Muskegon Pere Marquette fishing guide and reports.
Winter river guide special


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River Conditions

Pere Marquette

Fishing Report - December 18 2014

The fishing remains pretty steady most days. Covering water and keying in to bait colors and sizes is paying off. Working for the bites daily but by days end the fish count has been decent if not great!

 Weather patterns are seeming having an effect on the bite. Over this last weekend the bite was off for sure. What seemed to be perfect conditions had the bite off for whatever reason. But this week the action has picked back up.

Traffic has been light during the week, and the fish are spread out thru the entire river system. Making for some relaxing days on the water.

Please give us a call (231-250-9745) or Email Jon if you would like to get more info.

Fishing Report - Dec 9 2014

Groundhog day....but I love it!!!!

The fishing has been good to great as of late. The recent high water made it tough for a few days, but it did move fish up river and shuffle the deck a bit. Float fishing has been the best and giving up the most hook ups. But flyfishing has provided action for those looking to work harder for their fish.

The fish are in transition mode right now, moving into their wintering holes for sure.


Looking for a last minute Christmas idea?? We offer gift certificates for any amount.

Lets go winter steelheading!

Fishing Report - Nov 14 2014

Winter has arrived!!

A few chilly days this week are changing things on the river for sure. The bite the last two days has been a bit tougher due to the fast moving fronts, but we are still getting into some really nice chrome fish.

The mint fresh fall run fish can be hard to handle from time to time. If they cant get away by flying, many have sought out deep lumber to seek their freedom. Ride the lightning!

Float fishing with eggs and covering a bunch of water, looking for the dumb fish has been my best bet this week. The fish are spread out from top to bottom. This is helping spread out the fishing pressure as well.


Due to cancelation I do have this Sunday November 16 open if anyone is looking for a last minute trip

Fishing Report - Oct 28 2014

Summer like weather...wind..lack of rain and massive amounts of leaves in the river are making the bite a little tough, especially in the afternoons.

We are still getting into plenty of fish, numbers are more traditional this year, if you remember last year you will remember how easy it was..there seemed to be fish under every rock on the river. We were spoiled for sure.

We have been float fishing daily with egg patterns rigged on light lines, covering water is the key. There are still some kings spawning, these are key areas to fish as the steelhead will be looking for an easy meal.


Due to a recent cancelation I have this Saturday November 1 open.

Also booking trips for December steelhead..perfect for avoiding the crowds.

Fishing Report - Oct 20 2014

After one of the most dismal fall salmon runs in my 23 years of guiding we have been chasing steelhead since October 8. Was I happy to see the change in seasons....estatic to say the least, as guiding for steelhead is my passion.

The steelhead numbers are not huge, but there are enough to play with, with increasing numbers daily. Fish seem well distributed through the river system, with faster riffles and runs holding the most fish. Fishing near spawning salmon will also produce steelhead and trout.


Float fishing with egg patterns has been my favorite method, as it allows you to cover so much water and get the biters quickly.

I still have October 21,27,28 open as well as Nov. 28 if you are looking to get on the water.

Fishing Report - September 30 2014

The less than average salmon season continues, In my 22 year career as a fishing guide, this is hands down the toughest year on record. There are fish in all west michigan rivers, but not huge numbers. Be prepared to work for them. The good news is that the weather as of late has been perfect for just being outdoors.

The lower sections are still seeing slow trickles of kings as well as a steelhead here and there. Covering water and making the best of the day are keys.

Steelhead season is just about here and are worth chasing any day from here on out.

Fishing Report - Sept 16 2014 the word that best describes the salmon run right now.

The fishing has been slow at best this year so far. There are a few spots in every section that are fishing ok. But those spots are changing daily for the most part.

Last weekends weather events should have sent the migration into high gear....but that was not the case. The good news is that every day we are getting more fish and things should start filling in soon. We saw a year like this not long ago, with the bulk of the kings showing up after Sept. 20th.

Covering lots of water and looking into every spot is the best bet right now.

Fishing Report - September 10 2014

Back to the river!!

My big water season ended last week and I ran a few trips on the Pere Marquette, floating from Rainbow rapids to Custer in a matter of 3 days...thats a ton of water...the fish numbers are very thin. But the lower in the system we got, the more fish we saw. Hopefully this weeks cooler temps and rain get a good surge of fish coming.

Have fun on the river and please respect the resource. Look for reports to be much more consistent now for the fall.

If you are looking for a fall steelhead trip, let me know asap. Open dates are going fast.

