 4mph. If you find fish are biting more on outside turns, that’s a key indicator to run baits at higher speeds.

Coho salmon are sticking around but will soon start to head to the mid-lake. They’re still accessible near shore and prefer the warmer water, so they’ll be hanging higher in the water column.

For a mixed bag of trout and salmon, fish in the 80-120ft range and set your downriggers at 45-60ft. This is currently about where the thermocline is sitting.  Spoons, flies and Yakima Spin-N-Fish will do the trick for this presentation.
Water temps are warming but have stayed cool due to recent rain and wind. Much of the action has taken place only 1.5 miles out of the harbor, so take advantage of this accessible fishing.

Report from Pat Kalmerton of Wolf Pack Adventures