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Fishing late season


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There are always fish off shore in the southern lake, the biggest problem is the limited number of days you can get out there due to weather conditions. I normally leave my boat in the water until October, but last year we were caught with snow early and it never let up. So we are pulling the boat out next week and gonna spend a few days buffing her out and polishing up everything to be ahead of the game for next spring. Where r u fishing? I know in St Joe there are some nice kings and steelhead out in 180 to 240 FOW, and they are usually very cooperative.

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I did decent last October fall fishing out of Holland and Grand Haven. There was still a thermocline last fall though.

If you were thinking about heading out soon, I did get several steelhead a week or ago off of Holland in 200-250 fow. Most of those fish were in the top 50 fow.

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We have fished late in the season with great success. We have fished as late as December when we can get out. The steelies are all over the piers once the water cools off. We have had days where we have gotten our three man limit out of Grand Haven in about a hour and never fished over 30 FOW.

The immature kings are still out there too, they have the feed bag on late in the fall and you will have the lake all to your self. We tend to do well on the immature kings further off shore. 225+ FOW is the norm out of Port Sheldon. The fish also tend to be in the upper levels of the water column which makes it a lot easier fishing.

For us the late season is almost exclusively a spoon program and usually smaller spoons like the standard stingers and DW Superslims. You just have to dial in the colors, though the hot ones for us have been the dolphins in blue, green and caramel. Yellows and oranges will often figure in heavily depending on the light conditions.

The real challenge is the weather. Due to the waves your fishing windows will usually only last a few days and you got to be able to get out on a moments notice. Many days I have no plans to fish then check the webcams and buoys and go fishing two hours later.

Probably my best trip ever was a few days after the deer opener, 5 of took off out of Port Sheldon after seeing the lake was going to cooperate. We went 32 for who knows how many keeping a mixed bag of 30 in about a 5 hour trip. We were catching fish pulling lines. I have never had that kind of action any other time of the year and it happens to us all the time in the late fall.

If you put the boat away after the river run you are missing some great action. Break out the Carrharts and get some!!!

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I agree with the posts above, fall offshore fishing for steelhead and "2 year old" kings is great if you can get out. Have had success off St. Joe, Holland, and Ludington from late September through Mid November. For me it has generally been a spoon (regular and mag size) and small (#3 & #4) plug bite but in 2012 meat also worked well. Mostly a top 50' fishery.

When I lived in St. Joe my boat was always the last one out of the marina. I really liked heading out for a few hours in the late afternoon/evening and would leave work a couple hours early if the weather was good. My coworkers liked it too because it often resulted in sharing bags of "extra" fresh or smoked salmon.

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I agree with the posts above, fall offshore fishing for steelhead and "2 year old" kings is great if you can get out. Have had success off St. Joe, Holland, and Ludington from late September through Mid November. For me it has generally been a spoon (regular and mag size) and small (#3 & #4) plug bite but in 2012 meat also worked well. Mostly a top 50' fishery.

When I lived in St. Joe my boat was always the last one out of the marina. I really liked heading out for a few hours in the late afternoon/evening and would leave work a couple hours early if the weather was good. My coworkers liked it too because it often resulted in sharing bags of "extra" fresh or smoked salmon.

Mitch is right, its a spoon bite and u fish it like we do in the middle of the spring. 2 to 10 color of leadcore, and spoons. They will hit at any speed but we like to stay right around 2.8 to 3.0 mph. Watch for currents and good luck. The lake can be tricky in late September thru October, but usually worth getting out if you can.

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I'd agree with everything above but like to add that we've been out in December many times (when weather was permitting) and tore the steelies up WAY off shore. Many times they were in 300 foot of weather and running the top 50'.

Managed to get out on Christmas day two times down in St. Joe in the 2000's. Steelhead and Kings in 200 FOW, top 30'. Action was non-stop with triples very common with 6 rods out. 2 riggers with sliders, high divers, and leadcore off inline boards.

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The advise in the previous posts are spot on. I have had some of my best trips in October in the past years. Steelhead and 6-12lb Kings taste fantastic out of ice cold water. I am usually the only boat out of my port in October. Rarely see another boat on the big lake. If you go out take care to be sure everything is in working order. Wear your PFD. Don't fish alone. The coast guard is your only option for help should you need it. That said; get out there. October/November can be the best fishing of the year.

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I agree... I have had the best action late fall... It is kinda scary being out there without boats around, but well worth it. Trolling the channel tonight and then I will switch tactics to offshore and Fall Walleye. Stay safe everyone! Tight lines..

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