Lake Michigan temps not normal for fishing this time of year

August 7, 2014

dreamweaver_aFor the Love of Fishing is written by Sean McDonald and brought to you by Dreamweaver Lures,

Lake Michigan has been cold for the last week in our area, in fact for the whole summer. We have been dealing with conditions that are not our normal August. If things were normal we would have about 70 degree water on the surface and a thermocline break about 70 feet down, concentrating the kings below it. The thermocline has been about 40 feet down where the water is 44 degrees the normal salmon’s “holding temperature”. You may catch a king 40 feet down and the next one 100 feet down, they are very scattered below the surface.  It is much more important to have your lures spread out well below the thermocline than in years past. The kings have been biting in the colder “holding temperature” even for the normal “morning bite”. The surface temp is currently 56 degrees, see you can view it updated a few times a day on the Sea Grant Coastwatch website

image (12)Fog has also been a huge factor making it nearly impossible for boats without radar to see other fishermen. We need the wind to switch to the South and stay there for a week, to warm the water up. I had a family on my boat this  on vacation and they were pretty bummed out because they had not seen the sunset all week.

Top lures have been Dreamweaver spin doctors and meat rigs. A white 10″ UV with a UV Gasoline meat rig or a 8″ Kevin’s Girlfriend spin doctor with a green meat rig have been good. Blue Spin doctors and blue meat rigs have been good when the sun comes out. Top producing spoons have been magnum Dreamweaver Beefeater and  Kevorkian. Super Slim Carmel Dolphin and Green Dolphins work great on leadcore, also Yeck Lightning and Yeck Jeered have been good. Plugs are not working very well yet because of the cold water, a few have been taken on #3 size.

Pere Marquette Lake is also producing a few kings and reports have been that they are catching a few at Scottville as well. If the river remains low at is and cold they will hold in the Custer down to the mouth area for a long time. Rains will entice them to migrate further upriver to their sacred spawning gravel where they will spawn and end their life cycle. If it becomes hot out and the water temperature rises the kings will also move up the river in search of the cool water. The upcoming full moon will bring more of them into the river system. Casting crank-baits or #5 spinners for kings in the lower river is a blast.

The top news is that we do have new adult 4 year old kings showing up every day, but not in huge numbers yet. Most charters are catching 5 to 8 a day now. Cohos are also starting to show up, keep a downrigger with a green spoon down 30 to 40 feet with a 6 foot lead from your cannonball to catch them. Cohos are attracted to the boat. I have tried a small red dodger and green fly at that depth for them as well and it has not worked yet.

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