Springtime Brown Trout
If you are fortunate enough to have a boat that can handle the waters of Lake Michigan then there are several opportunities out there to get into a good fight with a bruiser brown trout. Fish can be caught both by casting or trolling near the warm water discharges or anywhere you find baitfish.
Setting up for fishing for these cold-water bruisers is pretty basic. For shore fishing a couple simple rod combinations that will work well are: a 7' to 8'6" medium action spinning rod with a reel that has a smooth drag.
Fishing with a slip float and some live bait is one popular and productive method. Use a smaller float and add enough split shot to make it neutrally buoyant. Use a small octopus style hook under the float and bait this with a spawn sac tied with chartreuse netting or several wax worms. Minnows can also produce very well this time of year. Change out the single hook for a small #10 treble hook and hook a medium size minnow in the back. Don't be afraid to change out the hook for a small panfish style tube jig or a tinsel jig. Tip the jig with a few wax worms and jig the bait under the float. Twitch the bait and pause. Often the fish will come up to the jig and attack it when you pause.
Artificial baits can be very productive this time of year. I like the deep diving Husky Jerks, or the Spro McRip and McStick baits. The key to the baits is to have: noise (rattle), big profile, and a tight wiggle. Spoons, inline spinners, and even a twister tail jig on the bottom are effective methods.
Springtime is a tough transition time for many fisherman as they have lost the ice that was once so solid beneath their feet and they are hesitant about pulling the boat out of its winter slumber. However, this can be a perfect opportunity to knock the dust off of those long rods fire up "ole Reliable" and head out to the Lake Michigan harbors to shore or boat fish for those bruisers of the cold water.