The joke around the east coast is that you can "sight fish at night" near power plants
But back to the normal shore situations for a minute... if I may venture to guess, it's a very real fishery but just not very well understood. When there are wall to wall salmon for those who wait for them to enter streams, it's hard to think about prowling for them along the shore in the vastness of Gitchigumee.
Yet the atlantic is larger and over the years people have learned how to connect with it's fish from shore, with the knowledge of many thousands of practitioners growing every season.
Frankly, I don't think too many people have unlocked the keys to the Great Lakes surf fishery yet. There is a huge opportunity for people to figure it out IMHO.
Oddly even the pacific northwest ocean fly-fishing bounty is still in it's infancy compared to river fishing. It's an amazing fishery out there during saltchuck salmon season and I'll bet there are direct parrallels in the two fisheries.
Just a guess.