Charter Fishing Chicago Illinois and Hammond Indiana with Captain Ralph Steiger Fishing Guide Service for salmon, trout, smallmouth bass and perch in Illinois and Indiana waters of Lake Michigan. Specializing in Lake Michigan charter and guide fishing trips reports between Chicago Illinois and Hammond Indiana.
Contact Us at Charter Fishing Chicago Illinois and Hammond Indiana with Captain Ralph Steiger Fishing Guide Service for salmon, trout, smallmouth bass and perch in Illinois and Indiana waters of Lake Michigan.

Fishing Reports, Tips & Discussions

If your looking for all the details that make the big difference on the water and want to learn from some of Lake Michigan's best fisherman take a look at the link below.  Plus some great deals on custom tackle used on my boat.  I am PROUD to be part of this. 

1-25-18 thru 2-20-18  Winter returned

Not the same winter as the last couple years.  Lots of snow, cold temps, and ice have kept us off the water most of this winter.  Good news is looks like the lake will be ice free and we will be back to fishing this week.  I am very limited on open dates for March, April, and May.  If you are interested in getting out this spring call soon or no dates will be available.  Wish me luck, time to get back to fishing!  Also a huge thanks to everyone who came out to the Learn Lake Michigan seminars this past weekend.  They turned out to be a huge success and I have had lots of positive feedback, looking forward to running them again next winter.  

1-24-18  I'm Back!!!  Lake trout, brown trout, and cohos

After winters brutal start it wasn't looking promising for winter fishing this year but after a few huge warm ups, rain, and heavy south winds the lake opened up and were right back to fishing.  There is still a lot of large chunks of floating ice so please be careful if you plan on heading out.  Use your head!  We fished 4 days this past week, first 2 trips were slower due to muddy water but we still caught a bunch of brown trout and everyone had a good time.  As the water cleared up fishing improved big time.  Jigging lake trout was good as well as casting for brown trout. 

Fishing should only get better and better from this point on.  I will be casting/jigging for salmon and trout all of Feb. and March.  Call me for open dates, dates are limited call asap if you want to go.  Also my Learn Lake Michigan seminars are coming up on Feb. 17th and 18th at the Hammond, IN Cabela's location.  If you want to learn how, when, and where to catch fish year round on Lake Michigan check out the seminars.  More info at:

11-1-17 thru 12-1-17 Lake Trout Mania and Monster Waves!

Same story different month, awesome fishing and bad weather.  The month started out great and ended tough. Since Thanksgiving the wind has been relentless.   The amount of small craft and gale force wind warnings put a big halt on fishing.  Luckily the first 3/4 of November were excellent.  Fishing was great just about every trip.  We had a huge amount of success jigging for the lake trout. We even caught a 26 lber jigging on 10lb test!  Pictured below, first picture.  The good news is the fishing will remain great all winter. Hopefully we have a mild winter and can get back out and catch a ton more.  I will continue fishing all winter feel free to call me for more details.  Also I am booking 2018 trips on a daily basis, call me sooner than later so dates are still available.  They fill up fast.  Gift certificates for the holidays are also available, just call or email for info. or 219-688-3593.   Hope everyone has a great holiday season, be safe. 

9-15-17 thru 10-31-17 Good fishing, off the wall weather

Fall has definitely had it's ups and downs.  One week I can fish everyday and the weather is great the next I can hardly get out at all due to wind and waves.  Fishing has been very good for the most part.  It's very frustrating when I have good fishing and can't get out as much as I want too.  Late September was great smallmouth fishing, mostly smaller fish but the action was great.  Once the first week of October came water temperatures finally started to drop after some colder weather.  Fishing went nuts.  Everyday was very good and fall seemed to be in full swing.  The second week of October air temperatures skyrocketed and bass fishing slowed down some.  Good news was I found a small pod of King Salmon and we had some awesome early mornings and nights casting crank baits for these giants.  Unfortunately this bite didn't last more than a week or so.  By mid October water temperatures started to fall again and once again and bass fishing went nuts.  Fishing remained very good thru the end of the month.  Back to the problem, the weather was so uncooperative for days on end we missed a bunch of days due to unsafe conditions.  Currently I am going thru the same issue, bad weather.  Hopefully we get some normal stable weather for November.  

