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Michigan fishing charters for walleye and perch at Au Gres (AuGres) and Tawas City (or East Tawas) on Saginaw Bay along with king salmon (Chinook Salmon) at Manistee on Lake Michigan and walleye at Monroe or Detroit on Lake Erie. Our sportfishing charter boat targets the biggest, trophy sized, Great Lakes walleye and king salmon (Chinook salmon) that Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay have to offer.
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Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters does just what the name implies, specializes in sportfishing for the biggest, most prized fish (walleye, perch, king salmon, Atlantic salmon, steelhead, lake trout and Great Lakes brown trout) that Michigan has to offer. We accomplish this by sport fishing on the hottest waters at their peak trophy producing periods. Yes, tailoring a charter boat from port to port is expensive and a hassle, but quite frankly, it's the only way captains can consistently deliver peak sportfishing action throughout the season. By concentrating on the right places at the right times, Trophy Specialists guarantees its customers a successful fishing experience. If no fish are hooked up, our guarantee states that your next trip is free (only valid on 8-hour trips), so we actually put our money where our mouth is. You can kick back and let the captain worry about catching walleye, salmon, steelhead and brown trout.
Trophy Specialists is all about professionalism with a total commitment to quality customer service. We provide leading edge, tournament tested boats, gear, tactics and know how. You need not be an expert angler to land the big ones with us. Our services include expert coaching skills that gives even novice anglers a real chance to catch huge walleye, salmon, brown trout or steelhead. We also offer unique fishing trips like early spring trophy walleye charters on Lake Erie and charters at the best walleye fishery in the world - Saginaw Bay. Fishing with Trophy Specialists may in fact be your best chance at catching that trophy of a lifetime for the wall or the photo album. With over 30 years of hard-core fishing experience and a U.S. Coast Guard Masters License with commercial towing and other endorsements, Capt. Michael Veine is one of the most highly qualified charter boat captains operating on the Great Lakes including Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay. In fact, Capt. Mike is licensed to pilot ships; now how many guides or charter captains can claim those kinds of credentials? Mike Veine is also a widely published outdoor writer and photographer, so your trophy tale and/or photos may even be featured in your favorite magazine (with your permission of course). Also, be sure to check out our fishing reports to see what's biting.
Gift certificates are available - Giving someone a fishing charter gift certificate makes an awesome present for Christmas, birthday, father's day, mother's day, anniversaries, graduations, bachelor party and other special occasions. Fishing charter gift certificates are also ideal for fund-raisers, charities, raffles, employee appreciation, business entertainment and many other purposes, and they can be customized just about any way you want. The recipient can choose the port, species and timeframe. Because Trophy Specialists fishes from many different ports targeting walleye, salmon, steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and other species, the recipient of the gift will certainly have plenty to choose from.
Charters for the Film Industry - Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters offers charter boat and marine services (lease and rental) for the film, television (TV), cinema and movie industry. We have on-the-water video production experience on the Great Lakes and other rivers and inland lakes of Michigan and Ohio. We are fully licensed and insured and can provide professional on the water support for your cinematography projects.
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Check out our fishing reports to find out if the
walleye, perch, king (Chinook) salmon, steelhead, brown trout, lake trout or Atlantic
salmon are biting where Trophy Specialist is running fishing charters.
These fishing reports will cover the ports of Au Gres (AuGres) on Saginaw
Bay, Rogers City on Lake Huron, Manistee on Lake Michigan and Monroe and
the Western Basin of Lake Erie. We will try to update the fishing
report regularly during the open water charter fishing season. For
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8/20/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The highly unstable weather pattern continues here in Michigan. We had a blow day yesterday with stiff winds all day with storms rolling though for good measure too. The forecast for today was ify too, but we just watched the radar and headed out with storms predicted after noon. The bite was red-hot for the first hour of the trip as we caught about 10 walleyes in no time, but then the wind switched and the bite slowed down to a slow pick. My customers from the Morley, MI area still managed to pull in their limits of walleye though before the storms popped up as predicted. They caught two jaw tagged walleyes today too. We have taken about a dozen tagged fish so far this year. The DNR has been conducting a tagging study for over 20 years where the DNR tags fish in the spring in the spawning areas. Angler report to the DNR the tagged fish caught including the size, location and date of catch. From those returns, the DNR has been studying the movement of the walleyes along with the growth rates and other vital fisheries management information. If you catch a jaw tagged fish, all you have to do is note the catch details and go to the DNR's website at http://www.michigandnr.com/taggedfish/ and fill out the form. The DNR will then mail you a report on the history of that fish. Our biggest fish of the day wore such lip Jewelry, so it will be interesting to see her history as the tag appeared old. The other tagged walleye was a 16 incher, so he will likely have been tagged this year on his first spawning run. We fished the same area as we did two days ago and ran the same program consisting of eight red/silver spinner crawler rigs trolled about 10 feet below the surface targeting suspended fish. The bite was very light today as we lost a lot of fish and not one fish was hooked deeper than the corner of the mouth. Except for one big catfish, all the rest of the fish we caught were walleyes with only a couple small fish in the lot. The weather for the next five days is predicted to stay unstable, so our fishing this week will likely remain challenging.
8/18/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I meet my customers every morning at H&H Bakery and Restaurant and tell them to follow me down to the launch and just park their vehicle where all the other trucks and trailer rigs are parked. This morning though, when I we got down to the DNR launch, the place was completely empty which was surprising considering it was a very nice day indeed. Needless to say, the fishing pressure at this time of the year is a lot lower than it is earlier in the season when the ramp is typically packed. The fishing is still excellent though as my customers from the Benton Harbor, MI area caught an impressive limit of walleyes today and also enjoyed a beautiful, sunny day on the Bay too. The fishing started off pretty slow though as we only caught four fish in the first four four hours of fishing. At mid-day though the walleyes turned on and it was non-stop action from 11:30 until limits were reached by about 1:00. We had trolled over that hot area earlier in the morning too, but the fish there then were not active, but we just kept after them until they went on the feed. We caught a lot of nice sized fish today too with most of the walleyes running 18 to 24 inches with only two under 17". We did the damage with red/silver spinner/crawler rigs trolled about 10' below the surface targeting suspended fish. A trolling speed of 1.7 to 1.8 mph was best. The floating weeds were not nearly as bad today as they were yesterday, so that was nice. I even got some fish today for my dinner too, which I will eat with a morel mushroom sauce and some fresh green beans with banana peppers that I picked from my garden yesterday evening. A meal doesn't get much better than that.
8/17/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
This highly unstable weather pattern we are in really hammered us the last few days. I had to cancel yesterday's trip due to high winds and storms and the high winds we had earlier this week really pounded the Bay. We fished today, but there were lots of floating weeds all over the Bay that were chopped up and blown around by all the wind and waves. I was cleaning weeds off the lures constantly, but we still managed 14 nice walleyes on a half day trip. The weather wasn't too bad today, but the winds were erratic and from the northeast, which didn't help the effort much. My customers today were from the Port Huron, Michigan area and it was their first charter fishing experience, and they indicated that they enjoyed the fishing a lot despite the tough conditions. We caught all our fish on silver/red harnesses fished about 10' down targeting suspended fish. I tried other harnesses, but they failed to produce and hits. The best speed was about 1.8 mph. My 2014 charter schedule is now completely booked through the end of this season. I did spend some time yesterday though putting the 2015 schedule on the website and we are actively booking trips for next year. Now is a good time to lock in a prime date for 2015.
8/14/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
At right is a a good depiction of the weatherman after he totally blew the last two day's in a row with his idiotic, completely inaccurate, and downright incompetent marine forecasts. Yesterday he predicted 15 knot winds and it blew in the upper 20s. I had to cancel that trip. Today he predicted winds of 12 to 14 knots, but it blew in the mid 20s. The wind was not too bad early, so we did fish today though and went out to the south of Au Gres and fished there until the wind kicked up to the point where we couldn't safely fish there anymore. We only had a few walleyes in the box up to that point. On the way back, just for kicks, I decided to drop lines right out in front of the Au Gres river and give it a try there where there was some protection form the gusty, northwest wind. We trolled for an hour there and only picked up one walleye, but then I narrowed down a decent area. Every time we went though the area, we picked up a walleye or two and after eight hours of fishing, my customers from Pennsylvania had pulled their limits of walleyes from the white capped waters of the Bay. I was actually shocked when they limited out today as the conditions were so terrible. Luckily, most of the fish we hooked were caught as there were not a lot of "extra" bites to be had today. I only ran one lure today: red/silver harnesses behind bottom bouncers. I ran them about 10' under the surface targeting suspended fish and there were lots of baitfish schools in that area suspended too, which is likely why they were up and feeding there. My speeds were at 1.6 to 1.9 mph and we only got hit when we were quartering with the wind today. Hopefully the wind will die down some tomorrow as it was indeed a tough, arduous day of fish today and it would be nice to get back to some easier fishing.
8/12/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today's weather continued to suck. We still managed to get the trip in and had great success, but the conditions were tough to say the least. First we had a weather delay this morning as we waited to see what some storms on radar were doing. We eventually headed out with a stiff, west wind throwing three footers at us. That wind shifted to the southwest, and then it went northwest, but despite all those rotten wind changes, which usually kill the fishing, we still managed to catch fish. The bite was sporadic but surprisingly steady and we took our limits of nice walleyes in just a few hours of fish. There were a lot of floating weeds all over the Bay today thanks to the high winds that knocked them loose. We had some big storms yesterday evening and all last nigh with over four inches of rain falling on the Au Gres area. The Au Gres River was running high and will likely be even higher tomorrow when the flooding peaks. The wind remained high all day today too. We had a tough time maintaining a good trolling speed and I had to put drift socks in many times to fine tune the speed. I was trying to keep the speed at 1.7 to 1.8 mph. I used the same red/silver harnesses that I've been using all week and they were the ticket today too. We were fishing them about 10' down targeting suspended fish with a short, 20 foot setback. We had several bigger fish pull the boards completely under the water with those short setbacks. We did take some big walleyes today, but we also caught a bunch of eating sized fish too for the perfect mix. Even though the weather was far less than perfect, we still had a great day of fishing on the Bay.
8/11/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had an iffy weather forecast today with storms predicted in the morning, but thanks to modern radar, we were able to determine that the bad weather was not comming twards Au Gres, so we hit the Bay. We had eight customers from all over Michigan and we even had some in the group form Texas and California too. This was a two-boat charter and I partnered with Capt. Bill Carter on this trip. With the bad forecast, we met about an hour earlier than normal and it's a good thing too, because our best fishing was early as we pulled about 10 walleyes in the first hour of fishing. Then the wind shifted from southeast to northeast and the bite slowed down a lot. We still took 40 keeper walleyes though for our 8 customers and managed that impressive haul before noon, well before the bad weather finally got here by about 4:00. Both boats primarily ran the same program of silver/red harnesses pulled about 10' under the surface targeting suspended fish at about 1.7 to 1.8 mph. We caught fish representing many age classes today ranging from 15 to about 25 inches long. Most of our fish today were around 20 inchers. The bite was pretty good today with few fish lost as we had some good fishermen on the rods, which also helped a lot on the good hookup to catch rate. This is some awesome fishing right now and this hot walleye bite is likely to last for the rest of the season with the cool water temperatures. We fished in about 72 degrees (surface temp) today and with the cold front coming though, it will likely cool down further keeping the walleyes in our area. This cool water though, with all the walleyes still here, will keep the perch out of the area and we will not likely have much good perch fishing this year as a result. In the Au Gres area during August, we either have good walleye fishing or good perch fishing. This year it will be all walleyes which is great in my book.
