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Clear H2O

Here come the steelhead!

Lake Michigan biologist Brian Breidert said Tuesday that more than 3,000 steelhead have passed the South Bend ladder since March 1 to join some 6,000 that were already in the river.

In addition, coho fishing has been red hot this week in the Michigan City Harbor area.

By Louie Stout

Winter Steelheading Can be Productive for Hardy Anglers

A dilemma for steelhead anglers occurs every winter: The St. Joseph River is full of steelhead, but it's snowy and it's cold.

How badly do you want to catch them?

Mike Jones of Mishawaka wants to catch them badly. Fishing's in his blood - year-round. When he's not chasing steelhead or walleyes in the winter, he's trying to outfox catfish or bluegill at other times of the year.

That's why he spends as much time as he can on the river and his success speaks for itself.

"Last year, my fishing partners and I caught 137 steelhead from late October through March," he said.

With more fish in the river this year, December through March should be even better.

If you can handle the weather.

By Louie Stout

Big Numbers of Coho Invade St. Joe

You better re-string those river rods and reels with new line and load up on spinners and spawn.

The South Bend and Mishawaka sections of the St. Joseph River are filling up with trout and salmon.

That’s right…salmon. Coho, to be exact.

The steelhead appearance is no surprise. They’ve been trickling in since early June. We have about 2,500 in the upper river now, which is pretty good compared to previous years.

But the early showing of coho - and big numbers of ‘em - has been a surprise to both anglers and fish managers.

“We’ve counted 3,600 coho move into South Bend the first 15 days of September,” said Lake Michigan biologist Brian Breidert. “That’s pretty remarkable.”

It sure is. You will have to go all the way back to 1997 to see coho numbers like that entering Indiana waters at such an early stage.