Muskegon River Fishing Report – September 17, 2023 – Newaygo, Michigan

1 min read
Chip with a GREAT Pere Marquette river fall Chinook salmon from the other day.

The Muskegon river is fast approaching “transition mode”, with slowly dropping river temperatures that will bring on our fall caddis hatches for resident Brown and Rainbow trout to feed on, before the real fall buffet shows up in the form of spawning Chinook salmon, who are staging in lake Michigan to enter the river for this annual big game fish migration. There are a few salmon in the Muskegon river now, but we’ll need to see river temperatures drop another 5+ degrees before we would expect to see more show up.

I have been on the Pere Marquette river (PM) for a couple weeks pursuing Chinook salmon in the lower river close to Ludington, as the PM fall salmon run starts earlier than the Muskegon. The run has been pretty good up to this point, but the fish are not staging very long down there and it can be a “here today, gone tomorrow” scenario….but they ARE migratory fish and such swings can be expected.

With primarily spinning rod/reel setups, we’re casting-retrieving lures and floating some form of “bait” under bobbers to hook up with these great lakes BEASTS ! Nothing like the pull of a 20-30# salmon, fresh out of lake Michigan, that tests not only angler skill, but 30# braided line, lure strength, treble hooks and drag systems on reels. Quite the tussle with these fish and I typically fish for them in the lower river, through the 3rd full week of September.

Come early October, I will switch rivers for a number of guide trips and fish the Manistee river out of the Tippy Dam Recreation area launch and fish for not only salmon there, but also early run fall steelhead.

Mid October will find me making one more switch of rivers and I finish my fall/early winter steelhead season on the Muskegon river starting October 18 and I will fish right up until Christmas.

Should any be looking to get on the water between now and the new year, it may be best to call or email sooner than later. I only have a few open dates between now and mid December, touch base if you have interest in getting in some fall fishing – 616-560-3195.

Tight lines !


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