8/10/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing report
My customers from southeast Michigan today certainly caught a pile of walleyes. We had tough fishing conditions again today with constantly switching winds and waves from different directions all morning too, which is always difficult for trolling. We fished the same general area as we fished the last couple days, but for some reason we caught a lot more bigger walleyes today with some real dandies in the mix too. We also caught a couple nice smallmouth bass, which I have never seen taken from that part of the Bay before. I left the same silver/red spinner/crawler rigs that we finished the day with yesterday and never changed them all day as we had steady action from the start of the charter until my customers had caught their limits of 20 nice walleyes. I ran an eight rod spread of those same rigs fishing them all about 10' below the surface targeting suspended fish. These are bottom fishing rigs with heavy bottom bouncers and harnesses designed for bottom fishing too, but they are working so well on those high, suspended fish, that I don't want to change anything. And besides, if that suspended bite were to die, I would be back to targeting bottom dwelling fish with no delay. Trolling speeds of 1.7 to 1.8 seemed most productive today. We trolled in several different directions and caught fish about equally, so the direction we trolled did not mater. The bite was fairly light as most of the fish were barely hooked and we lost a lot of fish as a result. A cold front is predicted to come through Michigan tomorrow, so that might change things up for us, but there are tons of shiners up high in that area, so this hot bite just might continue there despite a big change in the weather.
8/9/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had another beautiful day on Saginaw Bay again today with light winds, blue skies and lots of walleyes on the lines. We went out to an area today close to where we caught them good yesterday and set lines with the same rigs set 20 feet behind the boards targeting suspended fish. We weren't disappointed either as we had stead action all morning and took a four man limit of nice walleyes in about five hours of fishing. The bite was not quite as fast and furious as it was at the end of yesterday's charter, but it was good fishing none-the-less. Today the fish were pickier about what they would bite. I could only get hits on harnesses with silver blades and the trolling speed was best at about 1.7 mph. Tomorrow is also predicted to be a very nice weather day and if that prediction comes true, then the bite should remain consistent and good. I only have a couple open dates left on my 2014 charter calendar, so if you want to get in on this hot action, booking soon would certainly be advised as we will likely be booked up completely soon.
8/8/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a gorgeous day today on Saginaw Bay. The wind stayed easterly all day, but it was light and the waves were about one foot, which was about perfect for trolling. We first went out to the area where we had limited out yesterday, but the bite there was slow and we only took four keepers in the first three hours of fishing. We then pulled lines and headed to another spot and set lines, but the fish were up higher there, so I just set the same bottom/bouncer rigs with spinner/crawlers just 18 feet behind the boards and went to town with some fast and furious action until my customers from both southern and northern Michigan caught a nice limit of walleyes. The fish ranged in size from 15 to 23 inches and they hit every pattern I had in the water as long as it was about 10' under the surface. I trolled at about 1.8 to 1.9 mph and the bite was hard enough where we didn't loose many fish too, which was nice. My customers had a blast today as they had never seen this type of quality walleye fishing before on the Bay. I have not fished for suspended walleyes much this year, but this fishing area had them up off bottom feeding on shiners. Normally, spoons, crankbaits or harnesses with inline weights would have worked better in that situation, but I honestly did not have time to change anything up as the action was non-stop once I figured out the depth they were at, so I just kept the same bottom rigs on there and they worked just fine even up high.
8/7/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a slow day of fishing yesterday, we decided to try a new area about 10 miles from where we had been fishing all week. My customers from Shelby, Michigan had never fished on the Bay before, so they were happy to see the nice weather this morning. The winds though were once again problematic and ever changing, which walleyes usually don't like. First we had northwest winds, then it shifted to the north and then it picked up significantly and went northeast with building waves that topped four feet on the way in. The weatherman had predicted one-foot waves so he was so wrong once again. We set up in deep water trolling with the wind and caught eight fish on the first pass with slow but steady action. We made another pass with the wind in another direction over some new water and continued the slow pick taking my customer's limits along with a couple bonus yellow perch too. I also caught a couple walleyes for dinner for myself and just finished a blackened walleye supper that was fit for a king and I plan on eating a sandwich from the leftovers too which should be awesome too. We trolled with spinner/crawler rigs all morning pulling them close to the bottom. They wanted the trolling speed at 1.4 to 1.5 mph today and the bite was light. Red/silver harnesses were best early, then fire/tiger was better on the second trolling pass. We marked a lot of fish in the area fished today, so if the winds are consistent tomorrow, it should be a good day of walleye fishing there in the morning.
8/5/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a great day of fishing on Saginaw Bay today, but let me set up this awesome day with all the details. I woke up this Moring at 4:00 waking from thunder and lightning with heavy rains pelting down. I couldn't get back to sleep after that and at 6:00, my normal wake-up time, I got up and the first thing I did was look at the radar on my phone. Storms were making their way around the state, but it looked like things were breaking up to the west, so I went through my morning routine of eating a bowl of cereal and then prepping the boat inside the barn while it still rained. I met my customers at H&H at 7:00 and by then it was clearing out nicely with storms moving away from the Bay. We Hit the water by 7:30 and, with a northeast wind, I pointed my boat north of where we had found fish yesterday for a down wind troll about two miles north of where we found the most fish yesterday. It didn't take long before we started to hook up with walleyes and in the first hour we landed a dozen keepers, but then the wind switched to the east and then shifted to the southeast, which temporarily slowed the walleye bite. Eventually though we trolled into some more active fish and limited out with a nice box of walleyes for my customers from St. Helen, MI and Texas who are camping for the week at Point Au Gres. The best part is that I even got in on the action and caught some fish for myself too, which didn't take too long for me to take my limit too. It was like night and day comparing today's bite to the past few days. My customers had limited out in just a couple hours of fishing today mainly because the wind never died down completely like has done for many straight days. We used the same spinner/crawler rigs as yesterday at the same 1.8 to 2.0 mph speeds with no real spinner pattern preference noted. The best part of the day though was my supper that I just finished. First I picked some fresh green beans from my garden and started them boiling letting them cook for 15 minutes. Then I drained the water and added some butter, minced onions and some Montréal Steak Seasoning and let it set. I took two of the fillets off the smaller fish and washed and dried them on paper towels. Then I beat an egg and put some Italian bread crumbs on a plate. I fired up a frying pan with 1/4" of corn oil in it until is was smoking hot and put the egg washed, bread crumb coated fillets into the hot oil for a few minutes on each side and sprinkled them after flipping them with a little of that same Montreal Steak Seasoning. After draining the fillets in paper towels, I platted a fillet next to a pile of green beans. I also made some home-made tarter sauce by mixing Ranch dressing, Miracle Whip, dill relish and Dijon mustard. If there is any food better than what I had today, I have not eaten it. Washing the meal down with an ice-cold beer didn't hurt either. Tomorrow, I plan to have blackened walleye, so stay tuned for that one as it is also one of my favorites too.
8/4/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I can thank the "Pure Michigan" ad campaign for today's charter. My customers were from Buffalo, NY and they saw one of those TV ads, went to the Pure Michigan website and with a fishing interest ended up linking up with the trophyspecialists.com website and planned their vacation around a fishing trip with me today. I listed my business on that Pure Michigan site many years ago and have gotten a quite a few bookings as a result. Renting a cottage on a scenic, sandy beach overlooking the Charity Islands and the Gravely Shoal lighthouse is certainly a nice backdrop for a fun, relaxing vacation. We actually ended up fishing near those islands too and my customers enjoyed some fine walleye fishing catching all the fish they wanted on a beautiful day on the Bay indeed. I've had some fun folks fishing me all year, but today my NY customers seemed to be on "fun overdrive." I don't think that I saw anything but smiles on their faces all day. Even during the fish cleaning process, those happy faces beamed on. We pulled meat at a clip of about 1.8 to 2.0 mph. Fire/tiger and red/silver got lots of hits today. The conditions today were actually pretty tough with a south wind shifting west, then north/west, then it went dead calm. Eventually an east breeze came up about the time we headed in. To add insult to injury, the sun kept popping in and out of the clouds and the bite was predictably sporadic and light with lots of fish lost all day. We just kept picking away at them tough until we had put 18 walleyes in the box and then my customers decided to head in even though we had a couple more hours left with the charter even though we had plenty of time left on the charter to have certainly limited out had we persisted for a short time longer. It's all about having an enjoyable time on the bay with my charters and today it was mission accomplished.
8/3/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had a group of brothers from the Brighton and Grass Lake area who were given a father's day gift of a fishing charter by their spouses. We had some tough fishing conditions today, but still managed a good catch of walleyes. I went to my plan A spot and it was dead calm there a big bug hatch going on, so we never even wet a line there. We then headed for my plan B spot, but heavy fog came up and it took us almost an hour to reach that spot as we could only run slowly to be safe. Unfortunately, we trolled in that spot for about 30 minutes without a bite, so we pulled lines and ran to my plan C spot. We started catching walleyes right away there and had one hour of steady action until the sun popped out and the bite slowed up. We plugged away at it and caught 16 walleyes and threw back five at that spot in about two hours of fishing. We quite early at my customers request because they had caught what they felt was enough fish, especially since they came on motorcycles and couldn't carry allot of fish home. We pulled meat today behind bottom bouncers with trolling speeds of 1.7-1.8 mph being best. Spinner pattern didn't seem to mater much as they hit everything about equally. Our fish today were all 15 to 22 inches which are perfect eating sized walleyes. We had one northern pike on, but it managed to bite off the harness.
8/2/2104, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had the day off today so I could attend a Veine family reunion at Manistee. We did fish yesterday though and my customers from western Ohio and eastern Pennsylvania caught their limits of nice walleyes with trophy size fish in the catch for good measure. We fished the same general area where we have been fishing all week and the bite was tough as it took almost seven hours to complete their limit catch. We were marking a lot of fish on the bottom in that area, and we had to troll slow and put spinner/crawler rigs right in their faces to get the job done. A lot of the hits were barley perceptible as the fish just latched on and didn't pull at all until they started reeling them in. Plenty of fish were lost too due to the light bite. Red/silver and fire/tiger spinners were best. Our trolling speed had to at 1.3 for best results.
7/31/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My charter customers today came all the way form China and are vacationing in the beautiful Au Gres area for the week. The weather today was predicted to be cloudy with a light wind, but reality served up mostly clear skies with a stiff southwest wind. When we first ran out, the wind was fairly light, and before I could even get all my lines in the water, we had three fish on and landed them all. Shortly thereafter though, the wind cranked up and the bite died down quickly. Then we had a couple hours of extremely slow action, but eventually, the walleyes got used to the abrupt wind change and started hitting again. I had two young kids on the boat today that had a ball reeling in some dandy walleyes, but eventually they got wore out and it was time to call it a day, but not before we had amassed a nice box of walleyes. These customers have never had walleye before, so they are in for a real treat as the Bay's walleyes are in my opinion, the best eating fish I've ever eaten. We caught the finicky fish trolling very slow again today with spinner/crawler rigs and bottom bouncers. Speeds of 1.2 to 1.4 mph were best. Harness pattern was not an issue though as they hit everything I had in the water, but the bite was very light and we lost our share of fish as a result. All in all though, everyone had a good time and it was another great day on the Bay.
7/30/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a tough bite on the Bay today. There was a Northwest wind when we first headed out, but that wind died down completely and the bite was slow all day. My customers from Chicago, IL and Grand Rapids MI never gave up though and picked away at them with the end result being their limits of 20 nice walleyes to take with them and eat for the rest of their vacation in Tawas where they are staying for the week. The bite was incredibly light today as we likely lost more fish than we caught. They would barely pick up the lure and would spit it out over and over. To get the totally lethargic fish to bite, I had to troll with speeds under 1.5 mph being necessary today to get any bites at all. When you troll that slow though, it usually means that you will loose more fish though due to poor hookups, which we certainly experienced. It took nearly the whole duration of the eight hour trip to limit out, and much of the action was in the later half of the trip, so today the eight hour option really paid off. We trolled with spinner/crawler rigs behind bottom bouncers and color did not seem to make much difference today as they hit a variety of colors about equally. It's frustrating fishing like today when you mark tons of fish every where you go and can't seem to get a good bite going, but thankfully it was a beautiful day to be on the water, so it was still a very enjoyable trip indeed.
