South Western Lake Michigan sport fishing in St. Joseph, Michigan for King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Steelhead and Lake Trout has generally been great in our 2014 season.  While fishing is fishing and some days are better than others, our guests have reeled in some quality fish resulting in mouth-watering tastiness on the grill!

Our season in re-cap to current date:

The Spring Coho flurry didn’t last as long as previous years, but the 2-3 year old King(Chinook Salmon) made up for it!  From the beginning of May to the first week of June we had an overall range of 8-20 fish per trip.  When the Coho are feeding like crazy, they make up the big numbers in quantity.  When the spring Kings set in they provide the brute quality of the catch.  We were able to fish in shallower waters which allows quicker “set” time to drop those lines in the water.

From June to July the fishing required much deeper water fishing.  Some days we were fishing as far out as 300 foot of water.  Although the fishing had it’s inconsistencies from day to day, we tapped into the Kings, Coho and Steelhead.  Lake Trout made more of their presence later in the month. 

From July to present date, the bigger adult King Salmon have started to trickle in and boy are they getting big!  Along with the Kings, bigger Steelhead and Lake Trout are striking our lines with the summer feeding fury.  Lake Trout are always more prevalent in the middle summer months and there are some “hogs” out there ranging from 8-20 pounds. 

Our highly revered Steelhead, also known as a hybrid of Rainbow Trout made their first run into shallower waters and into the river.  With our cold winter behind us, it seems as though it may have delayed our fishing to a certain degree.  Generally, the Steelhead would have already made their first run through the month of June or beginning of July.  Our water temperature has been way to warm towards the shoreline and shallow water at the pier heads to allow these magnificent creatures to “stage up” and make their way up the St. Joseph River to spawn.  We had a cold snap 2 weeks ago that brought in cold water near shore which followed with a school of Steelhead.  The pier fisherman won this round!  The Steelhead were very close cropped to the pier heads which makes it difficult for us that our trolling by boat to get close enough to get in on the real action.  The pier fisherman wait patiently for this moment all summer long and they got it!  Our advantage on Big Bird Charters is that we can target these fish in deeper waters that the pier fisherman can’t.  They are still out there and we are still hooking up with these unpredictable, sky-rocketing, line peeling fish!

The season is not over yet and we expect to see even bigger King Salmon as they are always feeding and growing bigger.  Steelhead and Lake Trout also await our tasty bait to strike upon.  We love our fishing and we love our clients.  We do our very best to provide an unforgettable experience and develop a personal relationship with everyone that steps aboard Big Bird Fishing Charters.  Thanks to our regulars, thanks to our first-timers, and thanks to our future guests! 

Fish on,

Capt. Jim and Capt. Eric

Our attention to service and quality has made us an industry leader. At Big Bird Fishing Charters the customer always comes first, and we constantly strive to exceed your expectations! With our variety of services, you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for.

For the fishing enthusiasts of all ages, beautiful Lake Michigan offers a thrilling experience and memories for a lifetime. For over 31 years, Captain Jim Conder "Big Bird" has dedicated his time fishing the Great Lakes searching out the perfect spots in order to provide exceptional fishing trips.  Captain Jim's dedication to honesty and maintaining the tradition of quality customer service has earned him notable recognition for attention to details.


Saint Joseph MI charter 28 foot Carver Santa Cruz FlyBridge Cruiser BIG BIRD

Having an experienced Captain is as important as a safe and sound charter boat.  Big Bird Fishing Charters will make your experience a safe, fun and memorable one that you will be proud to share with your friends... and leave you wanting to come back for more.

  • Rates Include All Fishing Equipment
  • Fishing license available for purchase on board
  • Cleaning & Bagging of Your Fresh Catch is Complimentary!

Where to Find Us:

Big Bird Charters
143 Anchors Way Slip 94
Saint Joseph, MI 49085

Phone: +1 269-470-4149

Make your charter request today!

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