Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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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. 

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