7/29/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My long time, repeat customers from Missouri today had booked two days, yesterday and today, but the high winds on Monday forced a cancelation leaving them only one day on the water. The big blow over the last couple days likely caused the fish to move from the area I had been fishing the last two weeds, so we headed to another area, about 12 miles from the other spot. This area of the Bay is usually good one for post cold front fishing where the winds tend to pile up warmer water that attracts both baitfish and walleyes. We set lines though with a bit of apprehension, but the many marks on my fish finder was certainly reassuring. That apprehension was quickly erased as we caught 14 walleyes, all keepers, on the first trolling pass through the area in about 1.5 hours of fishing. When we ran back up for another pass though, the sun popped out and the wind died down a lot, and the fish shut down abruptly. After that it was a slow pick, but we did manage to limit out with a nice box of walleyes of all sizes. We never caught any undersized walleyes today, so all our fish were good sized. We caught all of our fish on meat today putting everything in their faces near bottom where most of the fish marks were located. A trolling speed of 1.5 to 1.7 mph was best and fire/tiger harnesses produced best. I only have a few open dates left for the rest of the season and they are going fast, so if you want to get in on this action, it would be wise to call now.
7/27/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers today were from the Grand Rapids area. These were the same folks that fished with me two weeks ago on the only charter of the year where we did not limit out. They caught 15 fish on that trip in very tough conditions which was not too bad. They were a bit apprehensive today as the weather was certainly not ideal for walleye fishing. We had storms going though Michigan all day today, but thanks to modern radar, we had a gap in the bad weather this morning where we had five or so hour to fish, so we went after those walleyes with a vengeance. Unfortunately it started out a little slow at first, but eventually the wind picked up a little and the fish turned on and my customers then quickly caught their limits of nice walleyes with one bonus jumbo perch too, having a blast in the process. Our limit catch was especially satisfying due to the tough conditions. I stuck with the same tough-bite presentation that works so constantly on the Bay: Spinner/crawler rigs rolled behind bottom bouncers. We had to keep the speed up close to 2.0 mph this morning to keep the sheephead, catfish and white perch from pestering us. Faster trolling speeds during late July and August are normal for that reason. We had some huge storms roll though the area this afternoon with winds over 50 mph and lots of lightning. The wind is predicted to blow pretty hard tomorrow as small-craft warnings have already been posted by the National Weather Service for the whole day. I'll likely have the day off the water tomorrow, which will give me a chance to complete an article that is due this week.
7/26/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers from Vicksburg, Michigan today were tested to the max but eventually, they were rewarded with limit catches of nice walleyes. We had a long weather delay this moring as a couple storms came though and it looked like the day was lost, but eventually the storms dissipated or passed by and we were able to head out for an afternoon of fishing. As we ran out the wind was blowing pretty good from the south, but when we got out to the fishing area it died down to dead calm. Walleyes don't like wind changes like that, so the bite was very slow for the first few hours of the trip. Eventually though the fish turned on and we had one hour of fast paced action, but then the wind kicked up again and the bite suddenly died. We stuck with it though and eventually picked away at them and filled limits, but it took nearly eight hour of fishing to succeed today with the tough bite. We got back late in the evening just in time to miss another storm that was brewing. We pulled meat behind bottom bouncers exclusively because in those tough conditions, it was the best bet. Trolling speeds of 1.8 to 1.9 mph were best. Any slower or any faster and the bites dried up completely. When the weather, and especially the wind is stabile and steady, the walleye fishing is best, but we didn't have those conditions at all today, but my customers still managed to have a blast catching a cooler full of walleyes along with a couple nice channel cats as a bonus.
7/25/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had some interesting folks out on the Bay today indeed. A career Army retiree who served in both Korea and Vietnam was our senior fisherman. He hailed form Texas, but his family that joined him and set the trip up was from the Perry, MI area. We had fairly calm conditions early this morning, so the ride out was a quick one. Once we got set up though , the wind switched from a light south breeze to a 15 knots wind from the southwest. Then the wind died down some and then it switched to the west and picked up steam hitting the upper teens. All those wind changes kept the bite on the moderate side despite the fact that we had a lot of walleyes in the area. We still managed to pull limits of nice walleyes though in about five hours on the water. With the finicky bite, I stuck with an all spinner/crawler rig program pulling the meat at 1.7 to 2.0 mph. Color did not seem to mater much today as all patterns in the water were hit about equally. When my customers today told me about he horror story their experienced on their last Saginaw Bay charter with another captain, it was nice to hear that they wanted to come back with me next year.
7/24/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
It's a good thing my customers booked an 8-hour charter today because the first five hour of the trip were extremely slow, but the last couple hours saw Saginaw Bay cough up over 20 nice walleyes. My customers were from Chelsea, Michigan today. In fact, some of them live less than a few miles from me, yet I had never met them before. The Chelsea crew brought along a fourth person from Ohio too. The morning started off with a lot more wind than was predicted. In fact, the wind really blew all day yesterday and last night too from the northeast. Right about the time we launched the wind shifted though to the northwest. We ran out in rollers from the NE with the wind blowing at about 15 knots from the NW. as we got out into the bay further though, the wind shifted more to the north. When I got to where I wanted to fish, the water temperature had dropped five degrees since Tuesday, so I motored south about a mile and the temp started to creep up, so we set lines there and started a long trolling pass heading south. We caught a couple walleyes right away, but then the action died right when the wind died down to almost dead calm. We then trolled for hours only taking a couple more walleyes. We did catch two jumbo smallmouth bass though. I measured the first one and it was 22" and likely weighed close to five-pounds. The second one might have been slightly smaller, but it too was a trophy class bass. Eventually, at about noon, the walleyes turned on and we had non-stop action until we filled a five man limit. The Hot N' Tots that produced so well on Tuesday did not take one walleye today, so I put out a spread of all spinner/crawler rigs fished near bottom using bottom bouncers to counteract the tough bite. The best color early was fire/tiger, but later they really went after silver spinners big time. Trolling speeds of 1.8 to 1.9 mph did most of the damage and the fish seemed to bite best when I was making turns on both the port and starboard sides. They are predicting a light southerly wind for tomorrow, so if that prediction comes true, the fishing should be outstanding.
7/22/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today was a lot like yesterday: I had the same group today as yesterday, we went to the same area, set lines in about the same spot, fished the same line and limited out pulling lines in about the same spot as yesterday too. The only differences was that we caught bigger fish today, I ran some Hot N' Tots which took some of our biggest fish, and we also had a lot more wind today too. We had bumpy rides out and back and basically had three-footers all morning to deal with. We fished the Hot N' Tots up high on the outer boards and the spinner/crawler/bottom-bouncer rigs down low on the inside boards and two flat lines. We trolled with the stiff wind and rolling seas surging with the waves at 1.5 to 2.2 mph. The wind was up to about 20 knots early, but then it did die down to about 15 knots towards the end of the trip. Our best spinner color today was fire-tiger and I ran my home painted Tots that are well chewed on and are chrome and green color with a red eyes. With all the wind, the Tots did produce better than the crawlers today.
7/21/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had about perfect walleye fishing conditions today. A 5-10 mph southerly wind put a nice walleye chop on the water and the warm, sunny conditions with the cool breeze made for a pleasant morning all around with lots of walleye action. My charter party today was from Martinsville, Indiana. They had fished for salmon with me many times before, but had never tried for walleyes on my boat before, so this was their first time on the Bay. We ran to where we left off yesterday, but that hot spot had cooled down a bit so we just continued to fish northward trolling with the wind all the way. Eventually we started to take more hits and we limited out on nice walleyes in a few hours of fishing. Silver/red spinner/crawler rigs did a lot of damage to the walleyes today and trolling at 1.8 to 2.0 mph going with the waves was the hot ticket. We only caught a few small walleyes today and all the rest were those prime eating sized ones that make for fine meals. The last time I checked, walleye filets are selling for about $20 per pound at the supermarket and those filets come with the skin on them which should be removed by prudent cooks. When we fill the box up with walleyes like we usually do, the high value of the walleye filets can really offset the cost of the charter. In fact, H&H Bakery and Restaurant in Au Gres will cook up your fresh charter fishing catch along with side dishes for a very reasonable price and H&H really knows how to cook up walleye too. Many of my customers have taken advantage of this "Catch and Cook program and everybody that has done so at H&H has have rave reviews. I have the same party fishing with me tomorrow and the weather forecast is also very similar to today, so they should get to experience two world class days of walleye fishing on Saginaw Bay.
7/20/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had another gorgeous day of the Bay today for my customers hailing form Pennsylvania. It was the first time they had fished on Saginaw Bay, but I doubt that it will be their last. We started out heading back to the same location where we fished the last few trips and started catching fish right away, but then the wind died down and the sun popped out of the clouds and the bite slowed to a snail's pace. Eventually though a friend of mine that I share fishing information with a lot called me on the cell phone telling me that he had trolled into some active fish, so we pulled lines and ran towards that location. We set down about one mile form him and we were the only boats in sight in that area. We immediately started to hook up with walleyes with four on at one time to start things off there. It only took us about a half hour there to fill out our limit of 20 walleyes. A close-to-bottom presentation of spinner/crawler rigs was the hot ticket today again. Crank baits were not working nearly as well. The color of the harness was immaterial as they hit all of the patterns I ran, but a trolling speed in the 1.7 to 1.9 mph range was definitely preferred. This nice weather pattern is predicted to last for another couple days, with a bit more wind tomorrow, so the bite on Monday and Tuesday should be phenomenal as walleyes sure do like a nice "walleye chop".
7/19/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had some customers today from Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was their first time fishing on Saginaw Bay and it will be a day they remember for a long, long time to come. We had mostly clear skies this morning with a light east wind, but for the most part it was pretty calm. We ran out to the spot were we fished yesterday and set up in the same location as yesterday and trolled along the same line. We started catching walleyes right off the bat and it was non-stop action until we limited out on good eating sized walleyes that ranged from 15 to 21 inches. We never did turn the boat all morning while we were fishing. I just set the autopilot in one direction and trolled for about four miles in one direction never running out of fish. They also caught a nice catfish too, but that was the only non-walleye taken this morning. We ran the same program as yesterday with spinner crawler rigs trolled near bottom at 1.8 -1.9 mph. The faster speeds keep the non-target fish off the lines, but the walleyes are now willing to chase down a faster meal. Like yesterday, when we reached our limits, I still had a couple lines left in the water, so I bumped the speed up to 3.5 mph to keep more fish from hitting, but a walleye still grabbed one of the lures even at that scorching speed. Silver/red and chartreuse/orange harnesses were both working wonders today. The next days to come will likely serve up similar, world class walleye fishing as the stable weather pattern usually keeps the bite going big time.
7/18/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The walleye fishing on Saginaw Bay continues to be red-hot as limit catches were taken on my last two trips. With the first really nice, long range weather forecast so far this summer, this next week or two should serve up some of the best fishing of the year as walleyes bite best during stabile weather patterns. Today we ventured onto the Bay with clear, blue skies and light westerly winds. A perfect fishing day indeed. We motored out at a good clip and got to our fishing spot in short order under the power of my new Mercury FourStroke motor which has been running flawlessly since it was installed this spring. We set a light spread of just six rods and had non-stop action all morning until we maxed out with our limits of beautiful walleyes. The walleyes seemed to want a faster trolling speed today as we caught our fish buzzing along at 1.8 to 1.9 mph. After we limited out, I bumped the speed up to 3.5 mph so we could pull the remaining lines without hooking any more fish. It didn't work though as even at that scorching speed we still managed to hook yet another walleye, but that fish was lucky as it was quickly released. We ran all spinner/crawler rigs and no particular pattern was preferred as they hit everything about equally. The best action came off the Church Tackle planer boards though and the outside boards were hit more than the inner boards today for some reason (likely due to bright sunshine on calm water). I only have one more open date during July (7/23) and my August dates are also going fast too with only a handful of openings left for the season. If you want to fish with me this year, it is advisable to book your trip soon before all my available dates are snapped up. Even if you can't go this year, keep in mind that next year will likely serve up even better fishing on Saginaw Bay as we have seen evidence that the fishery still has not peaked out.
