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Surfs up steelhead - Great Lakes style!

6596 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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great lakes surf

I have been considering fishing the coastline as opposed to the crowded rivers. And of course that would be with a two hander, and shooting heads.
Has anyone ever considered using a float tube to wade or even a small personal raft for fishing near shore? Or is the danger of ending up in the middle of a lake to great?
Thats awsome.

I am definately going to try. I'll be doing it in erie not michigan but I know it can get just as wicked. At least with a tube or a non trailered raft you can launch from the beach and don't need to get back to a ramp.
How is the fishing done in the surf? I assume similar to surf fishing for stripers. Intermediate line, clousers, decievers, ect.. fished on the retrieve?
I have hooked a few using egg paterns under a float just beyond the breaking waves. I would like to get some of those jarring strikes while stripping a streamer.
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