A nother cold winter will make May the start of the big lake season for many anglers in the Ludington area. Fishing for brown trout has been decent so far but we haven’t seen as many as last year. The first part of May, we’ll troll along the beaches near the harbor and other river mouths primarily fishing for browns and lake trout. We’ll run shallow diving body baits such as Rapalas off planer boards with lighter than normal leaders (10-15# fluorocarbon). Most browns caught in April, and early May in our region are two to four pounds. Adding a few spoons to your spread on downriggers set 5-7 feet down and on small slide divers will add some more fish to your catch. When the harbor hits 55 degrees, alewives will be spawning in our harbor. This is when the largest browns of the year are normally caught enjoying the spawning baitfish when everyone is targeting salmon offshore.
Typically the 3rd week of May, when the surface temperature in 90 feet of water or deeper is 50 degrees, our first kings show up in good numbers. Last year the spring kings were in June. Spring kings like structure and can often be found close to the bottom. When the water is still cold, you may catch one near the surface and another a 100 or more feet down. They are the best fighting fish of the year, and they are hungry. Spoons are typically the best choice, and some springs flashers will work better than others.
When the migrating spring kings hit the Ludington area, I have seen them be here for a few days, some years they seem to never really leave. Typically the spring king fishery should last about two weeks, the fish head north and then come back just after the 4th of July to stay. In June, we typically will be offshore fishing for steelhead and lake trout and come July and August for kings. Our year depends on how many baitfish we have in our area and nobody knows the answer to that yet.