Milwaukee Wisconsin Charter Fishing Seasons – Lake Michigan SportFishing

Milwaukee Charter Fishing Seasons

Charter fishing here in Milwaukee has a lot more to offer than just a May through October fishery. Fishing for the most part on Lake Michigan is the same all the way from Indiana to the far north of Door County. The only difference is the time of year that things happen in different ports. There are 5 species of trout and salmon in Lake Michigan Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Steelhead (Rainbow Trout) and there are guidelines you can follow if you wish to target a specific species on your charter in Milwaukee. Here is a brief description of the way the season progresses starting with our winter fishing trips.

January through mid April

Brown Trout. During the cold winter months Milwaukee offers a World Class brown trout fishery. While the rest of Lake Michigan freezes, Milwaukee’s huge harbor area stays open due to the amount of warm water discharges here. We will be fishing either in the harbor of Milwaukee or launching out of Bender Park near the discharges of the Oak Creek Power Plant. Both places offer phenomenal fishing opportunities for numbers and trophy class brown trout. At this time of the year we will only targeting brown trout.

Mid April through mid June

Fast paced coho action is the main focus for this time period. We typically travel in the spring to where the fishing is best. Limit catches are the norm during these months. Coho in the early part of the season are extremely aggressive and a blast to catch!

Mid June through mid August

This is our peak of the Chinook salmon fishing season. On your charter a mixed bag of all 5 species can be caught, but the bulk of our catch here in Milwaukee is “Kings” or Chinook salmon. If you travel further offshore Steelhead can be found along with some Cohos. Most of the fishing during this time period happens from 2 to 4 miles offshore depending on winds. Harbor fishing is usually kept to an absolute minimum at this time of the year, there is definitely more fish and action to be found out in the main body of Lake Michigan.

Mid August through September

“Trophy King Time” This is the time of the year that we will fish the Milwaukee Harbor. Nature’s call toGreat Lakes salmon brings them back to their place of birth. They return to the harbor area to ready themselves for their run up river to spawn. On their return they usually take a small vacation out in front of the harbor area and in the entryways to the harbor. Your charter will concentrate on these areas to provide a chance at landing some big ones. If a trophy “King” is what you are searching for then this could be a viable option for your trip. These fish can also be taken “casting” towards the end of September. There is still a great fishery for other species and immature Chinooks out in the Lake at this time of the year and you will usually be given the option of which you want to try.

October through December

After the “King” run settles down, we will be back out in the lake, fishing for a mixed bag of salmon and trout species. Towards the end of November our winter Brown Trout fishery begins to pick up. In December we will again be targeting Browns in the warm water discharges. This time period offers some great fishing that virtually gets untouched. Don’t pass this time of year up.



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