7/14/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
It's not unusual for the weatherman to be wrong, and he certainly was today, but for Monday the forecast had predicted stormy weather when I looked at it yesterday, but instead it turned out beautiful. It started out a little rough for the ride out, but the winds died down by 9:00 and after that it was absolutely gorgeous with lots of sunshine, a nice gentle breeze and plenty of walleyes biting on our lures. We went back to the same area where we left off yesterday, but had to troll in nearly the opposite direction due to the southeast winds today (west yesterday), so we set up south of the area where we had our best luck yesterday so we could troll downwind into the fish. We started taking some sporadic action though right off the bat though with four fish on at the same time to start things off, however three of them got off and the one landed was undersized. That's the way it went for the first hour of fishing: We would troll into a school of fish, hook multiples and loose most of them. When the wind died down though, the bite improved and we started landing more walleyes than were lost and my customers from Canton, MI had a blast limiting out on a nice mess of walleyes and also one, big catfish too. I tried to run some Hot N' Tots today, but had no takers on them, so all our fish were caught on spinner/crawler rigs trolled near bottom at trolling speeds of 1.7 to 1.9 mph. Our best rod was a flatline (no planer board) fished right off the port gunnel. For some reason that one rod caught probably half of our fish today even though I had three other identical silver/red harnesses fishing at the same depth. Sometimes walleyes can be finicky as they were today and sometimes when the weatherman is wrong, it isn't so bad after all.
7/13/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today was a perfect example of why booking eight-hour charters is often the difference between success and failure. In the first half of the trip, only one walleye was caught, while 14 more were caught in the later half of the trip. We first went out to the same area where we had good success yesterday morning, but the fish had moved out of that area. We then tried another spot a few miles away from there and no fish were found there either. We then picked up once again and tried another spot yet another spot with no luck. We finally found some active fish in the fifth spot we fished five hours into the trip. The bite there was red hot for the hour, but then the shifted and picked up a lot and the bite shut down abruptly. This unstable weather we are experiencing makes for very tough fishing conditions. Combine that with the Bay's walleyes tendency to migrate a lot during July and August and it often takes a lot of time and patents to find active fish every day. Anglers that book eight-hour trips really up their odds for success at this time of the year. The way I look at it, charter customers that book eight-hour charters with me are serious about putting fish in the boat, whereas half-day charter customers are more interested in just having some fun fishing without too much concern for how many fish they catch. Today we caught all our fish on spinner/crawler rigs trolled within two feet of bottom. No pattern was best as we caught fish about equally on the two consistently good patterns that I ran all day. Faster trolling speeds of 1.7 to 1.9 mph were best today.
7/12/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I'm really sounding like a broken record, but my customers from Clarkston, MI enjoyed a beautiful day of walleye fishing on the Bay today and not only caught their limits of nice walleyes, but they also caught more fish today than they ever caught before. On about every charter my customers ask how the fishing has been and I reply that we have limited out on every charter so far this year and then I ask them if they can please keep my streak going and they always are optimistic then. This has been the best fishing I've ever experience this year. Taking limits on every charter when you fish just about every day is off-the-charts, fantastic fishing. We started out with some red-hot action this morning catching five quick walleyes, then heavy fishing pressure in that spot shut the bite down quickly. We then pulled lines and ran to another area where no other boats were fishing and really got into a hot bite until limits were caught. A lot of fishermen are of the mentality that you must fish where others are fishing becaue others "must be catching fish", but with this light bite and finicky, spooky fish right not, that is a poor strategy. Right now, fishing where there are few boats is the ticket. Most of the other anglers out of Au Gres today did not even come close to limiting out, we we did so I guess my strategy worked well. About all the fish I marked today were very close to the bottom, so we put the lures right in their faces and slowly trolled crawler harnesses by enough fish and picked up the stupid ones. Again, Fire-Tiger harnesses were best and a trolling speed of 1.4 mph seemed to put the most fish on the line. We only did good trolling from south to north today as any other direction did not produce nearly as well. The walleyes were especially fussy today. Most of out walleyes today were in the 18 to 20 inch range but we did take a few bigger ones and some smaller eyes too although only a few were under 17 inches. For the second time this year I was told by someone that I smelled like fish. The first time was by a female attendant at the convenience store and it was a true insult. Today though another fisherman told me I smelled like fish and wanted to know all the details of my trip, so in that case it was a complement. It just goes to show you that smelling like fish means different things to different people. My dog likes me better though when I smell like fish. After showering, I have now returned to a clean smell that probably won't draw any comments at all and my dog turned his nose up at me.
7/11/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers from Dearborn, MI experienced a beautiful weather day today with blue skies and light winds. The problem was that the winds blew pretty hard all night long and died down abruptly right at about 7:00 a.m. when he hit the water. The wind then shifted from west to south. When the winds die and charge directions like that, it often slows the bite down and it did just that. Anyplace else but Saginaw Bay and the bite would have been considered fantastic, but for Saginaw Bay standards, it was a somewhat slow day. It took my customers almost all of of their half-day charter to limit out and I even got some fresh fish for dinner today too from my limit. We headed to where we fished yesterday, and the extremely slow bite there prompted me to pull lines and check a couple close by spots that ended up being void of fish. I passed over those spots and just used my sonar to evaluate the fish numbers. Seeing few fish, we motored on without wasting time setting lines. Our first spot had lots of fish there as shown by my sonar, but they just wouldn't bite accept for occasionally. We headed back to a fourth spot where we briefly fished yesterday and didn't have any luck. As luck would have it, the fish were biting at that spot, and we hauled up about 10 fish in about a half-hour and then that bite suddenly died. A bunch of other boats evidently spotted us catching fish there and moved in on us like locusts likely disrupting the bite. Once we were forced to leave that spot, the bite just stayed slow. This is why I just won't post any fishing locations any more this year as a lot of people have no respect for other anglers space. All our fish today came on bottom bouncers pulling crawler harnesses. Fire-tiger was best. The best speed seemed to be somewhat fast at 1.6 to 1.7 mph. I tried to target higher fish, but had no takers at all today. On the bright side, I had another delicious meal today featuring pan friend walleyes smothered in morel mushroom sauce. I dipped the filets though an egg wash, then coated them with bread crumbs and than fried them until golden brown. The sauce consisted of rehydrated morels sautéed with garlic and onions in butter and then thickened with flour along with adding the rehydration sauce and some milk. The sauce was poured over the filets and served with a side of steamed broccoli and washed down with a Labatt beer. I had some smoked salmon as an appetizer too so I'm certainly eating well these days.
7/10/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers had an enjoyable trip today taking their limits of some real nice walleyes. We had blue skies, and a moderate breeze putting a nice "walleye" chop on the water. We had slow action for the first hour of the trip, but after that it was game on as we had steady action with lots of multiple fish on at the same time. Because of the slow start, it took us a bit longer than normal this year to fill up the cooler with fish, but no body was complaining. My party today consisted of a active duty Army officer with his two middle-school aged sons. They are originally from Michigan and are in the process of moving from Alaska to Pennsylvania. They were accompanied by their Grandfather from the Lansing area. They had a gentleman's competition on who would catch the biggest walleye. At first the grandkids each caught some nice sized fish and were winning, but then the father caught an even bigger one, but eventually their grandfather topped them all with a lunker of a walleye (see photo). I even got in on the action today and took my limit too and just got done with a scrumptious gilled walleye dinner with moral mushrooms over rice on the side all washed down with Labatt beer. It doesn't get much better than that. All our fish today came on spinner/crawler rigs pulled behind bottom bouncers down near bottom. Fire-tiger patterns seemed to work best today. I did mark some smaller fish up higher today, and tried to target them for a while, but all I got was dinky walleyes up high. Trolling speeds of 1.4 to 1.6 seemed to work best today. The walleyes today were not biting very good early on. I was marking a ton of fish early, but they just wouldn't bite. We were patient though and just stayed over them until they turned on. We concentrated on deeper water today and were rewarded bit time.
7/9/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After three days off the water due to high winds and stormy weather, we tackled Saginaw Bay today unsure of what to expect. When we motored out past the Au Gres Jetties, the water temperature read just 62 degrees. The water temperature there had plummeted 10 degrees since my last charter. Walleyes on the Bay will migrate to warmer water in those conditions, so we headed south around Pt. Au Gres and continued in that directions in shallow water inside the many trap nets in that area. We crossed several harsh temperature breaks along the way, but eventually, when the water hit close to 70 degrees I started marking fish on the bottom, so I cut the big motor, fired up my Mercury 9.9 Pro Kicker and readied things for some trolling activity. Unfortunately, the wind was howling pretty stiff from the west at over 15 knots, so with those winds, the only option was to troll with the wind. I pointed the boat eastward and started trolling with a eight rod spread of spinner/crawlers rigs. We trolled in that direction from under 20 feet of water to over 30 feet of water, weaving through the nets and covering about five miles of water in one direction without ever turning around and we never went more than five minutes without hooking up with walleyes along that whole route. The action was extremely steady, but not overwhelming as we never hooked more than two fish at one time. The walleyes were scattered but 99 percent of them were near the bottom. The bite was fairly light too with lots of fish lost due to the lethargic mood of those post cold front walleyes. None-the-less, my customers from Atlanta and Waterford, MI had a ball catching their limits of nice walleyes. The walleyes ranged in size from three inches to about 24 inches long with many year classes of fish well represented. We also caught one large yellow perch too. Since I missed much of the moral mushroom season this spring, my long time customers today was nice enough to bring me a bag of dried morals, which was awesome. For dinner today I rehydrated the mushrooms and sautéed them in butter with some onions. I made gravy by adding the rehydration sauce and flour to the mushrooms/onions/butter and put that over hash browns and steamed broccoli. Served next to a juicy venison burger, it made a meal fit for a king and I had smoked salmon for desert too.
7/5/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had beautiful days on Saginaw Bay the last two days and we maintained my 100% success rate for customers limiting out on every completed charter this year as both trips maxed out. I had four man charters both of the last two days, so we certainly caught a lot of walleyes over the Fourth. Yesterday we fished on the west side of the Bay, but today we ventured over to the east side and found about equal fishing at both vast locations where we covered many square miles of water each day. The fish are still scattered and numerous holding in deep water near the bottom during the daylight hours. We caught all our fish on bottom-bouncer/spinner/crawler rigs fished down and dirty near the bottom. Trolling speeds under 1.6 mph were best as anything more than that resulted in boring trolling with few bites. We caught fish of all sizes the last two days too, with year classes from one to five+ being well represented. We also caught one catfish each of the last two days: Today's catfish weight well over 10 pounds. We also caught one yellow perch each trip too. We are still pulling the same varied spinner patterns and they are not showing any preference on color much that I can tell. The key is to put in in their faces at the correct speed for success.
