The report this week is much shorter as most anglers now have their sights set on hunting season. After a relatively dry week, rain is needed to bring water levels up and improve steelhead fishing in the rivers. Those fishing the inland lakes have caught bluegill and crappie and this is also the time of year when pike go on a feeding frenzy. The season to take frogs, toads, salamanders and mudpuppies will close onNovember 15, 2015.
Steelhead, a migratory strain of rainbow trout, are considered one of Michigan's premier game fish and are exciting to catch on conventional fishing tackle. Reaching weights of 15 pounds or more, these fish ascend Great Lakes' tributaries in the fall each year beginning in late September and continuing through December.
A popular method of fishing for steelhead involves using spawn bags for bait, as spawn (loose eggs from other fish species) is a natural food item for them. Spawn bags placed on a hook can be casted and drifted through runs and holes in rivers or below barriers or dams where migratory steelhead are congregated.
Knowing how to "read" a river is key to finding the spots where steelhead are. Anglers fishing from a boat also can anchor in the river and cast their line out behind the boat, letting the spawn bag sit in the current as steelhead move upstream.
Anglers can either tie their own spawn bags by placing loose salmon eggs into brightly colored netting material (sold in most bait stores) and cinching them closed with thread, or they can purchase spawn bags that are already tied and preserved in liquid.
The Weekly Fishing Report is intended to give anglers an idea of what is going on around the state. Updates come from DNR Fisheries seasonal and field staff, and DNR Conservation Officers. With more than 11,000 inland lakes, the Great Lakes and thousands of miles of rivers and streams, not all locations can be listed. However, it is safe to say if a species is being caught in some waters in the area, they are likely being caught in all waters in that section of the state that have that species