I will be lake trout fishing all of November and thru the rest of the winter months.  For anyone interested in jigging giant lake trout this winter get ahold of me and I will put you on my call list for when we get safe weather thru the winter.  All I need is name and number and I will call/text when I have open dates from Dec.-March.  Also I have already been filling tons of 2018 dates.  Call for open dates. Good Luck and be safe.          

8-18-17 thru 9-15-17 Mixed bag of fish and weather patterns

The end of August was tough!  The water temperatures became extremely warm and the salmon disappeared on us very quickly, sort of a repeat of last season.  We did have a few good trips from the 18th thru 22nd then it became extremely slow for salmon but there were still lake trout around.  My trips switched over on September 1st to smallmouth fishing but unfortunately we had a ton of heavy North winds and the water was either very stirred up or not safe to be on due to wave heights.   Good news is since the 10th of September fishing has picked up big time.  Smallmouth fishing has been very good.  Smallmouth fishing has been our focus and will be thru early November.  Most days the action has been very good and should only get better thru the Fall, especially for bigger fish.  We even caught a couple of big catfish, pike, and white bass mixed in!  Our Fall King Salmon run has been slow at best.  We have caught a handful casting but definitely nothing to brag about.  This could still change over the next couple weeks.  Best baits for the smallmouth fishing have been a drop-shot rig with a Jackall 4.8 Flick Shake worm wacky rigged, best colors have been Cola or Bluegill.  We have also done well with a Tight Rope jig in darker colors with a Lure Craft "Little D" in SI color or Dark Melon color.

I still have some Oct. and early Nov. primetime smallmouth dates open give me a call if your interested.  I am currently booked up most of Nov. for Lake Trout jigging dates but do still have a few in Dec and I will continue fishing for them all winter long. 

8-5-17 thru 8-15-17 Excellent fishing

The weather has been great and so has fishing.  The salmon and trout bite in deep water continues to be consistently excellent.  Most days we have had a mixed bag of lake trout, king salmon, coho salmon, and steelhead trout.  We have had coho up to 10 lbs, lake trout and king salmon up to 20 plus lbs, and steelhead up to 13 lbs!  Best action has been in 150 to 210 ft of water.  Best baits have been Dreamweaver Spin Doctors/Rapture Trolling Flies or Dreamweaver mag and super slim spoons.  Best color Spin Doctor/Rapture fly combos have been Blue Fish Net with Silver Hypnotist fly, Live Wire with Lime Tonic fly, UV Crush with UV Zenith fly.  Best spoons have been Dreamweaver Magnums in Lemon Ice, Carmel Dolphin, Green King.

I also bass fished 3 times this past week and fishing has definitely improved.  Still was hard to catch bigger fish but the action was excellent and we were busy all day.  Best baits were Jackall Flick Shake 4.8 inch worms on a drop-shot rig.  We are rigging these baits thru the center (wacky style).  This rig was excellent last year in the late summer/fall.   Bass fishing is only going to get better in Sept. and Oct.  The last few years fall has been very good and I am expecting this year to be great too.  I still have a some dates open for fall bass fishing.  Give me a call asap if interested. 

I will be salmon/trout fishing for a couple more weeks then switching up to bass fishing for Sept. and Oct.   

7-12-17 thru 8-4-17 One week of terrible weather followed by some GREAT fishing.

Well we went thru a 10 day stretch of monster waves and wind, 7 of these days had a small craft advisory in effect.  Needless to say this kept us off the water.  After the winds and waves calmed this past week has been some of the best salmon/trout fishing of the summer.  Easy limits and tons of action.  It has been a mixed bag of all the species.  We did have a 3 kings in the 18-20lb range this week and a ton of very nice steelhead trout.  The Shimano Tekota drags were ripping!  Best baits have been Dreamweaver Spin Doctors/Rapture Trolling Fly combos in: Live Wire Spindoctor/Illusion fly, Blue Fish Net Spindoctor/Silver Hypnotist fly, Chrome Frog Spin Doctor/Green Dude fly.  Spoons have been great too.  Best colors have been Dreamweaver Super Slim spoons in Bumble Bee, Carmel Dolphin, Green King, Blue Icicle.  For the steelhead we have had very good success with Mag Dreamweaver spoons in Bumble Bee, Steelie Stomper, and Double Orange Crush.  Hopefully we continue with some nice weather and some more great fishing.  

