Fishing report: Big salmon, lakers tipping the scales in Muskegon

charter-salmon2.JPGKyle Buck, a Muskegon charter boat captain who operates Great Lakes Guide Service, holds up a large salmon caught during a recent trip. He is holding the Church Revalator with Big Weenie brand fly that was used to catch the fish.

MUSKEGON, MI – The waters in and around Muskegon are producing some big fish.

A 13-pound steelhead was weighed in Wednesday, while two mammoth lake trout, 30 and 21¾ pounds, were caught in Lake Michigan off Muskegon in the last couple of weeks.

In addition, a charter boat trip became memorable with the group landing 14 Chinook salmon, all but one weighing in the teens. The largest fish from the trip weighed 17 pounds.

For all those fathers out there, wouldn’t you love to land one of these whoppers to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday?

charter-salmon3.jpgChas Hacker, left, Ryleigh Wehler, center, and Dalton Wehler, right, hold up some of the salmon they caught during a fishing trip this week. They caught five Kings and a steelhead while fishing north of the Muskegon harbor in 110 feet of water on Code Blue Charters.

The reports for fishing on Lake Michigan off Muskegon and Whitehall show that the fishing has improved since last week, when many were concerned it was part of a traditional June lull in the fishing. It apparently has picked back up.

Bill Funk, owner and operator of Shoreline Service in Muskegon, described the recent Lake Michigan fishing as a “mixed bag of fish.”

Fishermen are catching salmon, steelhead, brown trout and lake trout while trolling on the Big Lake. The successful anglers are fishing a variety of depths, finding the fish in different areas of the lake from day to day.

The fish are being taken in a large depth range of 80 to 180 feet, depending on the angler and the day. On Wednesday, the charter boat that brought home the cooler full of 14 Chinook was fishing in 130 to 145 feet of water, catching the fish 60 to 85 feet down.

The best fishing is taking place early or late in the day.

For the salmon, anglers are catching a lot of the fish on Blue Dolphins, Mixed Veggie and Flea For All spoons, blue UV paddle and Arctic Blast fly and white paddle with Big Weenie Poofster fly, and meat rigs.

charter-salmon1.JPGThe Dobbs family stands near the 14 Chinook salmon they caught while fishing on a Muskegon charter boat Wednesday. The largest salmon weighed 17 pounds.

For the steelhead, usually fishing in the top 30 feet of water, the successful fishermen have been using anything orange.

On the inland lakes, the bluegill fishing remains strong. The bluegill are beginning to leave the beds in the shallows and heading for deeper water, so a boat may be required for the best fishing.

The walleye and pike fishing have slowed in the Muskegon area. The bass fishing, which was quite good, recently became less productive, including relatively poor results during a weekly bass contest.

A sign that the perch fishing could improve showed itself this week. Some fishermen were taking some perch off the Grand Haven pier.

The Muskegon Chronicle also is starting a new fishing feature that will provide Lake Michigan with some timely information. Called Charter Boat Chatter, we will be providing reports from Muskegon-area charter boat captains on how they did, what they used and where they caught their fish from a trip.

Check out Charter Boat Chatter beginning Thursday afternoon at and We hope you enjoy the feature and pick up some good information to help you hook a big one.

Eric Gaertner covers the outdoors, politics and government. He can be reached via email at Follow him on Twitter @EricGaertner1.

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