techniques

Casting

Casting Crankbaits, Spoons, and Spinners is probably the most exciting way to catch big fish. It is a method were you will feel the power of the fish from the first second it commits to violently crushing your crankbait or spinner. If hooking a fresh King Salmon or Skamania Steelhead on a crankbait or spinner does not get your heart pumping then you must not have a pulse! Our guided clients just cannot get enough of this type of fishing. This method is very effective while fishing for fresh run Salmon and can be for Steelhead and other Species as well.

When the fish hits you better hold on tight, the fish are not too happy when they realize that they have bitten something that they shouldn't have. These fish have been known to tear lures in half, snap 30lb braided line, and jump through trees to try and free themselves. While crankbait and spinner fishing we will anchor next to a likely holding spot or I will slowly back us down river as you cast into likely holding areas and reel in awaiting a strike. We usually use a 9 to 10 ft, fast actioned Medium/Heavy rod to haul these fish out of the logs.

Hot Shotting

Hot Shotting or Dropping Back Plugs is a fun and relaxing way of catching fish. At certain times of year this is a great way to put good numbers of fish into the boat, and it is a great guide trip if you just want to sit back and enjoy the outdoors while I do the work. This technique works good for Steelhead, Salmon, and just about anything that swims. The hits on a plug are usually violent, you will see this when the rod starts bucking in the rod holder as if it is going to be ripped off from the boat, usually seconds later you will see the fish behind the boat in the air trying to shake the plug from its mouth. This technique usually seems to take larger fish on average over most of the other methods, the intrusion of the plug in the fishes zone really triggers the largest most aggressive fish. When Hot Shotting we will put out 4 to 6 rods behind the boat with a selection of plugs that are proven for the specific time of year, then you will sit back and watch the rods as I work the boat through the run. I usually bring along at least a few plug rods on most of the trips just in case you want to take a break during our charter and want to just sit back for a minute to relax.

Back Bouncing

Muskegon River Steelhead FishingBack Bouncing is another very effective technique of catching good numbers of Steelhead, Salmon, and other species of fish. The concept of this technique is to back your bait down the river behind the boat by lifting it off from the bottom and letting the current take it down stream.

Float Fishing

Float Fishing is a technique that we use to catch Steelhead, King Salmon, Coho, and other Trout species, it is probably the technique that we use most while on our guide trips. It is the most effective technique for most types of water and conditions. Float fishing is a good way to put good numbers of Steelhead, Salmon, and Trout into the boat. We have fished floats extensively both with spinning gear and centerpin gear, we have experimented with many different baits and know what works. We were float fishing with centerpins for Steelhead and Salmon before most of the guide services around West Michigan knew what Centerpin fishing was.

While float fishing we use rods up to 13.5 feet long with a quality spinning reel or centerpin reel attached. For lower water conditions we will use a light action rod that allows you to fish with lighter leaders for these fish. When the water is high and stained we will use a heavier rod that will allow you to hold onto and control these wild fish in the heavy current. This technique has your bait suspended under a float sitting right in the fishes strike zone. Having your bait suspended off from the bottom lets you fish a variety of types of water. It lets you float above logs and snags that would otherwise be too snaggy for most other methods. It also lets you fish in water that has very little current, such water can be impossible to fish with other techniques.

This method is equally effective on the Grand River, Muskegon River, Pere Marquette River, Big Manistee River, and any other river in West Michigan, it is a big hit with most of our guided charter clients.


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