Lower Pere Marquette Fishing Report: October 2016


If you choose to fish the beach, pier, or river this month – eggs are the name of the game. We’ve had a better salmon run than the last two years, and the protein pellets that wash off the gravel bars should be plentiful. The kings finish the final run up the river in the first part of October, and a few coho will run the river throughout the month. With any rise in river water from mid-October on steelhead will enter the river system as well. They seem to come in during the higher water periods to feed and fade back out the lake when the water drops throughout the whole winter. As long as steelhead find food they should stick around to remain fat and happy.

Pier and beach anglers should keep a close watch on the surface temperature maps and look for around 52 degrees to have some good fishing for steelhead. Spawn bags with foam floating beads in them will keep them just off the bottom. Fish a pyramid sinker on a snap swivel from ¾ to 2 ounces depending on the waves and current followed by a barrel swivel. Next, tie on to the barrel a 3-4 foot 6 or 8-pound fluorocarbon leader. Take a small bb split shot and put it about a foot from your spawn bag. This will keep your bait about a foot off the bottom. Make sure you loosen your drag nearly all the way before you put your rod in a holder. I have chased a rod skipping through the sand into the waves more than once.

River anglers in the lower Pere Marquette tend to use bobbers because of the amount of woody debris on the bottom of the river. Fish an egg fly, spawn bag, or bead. I use an egg sinker above a barrel swivel then a 6-8 pound leader. Look for the bubble lines and faster runs while the water is still warmer. They will move into the slower pools after the water drops below 45 degrees. Have a good October on the water. The leaves are normally down by around the 22nd of the month making fishing easier.

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