Tips For Catching Salmon and Trout on Lake Michigan

How to Catch Trout and Salmon On Lake Michigan

fly fisherman fishing in a mountain river
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Salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) and trout (Salvelinus spp.)  are two closely related groups of species that are among our most popular freshwater fish. They can be caught in a variety of waters from streams to the Great Lakes. The tactics discussed below that work on Lake Michigan should help you catch them on other lakes that have similar populations of fish.

Many of these tips come from Captain Jim Hirt of Blue Max Charters, who has a lot of experience catching trout and salmon on Lake Michigan. The information in the linked articles referenced below should help you if your goal is catching lake trout and salmon anywhere.

Tools to Make Trolling Better

  • On a huge body of water like Lake Michigan, you need some way to find your way to the fish, mark good fishing spots and get home. A GPS is an invaluable tool for these requirements and more. Captain Jim Hirt explains how to use one and how important a GPS is on Lake Michigan.
  • Red Fishing Line
    Red fishing line has become very popular recently. Why is it good to use red line? Captain Jim Hirt explains how light penetrates water and why he is using red line for his charters on Lake Michigan. Can these tips help you? 

Rigging Tips and Presentation Tactics

  • Captain Jim Hirt says that these three Rs of fishing on Lake Michigan will help you catch more trout and salmon on the lake. Follow his advice from years of experience to learn ways to put more fish in your boat.

Using Leadcore Line

  • Leadcore Line Rigging Leadcore line can help you get your bait down to the fish. It can be tricky to use but if you try out these tips you will be able to catch more fish using it. Captain Jim Hirt gives his tips on using leadcore line to catch Lake Michigan fish.


  • Trolling Tactics Trolling is a great way to find and catch fish, but if you don't know the various ways to control your baits you will spend a lot of time in unproductive water. Captain Jim Hirt shares tips he has learned over the years for trolling on Lake Michigan and they will help you wherever you fish.


  • Fishing Spoon Selection Choose the right spoon and catch more fish. You base your choice on action, color and size.


  • Bad weather can ruin a fishing trip and endanger your safety. Pay attention to the weather and learn local patterns. If you fish Lake Michigan it can get very dangerous very fast. These tips from Captain Jim Hirt can help you be safe. A weather radio is a must for your safety, too.