2019 Winter Steelhead/2020 New Year Fishing Report
Michigan winter steelhead fishing presented a lot of fluctuating water levels across West Michigan but fish were available if you chose your water accordingly. Fishing doesn’t seem to be as consistent as years past but when you find the fish they are often eager to bite one offering or another. The high water across the state has kept anglers on their feet but a number of methods have been taking fish.
Backtrolling plugs (Yakima Bait Company MagLip 2.5-3.5, Storm Hot-N-Tot, etc.), has produced a few fish, but a majority of fish have been caught on 8-12mm beads in standard colors, from natural to chartreuse. With the high water searching around and finding new seams that fish may be sitting in seems to be a good tactic until you find some active fish. Although the steelhead fishing doesn’t seem to be producing the numbers it did in years past the fish this year are much larger than average. Steelhead in the 8-13lbs. class seem commonplace this year, with plenty of fish 15lbs. plus being caught weekly. Spring steelhead fishing from late February to April 2020 in West Michigan should be excellent for trophy fish from the St. Joseph River all the way north to the Manistee River.