7/3/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a few days off the water we nicely got back into the fish again today fishing a new spot. Evidently the commercial fishermen have moved or removed a bunch of their trap nets, so we set up in about 24 feet of water in the area where just a couple weeks ago was littered with nets. It was raining off and on for the first couple hours of the charter and the fishing was fairly slow as we only took about five keeper walleyes per hour then. In the last hour of the trip though the bite picked up and my customers limited on with walleyes mostly in the 19 to 21 inch range. They also caught some nice yellow perch too which were about 9-10 inches long. Most of the fish were tight to the bottom today so we stuck with the bottom-bouncer/spinner/crawler trolling program that we have been using a lot this year. I marked a few fish up higher in the water column today, but I'd estimate that only 1/10, of one percent of the fish were up off the bottom more than two feet today. I did not see any color preference today as all of my harnesses got hit about equally. I'm using natural silvers to bright florescent colors all with #3 Colorado blades and no more than a three inch crawler (half of a big crawler or a full smaller crawler with the tail thrown away). Trolling speed was also not real critical today as we caught fish at 1.0 to 1.8 mph as the variable and swirling winds causes my speed to fluctuate a lot. I also trolled both with and into the wind with good success both ways. My customers today were from the Atlanta, MI area. He brought something on the boat that I had never had before, smoked venison tenderloin (filet menyon). It was seriously delicious. It had been about 15 years since they fished with me before on Saginaw Bay. With this outstanding fishing we have here now, I doubt it will be that before his return trip. In fact, with the nice perch he saw today, he is considering a late summer perch trip this year.
6/30/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We closed out the month of June maintaining my 100% success rate on limit catches for my customers for the year. I had a group of repeat customers today that are some pretty good fishermen. We ran way south this morning and trolled back towards Au Gres in one, long trolling pass going with the wind over about five miles of water. The winds varied from 15 to 20+ knots this morning, so we had mostly three footers on the Bay, so trolling with the wind was the only, practical option. Right after I set lines, we got into a good bite taking a dozen good keeper walleyes in the first hour of fishing. After that though, the wind shifted to the south and the bite slowed to a catch rate of about five keepers per hour and when the bite slowed, we started to loose more fish too, which is norma, but no big deal on the Bay as a lost fish is quickly replaced with another fish. All the fish I saw on my sonar were tight to the bottom, so we trolled with the only logical choice in those conditions; all meat presented near bottom. I ran my typical spread with six Church Tackle Walleye Boards and also two flat lines right off the gunnels. No color preference was shown today as the walleyes bit all my harnesses about equally. My harness patterns ranged from natural silver blades to bright chartreuse and florescent orange patterns. Slow trolling speeds at 1.3 to 1.5 mph were best. We marked fish along a six mile stretch of water today, so the walleyes are very wide spread and super abundant in many year classes. We caught walleyes from four inches up to 20+ inches. There are a dozen year classes of walleyes that are showing up in the catch daily, which bodes well for the fishery. Taking limit catches on every single completed charter this year certainly demonstrates the world class walleye fishery Saginaw Bay is now serving up. This has been the best walleye fishing I've ever experienced, bar none.
6/29/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weatherman had his head up his butt once again today as their predicted nine knot winds and storms in the afternoon were completely and utterly wrong. The winds were strong and steady all morning in the 18+ knot range and we had storms sweeping through the area from 7:00 through 8:00 a.m. and then again not long after noon. We had to fish in two to three foot waves today, which is certainly not ideal. Thankfully the morning storms missed us so we quickly set up for a troll short close to port just to play it safe in case one of the storms changed course. We only took a few walleyes in that first hour, so when the skies cleared up some, we picked up and moved to a different, more distant spot where we had good success a few days ago. We marked a lot of fish on the bottom seemingly everywhere we went, but the walleyes today were not biting good at all. We picked away at them steadily though and right when we decided to pull lines and call it a day, we hooked up with a triple header which limited out my customers. We also caught one nice yellow perch as a bonus too. The walleyes ran on the smaller side today with only one good sized fish all morning with the rest being just good eating size. It's typical when the fish aren't biting good that the catch will often be dominated by smaller fish. We caught all our fish today trolling spinner/crawler rigs near bottom with a slow trolling speed under 1.5 mph being best. The fish were very lethargic today with light bites and lots of lost fish as a result. This was likely the slowest bite we've had on over a month, but on Saginaw Bay these days, even a slow day here is better than an awesome day of walleye fishing elsewhere.
6/28/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had the heaviest fishing pressure I've seen in years today out of Au Gres. I ended up running to a spot I hadn't fished a while in an attempt to avoid the "crowds.". Unfortunately even at this distant spot, there were still a bunch of other boats in that area too. We started a bit earlier than normal today to avoid the tournament crowd at the launch, however the tournament organizers changed the start time at the last minute so we still ended up waiting in line at the ramp which sucked. The first hour or so of fishing was a bit slow as I am firmly of the opinion that walleyes do not bite real good early in the morning on the Bay. Eventually though, the walleyes started hitting better and better as the morning wore on and my customers from Martinsville, Indiana pulled in an impressive, four man limit catch of walleyes with several fish in the 26 inches range, but they also caught a some smaller eating sized fish too for a good mix. The fish were still holding tight to bottom, so we ran an eight rod spread of all spinner/crawler rigs with bottom bouncers. That spread consisted of six lines run off to the sides of the boat using Church Tackle Walleye Boards. We also ran two flat lines right off the gunnels too and those rigs caught a quite a few fish too.
6/27/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had another gorgeous weather day today with nearly ideal conditions for fishing. Unfortunately, I will not be able to provide any location or depth information any more on my fishing reports since I was followed out today by several people that fished right on top of us and others came in and set up discourteously close to us as well making fishing much more stressful than it should have been. It's a big body of water out there with millions of walleyes in many different locations, so there is no need to squeeze in so close to another boat. That being said, we still enjoyed some fantastic fishing anyway as we took fish consistently all morning until everyone on board had caught their legal limits of nice walleyes. I had a family from Wyandot, MI fish with me today and it was their first trip on Saginaw Bay and they will likely want to return. In addition to a mess of walleyes, they also caught two massive channel catfish that weighed over 10 pounds each along with a jumbo yellow perch too. We marked all our fish today tight to the bottom, so we stuck with the bottom bouncers and spinner/crawler rigs that are extremely productive in that situation. My trolling speeds were 1.3 to 1.5 mph. The weather tomorrow is predicted to be nice too and with the scheduled walleye tournament launching out of Au Gres tomorrow and a busy recreational fishing, Saturday crowd expected, this will certainly be the most crowded day this year at our port. We will likely hit a brand new spot tomorrow to escape the masses and we will also have to launch early too. After this weekend, the fishing pressure drops off a lot, but the quality of the fishing actually gets better as we head into July. July has been my most consistently successful month for several years in a row.
6/26/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We certainly had an aggressive walleye bite this morning. After having a couple days off the water, we headed out today and were greeted by calm wind and flat water and partly sunny skies. It was a beautiful morning on the Bay indeed. We set down just a few miles out and began marking a lot of fish while I set lines. The action was fast an furious from the start and picked up in intensity as the morning went on. I had to trim down my trolling spread to just a few rods as any more was not necessary. The fish were biting good with many swallowing the lures completely and very few fish were lost too with the aggressive bite. We limited out with a nice catch of eating sized walleyes very quickly. All our fish came on bottom bouncers trailing crawler harnesses fished near bottom in 31-32 feet of water. No spinner pattern was preferred as they hit everything I put near their mouths. I trolled at about 1.3 - 1.5 mph in one, short trolling run heading south. I know of good fishing from one end of the Bay to the other right now. The fish are so numerous here now that it is likely the best fishing we have ever had on Saginaw Bay with widespread, easy limits from hundreds, if not thousands of locations. The good-old-days are now on the Bay. Also, I just got a cancelation on July 6 which is a rare weekend opening during prime time.
6/23/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The water is remaining on the cool side out of Au Gres with a water temp of 67 degrees at the surface today when we headed in. It is unusual to see water temps this cold two days into summer. We had unstable conditions again this morning with storms passing to the north and south of us causing shifts in the winds and a slow bite. My customers from Roseville, MI still managed to pull a four man limit today in about five hours of fishing. They also got a bonus, 14 inch, jumbo, yellow perch and a big channel catfish too. This was the first time they had fished on Saginaw Bay and it is always nice to show off our fishery to first-timers. We are still forced to troll with meat near the bottom as the fish are holding deep and are relatively inactive with this crazy weather pattern we are stuck in. Harness pattern did not mater today as they hit a variety of spinners about equally. With this light bite, where the fish often just nibble a lot, using half crawlers really ups the catch as they get hooked more often and steel the bait much less too. We fished the same general area as yesterday and marked tons of fish there, but the walleyes were not active, so we just picked away at them until we had limited out. A slow trolling speed of about 1.4 mph was best. The water should start to warm up some in the next week, so that should get the bite going better to the point of non-stop action once again.
6/22/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The fishing continues to be red hot out of Au Gres. Even with winds switching several times this morning, my customers, from Cadillac, MI, still caught a fairly quick limit of nice walleyes and also a foot long perch too as a bonus fish. The wind started out from the northeast with two-foot waves rolling southwest as we headed out. Then the wind switched to the east, then 45 minutes later is switched to the southeast, then it went south and by the time we pulled lines, it was coming from the northeast once again. It was sloppy with waves coming from several different directions at the same time, which makes for tough, precision trolling. With a normal walleye fishery, switching winds like that will shut the fish off completely, however, thankfully, Saginaw Bay is not a normal fishery at all these days. With millions of walleyes in the Bay, there are always at least some fish that didn't get the memo to quite biting. The bite was a bit light this morning, but they still kept biting steadily regardless of the tough conditions. I marked tons of fish right on the bottom today, so we stuck with the same spinner/crawler/bottom/bouncer rigs I used yesterday. Slow trolling speeds were best in the 1.3 to 1.5 range. Spinner color did not mater as long as the lure was in their faces. We fished deeper water today as those deep holding fish typically don't shut down as much as shallow water fish do in changing winds like we had today. We spent most of the morning in 30 to 35 feet of water. For some reason today we caught more larger fish with only five fish under 20 inches and several real dandies too with the biggest being over 26 inches. We have still limited out on every completed charter so far this year, so this fishery is certainly world class.
6/21/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We certainly experienced a beautiful day on the Bay today. We had light northeast winds and cloudy skies quickly giving way to lots of sunshine as the morning went on. With the NE winds, we set up a few miles out and just trolled with the waves heading southwest and my customers were able to take their limit of walleyes on one, long troll in that direction. We started catching fish right away too and the action kept up all morning until we had boated a five man limit of walleyes with one bonus, jumbo perch too. I didn't see any suspended fish in that deep water area, so we kept the spinner/crawler rigs close to bottom where we were marking fish constantly on the graph. The water temp was still in the mid-60s on the surface and likely in the 50s on the bottom, so a slow trolling speed of 1.4 mph did the trick. Early this morning, red and silver colors were best, but when the bite got more intense, color didn't seem to mater much. This group I had today from the Webberville area had scheduled a charter with me a while back, but the wind kicked up that day and we only got to fish an hour or so before we had to head in due to huge waves. They took advantage of a cancelation that I had today though and rescheduled their curtailed trip and were rewarded with a memorable fishing experience on Saginaw Bay as a result.
6/20/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
June 20 on my schedule was booked once, then that party canceled, then it was rebooked by someone else who also cancelled, then it was booked again by the party I took out today. This folks, from Taylor, MI and I headed out onto the Bay this morning with two to three foot waves being pushed by fairly stiff, northeast wind. There was also the threat of rain and possibly thunderstorms later in the morning, so we opted to stay close to port and actually fished the same area as yesterday trolling about one mile out from Pt. Lookout to Pt. Au Gres in 20 to 30 feet of water. We made one long, trolling pass across Au Gres Bay and my customers took their limits in that single pass. I decided that I wanted some fish for myself and wanted to scout out deeper water, so with the wind dyeing down and the storm clouds breaking up on radar, we ventured out into deeper water and made a short trolling pass in 33 feet of water and picked up my limit too. Our walleyes today ranged in size form 15 to 26 inches with lots of different age classes represented nicely. Saginaw Bay has had unprecedented, natural, walleye reproduction for the past 11 years in a row and really has lots of diversity in walleye age structure from young fish right up to millions of older, bigger fish too. This fishery really has a promising future. With the stalled front settled upon Michigan, the walleyes are still in a somewhat negative mood, and are staying tight to bottom. We trolled with all meat today down near bottom with no real spinner pattern shinning as they hit everything I trolled about equally today. Trolling speeds were on the slow side as I tried to speed it up a few times, but they seemed to prefer it in the 1.3 to 1.4 mph range best. The walleye fishing out of Au Gres is perhaps some of the best I've ever seen right now. There are dozens of different spots now within striking range of Au Gres where easy limits can be taken, so the fish are wide spread and very numerous. There are probably 100 square miles of water near Au Gres teaming with walleyes now. In conclusion, good luck to all the competitors participating in the West Michigan Walleye Club tournament out of Au Gres tomorrow. Earlier this year I did a seminar at one of their monthly meetings so it was good to see a few familiar faces from there yesterday and this morning. With a decent weather day predicted tomorrow, the club event participants should all load up on lots of walleyes for a very fun day.