Fishing Report - July 20 2014

Wow...its been a month since I posted...

The smallmouth fishing on the muskegon is going well, especially early and during the week. Weekends have been over run with traffic and the fish seem to notice. Sub surface throwing streamers can bring out the odd nice trout as well.  Look for topwater fishing to get better as the water warms this week.

As we roll into August my calender is filling up with charters on the big lake, I do still have openigs if you are looking to get into some Great Lakes Salmon and Trout.

Fall dates are filling up, if you are thinking of setting a date with me on the river for Salmon of Steelhead its time to make the call, November is almost full.

Fishing Report - June 20 2014

 Sorry for the lapse in reports.


The truth is that as the steelhead season ended I was super busy buying a new boat for my Ludington charter fishing business. Then had to get it ready to put in the water, go through the inspection process and a couple weeks of getting everything set up.

I did manage to fish a few days and ran some trips on both the PM and Muskegon as well as a few charters. The river fishing has been great this year. The hatches have been heavy and consistent. The Muskegon river is giving up big trout and some big smallmouth bass.

If a full day trip does not fit your schedule, we are running half day trips for only $275 1-2 anglers with drinks and snacks provided.

If you are looking for something different than the river, we also offer charter fishing in Ludington,Mi.

Fishing Report - April 26 2014

Happy Trout opener!!

The Muskegon has fished well this past week, although water clarity has played a role. Water temps have offset the effects of the high dirty water. Steelhead are available in good numbers in the runs and popular spawning areas..Look for the fishing to be great for another few weeks as the long cold winter pushed the peak back a few weeks.

I still have openings May 5-8 and depending on the fish numbers May 12-?


Pictured (April 26) is a great friend and client Greg with one of the most impressive steelhead I have seen in a long time!!! Although the fish only weighed 16 pounds it had the body of a fish much larger. (Had this fish been caught fresh from the lake it would have pushed over 20 lbs, I have seen untold thousands of fish in my 22 yr guiding career but not many were this impressive.


Nice job Greg!!!!! Great "Kicker" fish to top off 3 awesome days of fishing.

Fishing Report - April 14 2014

And here I though we had dodged a major bullet this year....mother nature is a cold cold woman!!! We have recieved anywhere from 3-6 inches of rain the last 48 hours and all local rivers are blown out and un fishable for a few days now. All launches are closed on the Muskegon river.

The good news is that the river is still cold and the fishing should be just fine when the water drops, look for reports to resume when the launches re open and the water clears a bit.

Fishing Report - April 10 2014

Finally a little spring weather has shown if only the fish thought so. Water temps are still quite low in the Muskegon River. Hovering between 34-36 most days. With the pond and Muskegon lake still frozen..we are just seeing a trickle of fresh fish, this should change once we get rid of all the ice around.

Float fishing has still been the best,hands down. The fish have moved into slower pools and current seams for the most part and float fishing allows us to target these areas the best.

The good news is that we should see some great fishing well into May, so if you are still interested in getting some steelheading in, I do have plenty of openings in May.


Open Dates

Due to cancelation April 22 is now date!!

May 2,5-10

Fishing Report - March 26 2014


Spring weather will be here is another day or three...The fishing is still pretty much in winter mode. Water temps and levels have what fresh fish there are in the system in lock down mode....just a slow trickle of chromers....mostly colored males and fat pre spawn hens.


Look for river levels to rise finally next wee and the run to kick in big time. Floatfishing is still my prefered method for covering tons of water and getting the biters.


Fishing Report - March 15 2014

Spring.....well kinda!!

The calendar says mid march, but temps and river conditions are showing like mid- winter. Water temps are cold,clear and the fish are in winter mode for sure. We did see a small batch of fresher fish a week or so ago. But for the most part we are catching fall/ winter holdovers.

Ice in the rivers,guides and at the boat launches has pushed back early moring starts many  many days. The cloudy overcast days and low light periods of the clear bright days have been best. The bite has just about shut off when the sun gets above the trees,making those morning hookups that much more important on the clear days.

Despite the minor thaws and melts the river levels have remained low and clear. Light lines and smaller baits are the best option. We have been floatfishing for the most part,But chuck and duck nymphing will get a few with a little patience and good long drifts.





Fishing Report - Feb 26 2014

Just a quick update today...


The fishing last week was great, the fish are well rested and ready to snap when the weather permits us to hit the river. This weeks big freeze will give the fish a much needed rest after we hammered them pretty hard. Look for the fishing to be great again once we get through this arctic blast.