For anyone interested my fall smallmouth trips for Sept/Oct. are about 3/4 of the way filled up give me a call for dates while there are some still open.  The last few years the fall has been excellent and I am really looking forward to this year.    

5-24-17 thru 7-11-17 Good fishing and some bad luck.

Well let's start with the bad luck. My last post was May 23rd, the next day I was working in my garage and I fell.  I landed on my elbow and broke it.  This took me out of commission for a few weeks while it was healing.  Good news is everything healed fine and I have been back in business for weeks now. 

Fishing has been good both for smallmouth bass and salmon/trout.  The month of June was great for coho salmon in 50-65 feet of water.  As July has approached the fishing has stayed strong and we are now fishing 70-80 ft of water.  July has been a mixed bag of coho salmon, king salmon, and steelhead trout.  Dreamweaver Spin Doctors and Rapture full sized flies have been very good the last few weeks.  Dreamweaver SS spoon in a variety of colors have also been doing very well. 

I still have a few dates for salmon avalible for the summer.  I am also starting to fill up for late summer/fall smallmouth dates.  Give me a call for info.  Good Luck.  

5-2-17 thru 5-23-17 Good weather, Big Smallmouths, Salmon, and Trout

Fishing has been great.  The bass fishing has remained very good.  The action has been very great and the quality of fish has been great too.  We had 2 fish over 5 lbs in the past 2 weeks and lots and lots in 3.5 to 4.5lb range.  Same baits and techniques as my last report. I expect fishing to remain very good thru the rest of the year.  The salmon/trout fishing has been very good too.  The lake trout bite in 40-60 ft of water remains very good, same baits as last reports.  The salmon are finally starting to show back up in some numbers.  They seem to be very scattered out.  I had a few trips we fished in 120 to 140 ft of water and did pretty well.  We are starting to see more coho showing up in 45 to 60 ft of water, again they are very scattered.  Best setups for the coho have been 00 sized dodgers in orange or fire dot with Rapture coho sized flies.  Best colors in the flies have been Asteroid, Comet, Poseidon, and Atlantis.  Rapture Flies avalible at 

I will post again asap.  I still have some summer dates open but starting to run out.  Give me a call/email/text for openings.  Thanks Ralph 219-688-3593 or  

Great fishing, still waiting for some good weather.  4-2-17 thru 5-1-17

Same old story on southern Lake Michigan fishing is very good weather and waves are not.  It's been a struggle so far this spring  When we get some stable weather and nice winds fishing rocks, when the North winds start blowing we can't even fish.  It's frustrating to say the least.  Smallmouth fishing has been very good all month for both numbers of fish and quality.  This past 2 weeks were excellent, good water temperature and great water clarity made for some unreal days.  We had lots of smallmouth over 4 lbs and one over 5 lbs.  Also were getting some giant brown trout mixed in while bass fishing, including the biggest one ever to enter my boat 20lbs 2 ozs.  We released all the browns and smallmouth, hopefully we catch them when they are even bigger!  Best baits have been Tight Rope jigs in brown and black colors with either a Lure Craft Little D in SI color or Dark Melon color, also did very well on Odin Baits in Brown/Purple flake or Black/multi flake colors.  Also have had success on tube jigs in brown-black combinations.  Most fishing has been in 8 to 20 ft of water with most of the bigger fish coming out of the deeper waters.  

