Tips on Catching Northern Michigan Steelhead Trout

Northern Michigan’s DNR asks a question—Will you be targeting steelhead trout this fall?

While many people are preparing to head into the Northern Michigan woods for the next several weeks, others are taking advantage of another activity: fall steelhead fishing.

There are two great strategies to try when targeting steelhead this month, surf fishing the piers and beaches of the Great Lakes and/or river fishing.

If you choose to target the Great Lakes, consider using a slip sinker rig and live bait, such as spawn bags, night crawlers or shiners. You can also try casting small spoons, spinners or body baits with great success. Focus on depths of 12 feet or less as steelhead are hanging in the shallows looking for food.

If you choose to target the rivers, consider using wigglers, caddis or wax worms drifted under a slip bobber. The depth below the bobber should be set to present the bait just off the river bottom. Anglers can also be successful this time of year casting spinners and medium diving crank baits into holes or other holding water that provides steelhead with some depth for cover. The retrieve should be as slow as possible to get the lure down to the bottom without snagging up. Many anglers like a downstream cast for these techniques. For anglers looking for an added challenge, they can also use fly fishing techniques and see some great results!

Get more on Northern Michigan fishing at our MyNorth Outdoors section.

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