Grand Traverse Bay Fishing Report: October 2014


If you are not in a tree chasing whitetails, take advantage of some great fishing opportunities in October. This year, water temperatures are cooler than normal and the fall transition should begin a little earlier than usual.  As the water temperatures cool, baitfish will begin moving shallow. Smallmouth and largemouth bass begin a feeding frenzy that will last for a few weeks. The fish are hungry and are trying to feed up before the long winter ahead. Spinnerbaits, tubes, football jigs, and jerk baits are some of my favorite fall treats for the bass.

Surf fishing the mouths of rivers and creeks that flow into Lake Michigan and the bays will pick up as the water temperatures cool. Late run salmon and the first run of steelhead will be moving into these areas. Fresh spawn is your best bet for surf fishing. Trolling in front of these creeks and rivers can be productive as well.

Walleye will begin to move into the shallows in several of the local lakes. Casting stick baits from shore, or trolling the shallow flats, can be really productive if you are willing to brave the cold. Slow your baits down as water temperatures cool. Perch can still be found in the twelve-to-fifty foot depth range. Your best bet for success is shiners and wigglers. Use your electronics to locate the schools of perch. If you are not finding the quality of fish you are looking for, keep moving.

As always be sure to check with your local tackle shops to get the latest hot bite information. Good luck out there!