Indiana Ports

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife has been stocking salmon and trout along northwest Indiana’s shoreline since the late 1960’s. The area stocked extends from Michigan City to Whiting, Indiana and includes sites along the St. Joseph River, Trail Creek and the East Branch of the Little Calumet River. Brown trout stocking in Indiana waters of Lake Michigan began in 2002 through a cooperative  trade agreement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IL DNR). Indiana trades Indiana-born skamania steelhead for the Illinois brown trout. Due to hatchery constraints, Indiana last stocked brown trout into Indiana waters of Lake Michigan in the early 1980s. The continuation of the brown trout stocking program is reliant upon future availability of fish from the IL DNR. Overall, trout and salmon have adapted well to the Great Lakes and are now an important part of the overall fish community.

Indiana Online Licensing….. http://www.in.gov/ai/appfiles/dnr-license/index.html

Lake Michigan Indiana Ports & Launches

(SPRING HOT SPOTS)

 

Calumet Park 95th st. Boat Launch
This launch is actually in Chicago, Il.  I stopped using this boat launch years ago, however  I understand  there is now a pay-to-launch machine at the ramp. Fee is in the $20 range. Nearby is a good sized parking lot for your trailer. Personally, I do not recommend using this launch because of some recent thefts in the parking lot, as there is little or no security. In my opinion,  it would be wiser to use the Hammond launch instead. For those that still want to use it, read below:

South wind is nice here and the area will be calm.

West wind is great if you stay near the rocks.

North wind is good due to the break wall.

Stay away if you have an east wind.

Locations:

Easy ride to State Line Edison plant with warm water. Hammond’s rocky breakwall holds Smallmouth. To the north is the breakwall and the river mouth. Barges leave the river through a 30 foot deep shipping channel. This channel is good for trolling. Perch fishing is very good in the river all winter and into spring. Summer Perch fishing is also good from the launch to the river.

 

Hammond Marina

Hammond Marina is a well-kept, security watched marina. It is next to the Horseshoe Casino. Indiana residents launch for free. It has only 2 lanes for launching, so you’ll sometimes wait in line. It’s a good 5 minute ride in a no-wake zone to get out to the lake.

South: Very well protected for a south wind as long as it’s not a strong wind.

West: As you head towards Illinois, it becomes calmer.

North: Ride is a bit bumpy until you near the breakwall. Then, you’ll have protection. Dont get fooled by the calmness there…..as you’ll have a bumpy ride back.

East: You’d need to head towards and past Amoco before you find protection.

 

Fishing: Easy access to Hammond’s breakwall. It’s very rocky and is great for Smallmouth and Brown Trout. Not far from Edison Plant. The river for Perch fishing is a bit farther west. The break wall is a great place for Salmon trolling. Watch for the deep shipping channel. Amoco is another warm water discharge, but it is to the east. The Shipping Canal is further east and is very protected from weather, but beware of the ride back.

I used this launch many years ago…..From when I used it last, I remember there was a nice big parking area, but that is about all I can say about it.

 

Pastricks East Chicago Marina

Seems to be the best all-around location in the south end. The first 30 boats to launch each morning are free. Then, it’s $15 to launch. Located off Cline Avenue near Inland Steel.

West: West is best. You will be protected by the shoreline and have calm waters.

South: South will push from Buffington to the Inland Wall. Usually fishable.

North: The Inland Wall will protect it’s nearby waters.

East: Blowing straight in. Make other plans.

Fishing:

The Salmon fishing around here is tops. Many anglers set lines as soon as they leave the marina. The Inland Wall holds many fish. Watch for the “First Light”, “Second Light”, and then “the Hole in the Wall”. These are all prime areas. Around the corner to the west is the Shoals. It can get bumpy out there. West of the Shoals is the Shipping Canal which is great spring time fishing. To the east is Buffington Harbor. It’s well protected. Further east, you’ll go past Dean Mitchell, US Steel, and finally Gary Light. These are all great Salmon areas. The 50 foot deep water outside Gary Light holds lots of monster Perch in spring and fall.

For many, including myself, this port is the best all-around location in the south end. The first 30 boats to launch each morning are free. Then, it’s $15 to launch. Located off Cline Avenue near Inland Steel.

