Salmons Camp 2016 and the future

screen-shot-2016-04-18-at-1-00-38-pmBefore I start this blog, on October 4th of 5th, the DNR and all involved will be making a decision on what they will be doing with the salmon fishery next year. If you have been talking with your friends and complaining about the way our salmon fishery is being handled, you need to put your money where your mouth is and email the DNR and your state representatives. This is very important to keep up the traditions of fishing for salmon. Lake Trout fishing has been phenomenal the last couple years. In 2013 Chinook Salmon numbers were drastically cut. Now it’s time for the Lake Trout to be drastically cut to have a balanced fishery. Tell those involved to leave the salmon numbers alone and drastically cut the Lake trout numbers. If the DNR wants to get rid of some fish, cut the fish that most don’t care about and leave the King of the Great Lakes alone.

Executive Director, Keith Creagh
Phone: 517-284-6367

The senator information is below:

Sen Dave Hildenbrand 517-373-1801
Sen Jim Stamas 517-373-7946
Sen Pete Macgregor 517-373-0797
Sen Darwin Booher 517-373-1725

With that being said, on the 16th of September, I headed north to the Pere Marquette for our annual 2016 Salmons Camp. My buddy Selle and I, and a couple other friends, head up for 2-4 days of fishing. I wasn’t expecting much other then maybe a few more fish then last year. Regardless, we have a lot of fun and catch a few fish. On Saturday night, we always end up at Michaels bar to watch the State game. This year the Spartans beat Notre Dame.

thunderickThe fishing was just as good as last year, nothing more. One thing is for sure; the fish we did hooked were feisty fish. They were not little by any means and full of fight. We worked hard for the fish we hooked. We hooked some fish that we had no control of. They did everything they could to wrap us up or get as far from us as possible.

My best fishing was the first two hours on the river. On the very first cast I landed a very nice buck. We had some other bobber downs but we could connect. In the 3rd hole, Selle had a bobber down on the first drift but has a swing and a miss. 10 minutes later I was into a fish which turned out to be a 20 lb beautiful King. I thought fishing was going to be like this during our days. Needless to say, the fishing was super slow the next 2 days.

chrome-henOn Day 3 I was almost out of skein. As always, I started casting thundersticks. Right away I got wacked and noticed it was a hen. I carefully fought the fish. The fish was just about done and coming in. If I didn’t land this fish I would be out of skein by 10 Am. My heart was racing knowing how important this fish was. Right as I went to net the fish, he made one last run and my rod jolted back. The fish somehow snapped the line. I sat down in disappointment.

As I was motoring down river with very little skein left I come across another fisherman. He had a couple fish in the boat and told me skein was the ticket. I mentioned how I was almost out. He quickly turned around and threw me a bag with half of skein. I couldn’t believe it. I thanked him a million times and took off. That was a true definition of a sportsman and how we should all act.

On my last day I had a limited amount of time to fish. I wasn’t expecting much, especially since I was almost out of spawn from the days before from the guy. It seemed like a lot of males moved in because that is all we were catchig. I quickly landed a jack on skein and bobber. I was down to my last skein chunk so I tied it into bags. Right away I hooked up with a butt kicked of a 10 lb king.


I made a couple drifts with some bites but no hook ups. I decided to go back up right where I first started. First cast I hooked up with another buck of 12 lbs. It was time for me to leave but I just couldn’t. This was the best fishing I had all week. Couple minutes later my bobber got dunked again and I was into a big fish. I got the fish to the back of the boat. It was a big chrome hen of about 22-24 lbs. I needed this fish. I tried netting her several times by myself but it was difficult. Her fat body would not do what I needed. I finally figured out a plan by sticking the rod between my legs to keep control and maybe net the fish. It would definitely work. When I made my first attempt she was headed for the net and threw the hook. I couldn’t believe it. It was time to head home so I motored back up river in disbelief that happened again.


With the doom and gloom of salmon fishing we keep reading about, one thing is for sure, I absolutely love fishing for these salmon. Whether there is a whole pile of them in the rivers or not, I love spending time on the water hunting them. Casting that bobber out and watching it drift down river hoping is will get dunked. Man, I love it! Salmon fishing is not like it use to be and we need to get use to it. The days of hooking 10-20 fish consistently are gone right now. We can only hope those days will one day return. One thing is for sure, we need to adapt to the change. Enjoy the day on the river with or without fish. If your looking to “rail’ them, you should probably just stay home. However, if your looking for the potential to hook a fish of a life time, there is no better time to get out there on the rivers right now. Move around and be nomadic. Don’t just sit in the same hole thinking it will be like 10 years ago. The ones who aren’t afraid to work will eventually find fish.


Just like politics, the media has done a good job of scaring people. I have talked to numbers people in the South East while running charters on Lake St Clair about the salmon run. They have all been questioning me about the salmon run and tell me the salmon are disappearing. Don’t let the media tell you that the salmon are disappearing. There are still fish to be caught. Salmon numbers are small because of the bad reproduction and the few salmon the DNR has been planting.  Supposedly, this has happened before according to people who have been fishing salmon for a long time. I wasn’t fishing these fish back then so I don’t know details about that. We all need a little more patients when pursuing them fish and hope the huge numbers we have been spoiled with will come back.

Again, don’t forget to email your senators and the Dnr. Don’t think about whether your going to do it or not. The decision will be made in the next day or two if it hasn’t been done already. We need to continue the pressure to keep the salmon numbers the same as this year. We can’t afford to let the DNR take more salmon away from us.

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One thought on “Salmons Camp 2016 and the future

  1. Pingback: Great Lakes Edge Top 10 Adventure and Photos from 2016 | Great Lakes Edge

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