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Just before the snow flies might be the best time to wet a line

October 26, 2012
By AMANDA MONTHEI - Journal Sports Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - As October becomes November, snow in the forecast becomes much more typical and the impulse to go outside becomes much less frequent.

For fishermen in the area, however, the lack of nice weather is a good sign that it's time to get out on the water.

The steelhead season, which has already begun in select rivers, beckons cold-water fishermen, who rely on cold-water temperatures and gloomy skies for their respective catches. On the other hand, warm-water fishermen in the area are now looking to the deeper areas of inland lakes for rainbow trout, bass and other warm-water fish.

Article Photos

Fall fishing relies heavily on rainy and gloomy days, when fish are more apt to be feeding. (Journal photo by Amanda Monthei)

"I'm a lake kind of guy," Todd Kauppinen of Wilderness Sports in Ishpeming, said. "There's a little lake here in town that's pretty easy to get to and I go with my neighbor there. My son (and I) tried to catch some bass and rainbow and some other different trout in there, but we didn't have any luck."

Kauppinen said that he went fishing in Ishpeming last week, when the weather was pretty good for it, but said that Thursday would have been even better.

"(Thursday) would (have been) a great day," he said. "There's a little bit of drizzle, a little bit of overcast and fish aren't exactly too crazy about the real bright days because believe it our not, they can sunburn, fish can get sunburned just like people."

While the good days typically outweigh the bad for Kauppinen, there are obviously some downsides to a sport that relies on bad weather for the best fishing.

"I like to fish on those days, other than you're kind of miserable because you're wet," he said. "It's relaxing, other than the occasional line snag or reel getting all messed up, the typical stuff that makes it not fun, but (it's nice to) just to be out in fresh air on the water."

With a wide range of different fishing environments, ranging from Lake Superior to tiny inland lakes, Kaupinnen acknowledged that the fishing is particularly unique in the Upper Peninsula.

"There are so many lakes to choose from and different sizes in bodies of water, all in close proximity," he said. "Just from Ishpeming to Marquette, you've got Lake Superior, real small lakes and different size streams so you can pretty much fish for what you want and pick what kind of water you want to fish."

Kauppinen, who for the most part catches and releases, does enjoy taking some of his catch home every now and then, finding a good reason to weather the rain and cold.

"I let all the bass go though," he said. "Some people like to eat the bass, but I don't particular like to mess with them. Trout, I usually get a couple of those that I keep if I can."

Kauppinen suggested that for anyone who is interested in fishing as a beginner, a basic set-up is the best bet. Investing in over-the-top gear could leave you out a couple hundred bucks and, if you don't end up enjoying fishing, you could be out of luck.

"You can go overboard with tackle and rods and reels, but make sure its something that you really want to get into before you invest a whole lot into it," he said. "But if you decide that it's not your thing, then you're stuck with all that stuff."

But Kauppinen has a hard time believing anyone could really not like to fish.

"I could sit out all day, you can just cast and reel and soak up the sounds of the environment," he said. "For people that don't fish, I don't know if they know what they're missing."

For more information on fishing regulations and reports, visit the DNR's website at



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