Fishing ... Indiana Dunes Fishing Opportunities


Becca with her first steelhead

Andy, steelhead on the fly
I was requested by Midwest Outdoors to write a brief overview of Indiana Dunes fishing opportunities.

The write-up appeared in their April 2017 issue.

If you're an angler that enjoys some serious rod bending action, you need to fish the Indiana Dune stretch of Lake Michigan and its tributaries.  These water systems provide an opportunity to catch a smorgasbord of gamefish - perch, coho, salmon, steelhead, brown trout, lake trout, and smallmouth bass.

On Lake Michigan, many anglers will troll using downriggers, planer boards or leadcore line (flat lining) to get their lures into the view of the fish to draw a strike.  Control drifting with a tandem minnow rigs is a very productive method when the perch are on the bite.  Fishing the mouth of a tributary with a spoon, inline spinner or live bait under a float when the fish start their spawning run, provides the shoreline angler plenty of chances to hook-up.

For the Lake Michigan's tributaries, anglers fish from the banks due to the narrow waterways and shallow water stretches.  These waterways provide opportunities to hook into coho, salmon, steelhead, skamania and bonus brown trout.

The major runs start near the Dunes in early spring and again in early fall with the coho, followed by the salmon and then the steelhead.  In mid-summer, there's the skamania run and when you hook-up into one - hang on, as they can jump 5 feet into the air and then immediately start blazing downstream.

These tributaries are quite the playground and offer anglers chances to test their abilities, especially with the steelhead.  The key is to locate and fish holding areas that offer these fish relief from the current (soft water) to rest for their next push upstream.