We fish the hottest bite
in the hottest ports
Salmon - Lake Trout - Steelhead - Walleye - Perch
The Betsey River area of lake Michigan has been famous for salmon since they were introduced to the Great Lakes in the 1960’s. The Frankfort, Elberta and Arcadia areas have been riding high for many years. Frankfort is on the north shore and Elberta is on the south shore of the Betsey River system. Boat traffic here can be incredibly heavy during the peak season because the fishing is so good in this area of the lake. Lake Michigan has great structure to the north of the Betsey River and especially to the south. As all fisherman know it is all about the ledges, reefs, ridges and deep holes when it comes to holding bait fish and the salmon, trout and steelhead that feed on them. By mid July salmon are moving from deeper water to the near shore areas closer to the harbors or streams where they were planted or hatched from eggs. During July and August these same salmon are eating everything in site. While salmon and steelhead travel through vast areas of the lake over the course of their life cycle they do congregate in schools around food and structure. During July and August you need to have food and structure closer to the location where their life cycle started to consistently catch fish.
Just a few miles south of Frankfort is the small town of Arcadia. Pre-spawn King Salmon stack up on the ledges around the deep holes in this part of Lake Michigan. The Arcadia River flows into Lake Arcadia and then to Lake Michigan through a wide deep channel. Deep water is found close to shore around Arcadia. Several of the better spots have names that every salmon fisherman has heard. The “Barrel” and “Arcadia Bluffs” are just to the south of the harbor entrance. The 400’ ledge is straight out from the harbor entrance. The “Church Steeple” and the “Herring Hole” are just to the north of the harbor. The area offshore from Arcadia has everything big King Salmon want. Coho Salmon, Steelhead, Brown trout and even some Lake Trout round out the catch in these waters.
The harbor facilities in Arcadia offer all the modern conveniences in a more rustic, natural harbor setting. The marina area has a nicely groomed picnic areas with grills and picnic tables. Clean bathroom facilities with running water and flush toilets. The view from the harbor is one of a natural shore with only a few homes or cottages along it’s shoreline. Dockage is very limited in Arcadia and everyone hopes to keep it that way. This is good news for us since we already have a dock here. We don’t have to contend with the crush from the hundreds of boats you always find around the bigger more urban ports on the Great Lakes.
Arcadia offers miles of sandy beach to explore. Viewing the sunset becomes a daily event from the boardwalk at the village beach. There are two restaurants only a few minutes away from the docks. One of them also serves beer and drinks for those so inclined. A gas station, convenience store and motel are within a couple blocks of our boat. Several campgrounds are in the area, one of which is near our dock on the shore of Arcadia Lake. A few miles to the south is Portage Lake and next door is Bear Lake with more restaurants and stores. Between Arcadia and Frankfort, just a few miles to the north, you will find a wide variety of bars, restaurants, motels and shops.
Great Lakes Fishing Charters,
Captain Eric Stuecher
P.O. Box 183752, Shelby Township, MI 48318
toll free 1-888-899-GLFC