Grand Traverse Bay Fishing Report: October 2015

T he Grand Traverse region is a host to several lakes and popular species of fish. The diversity of angling opportunities makes this one of the best locations for anglers in the country. Anglers have the opportunity to chase salmon, lake trout, steelhead, brown trout, perch, walleye and smallmouth just to name a few. Local waters include Grand Traverse Bay, Long Lake, Lake Leelanau, Boardman Lake, Duck Lake, Green Lake and Silver Lake, all within a twenty-minute drive of Traverse City.

Some of the best fishing opportunities for smallmouth can be taken advantage of in October. This year, water temperatures are average, and everything seems to be right on schedule. Baitfish will begin moving shallow as the water temps cool. Smallmouth and largemouth bass will begin a feeding frenzy that will last until the ice forms. These fish know that the winter is approaching and become very aggressive.

You will be able to find fish from 2 to 40 feet deep in the inland lakes. The fish that are up on the flats can be targeted using spinner baits, tubes, soft jerk baits and shallow cranks. If the fish are set up on the deeper edges, try crank baits, dropshots, and the A-rig.

If you are targeting smallmouth on Grand Traverse Bay, you will need to find the baitfish. This can be a little more challenging due to weather in the fall. Smallmouth will be found shallow, deep, and suspended over deep water. The dropshot seems to be the most consistent tactic in the fall. Some of my favorite fall dropshot baits are the Case Plastics Magic Stick and the Strike King Dream Shot. Green Pumpkin is always a solid go-to color.

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