My focus has been bass fishing for the last few weeks but we have had some off and on very good salmon fishing and some excellent deeper water lake trout fishing.  The salmon have been scattered but for the most part they have been inshore still.  It will be hard to say where they will be after these waves settle down.  A good starting point would be 50-55 ft of water just north of the "Gong" area.  This is also the area where the lake trout have been stacked up at.  Best baits for the salmon have been 00 sized dodgers and Rapture trolling flies in coho size.  I attached a picture below.  The lake trout have been near the bottom and have been going crazy for the new Lake Trout rigs made Rapture Trolling Flies/Yakama spin-n-glow combos.  We are running them arounf 25-26 inches behind a size 0 dodger in silver glow, silver, or firedot colors.  I attached a picture below.  These rigs and the Rapture Flies are avalible at:

For Tight Rope Jigs:

For Odin Baits:

For Lure Craft Little D's just contact me 

Wish me luck, hopefully this wind calms down quick.  I will post again asap.  Summer dates are still available give me a call to discuss availability.  Thanks Ralph 219-688-3593

Good fishing, tough weather 3-1-17 thru 4-1-17

After a mild winter full of great fishing March arrived and so did the normal winter weather.  It's been a tough month for us.  The fishing has not been the problem, actually fishing has been very good.  The wind, waves, very cold temperatures, and even a couple of blizzards made for unsafe conditions on the lake.  Good news is when we were able to get out we caught a wide variety of species and had some great days.  The jigging for lake trout remained very good up until this past week, coho salmon and brown trout action trolling has been excellent, casting for the salmon/trout was not the easiest thing to do this year but I think that was mostly due to unstable weather conditions.  We are just starting to see some smallmouth bass getting active too.  I will try to post more often, looking forward to having a great April.  I still have a few days open in May for salmon/trout or smallmouth bass fishing.  Summer dates are now becoming filled up, especially the weekends.  If interested in getting out call me anytime.         

What a start to the season!! Giant Lake Trout, Whitefish, Brown Trout, and the start of Coho Salmon 1-24-17 thru 2-24-17

Fishing has been nothing short of amazing.  The weather has been just as good, calm winds and warm temps.  We have been hammering big Lake Trout jigging on light tackle!  Every trips has been great.  A variety of baits have been working, everything from blade baits to soft plastics.  Nice part is multiple areas have been great for these trout so we haven't been stuck to just one area.  Coho action is just starting out.  We have caught some casting but no big numbers yet.  Water temperatures are still very cold (35 degs).  A week or two and we should see our big run of cohos begin.  Brown trout action has been sporadic at best but again in a week or two we will see a big increase in browns.  Also had some bonus Whitefish mixed in while jigging for trout!  Springs dates are extreamly limited now please call for info.

Next March 4th is the annual "Learn Lake Michigan" seminars that I host.  Hope to see everyone there.  We will cover everything from casting salmon, jigging lake trout, deep water salmon trolling, and anything else you can think of in the a.m. salmon/trout section.  In the p.m. we will be talking Great Lakes Smallmouth Bass tactics.  Again anything you can think of will be covered.  These seminars have been a great way to get out of the house, learn some new things, and meet other local fisherman.  Hope you can attend.  More info at:      

UNREAL fishing!!! 1-12-17 thru 1-23-17

Fishing has been great the last 2 weeks, weather has been awesome too!  This January has been pretty special.  Jigging for big lake trout has been nothing short of incredible.  I also have been catching a few browns and cohos casting.  What really make this a week to remember is the 3 pike we caught casting/jigging for brown trout.  A 30 incher, 34.5 incher, 35,5 incher!!  All caught at different locations??  Also I caught my personal biggest steelhead of my life casting a Northland Impuse grub on a Northland Thumper jig!  I expect fishing to continue like this all of Feb. and March.  I still have dates available, call me for info.

Also for anyone looking to learn how and why we are catching big fish like this check out the Learn Lake Michigan seminars.  Space is limited.  If anyone has questions contact me. 

We will cover both trolling and casting for all year success in the salmon/trout portion.  In the smallmouth portion we will cover everything that will help make you a better angler from both shore and boat. 

