With the expanse of Lake Superior to one side and the long sand beaches and rounded headlands of Michipicoten Bay to the other, Tarmo Poldma and I are probing the depths with downriggers set for salmon.
I haven’t fished the bay for years, but a familiar feeling of awe comes over me after launching into the Michipicoten River and making our way down the powerful flow to its junction with Lake Superior. Even when the fish aren’t biting, simply being on the Big Lake is an uplifting experience. But after Tarmo and I dip the net under four salmon and a couple of lake trout, the majesty of Lake Superior is amplified loud and clear.
Back in the Day
I first fished Michipicoten Bay back in the 1980s when salmon fishing was at its peak. My previous downrigging experience did nothing to prepare me for the large and aggressive chinook salmon of Michipicoten Bay. In fact, the first salmon I hooked shook me like a ragdoll before handily snapping my 20-pound-test line. For the next fish I was ready, carefully adjusting my drag and eventually landing a 26-pound silvery fish that clearly reflected the raw power of the lake.