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Sleeping Bear Dunes Area in Michigan

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

A group of kayak fishermen met this year for the 7th time for the annual King Salmon Run while camping at D.H. Day Campground from Sept.8th-16th 2012. Although the salmon were scarce with only 13 caught, the sizes ran from 3-4 lbs. to over 13 pounds.

Thirty-six kayakers fished the waters between Glen Haven and the mouth of the Crystal River in Glen Arbor both in the mornings and evenings. Despite the lack of fish, the beauty of the islands and bay were breathtaking which made up to the lack of strikes.

Weather played an important part in with cold and warm fronts moving through the bay with changing temps and winds, some of which were dangerous gusting to over 40mph. Because kayaks require winds no greater that 15 mph for safe paddling, waves and direction benched us for a couple of days earlier in the week as they shifted from all four directions. Winds out of the south were especially dangerous because, despite the lack of waves, gusts of 40mph would have blown us out to sea!

Most of the weather was warm in the 70's and water temps were rather warm at 68 degrees causing the Kings to run to colder water over 50' deep.

During the evenings, there were several cookouts with one singular cookout on a Saturday nite where a new kayak was raffled off, door prizes passed out & monies for the largest King for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place were awarded. Over 50 door prizes were passed out most of which were related to outfitting a kayak.

This adventure is open to anyone who likes to paddle or fish from their kayak with plenty of expert advice given to beginners who happen to show up for the event. A website can be found at with a couple of hundred pics of this event as well as any information related to kayak fishing.

Should you be so inclined to join this group in 2013, Sept. 12th-16th is the date to mark on your calendar. This event is free as you only pay for your campsite. You also have the option to just go out and paddle with other kayakers for the love of kayaking and the beauty of Sleeping Bear and enjoy the company of other kayakers. There were wives who came along to join the fun who did not fish or paddle and joined in just for the love of camping.

See you on the water!!


Camping fee 13$ nightly

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Extended Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location