Michigan Sportsman Forum banner

Kayak fishing the PM

2492 Views 26 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Uncle Boopoo
I’ve been going to family property west of Baldwin for 30+ years to hunt, but have never given a serious effort to fish the area. I’m going up the weekend of Sept 17th to put out trail cameras and was thinking about floating the PM for a few hours to see if I can catch my first salmon.

The area I’d target would be Mac to Sulack. Or maybe Rainbow to upper bridge. Mainly because that’s the area we’ll be in the whole time. I’m very familiar with the roads in that section but not so much the river. I’ve floated Mac to Rainbow once for fun but that was it.

I’m just looking for any basic pointers or tips from guys that have floated that stretch. Feel free to PM me if you don’t want to discuss things in the open forum.

Would I need waders at that time of year or could I get by without them?

I plan on using one of my spinning reels. What kind/weight line would be best to use? Lures or floats with spawn bags?

Anything obvious that a newby might be overlooking?
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
I would try drifting skein under a bobber or running deep jr. Thundersticks in the deeper holes.
Thanks for the advice, PunyTrout!

My neighbor up there is a guide and I tried to book him for a trip but he’s all booked up for September. He seems reluctant to give any advice otherwise but I understand because he gets paid to fish and I’m not in the local loop.

Honestly, if I catch anything I’ll consider that a success. Just floating that river is a treat in itself!
  • Like
Reactions: jumbojake
You can wet wade the PM on a hot sunny day, as I have several times. However, if it is overcast and less than 80 degrees, you'll probably want waders if you plan on spending any serious time in the water. She runs a lot cooler than the Big and a ton cooler than the Mo.
That is a douche bag neighbor. Won't even give you a few pointers to catch your first salmon? Gotta give him $500 to go for a boat ride? [emoji53]

Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk
Thanks for the advice, PunyTrout!

My neighbor up there is a guide and I tried to book him for a trip but he’s all booked up for September. He seems reluctant to give any advice otherwise but I understand because he gets paid to fish and I’m not in the local loop.

Honestly, if I catch anything I’ll consider that a success. Just floating that river is a treat in itself!
We’ve only known each other for a handful of years and I usually shoot bigger bucks than him so I’m not too worried about it. Although he did mention coming downstate to walleye fish with me in the spring. Maybe I should use that as leverage? lol
That is a douche bag neighbor. Won't even give you a few pointers to catch your first salmon? Gotta give him $500 to go for a boat ride? [emoji53]

Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk
Jr deep diving thundersticks in firetiger and skein under a bobber. That is what majority of people use on the pm. I like throwing sticks seeing its less messy and the strikes are intense.
Throwing lure does seem appealing and it’s something I already have. There’s nothing like the feeling of a fish crushing your lure as you slowly bring it in! I can only image what a strike from a 20lb salmon feels like! Hopefully I find out soon!
Jr deep diving thundersticks in firetiger and skein under a bobber. That is what majority of people use on the pm. I like throwing sticks seeing its less messy and the strikes are intense.
  • Like
Reactions: jumbojake
They will crush spinners also

Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk
  • Like
Reactions: Uncle Boopoo
I have a couple mepps spinners already too. Any specific size or color that seems to work better?
They will crush spinners also

Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk
4's and 5's. 5's preferable.
I have a couple mepps spinners already too. Any specific size or color that seems to work better?
  • Like
Reactions: Uncle Boopoo
I suggest the ones with the biggest treble hooks and neutral colors
Size five mepps black furry in chartreuse and orange are my go tos.
  • Like
Reactions: Uncle Boopoo
If you do any amount of spinner fishing you will want to learn to roll your own. Spinners are best cast upstream and cranked back just fast enough to keep the blade turning. The results in the most strikes but also the most snags. I like fishing deep diving thunder sticks. I cast them quartering across and downstream. I slowly crank them letting them swing in the current. You want to fish the thunder sticks just in front of holding water. Fire tiger sticks are the most popular.
  • Like
Reactions: Uncle Boopoo
I’ll throw in my 2 cents. if you haven’t floated the PM much, especially during salmon season, it will be busy. Please Be mindful of other boaters and fishermen, and ask what side of them you should float by. It sucks when a hole or run is disturbed by inconsiderate people. If you are just using the kayak for transportation from spot to spot, That’s usually the best for the PM. But, If you’re going to be fishing from your yak, please wear a PFD. Have a knife available, Tie your gear down, and bring a dry bag. I only say this because if you’re casting while floating down river and do hook a king, it’s absolute mayhem. It’s awesome, but a lot can go wrong when a fish is towing you around a river full of log jams. Trying to paddle to safety while fighting a big fish is a joke, Trust me on that. And things can get ugly quick.
Fish should be starting to get up on the gravel by the time you’re up there, and staging close to spawning areas. If anything it’s a great time to float down the river, to see a cool spectacle of nature. Most of the aforementioned posts tactics should get you into fish. Truly most guys are willing to share pointers, and maybe even give up their spot to keep floating down. Good luck, catch fish, and stay dry.
Thanks for the casting tips! That was one of the things I wasn’t sure of. Most of my fishing experience is in 10+ FOW so casting into small holes that hold fish is all new to me.
If you do any amount of spinner fishing you will want to learn to roll your own. Spinners are best cast upstream and cranked back just fast enough to keep the blade turning. The results in the most strikes but also the most snags. I like fishing deep diving thunder sticks. I cast them quartering across and downstream. I slowly crank them letting them swing in the current. You want to fish the thunder sticks just in front of holding water. Fire tiger sticks are the most popular.
I appreciate the advice! We’re just planning on using the kayaks to float from spot to spot. Fishing from the kayak seems like it would be absolute chaos. We float a lot in the summer so I always have a dry bag with me. Do you use different techniques when the fish are “on gravel” or do you just look for the nearest hole to cast into?
I’ll throw in my 2 cents. if you haven’t floated the PM much, especially during salmon season, it will be busy. Please Be mindful of other boaters and fishermen, and ask what side of them you should float by. It sucks when a hole or run is disturbed by inconsiderate people. If you are just using the kayak for transportation from spot to spot, That’s usually the best for the PM. But, If you’re going to be fishing from your yak, please wear a PFD. Have a knife available, Tie your gear down, and bring a dry bag. I only say this because if you’re casting while floating down river and do hook a king, it’s absolute mayhem. It’s awesome, but a lot can go wrong when a fish is towing you around a river full of log jams. Trying to paddle to safety while fighting a big fish is a joke, Trust me on that. And things can get ugly quick.
Fish should be starting to get up on the gravel by the time you’re up there, and staging close to spawning areas. If anything it’s a great time to float down the river, to see a cool spectacle of nature. Most of the aforementioned posts tactics should get you into fish. Truly most guys are willing to share pointers, and maybe even give up their spot to keep floating down. Good luck, catch fish, and stay dry.
No problem. The fish “on gravel” are spawning or trying to. Hens dig the redds, bucks sniff around behind and jockey to spawn. They typically don’t bite or take lures while actively spawning, though I’ve seen some pretty aggressive hits from angry males, especially when other fish are present. However, It can frustrating to make a thousand good drifts by fish you can see, only to be ignored, or foul hooking a fish.
The typical bottom bouncing rig you use in the rivers is essentially a Lindy rig. cast quartering up stream. Use Some kind of weight(just enough to tick bottom)on your mainline or dangling from a dropper, either fixed or sliding, to a swivel and a leader (8-12lbs test) from 12” to 3-4’on up to your offering, a fly, some spawn, etc. it seems the longer the leader the more apt you are to floss, line, or foul hook a stationary fish. But try no to get carried away only fishing to fish you can see on gravel. But you have to start somewhere, and if those are the only fish around…. Many times, the holes behind gravel runs can be stacked with fish you can’t see. Those fight much better, and if out for a meal, they have slightly better meat. Plus there’s a good chance of hooking a nice trout or steelhead that’s eating eggs and bugs getting kicked up by the salmon on the gravel. Hope this helps a bit. Good luck!
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top