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New to town, Looking for some advice on the big lake

1973 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Hawkeye
Hi, I am new to town and seing a big lake like Michigan is a bit intimidating for someone who has been fishing in farm ponds for the past 10 years. I was hoping someone could let me know where to fish along the lakeshore and what types of fish I can expect to catch as the year goes along. In addition to that, I live in the Lakeview area and would like to know where to purchase live bait around the area. I appreciate any help and hope to see some of you on the water.
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Welcome to WCF, Hawkeye!

Lake Michigan sure is a great place to fish and a little knowledge can really go a long way. Just about anything can be caught along the lakefront at different times of the year. I assume you are talking about shore fishing so i'll go with that.

First of all, the closest place for you to get bait is Park Bait in Montrose harbor. The pphone number is listed in the bait shop directory of the main site ( Other than there, the next closest place would be in the suburbs or Henry's on 31st and Normal in the Bridgeport neighborhood.

As for shorefishing and what fish you'll find, the list is a good one: Rainbow Trout, Coho Salmon, King Salmon, Brown Trout, Yellow Perch, Jumbo Yellow Perch, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Rock Bass, Bluegill, Carp. There are several other species of fish, but those are the main ones.

Montrose Harbor is probably closest to you and though the perch catch has slowed considerably, some are still being caught by shorefishermen early and late. Closer to Belmont harbor there are some nice weed beds that hold largemouth bass.

In September-October the salmon make their run along the shore and are a blast to catch. Most people fish at night with glow-in-the-dark spoons for them.

I'm sure some other WCF members will chime in with some good advice. JNapadano does real well for smallmouth bass from shore and charter boat captain Jim from Lucky Dog Charters should be able to offer some advice as well.

Good lulck, and again, welcome to the site!
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i have caught good salmon on rat L traps at harbors and what not t night
welcome hawkeye! where u from? chicago's a great city and you'll love it. the big pond, as we call it, has all kinds of opportunities for fishing. right now we're in between seasons. the salmon run should start very soon so keep an eye on these boards for reports. go get em!
Welcome! Lake Michigan is a treasure. The salmon run in the fall is great. Last year was the first time that I fished it myself. My son and I are awaiting this year's run. You can try the harbors for bass right now. Probably rockbass and largemouths. The smallies move out once the waters get warmer in late spring. Look over some old posts here about fishing there. There are several other good sites for Chicago too (though not as good as this one!).
Thank you for the warm welcome and the advice. I think I am going to try and get out this weekend sometime for the first time on this lake and looking forward to puting your advice and suggestions to work. I know someone asked where I was from and I am from Iowa thus the username of Hawkeye. Thanks again
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