These guys wade out as far as they can and throw out and then let line out as they wade back to shore. The fishing pole is put into a rod holder and they wait for a fish to hit the spawn sacs. Four steelies were caught by the beach the other day.
This is the South Pier and as long as the wind is NOT out of the south, they can fish! The next day a south wind was crashing waves over the pier and everyone moved to the North Pier.
I got there around 7:45 am and the pier was filled already. Some of these guys are up very early to get the best spots. Everyone has PVC pipe strapped to a metal rod to hold the fishing rods up. Most are using 1 oz pyramid sinkers that slip above the swivel. A small plastic bead between the sinker and eye of the swivel helps protect the knot. Then a 2 to 3' leader is added and a spawn sac attached to the hook. Cast it out, tighten the line, set the rod in the holder and wait. It is easy way to fish, if you are patient.
When ever a rod starts jumping, the guys yell, 'Fish on!'. Someone always helps land the fish. You need a long handled pier net.
This spot is clear of rocks, but some places are very rocky and hard to net the fish. The guy next to me had a nice 6 # brown that was with the steelhead.
I saw about 5-6 fish landed before 10:00 am. By 11:00 am, guys were packing it up.
The run started again around 3:00 pm yesterday, so some will stay and come will return. This won't last too much longer as the fish will head in to winter in the Manistee River. The first wave has started up the river and it won't be long now before they reach Tippy Dam.
Steelies do not die when they enter the river, so they are fresh and strong. They come in in the Fall to eat the salmon eggs and some go back to Lake Michigan and lots of fish stay in the river until Spring to spawn. You can fish all winter for the steelies.
Come on up, you just might catch "steelhead fever"!.