November’s options.

November 6, 2014

image-2For the Love of Fishing is written by Sean McDonald.

The first half of November is one of my favorite time of the year for being an outdoorsmen. The deer are rutting, waterfowl are staging in our area and steelhead are in the rivers and near the piers and beaches. Because of the hunters in the woods and marshes you will find the rivers a lot less fishermen on the river.

Steelhead fishing has been good on the Pere Marquette and Manistee rivers for the last few weeks. The best times on the rivers have been during and just after higher water periods. Fresh fish are coming in after we have a northwest wind and cooler water is near the pier-heads in combination with higher stained water.  When the water is low and clear the pier and beach fishermen are doing well. Many of the steelhead will come into the lower ends of our rivers to feed during higher water and drop back to the lake several times over the fall and winter.

A steelhead that has just entered into the river is an easy target for a fishermen this time of the year. They are much more aggressive due to the warmer water temperatures and the battles they provide are filled with fast runs and multiple jumps out of the water. In my opinion this is the best  river fishing Michigan has to offer- they are actively feeding fish. During the Winter and Spring they are still fun but not near as aggressive as they are this time of the year.

I like to describe fall steelhead as wonderfully unsophisticated.” A steelhead will likely fall for a fly, spawn bag, bead, spinner or plug if presented correctly in short order within a few casts. A key to river success this time of the year before the water falls below 40 degrees is to keep moving. Covering water will put a lot more fish in the net than taking the approach to camp out on a good spot. When the water drops as the fish settle into their Winter mode it is important to slow down. Work the deeper slower pools over as most of the fish have been caught and released by then and are more wary along with a slower metabolism.

If you are fishing the surf or piers concentrate your efforts in the direction the wind is blowing. On a north wind fish the south pier or the beach south of the piers and the reverse for a south wind. When fishing the piers or surf it helps to use the three  rods you are allowed and it is more a a waiting game.

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