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Hey there! First post here

I was hoping to get information on surf fishing techniques/tackle for Northern Lake Michigan. I am originally from Northern California and grew up Surf fishing for surf perch, stripers, leopard shark, rays, etc.

For the past few years we've been camping up in Charlevoix at Fisherman's Island in mid July and I have been so curious as to if I could surf fish on Lake Michigan. I know a lot of people peir fish, so I I thought perhaps its a viable technique. So far I've seen some information, but nothing too specific on surf fishing, especially in the summer.

So, first off, is it even worth my time?
If so, what species are targeted? Any tackle/rod recommendations?

Charlevoix already reminds me of home and It would be so awesome to surf fish and really get back to one of my favorite types of fishing. Thanks for any input.
 

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Hey there! First post here

I was hoping to get information on surf fishing techniques/tackle for Northern Lake Michigan. I am originally from Northern California and grew up Surf fishing for surf perch, stripers, leopard shark, rays, etc.

For the past few years we've been camping up in Charlevoix at Fisherman's Island in mid July and I have been so curious as to if I could surf fish on Lake Michigan. I know a lot of people peir fish, so I I thought perhaps its a viable technique. So far I've seen some information, but nothing too specific on surf fishing, especially in the summer.

So, first off, is it even worth my time?
If so, what species are targeted? Any tackle/rod recommendations?

Charlevoix already reminds me of home and It would be so awesome to surf fish and really get back to one of my favorite types of fishing. Thanks for any input.
Lots of good surf fishing opportunities on the west side. The shore near the Ludington and Manistee piers have surf fishing with good success. I am aware of fall fishing for salmon and trout as that's the time I target fish. I'm sure spring would be good as well.
 

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I go up every year at the end of sep and hit river mouths and harbors bb sacs or throwung hardware just be aware of all the restrictions where your fishing. Every stretch can be different with hook size and bait legal to use.
 

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Most of that shoreline is pretty shallow within casting distance. Water temps there are warm now, so the predators have mostly moved offshore. You may still find some late smallmouth bass around the island, or (if you bring a fly rod) carp cruising the shallows. I think that the Pine River channel would be more productive.

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The Petoskey pier might be a better option than surf fishing Charlevoix. But if you wander down toward Medusa in late Augst/early September, you might find some Kings in the surf - or in the crib at the cement plant.
 

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:Welcome: to michigan sportsman CSanchez...welcome
 
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My dad had a friend that would wade out at the mouth of Medusa creek and do pretty well on fish. Most were salmon in the fall and that has really declined now. Only fish now might be natural reproduction or strays. That area has quite a few walleye in the rocks. Even the channel that goes out to the lake is pretty good. There are still better areas to fish depending on what you want. Heck I grew up fishing the dock in East Jordan and caught just about everything. Since the silt build up out in front of the dock that fishing has declined. Deepest water within reach is in inside the docks.
 
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The Petoskey pier might be a better option than surf fishing Charlevoix. But if you wander down toward Medusa in late Augst/early September, you might find some Kings in the surf - or in the crib at the cement plant.
I've been up there more times than I can count and I STILL don't know this place you speak of!
 

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Summer surf fishing isn't typically a thing as the silver fish head out to the colder water.

I'm not sure of the beach water temps or if there are upwellings that far north, but if the water's over 60, just enjoy the beach or find an inland lake.
Michigan piers in the summer are fickle, sometimes it's just bass in the rocks, sometimes there's perch, sometime sheephead, and always gobies.

As mentioned previously, most fish are caught spring or early fall.
 
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Same rules apply to Great Lakes surf fishing as it would on the salt. 11'+ rod and a magged Ambassadeur 6500 with no level wind. You want something that will reach way out there. With good technique and a live/dead bait rig with 3oz of lead, you'll have no trouble casting in excess of 100yd. Some of the really proficient surf casters can empty the spool on that reel which holds 250yd of 16lb line.

 

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You dont always have to be casting way out there. : )
No doubt. It depends on water temp and where you're fishing. I like to do a satellite view of the area I'm fishing so I can get an idea of where the drop-offs and such are located and fish accordingly. Sometimes you can get away fishing inside of fishing 50yd, and sometimes you will need to reach way out there.
 

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You dont always have to be casting way out there. : )
There is a person I got to know who fishes the Manistee pier regularly in the fall. He is the guy that has a drone and flies it whenever the water is calm in the mornings. When the water is right you can see the troughs that run perpendicular to the pier. That's the area where you cast the spawn bag. He says they relocate after a big NW blow and high surf. The spring brown trout trollers use this method when fishing shallow.
He told me he got the idea when he climbed the Ludington (Sable point) light house and could see the 5-6 troughs that run parallel to the shore. Wife and I did the same and you can easily see them.
 

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There is a person I got to know who fishes the Manistee pier regularly in the fall. He is the guy that has a drone and flies it whenever the water is calm in the mornings. When the water is right you can see the troughs that run perpendicular to the pier. That's the area where you cast the spawn bag. He says they relocate after a big NW blow and high surf. The spring brown trout trollers use this method when fishing shallow.
He told me he got the idea when he climbed the Ludington (Sable point) light house and could see the 5-6 troughs that run parallel to the shore. Wife and I did the same and you can easily see them.
They sure arent easy to see while youre setting up at first light. I spend half my time surf fishing wondering the same thing over and over, "did I cast in a good spot." "should I recast?" "should i rebate" "hope im in a good spot" "Ill give it 5 more minutes Ill recast" "hope im off the bottom" "eh Im lazy 10 more minutes Ill recast." repeat thought pattern for next few hours.
 

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Salmon in my avatar was off the petoski pier on a blue and silver ko wobbler 45 min of chaos catching and buddy trying to net 26lbs
don't dare throw a reef runner 700 mooneye minnow off the Petoskey pier at the right time or a big king may rip your arms out of their sockets:D
 
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