 More info at: 

Sigh up at:

Also I will be at the Schaumburg Outdoors show this Thurs-Sunday (Jan. 26th thru 29th) working at the Shimano/G.Loomis booth.  Stop by and talk some fishing with me.  I have a seminar at the show at the hawg trough (tank) on Sat. at 1 PM.  I will be talking about multi-species fishing on Lake Michigan.  Covering a little bit of everything.  Hope to see everyone there.   Here the link for show info:

Still fishing!  1-11-17

Mother nature has been pretty kind to us so far this winter.  Even though we have had plenty of cold weather we have also had big warm ups which are keeping the lake open and ice free for the most part.  I took a short break in Dec. to get all the gear, boat, and everything else back in order for the 2017 season but for the most part we have been able to get out safely still.  Fishing has been very good.  We have spent most days jigging for big monster lake trout.  All this fishing is done using med. action spinning rods and light braided line.  It's a blast!  We also spent a few days casting for coho salmon/brown trout/steelhead trout and we had some success.  We haven't seen the giant school of coho show up yet, most of our catch casting was brown trout and a handful of steelhead trout. I will continue fishing all winter, call for details.  I am down to just a few trips open in March for coho madness!  Call for open dates. 

I also will be running my "Learn Lake Michigan" seminar on March 4th.  This is a great time and a great way to learn how to catch more fish on the great lakes.  Follow link for all the details.

Big Smallmouth and prehistoric Lake Trout! 11-15-16 thru 12-10-16

The last few weeks we have had some very good fishing but unfortunately mother nature still wasn't too cooperative.  When we have been able to get out we have done very well both for smallmouth and lake trout.  Both the bass and trout were caught jigging using Big Dude blade baits in willow cat, gold, white, and silver in 3/8 or 1/2 oz. sizes.  We also did very well on a Jackall Baits TN-60 in the gold color, especially for the bass.  

Big Dude Blade Baits at under tackle shop.

Looks like the weather is about to take a turn for the worst and we might not be able to get out for awhile but spring will be here before we know it.  I will continue to fish thru the winter months, weather allowing.  Feb. and March dates for jigging for lake trout, casting for coho salmon/brown trout are already about 1/2 filled for 2017.  April and May dates for smallmouth fishing are now getting filled also.  Feel free to call or email me for open dates or more info.  I also have gift certificates available for the holidays.  

I will also be running the "Learn Lake Michigan" seminars again this March 4th 2017 in Hammond, IN.  I will have all the details over the next few weeks.   

It's been another great year and I wish it wasn't coming to an end.  I really appreciate everyone who continues to fish with me and continues to help me in anyway.  I can't thank everyone enough.   Hurry up SPRING!

Smallmouth, Salmon, and the start of fall Lake Trout 10-16-16 thru 11-10-16

October started out great and then changed very quickly for the worst.   The water temperatures stayed so warm thru the second half of the month that it actually hurt fishing.  We also did have big waves and muddy water the majority of the time which never helps.  This pattern has continued into November but it hasn't been all bad we still caught a bunch of fish!  Good news water temperatures are finally falling and fishing has been improving both for smallmouth bass and lake trout.  Nature seems to be a few weeks behind normal this fall.  I expect the rest of November and all of Dec. to be very good for big lake trout due to this warmer start to Nov.  For anyone interested in getting out I will still be fishing all of Dec. (weather allowing)  Call for dates, also filling up for spring faster then expected.  Stay positive plenty of good fishing yet to come!!

Smallmouth and King Salmon fishing 10-1-16 thru 10-15-16

Fishing has been pretty good the last few weeks.  The weather has been consistent and the fish have been cooperative.  The water temps. are still much warmer then what they should be and we should still have a few very good weeks of smallmouth fishing left this year.  Same patterns/baits has my last reports.  Bad news is looks like some nasty North East winds coming this week.  Hopefully the weatherman is wrong like normal!

We did find a small pod of king salmon around the first week of Oct.  We caught them casting crank baits in the early morning or night time hours.  Even though it was very short lived it was still great to catch some casting. 

I still have some jigging for lake trout dates open in early Dec.  Fishing will still be great.  I am booked for the rest of Oct. and all of Nov.  I will keep fishing until weather will not allow me out.  Feel free to call for open dates.  Also spring dates are filling faster then normal, especially weekend dates.  Don't wait to plan a trip.  Dates will be gone fast.   

