Many Great Lakes steelheaders know that during the winter months steelhead that have entered larger rivers and streams still are imprinted with feeding on baitfish. Even though they are not feeding and concentrating on finding a mate to spawn, in many cases they can’t resist taking a live minnow, streamer or plastic minnow. That’s the time to drift fish near the bottom with one of the many Fishing Complete Case Plastics minnow imitations.
First on my list is the 3 3/4″ Case Sinkin Minnow that can be drifted under a float for shallow conditions by using it with a 1/16 or 1/8 oz jighead or simply hooked on a #6 Octopus hook with a 3-way rig and worked along the bottom in deeper water.
If the water is very clear and especially shallow, or if the Steelhead are finicky, the Case Lil Fry at 2′ in length fished with the same rigs as above can outproduce even fresh roe bags.
And if you’re fishing a big river Steelhead and the water is turbid from run-off or winds, the 4.5″ Case Jack’s Worm had the streamline body of a baitfish and works great.
If you haven’t tried drifting soft-plastic minnow for winter Steelhead, try them, you may be pleasantly surprised!