6/19/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The national weather service was certainly incompetent at best today. They predicted 15 knot winds, but reality was northeast winds at closer to 25 knots. When the wind is blowing like that, we can sometimes catch fish close to shore right in Au Gres Bay no more than one or two miles from port, so that's what we did. I hadn't fished that area for a while, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised to get some hook-ups with some nice walleyes right away. With the gusty winds though hooking the fish was the easy part: Catching them was the tough part. We even had some impressive tangles today too, all thanks to the windy conditions. We persevered though and by the end of the five-hour charter my customers from the Dansville area managed to take a limit of some nice walleyes. Most of the fish were over 20 inches with only a few keepers less than that mark. All the fish I saw on my sonar were tight to bottom, so we trolled with all spinner/crawler rigs right on the bottom. I didn't really notice any color preference today as they hit the different spinner patterns I ran about equally. Trolling speeds were all over the place as we trolled with the surging waves at speeds from 1 to 2.2 mph. The fish seemed to bite best though at slower speeds today. It was a chilly day on the Bay with that wind coming off the main Lake. I had to wear a heavy jacket all morning. Here's a photo of the biggest fish of the day caught by an 18 year old who is planning to join the Marines.
6/18/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had to cancel my scheduled charter yesterday due three thunderstorms that rolled through the area during the day. One of them even produced a couple confirmed tornados, one of which touched down in Hale, which is only about 20 miles from here. I had the same group of anglers for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and it was nice having some folks that came from the same town I grew up in. Today, the weather started out real shaky too with thunderstorms rumbling though during the morning from 7:00 through 10:00. We waited them out though and hit the water at about 11:00 and headed out to the area where we left off on Monday. We started taking walleye right away and had steady action for the first hour hours, but then the winds calmed down and then shifted, which slowed the bite. Eventually though we trolled into an active school of walleyes and hooked five at the same time. We circled around on that spot and picked up the last of my customers limits and just as we were pulling in that last fish, I heard a distant rumble of thunder from the west. We hustled it back to shore and got back just in time avoiding the storm on the water. I had been watching the storm on radar, and thought it would pass to the south of us, but it took a directional change and just clipped Au Gres. We caught most of our walleyes today on red and silver spinner/crawler rigs fished near bottom. We marked tons of fish in a vast area today, but the bite was a bit off due to the stalled front we have in this region that is wrecking havoc with the barometric pressure and typically results in lethargic, inactive fish that hang out tight to bottom. In conditions like these, a slow trolling presentation that puts the lures right in front of the walleyes' noses is usually best. I did run a couple Hot N' Tots today, but only took one walleye on them.
6/16/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
It was an absolutely beautiful day on the Bay today with blue skies, warm temperatures and light winds. With near perfect fishing conditions today, I decided to try a spot that I hadn't yet fished this year. I fished this area with the party I had today when they chartered with me last year and they had great fishing then, so they were happy to try that spot again today. We set up in 15 feet of water running a mixture of Hot N' Tots and spinner/crawler rigs trolling at about 1.7 mph. We got into some good action right away and took eight quick walleyes, then the wind died down and switched directions and the bite slowed up considerable and the ones that did bite mostly got off with the bite aggressiveness decreasing. This area also had a lot of floating weeds too, which made trolling difficult at best, so we pulled up and moved to deep water in another nearby area where I had yet to fish this year too. We had no boats around us at all when we set lines in 27 foot of water. We trolled out to 32 feet deep and then turned back shallower trolling in one long troll never turning around so we covered all new water all day. The action there was nothing short of fantastic everywhere we went with consistent walleye action in all depths running the same mixed trolling spread, but at 1.5 to 1.6 mph in that deeper water. I had to increase the weight on the lures to take them near bottom though. We ended up catching 25 keeper walleyes and everyone on board had a blast in the process with sunburn being the only downside to the day.
6/15/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had a charter group from the Port Huron, MI area today. Some of the guys had fished with me before on both Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay, while others were first timers. We had blue skies, cool temperatures and an east wind at about 10 to 15 knots this morning. The two foot waves slowed us down in reaching the fishing area, but once we got there, we had steady action all morning until my four customers had caught their limits of nice walleyes. Right now, there are likely more walleyes in Saginaw Bay than in decades. The DNR really has no real idea how many walleyes call Saginaw Bay home, but there are many year classes represented with millions of walleyes from one years olds all the way to old timers with tens of millions of walleyes in between. These are in fact "the good old days" right now as far as walleye fishing on the Bay is concerned. There is no other walleye fishery in the world that can match the consistent success Saginaw Bay provides year especially during the spring and summer. I fish both Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay and even Lake Erie does not even come close to Saginaw Bay these days. We have limited out on every walleye charter this year on Saginaw Bay and I bet there are few other captains that can advertise those kinds of success rates anywhere.
6/14/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weatherman missed the mark again today as the predicted calm winds were more like 18 to 20 knots out of the northwest. The heavy, offshore wind kept us close to shore for the first few hours of the trip, and the bite there was somewhat slow as we only caught nine keeper walleyes there. When the wind died down though, we moved to another spot out in the middle of the Bay and got into some hot and heavy action there right away and filled a five man limit quickly with non-stop action. We had good success on fire/tiger and silver/red spinner/crawler rigs pulled near the bottom at 1.4 to 1.5 mph. My party today was from the Hastings area and they had never fished Saginaw Bay before, so they got a good taste of the caliber of fishing available on the Bay and they will also get a good taste of a lot of scrumptious walleye dinners too.
6/13/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had four great guys from the Clio, Michigan area fishing with me today and it was a good thing they booked an eight-hour charter instead of a five-hour trip because we needed the extra time for them to limit out with today's tough bite. The weatherman had predicted sunny skies and winds from the northwest at 15 to 18 knots. What we got was mostly cloudy conditions with west winds howling at 20 to 25 knots and air temperatures that didn't even reach 60 degrees for a high. It was a good thing that we were fishing at Au Gres where deep water is close to shore and it was also a good thing that there are good numbers of walleyes close to shore there too. We ran out less than one mile, set lines and trolled out until we were about three miles from shore, then we had to pull lines, run back closer to shore and repeat that trolling pass four times today to max out on fish. We caught eight walleyes on the first pass, but after that, the wind increased and the clouds moved in and the bite slowed considerably. We then slowly picked away at them though until limits were caught. We caught about a half dozen nice sized walleyes, but the rest were smaller eating sized fish. We also caught at least a dozen undersized walleyes today too, most of which were just barely under 15 inches. We trolled at 1.4 to 1.7 mph today and had to use drift socks on and off to slow the boat enough to hit those productive speeds as the gusting winds were really pushing us along at times. We caught all our fish on spinner/crawler rigs with fire/tiger and silver/red being best. All the fish we caught and marked on sonar were tight to the bottom, so we used bottom bouncers to target those low-down fish. This was the toughest day of fishing I've experienced since my first charter this year, but even on a tough weather day Saginaw Bay's world class walleye population still produced limits. In fact, we have caught limits on every charter so far this year. It doesn't get much better than that.
6/12/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Fog greeted us this morning, however it quickly lifted on the Bay and we were able to depart on time and on flat waters too. We motored out to the deep water area where we fished on Tuesday and had no action at all for the first half-hour, but then we finally trolled into some fish a bit shallower and had to switch things up a bit shortening the setbacks and then it was game on. Once we found them, it was non-stop action and my party from Texas got to enjoy their third, straight limit catch of dandy walleyes. Today's fish ran on the chunky side as most of them were above the ideal eating size. Our biggest fish was about 25 inches. We did take some smaller fish too though to round out the catch and we even caught some sub-legal sized walleyes, which bodes well for the future of this fantastic fishery. We trolled in one direction until we found a concentration of walleyes and then we circled around on them and really loaded up and finished up tossing back some nice fish too since we had five on at one time at the end of the trip when we only needed two more for our limits. I varied my trolling speed a lot today as the winds were variable. We caught fish at 1.3 to 1.8 mph. We used varied harnesses patterns featuring red, silver, chartreuse, orange and glow and all took hits, so there was no color preference that I could tell. The fish are still tight to the bottom feeding on emerging bugs, so the presentation had to be very close to the bottom to take fish in that area.
6/11/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a weather delay this morning as we waited out a storm system. When it stopped raining, we headed out, but unfortunately, it did sprinkle on us one and off for the first hour or so, but the rain didn't seem to bother the walleyes much as they bit good all day. Since everyone on board had rain suits, it didn't bother us much either. With iffy weather today, we fished close to port setting up near Point Lookout and trolling southwest towards Point Au Gres in deep water. Our trolling spread of the same variety of spinner/crawler rigs that I've been using for weeks took consistent action and we picked up nine keeper walleyes on that first long trolling pass. Unfortunately, the fish were biting very light, so we lost a lot of walleyes in the process. We then motored to a new area close by and did one trolling pass through that area and finished off my customers limits with a nice box of walleyes. The action was a lot faster paced in the second spot, but the fish there were light biting too and we continued to loose more fish than we caught. It was kind of rough today and the surging waves also impacted our bite to catch ratio as a lot of fish just pulled off when the boat surged on waves. It was still a fun day of fishing with lots of smiles throughout the trip.
6/10/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I have a family from Texas fishing with me Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday who had never fished Saginaw Bay before until today. We set lines with a two foot chop, which build into twos and threes pretty fast as the weatherman missed the mark on the wind forecast once again. The predicted 8-10 knot winds ended up blowing at about 15 knots. Never-the-less, the walleyes didn't seem to mind as they started hitting right away and never stopped attacking our lures until we pulled lines. We did one, long trolling pass, in one direction (southwest) this morning. That pass covered several miles of water and we caught fish all along that route which took us over varying depths. We trolled at 1.3 to 1.7 mph in the surging waves. Harness pattern did not matter as they hit everything about equally well. We caught fish today of all sizes from small ones to some dandy chunkers. At the end of the trip, when we only needed a couple fish, every line in the water hooked up with six fish on at once. It was a fitting end to a excellent day of fishing. The weather is iffy for tomorrow with predicted storms and strong Northeast winds, so we may not get out again until Thursday, but you never know with the weather.
6/8/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had a group from the Columbus, Ohio area fish with me today and besides having a great time on a vacation here in the Au Gres area, they also got to experience world class walleye fishing today too. The weather was a little iffy this morning with a rain storm making its way across Michigan, but by tracking the storm on my radar, it became apparent that the storm would miss us to the south. We ran back to the spot where we ended yesterday's charter. When I saw on the sonar that the bottom there was still covered with fish, we set lines and immediately got into some walleyes. From then on we caught fish practically non-stop taking an impressive limit catch of chunky walleyes in very short order. Only a few of the fish were under 20 inches with most of them being in the 20 to 22 inch range which are excellent eating size, but still big enough to put up a good fight for some fun fishing indeed. We caught them on the same spinner/crawler rigs I've been using for about two weeks. These rigs are a variety of colors like fire-tiger, silver, red, pearl and glow and they all got hit today with no color preference shown by the walleyes. We put the harnesses right on the bottom with a long setback for the bottom bouncers. The trolling speed today was about 1.5 mph. When the wind kicked up, I had to put a drift sock in to slow the trolling speed. We are still fishing a massive school of walleyes on the east side of the shipping channel. This school stretches from Buoys 1 and 2 all the way to Sand Point in deep water and I'm sure there are a lot of fish further east in shallower water in that area too, but I haven't fished it yet. This fishing now is some of the best I've seen on the Bay and my customers today are already planning a return trip to experience it once again.
