Mike Schultz (known as “Schultzy” to most) is the Owner of Schultz Outfitters, specializing in Southeastern Michigan angling and instruction. He has the expert knowledge to help you and your family have a great time on the water, and Washtenaw County has some great fishing spots like the Huron River Watershed. Mike and his team are constantly chasing the best river conditions at any given time. Below is Mike Schultz's seasonal guide for putting fish in the net. Please note: fishing in the Huron River is catch and release only.
Seasons Within a Season
Over the past decade, Schultz Outfitters has fine-tuned time-tested programs while building a quiver of our very own. In 2015, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources implemented a year-round catch and release bass season that allowed us to explore our fisheries during times that were previously off-limits and viewed as unproductive. With six unique watersheds within striking distance, we have built proven programs that cater to anglers of all skill levels.
Below you will find a breakdown of viable fishing programs:
Known among the staff as the “Slay Days of May." Spring temps are on the rise and fish activity is at PEAK. Swimming baitfish patterns and explosive topwater eats are the norm. All six rivers are now in play, which expands our range and opens up water that hasn’t seen an angler in five months.
One of the highlights of June is Froggin’. If you have yet to experience a smallmouth eating a frog, you owe it to yourself. As always, streamer fishing continues to shine, but when the topwater bite is firing it can be hard to fish anything else. Fishing traditional cork or hair poppers is at its PEAK in June. The floating line and flip flop days make June fishing a client favorite.
July & August
Summertime and the fishing’s easy. We view this window as the best for introducing a new angler to fly fishing or honing a new set of skills. Pursuing numbers with a variety of techniques is often the best option. Some days it seems like anything will work as the fish are settled into predictable summer lies. For those looking for a next-level experience, sight fishing trophy size smallies in ultra-clear water with fine tippets, light gear, and terrestrials has become a favorite of the most skilled anglers. This program takes patience, a keen eye, and accurate casting.
During this window, both Hexagenia Limbata and Atro Caudata mayfly hatches occur in select areas. Daytime fishing can be slow due to the number of bugs each evening. However, the grand finale is often worth the grind. For those looking to experience something unique, this is a fine program.
September – October
As the days get shorter and water temps slowly start dropping, a select few rivers receive a robust influx of baitfish. Fishing floating and subsurface baitfish patterns to blitzing bass makes for some fast-paced fishing. Sorting through numbers to find a big one is the biggest hurdle.
For those looking for more of a challenge, terrestrial fishing clear flows timed with the final days of frogging can produce some very large fish. Over the past few years, we’ve pushed the topwater programs into mid-October.
While the rivers of northern Michigan are crowded with salmon anglers, you will have the place to yourself. Enjoy Fall colors, mild temps and fish that bite!
November – December
By this time it’s all about location, location, location. Late season smallmouth fishing is not for everyone however those who are up for the challenge and willing to stick to the program will be rewarded. Late fall has us focusing on very specific water types.
The “bite window” is highly predictable and techniques vary from watershed to watershed. Usually by late November, our fish are locked into winter lies where they will remain until March or April. These fish are typically at peak weight.
No matter how you choose to enjoy the area, be sure to follow the requirements and recommendations of local and state health officials, the CDC, and your health care provider.
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