Ludington Fishing Report: October 2014


October is a month that can have outstanding fishing for immature kings and steelhead in Ludington. Picking the right day based on the marine forecast is the key. Surface breaks will become closer to shore as the month goes on. During the first part of October, we are typically running offshore about eight miles and fishing the edge of the stable water where the baitfish congregate. The second half of October we will have some excellent steelhead fishing near shore and the pier heads if the surface drops to about 54 degrees, usually after a hard Northwest wind. Check out the surface temperature maps before you head west.

Bumping your trolling speed back up as the water cools down and fishing spoons should be the ticket to October success. Spoons for steelhead should be Dreamweaver Super Slims in orange and dark red or Yeck fireballs. King spoons in a standard or magnum can vary from day-to-day, Carmel Dolphins work well along with Moonshine Green Jeans or Blue Jeans.

Surf anglers will return to the shores along the beach and concentrate their efforts in the deeper troughs near the state park and south of Ludington. Floating spawn bags with a pyramid sinker while watching three rods in holders is not a bad way to spend a morning on the beach with nobody around. Make sure you loosen your drags a lot while fishing the surf, I have had to chase a skipping rod across the sand into the water on more than one occasion. Pick a pyramid sinker you can keep on the bottom according to the waves. 1 1/2 ounce is the standard choice and on rougher days use a two-ounce sinker. Use a sliding snap swivel for the sinker and a barrel swivel as a stop, so the fish cannot feel the weight of your sinker. A leader should be about 2 to 3 feet long off the barrel swivel so your spawn bag will float off the bottom. Most surf anglers will wear waders and walk out as far as they can and make a long cast, flip the bail of their reel, wade back to shore and put the rod in a holder.

The Pere Marquette River will also benefit when the water near the piers drops to about 54 degrees if we have decent water levels. Some of the steelhead will enter in the river system. If the water level in the river drops too much the steelhead will drop back into Pere Marquette Lake or back to Lake Michigan. The fall steelhead are my favorite river fish to fish for in the state. Steelhead in the rivers during late October and November are salmon egg eating machines and will go out of their way to take an egg. Beads, egg flies, or spawn cannot be resisted by a steelhead that just entered the river from the lake. The 50 something degree river water will enable fall steelhead to be at their best jumping and fighting ability.  Some of the steelhead will continue their journeys upstream and winter over. One thing for sure, they are eating machines fueling up for a long winter ahead.