I have for almost thirty years traveled to Michigan in November to fish with my father and brother. We go to the surf on Lake Michigan to fish for Steelhead on the beach. We have over the years, fished the beaches of St. Joseph, Ludington and Manistee with some days producing many fish. The steelhead will migrate to the mouth of the streams and make sporadic runs up the stream to spawn in the spring. This year was no different for me with a deliberate change in time to fish. I decided to delay may trip two weeks and fish later in November. The weather for the first week of November has been very mild for the past several years. I had hoped better fishing later in the month. The fishing was, lacking a better word, poor.
Tuesday Nov 17 Dad and I drove an hour from his place near Battle Creek to St. Joseph MI. There was a brisk east wind with some wave action on the surf. We fished the north side of the pier. The beach was full of leaf debris piled several feet high on the beach with many leave in the water fouling the lines. We did not catch any fish and called it a day after 2 PM.
Wednesday Nov 18: We returned to the St. Joseph beach and fished the south side. The wind continued to be out of the east. The water was cleaner with a cleaner beach. Again, no fish caught.
Thursday Nov 19: Dad and I picked Kirk up at 5 AM. We decided to drive north and fish the beaches of Ludington. The area has changed with more development on the beach. We fished a familiar park on the south side of the pier. The day was overcast with a variable wind. We manage to pick up a small jack salmon (Coho) and a small rainbow. We stayed until 3 PM and drove back to Baldwin to eat before returning to Battle Creek.
I need to rethink the fishing in November and should consider returning the first full week in November.