O ctober is a great time to be fishing either in Lake Michigan if the weather lets us venture out or in the lower Pere Marquette. One thing for sure if you go fishing in October the fish are actively feeding before a long winter ahead.
If you head out on Lake Michigan, check the water surface temperature maps and look for the breaks. Steelhead, lake trout, cohos, and immature kings will concentrate along the breaks. Spoons become more important once again, and your trolling speed will increase as the water cools down. You will enjoy the solitude of not looking at other boats and can have some fantastic fishing.
On the lower Pere Marquette and piers, it is egg-eating season for fall steelhead. Spawn bags, egg flies, and beads will be your best choice until the end of November when the egg factory from upstream thins out. After the eggs thin from the spawning kings streamers, plugs and spinners will work well.
Timing your fishing is key. When the water surface temperature outside the piers drops to the mid 50’s steelhead will enter the river in good numbers, especially after rain. They will continue to go in and out the lower end of the rivers in periods of higher water. They will go head upstream until they find a good source of food and then stop. They do not have to be in the river in the fall, it is a bonus season for anglers who are not out hunting and tends to be less crowded like the lake. When steelhead reach the upper sections from around Walhalla upstream I believe they tend to stay the winter to spawn in the spring.
A few lake run brown trout can also be caught on the lower river in the fall. They are a fall spawning fish and tend to head back to the lake in December. October is a great time to be on the water before the snow flies, and there are plenty of hungry fish in the Ludington area. See you on the water!