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Author: Mike Schoonveld, Indiana North Coast Charter Assoc.

Capt. Mike Schoonveld has decades of experience fishing for Lake Michigan trout and salmon and trailers Brother Nature to where the fish are biting best.

Photo: Shooters at Oakwood Gun Club break clay targets for fun and to hone hunting skills.

It’s surprising how many hunters put down their guns at the end of the season and don’t load them again until they are uncased and ready to be carried on opening day the following year. Perhaps in the good ol’ days when rabbits, quail and pheasants were far more abundant a hunter only needed to walk far enough and shoot often enough to eventually bring home some game. Those good ol’ days must have occurred before I started hunting.



When I was a youngster, few things brought thoughts of wild lands and far off places into my head than hearing and seeing a Vee-shaped skein of Canada geese winging their way south in the fall or heading back to their summering area in the springtime. If I was lucky, I’d witness this majesty two or three times each year. Nowadays, seeing a Canada goose is almost as common as seeing robins in a yard or gulls along the lakefront. 



Every year in late winter and early spring the words "the fish are in" spreads among the fishermen who love catching coho salmon in Lake Michigan.

What "in" means is the fish are in the shallows, often a stone's throw from the beaches and breakwaters. The "in" also stands for IN or Indiana because it's along Indiana's Lake Michigan shoreline the fish show up first and hang around the longest. Here's why.


Great Lakes salmon and trout fishing started in Lake Michigan more than 50 years ago and Lake Michigan still offers the best fishing and widest variety of these fish of all the Great Lakes. No where on Lake Michigan offers a longer season for individuals wanting to catch their share of these gamesters than Northwest Indiana's small portion of water, at Lake Michigan's southern tip.