Here again, this port warms up early just after ice out!   The Salmon fishing around here is tops. Many anglers set lines as soon as they leave the marina. The Inland Wall holds many fish. Watch for the “First Light”, “Second Light”, and then “the Hole in the Wall”. These are all prime areas. Around the corner to the west is the Shoals. It can get bumpy out there. West of the Shoals is the Shipping Canal which is great spring time fishing. To the east is Buffington Harbor. It’s well protected. Further east, you’ll go past Dean Mitchell, US Steel, and finally Gary Light. These are all great Salmon areas.  This port can be fished all season, with many trophy sized salmon and trout taken every year. This port gets to be kinda busy, but the launches and ramps are in good shape, and well worth the wait….Just outside the ramp is the famous Wall!  This is were flat lines and planer boards are super effective, and you can expect action on most fishable days. In early Spring, a two man limit is often achieved before noon. Expect a mixed bag of 2-3 pound Coho, 7-13 pound Steelhead and some nice sized Brown trout. This port and the Hammond port are  my best shots in the spring, as they are within a half hour drive from my home.

Pastricks East Chicago Marina, Indiana – Driving Directions:

(East Chicago, Indiana adjacent to Jerose Park)

If coming from I-65, go north to 80/94 and go west towards Chicago for approximately 6 miles. Go north on Cline Avenue (SR-912) approximately 5 miles. You will see a sign announcing the exit for Pastrick Marina/Jerose Park and follow the signs for Pastrick Marina. Pastrick Marina is on the west side of AmeriStar Casino. This is perhaps the best place to fish just after ice out on Lake Michigan  when the water warms up…..Limits of Coho and Steelhead are common.

Aerial view, Michigan City Indiana, Washington Park beach, Lake Michigan and East Pier Lighthouse

PICTURED ABOVE: WASHINGTON PARK MARINA LAKE FRONT FACILITIES/BOAT LAUNCH & BEACH

 Washington Park is located on the Northern end of Michigan City, directly on the shore of Lake Michigan. The public boat launch is located at the north side of the marina, close to the beach. Proximity allows fast access to Lake Michigan waters. The ramp here can accomodate 3 vehicles, and boats are allowed up to 38′ in length. A parking fee, and a launch fee apply, usually from early Spring thru late Fall. Season passes are available. Please park in designated areas for vehicles with trailers. Restroom facilities.

PARK HOURS: 6am to 10pm.
MC Port Authority: 219-872-1712
Make sure your vessel is properly registered and in compliance with Lake Michigan boating regulations.

This is perhaps my favorite place to fish on Lake Michigan…..Just over a hundred miles from my house  is this super fishery for Skamania Trout. 

At Michigan City, Trail Creek empties into Lake Michigan right at Washington Park. When the steelies first begin appearing at the end of June or early July, trollers often fish for them right in front of the pier head at the mouth of the creek. If the fishing action is slow there, they spread out along the beach to the east and west and pick up cruising steelhead in the shallows.

The best trolling action can take place a little farther offshore of the pier head. Boaters working  off the mouth can expect good action,  right near the surface . Experimentation goes a long way when it comes to finding actively feeding Skamanians…..Most of my fish have been caught in about forty feet of water just in front of the beach. Wind direction is all important here, with most of my luck coming  when there are light North or Northeast winds.

Pier-fishing at Washington Park for shoreline anglers is always popular. Trail Creek flows past the pier on the west side, and many fishermen fish right there in the muddy current. Bobbers of all sizes are used to suspend the baits and keep them in the strike zone.

Although many pier-anglers cast the “old reliable” fluorescent orange spinners and spoons, live-bait fishing is also quite productive. Spawn sacs, night crawlers and small minnows also catch good numbers of steelhead each summer season.

During normal years, Skamania will show up at Michigan City and Portage in early July and stage in front of the creek mouths for a couple of weeks before heading upstream. If the rains wait until the beginning of August, the trolling action will remain hot. If the rains come too early, however, the Skamania may shoot up the stream and the trollers (and pier fishermen) may not even see a fish!

Read more: http://www.gameandfishmag.com/2010/10/04/fishing_salmon-steelhead-fishing_in_0705_02/#ixzz28ReDLWVW

 

I can’t say enough about these Indiana Ports…..In the Spring and Summer, they can not be beat for fantastic Coho, Steelhead, King and Brown Trout fishing. 

building…..more to come