Fishing never stops in Pure Michigan. Here’s how anglers pursue the perfect catch deep into the fall months.
TAYLOR, Mich.—With the 2020 hunting season opener in the rear view mirror, many Michiganders are focused on securing the perfect late fall catch, according to bait and tackle shop owners in the Great Lakes State.
Business has been swift for Zubok’s Bait Tackle Marine in Taylor according to owner Paul Zubok, even during the pandemic.
Anglers are taking to the shop and the local waters in droves, pursuing a wide variety of game fish.
“They’re fishing up until the water gets hard, and then they go ice fishing,” Zubok told The ‘Gander. “A lot of guys are diehards, they don’t go hunting, they go fishing.”
Among the destinations for locals are Luna Pier on Lake Erie for walleye and perch, along with the Belle Isle (Douglas MacArthur) Bridge in Detroit.
Even as the fall weather begins to shift toward winter weather, the Michigan DNR keeps state anglers informed with weekly fishing reports on its website, with updates from fishery staff and conservation officers. Subscribers to the reports receive updates in their email inbox each week.
The reports include information on fish numbers in the Great Lakes, rivers, and inland lakes, with detailed information on how and where local anglers are securing their catch.
Walleye, yellow perch, steelhead and trout are among the many different types of fish that have been caught all over the state by those willing to brave the elements so far in November.
The Au Sable River Store in Michigan’s northeast lower peninsula is among those that have been busy with customers since the start of hunting season.
Many anglers want to enjoy the outdoors in late fall, but prefer to continue fishing rather than switching over to one of the state’s other favorite pastimes.
“A lot of times they go right after hunting season,” said Eric McCausey, owner of the Au Sable River Store, to The Gander.
The store is located in Oscoda, Michigan, where anglers patrol the ample waters of the Au Sable River as well as Lake Huron, both of them teeming with prized fish species.
Fishing during the late fall season is difficult considering the harsh temperatures, waves and other elements, however.
Atlantic salmon and steelhead are among the large game species being pursued during the late fall months, prior to a “freeze” on the action and a shift to ice fishing season.
“A lot of people float from spot to spot, they don’t have the option of stopping this time of year because of the weather,” McCausey said.
Others choose to fish from the shore, targeting fish that come in to shelter from the elements while staying warm in their trucks between sessions.
Metro Detroiters have a surprisingly large window for staying active all year long, Zubok said.
The water starts hardening up in January, he said, but remains soft until then, drawing in consistent business for his shop.
“The locals fish all year as long as the water is safe to go on,” Zubok said.
“The season doesn’t stop, there’s always something to fish for.”