Steelhead Fishing with Spawn

fishing at sawdust hole manistee river

Anglers share the Big Manistee River at Sawdust hole

It doesn’t require complex or expensive tackle to get in on the great river steelhead fishing that Michigan has to offer. A simple, long, fishing rod and spinning reel with some heavy test line can be used.

The heavy line from the rod is attached to one end of a three way swivel. Next you need some light leader line to tie to the other two ends of the swivel. Attach a four foot length to the swivel opposite where your main line is tied on, and a four inch piece on the bottom swivel connection.

3 way swivel steelhead fishing rig

A simple 3 way swivel rig

You should end up with something like the figure above when you are done. Crimp enough split shot on the short piece of leader at the bottom to get the rig down to the bottom. The amount of weight you need will depend on the current.

Tie a hook on the four foot length of leader and put your spawn bag on and you are ready to go. The idea is to cast this rig out into “holes” where steelhead are likely to be and dead drift it through the hole keeping the split shot barely dragging on the bottom. The split shot are meant to come off in the event of a snag, hopefully preventing the loss of the whole rig.

Keep your rod tip up through the drift and with a little practice, you should be able to bounce your spawn along the bottom without hanging up. Tight lines!

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