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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is gonna sound crazy but yesterday was fishing the Au Sable between Rea Rd. and Whirlpool for smallies and I noticed a very large dark fish swim past in front of us. I could not make out for sure what it was but I swear it looked just like a big king! I thought I was just mistaken and it was probably just a big dark carp. Fished another 15 minutes or so and I was amazed to see what was apparently the same fish swim up onto some shallow gravel and start splashing around like it was trying to spawn! Looked like a 12 to 15 lb. king that was very dark and green! Had the whole back out of the water so I got a pretty good look at it this time. Tips of the fins had started to turn white on the tips too. Never heard of this before, anyone else seen a king up in here this time of year? Crazy.
 

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This is gonna sound crazy but yesterday was fishing the Au Sable between Rea Rd. and Whirlpool for smallies and I noticed a very large dark fish swim past in front of us. I could not make out for sure what it was but I swear it looked just like a big king! I thought I was just mistaken and it was probably just a big dark carp. Fished another 15 minutes or so and I was amazed to see what was apparently the same fish swim up onto some shallow gravel and start splashing around like it was trying to spawn! Looked like a 12 to 15 lb. king that was very dark and green! Had the whole back out of the water so I got a pretty good look at it this time. Tips of the fins had started to turn white on the tips too. Never heard of this before, anyone else seen a king up in here this time of year? Crazy.
Odd for sure...but I've heard a few have showed in Trail Creek in Indiana as well ?!
 

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Any Kings that might, by some strange coincidence, be in the Ausable right now, would not be spawning. On the other hand, there are some very large Carp that run the river in summer. I've caught a couple that were over 20#. I've never seen them splashing in the shallows, but Carp certainly do that at times.
 

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seen a few steel that were skanky as hell spawning middle of last week that would be more likely than a colored up spawning king this time of year but I have seen king in the river at some weird times caught a colored up buck in early march last year
 

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seen a few steel that were skanky as hell spawning middle of last week that would be more likely than a colored up spawning king this time of year but I have seen king in the river at some weird times caught a colored up buck in early march last year
Saw a pair of fresh steelhead spawning on July 2nd. They were in very good shape. Left them alone and went for eyes as usual.
 

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I caught a nice king many years ago on July 4 in a UP stream. I used to start fishing for kings on the AuSable August 1 back in the 1980"s. I used to catch kings surf fishing near the AuSable all summer long. It is quite possible that what you saw was a king. If you think it was about 15 pounds I doubt that it was an Atlantic. I also caught kings in the Rifle River in late July and early August.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The more I think about it I am pretty sure it was a king. I remember the black spots on the dark green back and the tail was squared off. Fins even starting to turn white on the tips.
 

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One of the guys that I fish with caught a fresh silver chinook inland ice fishing in February. I guess you never know when they will show up. I have caught steelhead in rivers every month out of the year. Chinook I have caught in rivers in April, May, July August, September, October and November. Coho I have caught in rivers every month except July. Atlantics I have caught March through December. I hope that this helps, I think that it was probably a chinook.
 

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I know a river on the west side my son has taken me to in July to that will have fresh kings in it. They are not dark like the OP is talking about, but they start early there.
 

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I've seen stranger things! I was not far from you yesterday and came through that area in the afternoon. I spent the entire day on a scouting trip from Bay City up to Alpena, then west and back to Bay City. Had the top off the Jeep and was checking out many of the streams, creeks, and back woods areas I use to frequent with my bro when he was alive. Rivers look like they're back to normal levels and although I didn't get any fishing in this time I will definitely head back to a few spots in a couple weeks.


This is gonna sound crazy but yesterday was fishing the Au Sable between Rea Rd. and Whirlpool for smallies and I noticed a very large dark fish swim past in front of us. I could not make out for sure what it was but I swear it looked just like a big king! I thought I was just mistaken and it was probably just a big dark carp. Fished another 15 minutes or so and I was amazed to see what was apparently the same fish swim up onto some shallow gravel and start splashing around like it was trying to spawn! Looked like a 12 to 15 lb. king that was very dark and green! Had the whole back out of the water so I got a pretty good look at it this time. Tips of the fins had started to turn white on the tips too. Never heard of this before, anyone else seen a king up in here this time of year? Crazy.
 

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Some buddies of mine caught a fresh, loaded hen steelhead today from the Au Sable. Got her on a waxworm in 71-72* water. An early chin is not out of the question.
 

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Caught this one a few days ago. On a leach.
That it s steelhead. ... also, o.p., white tips on fins was probably a steelhead, kings are definitely not unheard of at any time of year but to me your description is steelhead. .
 
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