Anchored Podcast Ep. 239: Mike Schultz on Smallmouth Bass, Water Temperature, Tackle, and More

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Mike Schultz, affectionately known as “Schultzy,” is the Owner of Schultz Outfitters Fly Shop & Guide Service, a hub for Southern Michigan angling, instruction, and destination travel. Growing up in Michigan, he developed a connection with the outdoors, which ultimately led him to pursue a career in the fly-fishing industry.

Spending countless hours on the water each year, Schultzy has honed his expertise in Midwestern waters and beyond. While his primary focus remains on the warm-water fishing havens of Southern Michigan, his angling adventures have taken him to exotic locations around the world.

Driven by a passion for conservation, Schultzy has played a pivotal role in founding annual fundraisers like the Huron River Single Fly and Huckin’ for the Huron, in collaboration with the Huron River Watershed Council. These events support the preservation of Michigan’s Blue-Ribbon Smallmouth stream, the Huron River.

Outside of his angling pursuits, Schultzy resides in Dexter, Michigan, nestled along the banks of The Huron River with his wife, Allie, and their sons, Tanner and Dylan. With a commitment to sharing his passion for fishing and conservation, Schultzy continues to inspire anglers and outdoor enthusiasts alike—myself included.

In this episode of Anchored, we discuss the process of opening his fly shop in Ypsilanti, tactics for catching smallmouth bass on the fly, the effects of water temperature, tackle, and more.

Outline of This Episode

[00:45] Introduction to Mike Schultz and the Origins of Schultz Outfitters

[18:29] Decoding Smallmouth Bass: Tactics, Water Temperature, and Behavior

[35:17] Tackle Talk: Gearing Up for Smallmouth Success

[48:55] Conservation Efforts and Building a Fishing Community

[1:02:03] Mike’s Philosophy on Fly Fishing and Life

From Michigan Rivers to Global Waters

Mike Schultz’s love for the great outdoors isn’t just a hobby; it’s the foundation of Schultz Outfitters. Growing up in Michigan, Mike developed a bond with the local rivers, which was a connection that fueled his journey into the fly fishing industry. In this segment, Mike opens up about the origins of Schultz Outfitters and its evolution as the go-to spot for anglers drawn to the allure of warm water fly fishing. 

Understanding Smallmouth Bass

For Mike Schultz, smallmouth bass are more than just a typical catch; they’re a puzzle that he has spent years piecing together. In this part of our conversation, Mike dives deep into what makes smallmouth bass tick – from the critical role of water temperature to their unique behaviors. His blend of scientific insight and extensive field experience offers practical, actionable advice. If you’re looking to up your game and understand the nuances of fly fishing for smallmouth bass, Mike’s expertise is invaluable.

Selecting the Right Tackle

Mike knows that just having a tackle box is never enough; knowing how to wield its contents is where the magic happens. This section is a treasure trove of insights into essential gear and how to adapt your tackle strategy based on the whims of smallmouth bass and the varying conditions of the water. For anglers eager to make informed choices about their gear, his breakdown of his tackle box is a masterclass in preparation and adaptability.

Conservation and Community

Mike’s commitment to fishing extends far beyond the thrill of the catch. His dedication to conservation and building a community of like-minded anglers is at the heart of his ethos. Through initiatives like the Huron River Single Fly and Hucking for the Huron, Mike champions the cause of preserving the ecosystems we cherish. This segment is a call to action for anyone passionate about angling and the environment, highlighting the importance of stewardship in the sport.

Fishing Philosophy

At his core, Mike Schultz embodies a profound respect for nature and an eagerness to share the exhilaration of fly fishing. His philosophy on fishing, conservation, and life is not just about catching fish; it’s about the lessons learned along the way and the joy of sharing those experiences with others. Whether you’re well-versed in the ways of the angler or just dipping your toes in the water, Mike’s reflections offer a source of inspiration and a reminder of why we fish.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode and How to Connect With Mike Schultz

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Anchored Outdoors is an ever-growing network of fly fishing experts who’ve been brought together by podcaster and fellow outdoorswoman, April Vokey.

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