Monday, February 19, 2018


Unlike some places with set dates for open and closed seasons, the fishing season on Lake Michigan is open all year around. It’s Mother Nature and the fish making the determination as to where and when the “season” will be open. At this time of year it’s all about ice out.
   The photo here was taken from a satellite in mid-February. As you can see, the 2017-18 winter didn’t produce a significant amount of ice in total and what is there has blown down to the south end of the lake. That ice and the ice inside the marinas where I launch and load the boat are all that’s between “wishing and fishing!”  A few warm days with south winds and it’s game on!

  The photos here show what’s happening. The one on the left shows approximately where all the cohos in Lake Michigan are now swimming. That zone was the last area to cool down in the fall and winter months and where the salmon schooled up (huddled up?) trying to keep in their preferred temperature range.

  The photo on the right is where almost all the cohos in the lake will be in a few weeks. You can see the lake ice already disappears or thins out near the south end shores due to water temperature. Each bright sunny day will warm those shallows a couple degrees and as soon as the salmon detect that warming, they will literally “storm the beaches.” 

  It won’t be long until the “wishing” will be over. The fishing season will be underway!