Fish to Expect

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Lake Michigan offers some of the finest fishing in the world. Here are some of the species you can expect to catch on your next adventure with Nicky Boy Charters


Brown Trout caught in Lake Michigan have an overall silvery color with an “X” shaped marking on the back and upper half of their body , a squared tail, small and numerous spots on the head , the inside of the mouth is white and they will have 12 or less rays in the anal fin. In the later months of September and October they display an overall tan to almost reddish brown color with prominent black and red spots. Brown Trout live in water that is warmer and shallower than what is preferred by other Salmon or Trout species . The Brown Trout can be easily spooked by anglers making it a challenge to be caught. The popularity of fishing for Brown Trout has steadily increased over the last few years and are being aggressively sought after by many Lake Michigan anglers. Brown Trout can be caught by anglers on a year-round basis. Some of the best Brown Trout fishing is done in the Springtime. Average weight 2-16 pounds.

Brown Trout


Adult Chinook are iridescent green to blue green on the back and top of the head . The sides are silvery with a white belly. They will have, at least a few, black spots on the upper half of their body and on all fins. Grey or black mouth coloration with the teeth set in black gums. They display a squared tail with spots on both halves and will have 15-19 rays in the anal fin. The Chinook has become one of the most popular and sought after game fish in the Great Lakes. It’s large size and extraordinary fighting ability coupled with it’s delicious tasting flesh have drawn fishermen from far and wide to catch this “King” of Salmon. Chinook fishing generally begins in early June and is good through October. Average weight: 5-35 pounds.

Chinook Salmon Aka The King Salmon


Adults are steel blue to slightly green on the back , brilliant silver on the sides and have a white belly. There will be small dark spots on the back and sides, above the lateral line and on the base of the dorsal fin and the upper half of the caudal fin. Coho differ from the other Salmonids by having the inside of their teeth set in white gums, the tail is slightly forked with spots on the top half and having 12-15 rays in the anal fin. The Coho Salmon is an extremely popular game fish in Lake Michigan. Fishing for Coho begins in mid-May . Evenings and early morning find this fish most active. Average weight: 5-12 pounds.

Coho Salmon


Lake Trout are distinguished by having a deeply forked tail, the inside of the mouth is white and will display 10-11 rays in the anal fin. The color of lake Trout varies from light green or grey to dark green or almost black with light spots on the back and sides. Lake Trout mature at the age of 6 or 7 years and may live in excess of 20 years. Good returns on Lake Trout are from May to October, starting closer to shore in the Spring and moving out to deeper water as the temperature rises. Average weight: 3-30 pounds.

Lake Trout Aka Laker


Steelhead have an elongated and slightly compressed body with a squared tail covered with spots. The inside of the mouth is white and will display 12 or less rays in the anal fin. There are generally small spots on the top of the head and back above the lateral line , including the dorsal and adipose fins. The body color of the Steelhead varies with the back being darker , ranging from steel blue to green to almost brown, the cheek and sides are silvery with an occasionally pink to red stripe. The belly is silvery white. The Steelhead is an extremely popular, widely enjoyed, gamefish aggressively taking baits and giving a good fight at the surface, often jumping clear out of the water. Steelhead can be found throughout the season . Average weight: 2-16 pounds.

Steelhead Aka Rainbow