Michigan Fishing Seasons


The first 2 months of the year we see a quiet period on the river for Steelhead. During the winter Steelhead spend their time in rivers awaiting the spring spawning after their fall run. This time of the year we also see a fair number of lake run brown trouts that tip the scale at 16 lbs. In addition, people fishing the Muskegon river with us have caught native Rainbow and Brown trouts up to 20″. To make your river charter fishing experience comfortable, our boats carry heaters and we have an enclosures to keep you warm on those foul weather days.


These months are great for the spring Steelhead spawning run, with these large silver bullets exposing themselves for some great sight fishing on gravel. Fishing darker pools and fish awaiting to spawn are eager to hop on your line. The spawned out fish or “drop backs” are active feeders attacking most presentations. The Muskegon river peaks mid April with good fishable numbers into May.


May and June are excellent months for both river and lake fishing. In Lake Michigan we see Chinook & Coho Salmon as well as Brown & Lake Trout being very active. Offshore Steelhead weighing 6 – 20 lbs are also commonly caught on the “Fish Stix”. On the Muskegon and Pere Marquette rivers we see the end of the run for Steelhead and the start of the big river Brown Trout rising to flies. Fly hatches peak mid May through June. Fishing either on a lake or river is a great way to spend some family time together or to take a business client this time of year for some fantastic memories.

July, August & September

Summer on Lake Michigan fishing cannot be beat! We see large schools of Salmon making their way into our harbor to stage for the annual Salmon run up the Muskegon River. Muskegon Lake, voted one of the top fishing ports on Lake Michigan is also a excellent place for fishing during these months. Muskegon Lake is the largest navigable protected harbor in the state of Michigan which makes is a most fish location. During August and September the four (4) year old Salmon stage in harbor of Muskegon Lake before heading up the Muskegon River, making this the perfect time to giant fish. It’s not uncommon for individuals on our fishing charter boat to catch Salmon weighting 12 to 18 lbs, even up to 30 lbs.

September – October

During September and October is a great time to experience battling a 30 lb Chinook Salmon on a light line, something you can tell for years to come. These two months we see the annual Salmon spawning run, with thousands of Chinook Salmon migrating up our rivers. The Muskegon River Salmon run peaks in mid October with Salmon present until November. The fall Steelhead run follows the Salmon run. By mid October we see fishable numbers, making this time period a great time to be on the river fishing for Steelhead.

November – December

There is no better time to fish for Steelhead  then during November and December. During these months we often see Steelhead jumping 4′ to 6′ out of the water and explosive runs, both trademarks for the fall Steelhead. We recommend using a 7 wt light line rod, making fishing for these aggressive Steelhead in the river an awesome experience. Watching these fish chase down an egg fly is a personal favorite experience to watch.