First Timers with the Wolfpack - Best Salmon Fishing on Lake Michigan

Big water can mean big fun for fishermen, and their kids. So when my munchkins informed me that salmon was on their fishing “wish list”, I called my buddy Jerrad Kalmerton from Wolfpack Adventures to get us on Lake Michigan. You see, my kids put together what they call their “Fishopedia”—it’s a scrapbook with a page for each species of fish they have caught. So it was time to check Great Lakes salmon off the list.

We headed a few hours north and launched out of Sheboygan Harbor and quickly got on some fish. When the drag started to whine on our first hookup, my daughter Rachel jumped in and proceeded to crank in her first great lakes salmon, a nice coho. My son Nathan was next up to bat, and he also boated a coho. Add another big chinook for Dad and we were on a roll.

The winds started to kick up, but we were pretty comfortable on the Wolfpack’s 38-foot cruiser. It’s designed for big water. Although it was a beautiful sunny day, the boat had a nice cabin with seating and a couch so in case the weather turned bad the kids could take shelter. Captain Jerrad was great with the kids, very patient and let us take plenty of photos between bouts with the fish. We were catching fish in 20 to 40 feet of water, trolling spoons and jigs with planer boards. The salmon bite typically heats up in May and runs all the way through September. If you want more fish, or bigger numbers, then you may want to book earlier in the season like May and June. In the summer the fish go deeper, but they tend to get bigger. So you may catch fewer fish, but they most likely will be big boys.

Back at the marina, Captain Jerrad filleted our catch and we took home a cooler of gorgeous fresh pink salmon. The Sheboygan Marina had one of the nicest fish cleaning station I’ve ever seen, complete with a water trough and fish grinder to ecologically dispose of the fish carcasses.

If you’ve never experienced a Lake Michigan Charter, this is a great place to start. Wolfpack Adventures is a top-notch outfit, with lots or return customers. They run a clean, safe operation that caters to all levels of sportsmen as well as families. Get info and book a trip at It’s only about two and half hours from Chicago, and there is plenty of other great activities and shopping when you’re done fishing — perfect trip for the whole family.

Check out the photo gallery below, and when you catch some fish with the Wolfpack, try this Salmon Recipe Here.

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