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Beaver Island’s NorthernIslander, Spring Trout Fishing on Beaver Island by Steve West

NorthernIslander, Spring Trout Fishing on Beaver Island by Steve West.  June 2010.

Spring trout fishing on Beaver Island?

I recently had an opportunity to go trout fishing with my son Gavin on the Muskegon River. Our guide was Kevin Morlock of Indigo Guide Service. Trout fishing on select Michigan’s rivers thrives in part because the state stocks small rainbow and brown trout each year.  Some of these fish migrate out into Lake Michigan and then return a few years later weighing 6-10 pounds or more.

The state of Wisconsin has had success with releasing some rainbow and brown trout directly into harbors where they return in the spring a few years later.  Based on the Wisconsin success it appears that Beaver Island’s Paradise Bay has the potential for a similar program.  If cold water fish like trout, acclimated in net pens to the bay, were released this could create a cold, shallow water, spiring and fall shoulder season shoreline, surf and harbor fishing opportunity that doesn’t currently exist. This scenario is one of the goals of the Beaver Island Conservation Club and could prove to be a plus for the visitor based economy.

Kevin Morlock, owner of Indigo Guide Service, had such a successful season guiding visitors for carp and smallmouth bass fishing last year he has brought and additional guide to the Island. Steve Martinez has joined Kevin here for June and July.  They offer catch and release flats type fishing with fly or spinning tackle using a stalking technique similar to that used for bonefish in salt water.

Photo Captions:

BEFORE: The author “shows off” one of many rainbow trout he caught. This is what they look like when recently stocked.

AFTER: Gavin West carefully releases a large lake run rainbow trout called a steelhead. With the right stocking and management plan the potential exists to wade into Paradise Bay in the spring and catch a fish like this.

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