S eptember is a great time for fishing in the Ludington area, with several options for boat and non-boat owners. You can fish Lake Michigan and enjoy some great fishing for kings, steelhead, and lake trout and not have to worry about seeing many other boats. Offshore breaks will begin to form again toward the end of the month so make sure you pull up a surface temp map before heading out. The piers are a great spot to be especially after a Northwest wind when the adult kings are running into the harbor to make their final journey into the Pere Marquette River where they were born. The lower end of the Pere Marquette is one of the best places around to target adult king salmon using medium heavy spinning gear.
In the lake the first half of the month we will still be targeting adult kings before they make their way into the river with plugs, Dreamweaver flashers and meat rigs. This is where the kings will stage in up to 65-degree water before entering the river. When trolling into warmer water try slowing down to 1.8 to 2.2 mph. Near the end of the month trolling with spoons and faster trolling speeds will become the norm when targeting surface breaks. Casting from the piers with spoons Yeck 1/2 or 3/4-ounce casting spoons is a sure way to have some fun during a push of fish. Some anglers will catch Alewives and use them as bait as well with great success.
How long the kings spend in the lower river, Walhalla to the mouth, depends on the water levels and temperatures. If the river gets too warm, they will head upstream closer to their spawning grounds in search of cooler water with more oxygen. Low water keeps the fish in the lower river. Common lures used are medium diving Rapalas and Thundersticks and #5 or #6 blade spinners.
Good luck to you on the water September.