The sun is shining, the water is thawing, and fishermen of all ages are eager to catch their first bites of the season.
The fish on everyone's mind right now is the Steelhead. A fish that is making it's way up stream in Traverse City for spawning season, and that people say can reach lengths up to 16-inches, and also serves as a great meal.
"It's feisty, and competitive," says fisherman, Patrick Marino. "Smaller ones are good eating, larger ones you can put on a smoker."
"They do cartwheels," says fisherman, Bill Rosinksi. "It's a great stress reliever."
The fishing season is off to a slow start right now, but that doesn't mean local businesses like Northern Angler Fly Shop and Outfitters haven't been busy stocking customers up with their prize winning gear. Owner, Bran Pitser, says that sales are up nearly 20-percent compared to this time last year.
"You know the nice weather, it's Spring Break, it's Easter weekend," said Pitser. "So we've definitely been busy. People here have had a long winter and everybody's really excited to get out and get to fishing."
Fishermen are anxious for what they say is sure to be a great Spring fishing season.
"Last year it wasn't that good because we had that tremendous warm up out the end of March and it threw all the fish in the river, all at once," says Pitser. "This year with the snow melt and snow pack we should have really good trickled run where the fish will just trickle in and trickle out. So providing really good fishing for the anglers that are out here chasing the Steelhead this time of year."
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources wants to remind anglers that a new fishing license season begins on Monday, April 1st.
The fishing license options include a 24-hour license, a 72-hour license, a restricted license, and an all species license. To purchase one of these, you can visit a local license retailer or the DNR Operations Service Center.
For more information on fishing rules, regulations, and licensing, click here.