Steelhead bite at night

Discussion in 'South West Michigan Streams and Rivers' started by Steve61, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. Steve61

    Steve61

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    Just wondering how many of you have luck fishing at night for steelhead, and what your tips & tricks are. Also what seasons can you catch them at night, and what other conditions are best for a night time bite.

    With my family & job, the only reliable hours I have for fishing the river for them is in the dark.

    I fish the Joe and Paw Paw, and tribs when open.
     
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  2. Shoeman

    Shoeman Mods

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    Don't think I've ever caught one after dark.

    Sure someone has....
     
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  3. Fishndude

    Fishndude

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    I've caught Steelhead at night plenty of times. But I mostly fish for them in the daytime. They seem to be sight feeders, mostly.
     
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  4. 6Speed

    6Speed Premium Member

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    I thought they went to sleep after dark???
     
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  5. oworm

    oworm Premium Member

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    I was about to ask this.
    I know that Seatrout fishing is better at night, and the blacker the night the better!
    Ive fished in wadable streams at night where you would swear there was nothing there by day, but come dark, the river comes alive with roving fish looking for dinner.

    Moonlight nights have the same effect as full sun. They wont touch anything that is highlighted by the light, but will take in dark shady areas where the moon is not on the water. As far as I know all Salmonids have excellent night vision!

    Since Steelhead and Seatrout are cousins, its possible that they have similar nocturnal habits while in the river. Having said that, the only problem I see is for the fisherman who wants to fish at night when its much colder. Most of my Seatrout fishing happened in Scotland where the season is flipped compared to here. Summer Salmon and Seatrout will run rivers from June through till August when night fishing is much more comfortable.

    You really have to know the river well for night fishing if your wading though. The good thing is, if you know your water well and your in a holding area you don't need to go crashing around in the water. Roving fish will find you. Usually at the head or tail of a pool as they cruise around.

    I know its entirely different here and lots of fish are caught during the day. Personally I think that's down to high concentrations of fish that are holding or trapped in hot spots.

     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020
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  6. OH-YEAH!!!

    OH-YEAH!!! Premium Member

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    Have you fished for sea trout in Europe or Argentina
     
  7. Shoeman

    Shoeman Mods

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    There you go... fish at night!
     
  8. oworm

    oworm Premium Member

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    Only in Scotland. Would love to go to Argentina. They are MASSIVE!
     
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  9. riverwart

    riverwart

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    Gave the night fishing thing a go probably 15 years ago throwing glow cleos at sixth st for kings. Only managed a few foul hooked fish. Later on in the season tried glow stick bobbers running spawn and waxworms for steelhead there and on another river. Never hooked any fish til after daylight. Gave up after a couple of tries.... no fish and too many headaches( snags in trees, brush, rocks, etc.). Lots of guys do very good at night utilizing other methods. Seen a lot of kings taken this fall at night. Not how I like to fish. Good luck and be safe!
     
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  10. OH-YEAH!!!

    OH-YEAH!!! Premium Member

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    So, I went to the Rio Gallegos in 2019 barely able to spey cast and managed a 10 lb fish and 4 fish total.

    My friend who is very skilled caught 10 over 12 lbs including at least 5 over 15 lbs. This is a video of our week, first week of February 2019



    I booked 2 spots the peak week of January 30, 2021 but am waiting to see if the Argentines are going to open the country. My friend probably can’t go. The last week of January sells out a year in Advance
     
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  11. syonker

    syonker

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    For summer skams I typically start in the dark on the pier & I have caught fish before it gets light in the morning.

    Rod tip lights & my trusty Q-Beam help to track my bobber set-ups.
     
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  12. oworm

    oworm Premium Member

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    I've found night fishing in rivers to be more productive with a fly rod and a gentle presentation. For some reason the fish seem more finicky at night and don't take well to splashy intrusions into their territory. Our traditional method was fly and maggot. Just a single maggot hooked just past the barb. Losing the maggot meant you were casting too hard! Really small Mepps work too, with a slow retrieve through streamy water or fast glides
     
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  13. oworm

    oworm Premium Member

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    Great when you get on a water with little or no bankside obstructions. Makes wielding a double hander a joy in itself
     
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  14. OH-YEAH!!!

    OH-YEAH!!! Premium Member

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    It’s a joy not worrying about getting tangled on trees.

    Our last day of good fishing I felt a really brilliant head shake but then nothing. I’d landed a cast into the only shadow on the river where there was a pretty good overhang and a 5 foot deep pool. No run. No tugs. Nothing when I lifted the rod. Exasperated, I yelled out to the guide who was from Wales. “Lawson, I think I hooked a log.”

    “Set your drag tight, the only logs in this river have fins.”

    Sure enough, after trying to lift its head, the fish SLOWLY moved into the fastest seam and laid there. “That’s the fish of the season so far but it’s been hooked before and knows to make you do the work.”

    It just lay there like a log with a fly in its kyped jaw. The fly came loose trying to budge it.

    Smart log!
     
  15. Steve61

    Steve61

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    Well, I had some luck tonight after dark on a glow oslo at the head of a deep run. I had fished up and down this run with beads before dark, then switched to the oslo after dark. He hit on the first cast. Must have been waiting for that spinner. Just reminds me that steelhead are very trouty. This same thing has happened to me with browns. Or maybe I just suck at bead fishing.
     

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