September has been an active month for us at Werkman Outfitters. This is our fishing report for September 24, 2018 for the Grand Rapids to Lowell section.
The annual migration of the salmon has started on the Grand River and the steelhead will be close behind. In addition, with the cooler air, lower water temps and shorter days, the smallmouth bass and northern pike bite has increased as they start to fatten up for the long winter.
The Salmon & Steelhead Front:
One my way to a guide trip this past week, I drove over the I-196 bridge in Grand Rapids and saw what looked like 100 fisherman at the Sixth Street Dam. Clearly, they were after Chinook and Coho.
I am not sure on whether or not they’re having success but I can tell you that we are seeing small numbers of salmon showing up in the Ada to Lowell section. If you up there, try fishing wiggle warts, thundersticks, spinners and skein in the deeper holes and feeder creeks, especially the cold water feeder creeks. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times. I got to say it is tough up there right now, just with the low numbers we are seeing. The near-term weather shows rain and temperature drops, perfect for sending more up. The water temp was still pretty warm with mid-day temps in the low 70’s.
Smallmouth & Northern Pike:
If you want to get in on some of the best jaw fishing of the year, the fourth quarter is your best bet. These guys are fattening up for winter and are in their fall feeding frenzy mode. The water has dropped and cleared up nicely from the all the rain we had a couple of weeks ago. As a result, we have done some sight fishing along breakpoints and weed lines. Try fishing everything from streamers, to Mepps and crankbaits. If streamer fishing, go with 220 sink tip to keep from dredging bottom. Right now, it’s not unusual for us to land smallmouth in the 16 to 18 inch range with a few near 20. There is a reason why God made few of these over 21. They pack a punch.
After a couple months on sabbatical, the pike are showing backup as the water temps cool. We have been finding them in their normal hunting grounds around the slack water, particularly around rock structure. Again, streamers, Mepps, deeper diving Rapalas and double bladed willow leaf spinner baits are your best bet.
We still have some October and November dates open so give us call or like us on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest updates. Fall is here, so no matter what you do, get outside and on a river.