Splake – The Keweenaw Splake Anglers

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This extended spring is starting to take it’s toll – on us Lake Superior Lake Trout fishermen, that is. I’ve intended to go to Stannard Rock twice so far with both trips having to be canceled due to the ice out there. As of Sunday, from the Marquette area, there was still ice flows as far as you could see. Most of the lake is clear of ice, however, the remaining ice was in the wrong places for a “Rock” trip.

Even so, I’ve fished a little, casting lines offshore from Traverse and Bete Grise and did a little trolling out of Eagle Harbor yesterday. No Lake Trout to show for it, but a few Splake and a Northern Pike. (for an explanation of Splake, see: http://www.thelocalhookupma.com/id43.html )

Stan with Splake

Deckhand Son Stanley with a 14.5 inch Splake that was released. Legal size is 15 inches.


Splake is the subject of the day here. Last Saturday, in Copper Harbor, there was a meeting of the Keweenaw Splake Anglers – a small group of people helping to protect and continue Splake plants in Copper Harbor. They started several years ago when the Splake planting was threatened by budget cuts, and the money (and in this case the fish) usually goes to places of higher populations, namely downstate.

The DNR has planted about 300,000 8 inch Splake in the harbor since 2005 and as a result, it has been recognized as THE place to go for this delicious and health table fare. They will also be releasing another 25,000 in the next couple of weeks. Copper Harbor is one of few places where the average angler can fish from public docks, shoreline or a boat and have a good chance of Splake action. (The legal size is now 15”)

When planted in the harbor, many of them migrate down the shore toward and beyond Eagle Harbor and around the Keweenaw Point into Bete Grise. At Sand Point Charters, we have caught several out of the Lac La Belle port and by the time they make it to our waters, they’re in the 4 to 5 lb range.

Splake Cap

I’d Rather be Splake Fishing


Keweenaw Splake Angler (Back of cap)

So, show your support, and keep the Splake here in Copper Harbor alive by purchasing a $15 hat to become a member… no annual dues, just buy a hat (or several for your whole family) and wear it proudly!

Fishing buddy John and I with Splake: http://sandpointcharters.com/trolling-bete-grise/

By the way, Lake Fanny Hooe (An inland lake at Copper Harbor) will be swimming with 100 more mature Lake Trout this summer after a scheduled planting.

B's Pike, Little Grand Marais

A 28 inch Northern Pike I caught yesterday along the North Shore of Lake Superior.



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About Brian Helminen

Brian is the owner and Captain of Sand Point Charters, LLC. He also owns and operates Designotype Printers, Inc. with his wife, Margaret. They have a cottage on Lac La Belle that can be rented by the week in the summertime.

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