Frankfort Salmon Fishing

Rich, Brad and I went up to Frankfort Michigan last weekend to fish for Salmon.  This was the first time I had been up to Frankfort, and if you have never been there, put it on your list!

The town is beautiful and is located on the shore of Lake Michigan.  There are high sand dunes along the whole coast which makes for some really nice scenery.

We got on our way at about 5:30 on Friday, and made our way up to Cadillac, where we stopped at Rich's cabin to drop off some stuff as we passed through.  He has some really nice property there, and we grabbed a beer and walked along a footpath through the woods and saw a couple of deer.

Back on the road, we got a call from Craig, who was already in Frankfort, waiting in a bar downtown for us to get there.  We figured we better hurry up or there wouldn't be any beer left, so we picked up the pace and got to town around 9.

We stayed at the house of Laura and Tim, who are close friends with Brad and Jan.  It was great to be able to stay there, and they made us feel very welcome.  After hooking up Rich's boat, we made our way down to the harbor and launched the boat and chatted with a couple guys that Rich knew.  They had tried to get out fishing, but the water was too wild and they turned back in.  Weather reports did not look great for Saturday, and we had to accept that we may have to wait to get out on the water.

After docking the boat, we went up to the bar and met up with Craig, who was fighting off a gal that was intent on hooking up with someone that night.  I think he was glad to have some friends around to help him out.  This bar reminded me of the one in "The Perfect Storm", and we had a few drinks before deciding to move down the street to another bar that had more going on at it.

The second bar was much busier, and they had live entertainment.  I think we were the only 3 people that were not smoking there, and we went outside on their deck to escape the smell.  We grabbed a large table, and were joined by a few older women from Kansas that were out on a girls only vacation.  They were nice and after a few minutes we were also joined by our bartender from the first bar.  We ended up having a lot of fun, and had to be told to go home eventually.  It has been a while since I closed a bar!

Saturday morning, we were all feeling kinda groggy, and it was probably a good thing that the weather was not good enough for fishing.  We took a drive through the area, and took in a few sites and grabbed a quick bite of breakfast at McDonalds, where the power went out while we were eating.  A few strong showers blew through, and it felt like the weather was breaking up, so we headed back to town and looked out over the harbor at how the boats were making out.  They were getting tossed around pretty good, but in the twenty or so minutes that we were there, it seemed to be calming down slightly, so we got the boat prepared, then headed back to Tim and Lauras place to get changed and ready.

By 4:30, we were making our way out of the harbor, and fortunately things had calmed down nicely.  We made our way southward toward an area called the "Herring hole", and tried a bunch of different setups but were not having any luck.  Still, it turned out to be an absolutely beautiful night on the water, and we were able to take in a great sunset.  Too bad for Craig, but he forgot a change of clothes, and was stuck wearing shorts with flesh eating flies biting his ankles the whole time.

Eventually, we called it a night, and we headed back anticipating better luck in the morning.  Back at the dock, we talked to Rich's friends that were up on their own boat, and they got a salmon in the harbor (see pic).  We went back to the house and went to bed early (10:45) since we were still pretty tired from Fridays long hours.

Rich got us up at 5, and we made our way down to the boat after grabbing some coffee in town.  Tim was able to join us today, which was great, and he since he lives in Frankfort he has a lot of experience fishing the area.  The trail of boats leaving the harbor was amazing.  I've never seen so many fisherman lined up exiting the channel like that.  We decided to head out to about 60 feet of water, then troll Northward.  The water was a bit rougher than it had been the day before, but not too much to handle.  From here, we could see the islands that are part of Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Our luck was not any better today, and we didn't end up pulling in a fish for the first few hours until we were passing in front of the harbor to go southward.  We managed to get a nice one in the boat, but the fishing was still quite slow.  After couple more hours without any luck, we headed back in and packed up for home.

Rich's boat was great for this kind of fishing.  There were five of us on the boat on Sunday, but it did not feel crowded at all.

I'm hoping that we will be able to get up to this area next year to camp and boat.  I'm sure that Dawn will really like it too, as there is some shopping too!  If anybody knows of any good campgrounds in this area, I'd love to hear from you!

© 2014 Dean Abraham