King Salmon By River Or Sea

King Salmon By River Or Sea

Silver king salmon assail the coastlines of the Great Lakes this time of year. They come in from the deep to stage near beaches, piers, and harbors. They run upriver under cover of darkness and low-light conditions. A rain squall or just a small rise in water level can send hundreds of silver bullets into a river anytime between late July and early October.

So you have a choice. You can pursue the tackle-rending, line-snapping beasts into the forest, like Mark Chmura (above), or line up a charter, or take your own boat out onto the big, bright, blue waters of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, or Lake Ontario. Normally Lake Huron would be in the lineup, and while you can catch kings out there, the salmon fishery has experienced recent downturns. She'll bounce back, but Lake Michigan was on fire this year, according to Chmura.

That's his ship I'm posing on. Chmura goes both ways, you see. For salmon. (What did you think I meant? He's a happily married man.) Tell him your preference and he'll take you upriver on the Big Manistee with his jet or out on Lake Michigan in his 33-foot Tiara. I can honestly say I've never experienced a bad day with Mark.


This is the time of year to get out there, when the fish are concentrated. On the other side of Lake Michigan, the Dawidiuk Fishing Team slips out of beautiful Sturgeon Bay at dawn every day this time of year. A short ride puts you on The Wall, where depths change quick, allowing salmon to stage in or near deep water. Captain Tim Dawidiuk might be busy with Fish Door County TV these days, but he's trained some of the best salmon captains in Wisconsin.


On Lake Ontario, call the Troutman to get out on the big water. Captain John Oravec has been one of the most dependable and knowledgable salmon captains anywhere for three decades. And if rivers are more to your liking, head up the Niagara this time of year with Captain Frank Campbell of the Niagara Region Charter Service.


These are my salmon buddies. I've spent some of my most memorable salmon outings in their company. Any one of them can find salmon in the dark with sunglasses on.

River or sea, salmon are always on my mind between August and October. If these guys are booked, contact the tourism councils of Wisconsin, Michigan, or New York for a backup plan.

Next up: Float-fishing tactics for kings.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

In-Fisherman

Here is a way to calculate prop performance with different props, a formula Boats & Motors

Technical Notes: Calculating Prop Performance

In-Fisherman - May 01, 2019

In-Fisherman Here is a way to calculate prop performance with different props, a formula

Balance is the goal when tipping jigs with trailers. Bass

Rigging Soft Bass Baits Correctly

Matt Straw - May 15, 2018

Balance is the goal when tipping jigs with trailers.

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures. Walleye

The Lowdown on Walleye Hardbaits

Steve Ryan - May 28, 2019

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Pro angler Jonathan VanDam showcases new offerings at ICAST 2019, including the ultra-thin, big bait boxes, LED-lighted boxes and backpack-able gear lockers. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Room Full of New Gear from L.L. Bean

Room Full of New Gear from L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean's Jeff Miller shares a room-full of new gear for 2020 with Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Giant Walleyes According To Calendar Periods

Giant Walleyes According To Calendar Periods

The search for big walleyes begins with an understanding of their nature, keying on prime locations during specific times of the year.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a powerplant that best fits your personal needs and preferences. Boats & Motors

2- Vs. 4-Cycle Outboard Motors

Dan Johnson - April 16, 2018

Now more than ever, understanding each category's strong suits is critical to choosing a...

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north or south, will help you pinpoint their predictable locations year after year. 

Walleyes spawn in spring, but spring may arrive in February in Mississippi, March in Walleye

Understanding Spring Walleye Migrations

Gord Pyzer - June 02, 2018

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north...

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate explanation from the In-Fisherman biologists. Bass

Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 22, 2017

Check out this Largemouth Bass Length To Weight Conversion Chart, a simple and accurate...

See More Stories

More Trout & Salmon



Don Wirth: When cold water rushes through the turbines of a dam, an incredible, albeit Trout & Salmon

Tactics For Tailwater Trout

Chris Hoffman - October 13, 2017

Don Wirth: When cold water rushes through the turbines of a dam, an incredible, albeit

The In-Fisherman staff takes you on a mission for monsters, as they cast for shallow late-season Trout & Salmon

Hawg Nation Lake Trout

Jeff Simpson - August 09, 2016

The In-Fisherman staff takes you on a mission for monsters, as they cast for shallow...

The In-Fisherman staff goes in search of stocked trout. Trout & Salmon

Stocked Trout Tactics

Jeff Simpson - January 01, 2016

The In-Fisherman staff goes in search of stocked trout.

See More Trout & Salmon

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×