Stupid Lake Michigan Salmon!

Pure bulls#*t! You leave your house around midnight after being awake since 6 am the previous morning and head off on a two and half hour drive. You spend all that money on gas to get there and back just to catch some salmon on Lake Michigan from a kayak. Sure it sounds kind of crazy to those who haven't done it. To you though...you know the pure awesomeness when it all comes together!

Once you get there and unloaded, it's barely 3 in the morning and pitch black. Still, you launch your kayak in surf that can only be heard. "How big is the surf?" you wonder. "Not sure...can't really see but it sounds like 1 foot. "Maybe 2" you tell yourself.

You paddle into the pitch black with the glow from your sonar/gps illuminating your way nothing at all. You are pretty quickly in 30 feet of water - time to start dropping lines! Great. Turn on your headlamp so you can actually see the spoons that you are trying to put on the end of your line and the line counter on your reel.

Oh yeah...you don't have your headlamp. That's OK. You have that sonar light.

Good job, you got both of your lines in the water and you didn't even hook yourself.

Now start trolling aimlessly since you can't really see anything at all.

Bam! The rod on your left bends over.

Well what do you know. The great Lake Michigan and salmon really DO appreciate all that you have risked and decide to reward you with a fish! I knew there was a reason why I did this.

Way to get cocky....the fish just spit the hook.

Son of a!

It's OK. You hooked up early. This is just the beginning.

So you redeploy your lines and get back to trolling.

And you troll some more

And some more.

You have burnt calories upon calories as a sort of sacrifice to the fishing gods. You think that they plan on paying you back and giving you another chance?


Your friend Kal is somewhere out there as well. While you can't see him, he's just a button push away. You've been talking a bit on the radio and he's running the same spoons you are and pretty much the same depth and speed.

Then you hear a buzz somewhere off in the foggy distance. The radio chirps, "fish on"

Sure, you are happy for your friend who just battled and landed a nice 19lb salmon. You are even positive in your thoughts, and pretty excited, thinking it's a sign that the fish are active.

So you troll...and troll...and troll.

Think all of this sacrificial stuff is going to pay off for you? Nope

But guess what! It's a mere 6 hours later and miles upon miles of pink lines indicating the trail you have covered on your GPS unit and your friend Kal is hooked up with another fish.


It's been a solid 8 hours and you're not even marking anything anymore. You have tried every spoon and flasher/fly you have at every depth and speed you could imagine. Still, the fishing gods give you nothing.

You have been away for 28 hours and are starting to fall asleep as you peddle your kayak. Your stomach is practically eating itself and your knee has been popping with every stroke of the peddle for 8 hours. Time to call it quits.

Did you have fun? Sure...it was an adventure. Still, you wonder why you weren't rewarded for all of your hard work. Then it dawns on you as an Amish family is on the beach admiring your plastic kayak rigged like a 30 foot salmon boat.

The fishing gods are saving all of the rewards for the fall run that is a mere month or so away!! That's it!!!

I take back my "Stupid Lake Michigan Salmon" comment!! I take it back!!


  1. I have to admire your perseverance. We used to coho fish on Lake Michigan and there was nothing in the world like hooking into one of those beauties. We'd take them to Hagen's on Montrose to be smoked. Ahhhhh.......

    1. Yeah the coho are definitely fun - and delicious - but a nice king will make that coho feel like a 2lb bass! lol

      I'm surprised that you aren't into smoking yourself? Time to hit those estate sales and pick one up!! I'll drop off the fish :)

  2. I only wver fished the fall run. Kings on spinning reels caught on crank baits. What a blast. Wht you are talking about it more like ocean fishing for salmon.

    1. Yeah it definitely takes you out of the barrel of monkeys so to speak. Don't ask my why I like to pick the most difficult way of accomplishing something lol


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