Fishing For Coho Salmon In Lake Superior

In late March or early April there are a number of choices in the Mid-West for the Outdoorsman to participate in. You have the Spring Turkey season, clearing shooting lanes and adjusting your deer stands, dipping for smelt, or fishing for the Great Lakes Coho Salmon to name a few. Here I will give you a few tips from my Coho fishing adventures. Here are a few pictures to help you see what a Coho looks lie, but one easy way to know if you have a Coho is that you will see hundreds of small shinny scales on your hands.

Where To Fish For Coho

I like to fish the Chequamegon Bay, porting out of Washburn WI., fishing 1/4 mile off the shoreline and traveling North toward the Apostle Islands. Before heading out I will call the Marina and ask if the lake is clear, if clear I will head out, but you may want to take an ice spud for chopping ice as you may need to clear a path out of the marina. I then troll North along the West shoreline, working between the Sioux & Onion Rivers.

Fishing Method

For Coho I like to troll very slow, so I will use my Electric Trolling motor on a calm day. If the wind is blowing and you are fighting the waves I will then use the boat motor, but again trolling very slow, much less then you would for Steelhead or Chinook. I use 1.8 mi/hr to 2.4 mi/hr for Chinook so maybe 0.6 mi/hr or less.

Rods: I will use my Great Lake Rods, however I take a swivel and tie on a 20 foot mono-filament (8-lb) leader. Yes 20ft to get better action then I would get with the 20lb line I use for Chinook. I will also spool out 120ft of line and use a Red or Black permanent marker and color about an inch of the line, as I like my bait out behind the boat at least 120 feet.

Baits; Many anglers like to use spoons or a 4-3/8″ Floating Rapala, also known as a stick, which dives between 6-8ft, but I have found a bait that will out fish them all every time, the double jointed minnow that is 5-1/4″ long and dives between 5-10ft. Click on this for the best Walleye lure!

When To Fish For Coho

I like to fish for Coho as soon as the ice is off Lake Superior and I can get out of the Marina. This is typically late March or the first week of April. I have found early morning or evening work best, but Coho can be caught all day long. Once I’m into late April I will hang up my fishing pole and start looking for the Moral Mushrooms, move into fly-fishing for Bluegills in May and then over to Lake Michigan (Algoma Wi) in June – August, focusing on the Rainbow (Steelhead) and Kings (Chinook).