6/7/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
This is probably starting to sound like a broken record, but we again had phenomenal walleye fishing on the Bay. We took quick limits of dandy walleyes with the biggest being 25 inches, but we lost a couple that were bigger, much bigger. Most of our fish were over 20 inches today. We had non-stop action from the time I started setting lines until we boxed out in just 60 minutes of fishing. In fact, I never sat down once in one hour of fast paced fishing action where I was either setting lines or netting fish and my customers were reeling in one chunky walleye after another. Trolling speed was not much of a factor today as we took fish at 1.3 to 2.4 mph. We mostly trolled at 1.5 to 1.6 mph, but at the end of the trip, after we had taken our limits, I still had a couple lines left in the water so I bumped the speed up to 2.4 mph to try to stop any more walleyes from grabbing on, but within seconds both of those last two lines hooked up with 20+ inchers anyway which we caught and promptly released. We fished with the same spinner/crawler rigs that I've been using for over a week, and they hit every color I put down to them, so spinner pattern was not a factor. This is truly world class walleye fishing out of Au Gres right now and the best part is that it will likely continue through August.
6/6/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We experienced a beautiful, productive morning on the water today. I had a party from the Dowagiac, MI area today who had never fishing Saginaw Bay before. They were certainly impressed and are already planning a return trip. We took quick limits of some impressive walleyes fishing a new area for most of the trip that was literally fin to fin walleyes. We caught fish of all sizes with some chunky specimens up to 25 inches and a lot of quality fish in the 20 to 23 inch range too. We trolled with the same harnesses that I've had on my rods for over a week straight consisting of some brightly colored chartreuse and orange ones and also some more natural colors too, but it really didn't mater what type of spinner was used as they hit everything I put near bottom. They were even hitting some chewed up, pieces of crawlers. I use half crawlers most of the time as that seems to reduce short strikes and the walleyes seem to really like those stubby offerings even better than whole crawlers. I can usually catch several fish on the same half crawler, which saves rebating time. I only went through 10 night crawlers today and had around 30 fish on including the ones that got away. I tried to run an eight rod trolling spread, but only got all eight rods out once at the beginning of the charter: after that we had fish on non-stop. A trolling speed of 1.4 to 1.5 mph was best. When I sped up once, we took no hits. Any slower and they didn't like that either. The water temp was about 64 degrees when we headed in, so it is warming up, but slowly. Normally the water temp would be in the low 70s by now, but due to the cold winter, things are a little colder than normal still. The fish are more lethargic than normal for this time of year, so going slow is a key to success still.
6/5/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today was one of the "Pure Michigan" commercial kind of days with clear, blue skies and a nice breeze to put a nice "walleye chop" on the water. We set the same hot program as the previous day in the same general location and the walleyes hit practically non-stop until we had caught our limits very quickly. This is a massive school of fish we are fishing that likely encompasses over 20 square miles of water and ranges from shallow water to depths over 35 feet. Today we did a three mile trolling pass and never ran out of fish. The fish ran bigger today with most of our walleyes measuring over 20 inches. In fact only a few were under 20". We lost some dandy fish too but when you are hooking fish constantly, it really doesn't mater in the end. We were trolling with the same variety of spinner/crawler rigs that I've had on my poles all week and the fish showed no color preference today as they hit everything we put in the water. I only ran six rods today and that was more than enough to get the job done. Our trolling speed varied a lot as we were trolling with the wind in two foot waves and our speed was in the 1.3 to 1.7 mph range. The weather is predicted to be very nice for the next few days, so this world class walleye fishing should keep going for the foreseeable future.
6/4/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a big blow yesterday, the wind died down completely by this morning as we motored out onto Saginaw Bay in dead calm conditions. There was a major May Fly hatch last night and also a big midge hatch this morning. Those types of events tend to shut down the walleye bite on Lake Erie, but that is not the case at all on Saginaw Bay. We started taking hits before I got all my lines set and that hot action continued until we limited out in just a couple hours of fishing. In fact, today we ran a two multiple charter with a large party divided among two boats and everyone caught their limits in short order. We again took fish of all sizes (small, medium and chunky) for a nice mix. The walleyes are feeding heavily on bugs right now, but there are so many walleyes in the Bay now that even though they have an abundance of food available, they still are easy to catch providing one knows what they are doing. All our fish on both boats were taken in deep water trolling with spinner/crawler rigs near the bottom. Trolling speeds of 1.4 to 1.5 were best today. There was no color preference as they hit a variety of spinners patterns as long as they were presented right in their faces. Saginaw Bay is serving up perhaps the best walleye fishing I've ever seen this spring as my customers have taken limit catches on every charter and this fishing will only get better as we head into the best fishing month, which is July.
6/2/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
It was a little breezy this morning with a southerly wind putting a nice "walleye chop" on the water. We ran a bit south from where we took our limits yesterday and trolled with the wind at 1.2 to 1.7 mph rolling with the waves. We had consistent action all morning and my four customers took their limits of some nice walleyes before noon, despite a late start. Most of the fish were 19 to 21 inches but we did take a few bigger ones for good measure too. The fish came mostly in doubles and triples today as they were clustered in pods all over our fishing area. The walleyes have been feeding on shiners as I had about 50 shiners left in my live well that they had barfed up. The shiners were two to three inches long. We caught all our fish today on a variety of spinner/crawler rigs trolled near the bottom. I didn't mark any suspended fish all morning so having lures up higher would have been a waste of time. No particular spinner pattern shined today as they hit everything I threw at them. I have a scheduled day off tomorrow, and it's a good thing too, because the weather is predicted to be very windy and stormy Tuesday anyway. I'll be hitting the water again on Wednesday with a three boat charter, which should be fun. After that, I have every day booked until June 21, which opened up after we got a cancelation. My July charters are starting to book up more and more. July has been the most consistently excellent fishing month for me on Saginaw Bay for several years in a row with limit catches on every trip.
6/1/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weatherman really screwed up once again today. They had predicted calm to light wind conditions, but when we got to the Bay, the wind was southeast at 15 to 20 knots kicking up three footers, which was a real drag pounding through on the way out, but we just went slow with the trim tabs down to mitigate the bumps. Thankfully the wind died down fairly quickly once we started fishing and by the end of the trip, is was downright nice out. We made one long trolling pass over deep water this morning and experienced fast paced action all the way for three miles. It only took us about two hours of fishing to put 25 nice walleyes in the box which certainly put smiles on my customers face big time. Last year this group went out with me, but the weather came up and we had to curtail the trip due to high winds. This year though they hit the jackpot and took home bags of prime walleye filets which will make many fine meals indeed. I even got some fish for myself today and am planning a grilled walleye dinner this evening which I'm sure will be scrumptious. We caught all our fish on the same program as we've been using all week - trolling spinner/crawler rigs behind bottom bouncers at 1.3 to 1.5 mph. The harness pattern did not mater today as they hit everything I put down there about equally. The ride back to port was drastically different than the ride out: It was calm running for the trip back, so that was a nice way to finish off the charter.
5/31/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had another very productive day of walleye fishing on the Bay this morning closing out the month of May with a limit catch of nice walleyes. We headed back to the same area where we have been fishing for the last week and got into some hot action right away. I never actually got all eight lines in the water at the same time on the first trolling pass as we hooked up non-stop for better than one hour straight. That trolling pass covered about two miles of water and went over varying depths to 34'. We took about 15 walleyes on that first pass, but then the wind shifted to the ENE and it took us a full hour to land the last five fish on the second pass over the same waters, so that wind shift certainly slowed the bite some. It was still an awesome day as we were back to the launch by about 11:00. We caught walleyes of all sizes today for a nice mix taking everything off the bottom on crawler harnesses/bottom bouncers trolled at 1.3 to 1.4 mph. Harness color was not a factor today as they showed no real preference taking everything I put in the water about equally. We only trolled with the wind/waves today as the two foot chop was a bit too harsh to troll into those waves at the required slow trolling speeds that the walleyes wanted. The water temps are still in the low 60s at the surface and much colder on the bottom, so the fish are a bit lethargic still. Sharp hooks and a smart fish fighting strategy are needed in conditions like these for optimal success.
5/29/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After two days off the water due to rotten weather, we headed out today with light winds and clear skies predominating We went to the area where we had limited out on Monday, but with a southeast wind today, we set up about one mile southeast of that location to troll towards that area. When I stopped the boat there, I immediately noticed a lot of fish on the fish finder and they were all located tight to bottom. I set lines with a spread of spinner/crawler rigs taken to the bottom with heavy bottom/bouncers. We hadn't even gotten half the lines out when we hooked up with our first fish and that's the way the rest of the morning went as we had steady action until we had taken a limit in no time at all. We caught fish of all sizes today too for a perfect mix of small walleyes, medium ones and also some lunkers too. The fish were not fussy this morning as they took a variety of spinner patterns showing no real preference. We caught fish in waters 27 to 34 feet deep with 27-29 being best. The trolling speed was pretty critical this morning as they bit best at 1.4 mph. One tenth of a mph more or less and they would not bite. Sharp hooks are a must at those slow trolling speeds in deep water and even then, we probably lost as many fish as we caught. I just had two rare June days open up from an otherwise completely booked month. Give me a call if you want to fish on June 20 or 21 as those are prime dates and won't last long.
5/26/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
It was an absolutely beautiful this morning on the water today with a light, warm, south wind and clear skies predominating. We headed out at a bit past 7:00 and tried a spot where we marked a lot of fish on the way back to port yesterday. We caught one dandy walleye right away, but after about an hour, we had no other takers, so we pulled lines and moved to a new spot about one mile from where we limited out yesterday. Right away we had some good action, but the bite was light as we were loosing way more fish than we were catching. We were getting about 25 hits per hour, but landing about 10 walleyes out of 25. It was non-stop action though and in no time we had limited out taking mostly nice eating sized walleyes with a few bigger ones too. For the time being, the walleyes have moved out of the Au Gres area, so to find fish, a longer run is necessary now. The fish are very lethargic now too as all our fish were caught near the bottom with a slow trolling speed of 1.3 mph. Fire-tiger spinner/crawler rigs trolled behind bottom bouncers has been best two days in a row. If you want to see what that harness looks like, there's a good photo of it hanging out of a walleyes mouth with my article in the June issue of Woods N' Water News. They also have that photo on WWNs Facebook page too.
5/25/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My streak continues as we have limited out on all my fishing trips so far this year. Today, we went out and tried a few spots with no action, so we kept moving to new areas until we finally found some active fish. Then it was just a mater of fine tuning the trolling spread to their preferred presentation, which was a fire-tiger spinner/crawler rig fished at 1.3 mph near the bottom in deep water. Once we put a lot of those rigs in their faces, we had very steady action and limited out in less than two hours of fishing. We caught a pile of nice walleyes today with the biggest being about five pounds and only one undersized fish. I even got to eat some grilled, fresh walleye for dinner which was awesome.
