I have had several people ask me recently what is the best presentation if you’re targeting steelhead from shore either off a pier or at the mouth of a smaller tributary where it flows into one of the Great Lakes.
My answer is that flow has much to do with the presentation you will be using. If there is significant flow it will draw steelhead into the tributary mouth or very close to where it enters the lake. That means that situation is ideal for drifting roe bags either along the bottom if the flow is stronger by just using a small hook and one or two split-shot sinkers, or if the flow is slower, a float rig.
If there is very little flow your best presentation is to either fish a floating roe-bag using a sliding sinker rig on the bottom and wait for steelhead to cruise by, or cast lures and cover the water. Top lures are Lil’Cleo spoon, Vibrax #3 spinner, Luhr Jensen Kwikfish and Fire Plugs. A constant retrieve speed works well. Steelhead will actively take roe bags and artificials both during the day and at night.