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Surfs up steelhead - Great Lakes style!

6593 Views 20 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  dansteelieman
Well, there's nothing better than walking miles along the Lake Michigan shoreline, searching for no name creek mouths, and pursuing the elusive Great Lakes steelhead. Well, I am one of those beach bums, and I would give anything to hook a steelhead or salmonoid in the open water, rather than in the rivers. Why?? Well, here's my opinion....the fish are fresh, and very aggressive!! Also, there are little obstacles to compete with, and you have the opportunity to land more fish if done right. I live for this, and using a spey rod comes in handy as well. I don't get to do it that often since I reside in an area of Michigan that doesn't have the best surf fishing opportunities. Below are some images from a recent trip in Northern Michigan.

A fresh chrome hen taken off a redd right in the mouth of a creek. She attacked a blue/white clouser minnow. I watched her enter the creek the previous day and move in and out cruising the shoreline. She measure 31in and had a 15in girth.

The same fish, different view.

A dark male taken the previous day that was in a holding lie behind a redd under some brush in the creek mouth. I watched this male cruise the shorline the day before and refused our surfs candy flies. It took a smelt imitation out of aggression as it drifted over the redd. It measured 33in long and had a 16in girth.

Releasing the male.

Well, if you guys need any help with surf fishing or have questions/comments, please post.
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Sounds good you must be fishing in the UP, right ?

Glad to have another Michigan great lakes poster here, there are only a few of us so far.

Your right about the 365 days a year steelhead fishery, don't talk to much about it to much though.

Hooking them in the surf and unknown creeks is untouched fishery for the most part and I agree a great way to connect with them when they are fresh.

Tight lines

I am in Chicago lived in South Bend for 7 years so know southern michigan pretty well. I think I saw your posts over onthe steelhead site. I post their occassionally under "Supervisor" id.

Soon it will be skammy time !
I tried it with my spey rod this spring in Lake Michigan and am convinced it will work when the steelies and salmon are in close on their runs. Timing and weather conditions are the key. Early mornings, first light are best in my opinion.

Good luck, Dansteelieman looks like the expert on this to me.
I would say the great lakes surf is an untapped fishery from what I can see. Never really see any one else there, but me when I get out there. Ahh.... great lakes great times !!!

Know what I mean guys /
I will check it out, and I bet I know where you will be, maybe right next to me !

Do you guys ever use saltwater poppers in the surf to imitate wounded smelt etc ?? Thats an objective for this year.
Yes I can see this being possible but you need to be careful. If the wind comes up while you are out there Lake Michigan can waves can be wicked.
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