Muskegon River Steelhead Fishing Report


Special Thanks to guide, Dave Barkman (Manistee River) and Kodie Kowitz, for taking the time to fish with Betts Guide Service guests from the West. We hosted Kris and Tony who are writers for the national magazine publication “Salmon, Trout, and Steelheader Magazine” based out of Washington.

Over the last four days, these guys refined their float fishing skills on the Big Manistee, Pere Marquette, and Muskegon River. Landing nearly fifty steelhead, these guys absolute flipped out about the fantastic steelhead fishing the Michigan and Great Lakes has to offer. They could not believe the sheer numbers of steelhead with the lack of anglers. “If you were on a Western river, there would be 40 boats at each launch. Out West, if you land one or two steelhead, that’s an epic day worth writing about! You guys have something special here! The fish are gorgeous!”

(12/8) What’s Working Best Right Now? Floats and spawn has been my bread and butter. We have been averaging 15-20 hook- ups on steelhead daily, 8 -10 landed each day with lots of fat and sassy trout as well. Drift fishing spawn along the bottom has been working well also. Drift fishing gives steelhead a different look and a slower presentation. It’s also fun to be able to “Feel” the bite when fish pick up the spawn. Some hits have been really hard as water temperatures are still in the low 40’s, warm for this time of year. Fishing should continue to be great throughout the rest of the winter with these numbers of steelhead already in the River system.

12/5) Muskegon River – Warmer weather ahead and really good steelhead fishing! We’re excited about the upcoming forecast this week! It looks great for weather and Steelhead! If you ever wanted to catch good numbers of BIG Winter Steelhead, now is the time to go!

The BIG Manistee River is also fishing exceptionally well right now! It has just been the perfect storm for fall run steelhead on the Muskegon and Manistee River. Both rivers have been fishing exceptionally well – The huge size of these steelhead is just an added bonus – something that might be a trend, or something we may not see again in our lifetime, hard to say… Get out and fish!!!

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