Lake Superior salmon fishing has been a long journey, king salmon were stock in Minnesota 1974 thru 2006, Coho salmon 1969 thru 1972, Atlantic salmon 1980 thru 1993, currently Ontario, Wisconsin and Michigan plant some king salmon but most of the fishery we target are based on natural occurring coho and king salmon that spawn in the streams on the south shore in Wisconsin. These rivers (Brule River, Amnicon River, etc.) based on beaver control, to keep them free flowing have become excellent spawning streams for the salmon in the lake as well as brown trout and rainbow trout.
Our salmon fishery is most consistent in the start of season in May thru Mid June before the water warms and the fish are relating to the annual smelt spawning run. After the water warms the fish scatter across the lake in search of surficial thermoclines and then thermoclines at depth during the late summer. Most likely these fish, especially the kings, are relating to herring schools. Later in the summer depending on winds the fish can come shoreward again on the south shore in Wisconsin if cool water concentrates the baitfish.
In the fall, depending on the water temperature the brown trout and coho salmon will stage in front of the spawning streams at this time they can be our target, bit of a boat ride but on all day trips we can fish these spawning rivers.
We are asked by clients “if we target salmon”, not really all the species of roaming Lake Superior are caught with similar methods, there is usually not an area that is better for one and not the other when it comes to trout and salmon, they are where the feed is.