I still have openings for this spring for anyone looking to get on the water. I'm hoping that we see the size of the spring fish similar to those that we saw last fall.

Half day trips thru March 10--- $200 for 1-2 anglers


Fishing Report - Feb 10 2014


As you can se we have made it out several times in the last week, we found the fishing to be very good in some areas...and lesser fish in some very prime winter spots.

We landed some really nice winter males pushing into the high teens. All of the fish seem to be winter holdovers, but a few fresher females were landed.

I have the cure for cabin fever for those that are infected and need to shake the winter blues...Your steelhead are waiting.

Floatfishing with pretty much the only way to go when its this cold out.

Fishing Report - Jan 29 2014


Ok Im pretty sure everyone is with me on this one....its time for old man winter to kick the bucket and move on...Its very rare for me to say I'm ready for spring, because I enjoy winter steelheading so much, but enough is enough...its time to move on and spring cant come too soon.

The truth is I think I'm on my longest fishless streak in forever....I just have not felt like hitting the water with temps in the single digits and wind chills below zero!

Im sure the fishing will be great as soon as I get back to the river,the fish are well rested and should be pretty dumb again, with very little food in the rivers this time of year, our offerings should look very tempting.

So...look for a warm up, get your dates booked and lets fish!!!

Its time to get those warm spring guide trips locked in as well.

Fishing Report - Jan 4 2014

I hope everyone is having a great start to the new year.

I wish I could tell you I have been on the water every day....I really do wish I could, but....I cant. The weather these last two weeks has been frigid to say the least.

I did get out this past saturday, with the short break in the weather we had, and we had a pretty good day. We were float fishing and covered a bunch of water,looking for the hungry fish and moving on.

It looks like we have a good break in the weather coming in a few days, if you need to shake those winter blues please give us a call and get on the water. The fishing should be great!

Its also a good time to get those spring dates booked.

Fishing Report - Dec 16 2013

Just a quick update today....

Winter has arrived in force in West Michigan for sure...the river is blanketed in a thick layer of white snow and the steelhead are sporting thier Christmas colors as well. Wildlife has been pretty active as well.

The fish have pretty much moved into their winter lies. The fishing is still pretty good if you know where to look and how to present your offering, The water is getting very cold and crystal clear. Its now time to downsize your offering. Lighter lines, smaller flies and smaller baits seem to be working best.

The fishing should be pretty goood from here on out with the number of fish in our rivers, Weather conditions as well as accessing the launches may be trying at times, but the hard work is worth it for sure.

Its time to put those snow shovels down and give us a call for some fantastic winter steelhead fishing, YES....we do have heated boats.


We do offer Gift certificates for those still looking for a great holiday gift. Both 1/2 day as well as full day trips available.

Fishing Report - November 28 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Just wanted to say "thank you" to all of the wonderfull friends that I have made over the last 21 years as a river guide. Without your support and confidence in booking me for your river fishing adventures, I would not be able to do what I love. I am very very thankfull for your continued support.

As for the fishing...It is still going great on the river. The fish are moving into their winter spots. Look for current speed and bottom cover to make an impact on where the fish are sitting.

All signs point to this winter fishing great...still plenty of time to get in on the action. Winter 1/2 day specials will be starting soon.

Fishing Report - Nov 17 2013

The good steelhead fishing continues.....

We are having a really good season on west Michigan rivers. The fish are moving into their winter lies for sure, still some bright fish in the faster water, but the winter holding spots are giving up some fish as well.

This winter should fish very well.

Look for this weekends rain to bring up another shot of fish this coming week.

December openings as well.

Fishing Report - Nov. 5 2013


Is there a better fish to catch??? Not in Michigan!!!!

Not much has changed....the fish are spreading out...making it more important to cover more water. Although some key spots are good all day it seems.

November openings


Fishing Report - October 28 2013

The steelhead fishing continues to impress me !! I have not seen fish this big since 1999. The fishing should stay great all through the winter.

A good amount of rain is forecasted for later this week, look for even more chrome fish to storm the rivers in the coming days.

I still have some great days available for fall steelhead.


Fishing Report - October 22 2013


As you can see we have been targeting steelhead for the last couple weeks or so, and the fishing has been decent for this time of year.

 The fish are running a few pounds over their average size for their legnths. So far I have weighted a few fish that were 13lbs or slightly over....this is awesome! These fish are very aggressive and mean this time of year. Truly the very best steelhead fishing of the year.

I still have a few openings between now and the end of November.

Oct 26,28,31 is what I have left in October.


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Rivers Bend Guide Service