Hot Smallmouth Baits/Rigs - Summer/Fall

Just wanted to share some rigs/baits that have been working well for me this summer/early fall.  The drop-shot rig has been good all year but lately it has really been great.  Best baits have been Jackall 4.8 Flick Shake worms.  We have been wacky rigging these baits fishing them on a size 1 Owner Mosquito hook with a 12-14 inch lead from your hook to your weight (3/8th oz.)   In order to do well with this rig you must fish slow and patiently and have your rig on the bottom at all times.  This is very important. 

Also all of these baits are being thrown on light gear.  Best combos for me have been Shimano Zodias spinning rods in med or med/light (depending on how much weight you are using) with a Shimano Stradic FK 3000 size reel, with 8 lb Power Pro line with a 7 ft 10lb test fluorocarbon leader to you hook.  Rod models are ZDS270ML (7ft med/light action) or ZDS702M (7ft med action).

Most of these baits/gear is avalible at either Angler's Outlet (708-331-5711) or Fishing Connection (708-532-1476)  Call for store info.    

For Odin Baits:

For Tight Rope Jigs:

For Jackall Lures info:

For Shimano Rod/Reel info:

Jackall 4.8 Flick Shake worms from top to bottom.  Green Pumpkin Candy, Blue Gill, Cola, Camo.  Everyday is different just experiment with colors to see what they want.

Another bait that has been great for me all year is the Jackall 4 inch Cross Tail Shad.  Again we are fishing these baits on the same rig but we are only nose hooking them.  These baits seem to have worked best for me on slower days and during mid day (high sun). 

Another bait that has been great for me all year is the Odin Drop Shot bait.  These baits work great on a drop shot rig nose hooked or as a jig trailer.  I really like using them as a trailer on the back of a Tight Rope Jig.  The Odin Baits are extremely soft, have tons of action, and are made locally here in Indiana. 

The jig I am pairing them up with is a handmade skirted finesse jig called a Tight Rope Jig.  The jigs are made to catch fish in the toughest of conditions.  The smaller profile and subtle action paired with the right trailer makes for fish catching machine.

I am using either a Odin Drop Shot bait or a Jackall Cross Tail Shad as the trailer.  First I cut about a 1/2 inch off the nose of the bait making the soft plastic trailer a little shorter, then with out getting glue everywhere I put a drop or two of super glue on the hook shank then slide my plastic on.  *DONT USE ALOT OF GLUE!  Be careful not to get glue in the skirt on the jig.  By using the glue your trailer will stay on much better. 

Below to the far left is and example of Tight Rope Jigs/Odin Trailer and Just to the right of that is an example of the Tight Rop Jig/Jackall Cross Tail Shad combo.  Both work great just experiment, everyday is different.   

Another Odin Bait that was great for me this season was the Clear Candy color.  It is a transparent bait that has multi-color flake in it.  When the water was clear it was the best drop shot bait on my boat.  I am looking forward to seeing how it does in the later fall months, should be great. 

As always we did very well on a plain brown 1/4 oz. jig head and a Lure Craft Original "D" pictured in far right.  The Lure Craft Original "D" will be out very soon for purchase I will post on here as well as my Facebook page (Ralph Steiger) when available.  Should be within a week.

From top to bottom: Odin Clear Candy, Odin Black/Purple Flake, Odin Green Pumpkin/Purple Flake, Bottom three Jackall Black Winnie, Jackall Green Pumpkin Candy, Jackall Melon Copper. 

9-1-16 thru 9-30-16 Smallmouth and nice weather

I have been smallmouth fishing everyday the weather and waves allow us out, I have not been salmon fishing due to extremely low numbers of spawning king salmon.  Having a next to non-existent fall king run the last couple of years has really changed the way I run my guide trips.  To say I am disappointed would be a understatement, casting the for fall kings was the whole reason I started guiding.  Other states are reporting better fishing for kings (IL and WI).  Hopefully one day we can have a fall salmon run like we used too.  Just to make it clear we have a very good spring and summer salmon fishery, it's not all bad!  Thankfully we have a very good smallmouth fishery here that has helped me overcome the lack of salmon here in the early fall. 

