Michigan’s king (chinook) salmon start their river migration in mid-August each year to travel from Lake Michigan to their spawning grounds. King salmon typically begin spawning in late September to early October and continue throughout the month of October. The average age of maturity for these fish is approximately 3 to 4 years old. In recent years, the average size has significantly increased and we are seeing a lot more of the 20-25 pound fish.
Our king and coho salmon guiding season runs from mid-August until late October. We start our season on the lower Pere Marquette River before moving north to the Big Manistee River near Tippy Dam.
On the lower Pere Marquette River, we start our mornings by casting lures at daybreak for salmon, which usually entices very hard strikes. As the day progresses, we switch over to float fishing with skein (egg clusters), which is typically the most consistent bite throughout the day. As the fish continue to migrate up-river, we move to the Big Manistee River below Tippy Dam where we continue to cast lures and skein until they begin to spawn. We transition to sight fishing with fly rods (chuck-and-duck) for the spawning salmon.