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A Perfect Day to Enjoy Big Lake (and River) Adventures

Ludington’s lakeshore destination offers access to 28 miles of sandy Lake Michigan shoreline, and all of the big lake adventure you could hope for. Book a charter with one of 25+ licensed captains and enjoy an unforgettable day on the big lake. Pure Ludington is known as the #1 salmon fishing port in Michigan, and one trip will easily show you why.

It doesn’t stop here, though. Jump on the Pere Marquette River, home to fantastic year-round trout, steelhead and salmon fishing.


Morning: Charter fishing

Looking for unforgettable family fishing fun on Lake Michigan? Ludington has more than 25 licensed charter boats and fishing guides. The Ludington Charter Boat Association provides resources for professional fishing charters in the Ludington area.

LCBA member captains are not only skilled professional fishermen, they are US Coast Guard licensed, fully insured, and Michigan DNR inspected. You can be sure your LCBA captain is fully qualified to provide a great day of fishing on the big lake! Find your desired fishing experience by visiting: or calling 1-800-927-3470.


Afternoon: Fish the Pere Marquette River

The Pere Marquette National Scenic River is not only tranquil and beautiful but also an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, providing recreation from canoeing and kayaking to steelhead and salmon fishing, as it winds through the Manistee National Forest. The PM River is a waterway open for all seasons and flows into PM Lake in Ludington, which has always been known as a hotspot for those seeking outdoor adventure.

The PM River is known worldwide for its runs of natural-reproduction of steelhead along with salmon, trout and more. Check out the fishing seasons to plan your trip to Pure Ludington!

Fishing Seasons in Ludington

Depending on the season, and whether or not you are on Lake Michigan or a river, what you can expect to catch changes.

Big Lake Fishing Seasons

The big lake season opens in April at the port of Ludington. Football-shaped brown trout cruise the inshore waters where where warm waters at river mouths attract baitfish. Run lighter line and shallow running baits, which imitate smelt and alewives.

Lake trout are peaking; consistent weather can produce peak lake trout at around 6-15 pounds each. Steelhead also begin to make their appearance this month on deep-water scumlines and thermal barriers.

Variety is the name of the game, as chinook and browns are still prime targets this month and outstanding steelhead action is waiting offshore.

Salmon time is upon us; good-sized chinooks are at their true fighting weight after a summer of heavy feeding, making this an awesome time to really go out and sport fish. Silver and coho salmon also show up in good numbers for the August catch.

Massive king salmon begin massing off the river mouths preparing for their upstream migration. Action can be fast and furious as these trophies prepare to return to the rivers to spawn. Typically, the biggest trophy can be landed during the month of September.

Pere Marquette Fishing Seasons

Late March through early April usually brings in the peak spring steelhead season on the PM River. With migration of the winter steelhead to spawn, this is a great season to get out on the river after the winter season.

Trout opens up in late April, bringing great fishing on the river throughout the month of May.

If you are in search of fly fishing on the PM River, June and July will be a top time of year to make your way to land that trophy trout. Hook up with one of the local guides to really make it a memorable experience in Pure Ludington.

Mature kings start to really make their way up the river and with 70+ miles of rivers to explore, you will love fishing for salmon during this peak season. During the later fall season, brown trout also make their way in and some trophies can be found.

Fall/winter steelhead is in full swing on the PM River. This is a beautiful time to be on the river, and many anglers flock to Pure Ludington during the winter months to plan a fight with a steely.