Sept. smallmouth fishing started out pretty tough, great weather but slow fishing due to the warmest water temps. of the year (around 78-79).  Fishing was slow and the fish we were catching were on the small side.  By the second week of Sept. the water temps. started to drop steadily and within in a week we were around 68-70, which is still warm for this time of year but much better then near 80 degs.  Fishing improved big time, lots of action and the quality of fish went way up.  Fishing and weather stayed very good up in till the last few days.  This whole week we have been dealing with big changes in wind direction, very strong winds, and monster waves.  Good news is this upcoming week looks much more stable and not windy.  Smallmouth fishing will remain very good thru Oct.  Hopefully this weather cooperates.  Look to my post above for a run down on whats been working this summer/early fall. 

Availability is extremely low for open dates from now thru early Dec.  Call to discuss, hopefully we can make something work. 


8-10-16 thru 8-26-16 Salmon/Trout/Smallmouth and STORMS...

Fishing has still been very good over the past two weeks but the weather was a real pain.  Lots of morning thru mid day storms made getting out a challenge.  When we did get out we did very well on the salmon and steelhead, same baits as last reports.  We also were lucky enough to land a brown trout over 16 lbs and a king salmon over 20 lbs in one trip.  I did get out smallmouth fishing a handful of times and we did decent every trip.  Starting to get some nicer fish mixed in again as fall is approaching.  I have a handful of salmon trips left this week and then I will be smallmouth fishing all of Sept. and Oct.  I am really looking forward to fall, definitely one of my favorite times of year for bass fishing.  I still have a couple of open dates in Sept. and some left in Oct.  Just call for details.   

7-5-16 thru 8-9-16 Salmon and Steelhead!

Sorry for the delay on reports on here.  Between trying to fish everyday and everyday life I am running out of hours in the day.  Fishing has been good, weather has been hit or miss as always.  In summer we are running offshore anywhere from 8-18 miles everyday depending on where the fish are.  Wind plays a huge part in this fishing, inshore can be beautiful but offshore can be a total different world.  For the most part we have had some fairly good winds and our fishing has been outstanding.  I am hoping to finish this summer up with light winds and lots of big salmon.  Best baits have been Dreamweaver Spin Doctors w/ Rapture Trolling Flies. Chrome or UV series in the Spin Doctors paired w/ UV Zenith, Silver Hypnotist, and Lime Tonic Rapture Flies have been the on fire.  Also Dreamweaver Super Slim spoons in Bumble Bee, Carmel Dolphin, Green King, and Candy Apple Red Glow have also been great for steelhead trout as well as salmon.    The combos and spoons are available at

Bass fishing has also been good but due to high water temperatures and extremely clear water they have been very picky.   They are willing to bite but you have to really be patient and fish very slow.  Best baits have been jigs (same as normal).  Sept. is always a great month for bass, and Oct. will be great too.

Below are just a few picks from my recent trips, also follow me on Facebook for daily reports/pictures.  Search Ralph Steiger it will come right up.

6-21-16 thru 7-4-16 Salmon. smallmouth, and better weather

Fishing has been pretty good lately.  The smallmouth action has been good, lots of action but still been a bit tough to get the bigger ones to open their mouths.  Water temps. have been warm and they seems to play a role in getting the bigger fish to start feeding.  Trust me I am not complaining at all the weather is getting better and better by the week and we finally seem like we are in a summer pattern.  Consistent weather really helps fishing on Lake Michigan.  I am expecting to have a great summer for the bass and should only get better and better in Aug. and Sept.  Best baits have been either throwing variety of jigs/plastics or drop-shotting a Jackall Crosstail shad in darker colors.  I have had a quite a few emails/phone calls from people asking if bass fishing is good thru the summer months....YES it is.  The later summer months are even better then the early ones and fall is great too.  Call me for open dates. 

Salmon fishing has picked up big time.  Limits of nice big cohos and some nice bonus kings have made for some very fun mornings.  We should see this great fishing continue thru Aug.  Best depths have been 60-80 ft or water.  Best baits have been 0 sized dodger w/ Rapture Trolling flys Comet fly or Astroid fly.  Most of the Kings have been coming on meat rigs.  Some good combos have been John King 12 inch flasher with Rapture meat rigs.  Best colors have been SUV flasher/Rapture Zenith meat rig, Black Mamba SUV/with No-see-um meat rig, Mean Gree

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