It’s officially fall here in Michigan, and although that means it’s deer season, it also means that the fish are really starting to bite!
River Smallmouth are beginning to or already have made the push to their winter holes. On their way there, they are feisty and will pack on the pounds to get ready for winter! Your best bet for river smallmouth is to look for shallow flats and throw quick moving baits to get their attention.
Topwater walking baits are a good bet along with lighter sized swimbaits. For topwater lures, I generally don’t throw anything other than bone/white colors. For the swimbaits, white is usually a good bet or darker green pumpkin colors to give a more natural look.
Drifting swimbaits as a swing drift have been very effective as of recent. Just give it a slow retrieve back to you once your bait is down stream of you.
River smallmouth like to tuck under timber when the water is low like it is right now. Don’t be afraid to make multiple casts to those log jams, they may need a bit of convincing this time of year if they’re bigger fish.
Hit the river and catch some Bronze!
Just like river fish, Largemouth and Smallmouth are beginning to make the push shallow to pack on pounds for ice-on.
Look around 4-10 feet of water for fish cruising around looking for bait this time of year. Big swimbaits, chatterbaits and other similar profiles will give you the best results this time of year. Keep with the natural color patterns as those fish are looking for bait they are familiar with.
Another good bet are baits like jerkbaits or crankbaits. The fish are getting aggressive this time of year and won’t be afraid to chase down a meal.
With cold weather and fall comes salmon and steelhead. Kings are starting to run upstream to the North of Kalamazoo. Lots of people are finding good success in the Baldwin area for kings. Down here near Kalamazoo, there are a few that are trickling in, but it’s not the full run here yet. A few more weeks of this colder weather will get them really moving down South, so for now, if you’re looking to get your hands on some kings, you’ll find the most action on rivers up North.
Fall run steelhead will be picking up soon as well. There are a few fish that are in the river systems in Southern Michigan rivers, but we really need some colder weather and a large push of cold rain to get the steelhead really fired up.
Beads and spawn bags have been doing the majority of the work for guys chasing Salmon and Steelhead. A lot of anglers are also using crankbaits like Thundersticks from Storm and Walleye cranks from Bandit. If you want to float for Salmon, try using bigger sized beads. We have started carrying a new company of beads called Bloop Bead Co. who offers sizes all the way to 16mm, so stop in and check those out.
If you’re into Trout fishing, that bite is also beginning to heat up with the colder temps we’re seeing. This time of year is my favorite for chasing Brown Trout. They’re gearing up to spawn and getting very aggressive. I mainly use fly gear, so throwing streamers this time of year will be your best bet for catching those aggressive fish. If you’re using conventional gear, try using small to medium sized jerkbaits, like Rapala F7s or F9s.
Check Michigan’s regulations for which streams are open this time of year as a lot of them are closed, and the ones that are open are catch and release only.
All in all, the fishing is starting to get really good, so get outside and send us pictures of your trophies! We want to showcase our customers doing what they love, so don’t be shy and submit your fish pics on Facebook or Instagram!!