5/5/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers were a bit late this morning as we didn't hit the water until about 8:00 a.m. It didn't mater though as the nearly ideal conditions with a slight chop and overcast skies produced non-stop action as we took a four-man limit in about two hours of fishing. Most of the fish were 18 to 24 inches today with a couple bigger and a couple smaller for a nice mix of walleyes. We trolled spinner/crawler rigs with bottom bouncers between the points in varied depths taking fish where ever we went. Spinner pattern did not mater today as they hit various stuff with no preference. We trolled at about 1.4 mph today, but at times, we sped up and slowed down and still took hits, so speed was not much of a factor today. I talked to the DNR creel checker and he said that most anglers were taking limits over the last few days and the fish were coming all over. Most people are still fishing with stick baits, but the crawler bite is definitely on big-time too. This is perhaps the best spring fishing I've seen out of Au Gres this year despite the late spring and bad predominantly bad weather. We have limited out on every charter so far this year and there are a lot of nice sized fish this year too. The best is yet to come too.
5/4/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
More challenging conditions met us today on Saginaw Bay with switching winds, cold temps and even some squalls moving though with rain once again. The weatherman had predicted sunny conditions, but he was very wrong. Fortunately, the world-class walleye fishery on Saginaw Bay came though regardless and gave up a quick limit catch of some nice fish for my customers. We caught everything on spinner/crawler rigs today trolling in shallower water at slow speeds. Our 20+ walleyes on my boat bit very lightly today and it took perhaps 60 hits to catch our fish for a 2:1 bite to catch ratio. Even with super sharp hooks and good fishing techniques you are going to loose a lot of fish in these conditions. This was a two-boat charter today with customers that had never fishing for walleyes on the Bay before, but they did just fine and will be eating lots of walleyes for their efforts. Au Gres is an awesome place for a fishing trip. There is even a house rental in town that will sleep up to six people comfortably right on the river for only $100 per night. There are also lots of motels and cottages available for too with plenty of excellent eateries in Au Gres too making it a perfect spot for a getaway.
5/3/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
There are a lot of walleyes offshore from Au Gres right now. We
again had challenging fishing conditions today with some muddy water and
weather that basically sucked. We had winds from all directions
today with this prolonged low pressure system spinning around Michigan
and plaguing us with tough fishing conditions for the last six days in a
row. We still managed to take 20 nice walleyes today though for a
limit catch for my customers. We were delayed going out today with
heavy rains in the early morning. After a great breakfast at H&H
Bakery and Restaurant, we headed for the Bay. We also had another
delay this morning too, so we really didn't start fishing until about
11:00. We ran north and tried to troll stick baits along the
shorelines north of Pt. Lookout past Whitestone Point and only had a
couple fish in the box from those efforts. We then relocated to
the same spot, in deep water, where we had good action yesterday and
limited out. I changed over to a crawler/bottom bouncer program as
the fish on the fish finder were showing that they were tight to bottom.
A slow trolling speed of 1.2 to 1.3 mph got the job done. Color of
harness pattern did not mater as I ran a bunch of varied spinners and
they all about took equal hits. When this weather finally
stabilizes, the fishing here is going to be off the charts good.
The weather this week has been pretty miserable, but we did get out fishing today with some success even though the conditions were less than ideal. The charter limited out on walleyes and also caught a nice king salmon as a bonus fish too. We tried a half dozen spots today trying to find good numbers of fish. While we caught some walleyes just about everywhere we went, we found better fishing in deeper water pulling the lethargic fish off the bottom using bottom bouncers and crawlers. We did catch some fish earlier, in shallow water on stick baits, but never really found a good concentration of fish there. In the deeper water, we lost three fish for every fish caught as the walleyes there were biting very lightly and we had to troll extremely slow to get them to bite at all. We did mark a lot of fish in deeper water though, so that fishery will really take off when the weather improves and the fish there get more aggressive in their feeding. There really was no hot harness today as they hit everything I put down to the bottom, as long as the speed was kept slow. With the gusty, shifting winds, I had to use drift socks on and off to get the trolling speed right. On a side note, I did install a new Mercury Vengeance, stainless steel prop today on my new Mercury 150 HP Four Stroke motor. This prop is 14.5" in diameter and has a 17 pitch. It popped my 22 foot Lund Baron right out of the hole and the RPM range was perfect for the motor as I was able to get up to 38 mph top end very quickly without even trimming the motor up very far. I'm sure it will go faster in calmer conditions. The Vengeance prop is designed to achieve good performance, but it is really supposed to maximize fuel economy, which is very important in this day and age of expensive gas prices.
4/24/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The fishing was excellent at Au Gres today serving up a limit catch of nice walleyes in short order trolling with smelt imitating, stick baits in fairly shallow water. All the walleyes caught today were on the big side. The smallest fish was 24" and the biggest was 28". Water temps today were in the low 40s. Trolling speeds of about 1.3 mph were best. All fish were caught on shallow diving, Smithwick, Limited Rouges set 60' behind the Walleye Boards with a 3/8 ounce rubber core sinker about 5' ahead of the lure. I did pull some Husky Jerks and had a couple hits on them, but they didn't stay on. I marked a lot of smelt in the area and lots of big fish too. The water was clear and I could see at least 10' down, so running the boards way out away from the boat produced the best in those calm, clear water conditions. My new Mercury motors are running great. I put a different prop on the 150 Four Stroke and it put the RPMs at 5,200 at full throttle doing 37.8 mph for top end with the 19 pitch, aluminum prop. It cruised very smoothly at 30 mph turning about 3,800 RPMs. My 9.9 Pro Kicker ran perfectly trolling down to less than 1 mph in calm conditions, which is great. At 1.3 mph, which was the best trolling speed today, it purred very quietly and ran as smooth as silk.
News on the 2014 Charter Season
Like never before, Michigan's fisheries are in a state of change: Some for the better and some for the worse. A combination of invasive species, much cleaner waters in the Great Lakes and the fisheries management decisions made by he DNR are causing some significant changes to our sport fish populations. Select Great Lakes fisheries will provide world class fishing during 2014 and Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters will again offer fishing charters taking our boat to the right places at the right times to put customers on those hot bites. Our charter fishing rates unchanged from last year and are among the most competitive in the industry. When you consider that Michigan has some of the lowest lodging and eatery rates in the country, a fishing trip to Michigan on our boat is one of the best vacation bargains out there. When you factor in the quality of the fisheries combined with the value on our boat, you just can't go wrong. Here is a rundown of the fisheries Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters will focus on during 2014:
Saginaw Bay is the official, undisputed, reining "Walleye Capital of the World" and Au Gres is the top port for years running on Saginaw Bay. We will be expanding our charter offerings once again on Saginaw Bay moving my boat their earlier and staying longer compared to last year. For years we have been able to take limit catches consisting of a mixture of eaters and lunkers on most of our charters for the best possible mix. Saginaw Bay has been blessed with 11 straight, huge year classes, of naturally reproduced walleyes. When those huge numbers are added to an already strong older, adult walleye population from past years, the shear numbers and quality of walleyes in the system now simply boggles the mind. There are now so many walleyes in Saginaw Bay that easy limit catches are the rule and anglers can even catch and release fish too (8 hr. charters only) until their arms hurt, if they want. The fishing on Saginaw Bay is pure, unadulterated fun and you can expect non-stop action on most of our charter trips there. The only down side to the fishery is that the word has definitely gotten out and the demand for fishing charters there has escalated sharply in recent years. So, as a result I'm increasing my charter schedule once again out of Au Gres (AuGres) and Tawas to take advantage of the demand. Au Gres (AuGres) is the best of the best among Saginaw Bay's ports with the highest walleye catch rate anywhere in Michigan. It is also the best port for accessing the Bay during periods of low water levels like we experienced last year. The Au Gres access site was built for low water levels, to no problem there safely getting onto the big water. We'll be fishing there from mid-April through early-September. We also may run walleye charters at the north end of Saginaw Bay out of Tawas City or East Tawas during August and September. Tawas is only 20 miles north of Au Gres. During late summer the walleyes often migrate to the deeper, cooler waters of the northern fringe of Saginaw Bay off Tawas. We take full advantage by running our charters then out from Tawas which is very close to that hot fishing area. New this year, we will be offering some perch fishing charters out of Au Gres during late summer. Jumbo perch have made a strong come-back on Saginaw Bay and the fishing at times can be phenomenal. If perch are not biting, then we can always target the super abundant walleyes. Please keep in mind though that I filled most of my available charter openings on Saginaw Bay last season and will likely do so again this year, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Lake Erie will certainly serve up some awesome early spring walleye fishing this year. The record breaking 2003 year class will be contributing millions of trophy class lunkers to the spring bite, which typically starts during mid to late March and ramps up through early April, depending on the weather conditions. When those 2003 fish are added to the abundant year classes from big hatches during the 1990s (walleyes can live beyond 20 years on Lake Erie), Lake Erie will produce a spring trophy walleye fishery of world class proportions this year. Last year we some jumbo sized, trophy class walleyes on Lake Erie and I expect similar, phenomenal fishing again this year too. Given lots of good weather, we may even break my boat record of over 100 Master Angler class walleyes in one season. If you want to try something different, and quite fun, we will be offering jigging charters on Lake Erie's reefs during the peak spawning period. Those jigging charters often yield non-stop action where anglers can do hand to hand combat with feisty walleyes in shallow water. At that time, you can even combine trolling with jigging on 8-hour trips. I'll be offering Lake Erie walleye charters from ice-out (usually mid-March) through mid-April providing limited open dates to service the high demand at that location. Fishing charters before April 1 are restricted to an "on call list" booking structure. Customers will have to sign up ahead of time on the "on call list" and will be contacted a couple days in advance to fish when the weather and water conditions are favorable for a successful trip. Because of the highly volatile weather and fishing conditions during March, this is the only way to run a charter boat business at that time of year on Lake Erie. The Detroit River will also have good runs of walleyes this spring, so I'll be offering Detroit River charters as a backup when Erie is too rough to fish (Monroe is very close to the mouth of the Detroit River).
Lake Michigan and Lake Huron Salmon fishing was very disappointing last year. While the average size of the king salmon was up, the number of fish available in the lake was the lowest we've seen in over 20 years. The alarming reality from last years was the extremely low number of younger king salmon in the catch on Lake Michigan, which does not bode well for upcoming salmon fishing there. The decline in salmon numbers in Lake Michigan (and Lake Huron) is actually part of the DNR's plan to increase baitfish numbers in those lakes. Lake Michigan's and Lake Huron's water clarity has improved so much in recent years that certain baitfish species that salmon depend on have declined drastically in numbers. As a result, the DNR has decided to reduce salmon numbers mainly through stocking cutbacks. A massive stocking reduction a few years ago combined with another huge stocking reduction last year has reduced salmon numbers to an alarmingly low level. In fact, many believe that the DNR went way too far with their cutbacks. The DNR has no interest in increasing salmon stocking any time soon, so the currently depressed salmon numbers will likely get worse in the future as the full impact of the stocking cutbacks are felt in the next three years to come. I've been fishing salmon at Manistee since the first year they were stocked there in the 1960s, but because of the pitifully bad state of the Lake Michigan salmon fishery, this will be the first year that I won't be fishing there. I also will not be offering any Lake Huron salmon or trout charters either. If the DNR rebuilds the salmon fishery on Lake Michigan (or Lake Huron) then I will once again offer salmon fishing charters. At this point, I'm going to focus my fishing efforts on the world class walleye fishing Michigan has to offer, primarily on Saginaw Bay.
Michigan Fishing Charters Saginaw Bay Walleye Lake Erie Walleye Lake Michigan King Salmon Fishing Great Lakes Charter Boat Sportfishing
Michigan fishing charters at Au Gres (AuGres) and Tawas City (or East Tawas) for walleye and perch on Saginaw Bay along with Manistee on Lake Michigan for king salmon (Chinook Salmon) and Monroe or Detroit on Lake Erie for walleye. Our sportfishing charter boat targets the biggest, trophy sized, Great Lakes walleye, perch and king salmon (Chinook salmon) that Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay have to offer.
Fishing in the right place at the right time!
Michigan Fishing Information
Booking a fishing charter with Trophy Specialists LLC constitutes acceptance
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Release and Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement.
Capt. Michael Veine
15555 Cassidy Rd.
Chelsea, Michigan 48118
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