October and November are always some of the best months of the year for the outdoorsmen and women in the great State of Michigan. Many people give up their rods and reels and take to the woods for deer, goose and small game. However, even as the weather cools, don’t put that tackle box away yet. There are many excellent fall fishing opportunities, all the way through freeze up!
Fall walleye fishing
Walleye fishing in the fall can be really exciting. As the water turns colder, walleye start to feed more to prepare for winter. The result can be a stringer-full. Lakes such as Burt Lake, Black Lake, Lake Gogebic, and Hamlin Lake can be hot beds for fall walleye fishing.
Yes – we said trout fishing. While many streams across the state close on the last Saturday of September, several stay open all year. Many of these year round trout streams do have specific restrictions on size, tackle and possession limits. Be sure to consult a DNR fishing guide for that specific stream or river before heading out.
Michigan is famous for its fall salmon river runs. The Pere Marquette, Sable, Manistee and Betsie Rivers all still generate quality salmon runs as salmon return to spawn. Check local guide website before heading out as conditions can change quickly. Generally, a good rain will trigger a run of fresh fish into the rivers. Be equipped properly with a 9 foot rod and be ready to do battle with some powerful fish!
Steelhead tend to run into the rivers of Michigan a bit later in the salmon, sometimes even in November. So while many are in their deer stands, you can have the rivers all to yourself. Steelhead rainbow trout are some of the most entertaining fish to catch and pursue. Try eggs, spoons or spinners. Try the Two Hearted, Pere Marquette, Manistee, or Muskegon!
Whichever method of fall fishing you pursue, always be safe. Wear a life vest in watercraft. Wear waders when fishing and always proceed with caution in rivers. Fall fishing means cold water, which can lead to hazards if you fall into it.
Fall fishing can be a lot of fun! An added bonus is the pure beauty of rivers and lakes with fall Michigan colors on the shore as the leaves change. Enjoy it and have a great season.