Milwaukee Fall Salmon Habits

Lets discuss location and presentation for Salmon in the last several months of their life. I will just group them together and call them spawners. For the fisherman in our area this includes Coho and Chinook.

On or about the third week in July to the end of our season and beyond these fish are looking for a place to drop their eggs. The active feeding time of their life is coming to an end. The good news is they will still hit lures on what I call a reflex reaction. As the spawners start their quest for the perfect spot they will move from where you would normally look for them on baitfish.

The end of July and early August fish the 55 to 70 degree water in depths of 100 feet or more. As the season progresses they start to move closer to natal-release sites. The four-year-old kings definitely like color. I like spoons or attractors and flies in green, orange, chartreuse, red and silver. As we get into August most of these fish will be suspended in the 60 degrees or warmer water. In the month of August I look for the biggest kings in 60 to 90 feet of water.

The lure action changes everyday experiment with size, speed and color. One day the fish like flashers or dodgers the next its spoons. September the fish start to go up the river. Look for them in 50 to 40 feet of water, in the harbor gaps and mouths of the rivers. Dreamweaver 90002s plugs out preformed J-plugs four to one again this season for big kings. Try them all season long you won't be disappointed.

When these fish get into the harbor there are three lures I run. Large silver or glow in the dark spoons, Dreamweaver plugs and size 3 Willy lures made by Hagen's Tackle. I just discovered the Willy lures this year and they caught fish on days when all other lures failed to produce.

Good Luck Captain Jim. Let's go fishing!!

Jim charters out of Milwaukee, WI. with Blue Max Charters. He can be reached at 414-828-1094 or visit his web site at!
Copyright 2006, James J. Hirt, All Rights Reserved.

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