Michigan Fishing Charters on Saginaw Bay Sportfishing for Walleye on a Great Lakes Charter Boat
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perch on Saginaw Bay at Au Gres, Michigan and Tawas City (or East Tawas). Our sportfishing charter boat targets the best Great Lakes walleye fishing that Michigan, Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay have to offer.
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Capt. Michael Veine
511 S. Detroit St.
Au Gres, Michigan 48703
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Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters focuses on the Michigan waters of Saginaw Bay, which is famous for having one of the best walleye fisheries in the world. With super high walleye catch rates and an abundance of walleyes of all sizes, Saginaw Bay serves up perhaps the best walleye fishing Michigan or anywhere else in this country. Nowhere else in Michigan are walleye limit catches so common with fish of all sizes readily available including some monster, trophy class walleyes that are just waiting for you. And nowhere else in Michigan is the walleye limit so generous at eight fish per angler. We annually catch many Master Angler qualifying fish. Trophy Specialists is all about professionalism with a total commitment to quality customer service. We provide leading edge, tournament tested boat, 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. 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. In fact, Capt. Mike is licensed to captain 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). Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters focuses on insuring a safe, enjoyable sport fishing outing for family, friends or business entertainment. Also, be sure to check out our fishing reports to see what's biting or to see what we have caught at different times of the year on the Fishing Reports Archives.
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Current Fishing Reports
Check out our fishing reports to find out about
the fishing for
walleye, perch, salmon, steelhead, brown trout, lake trout or Atlantic
salmon are biting where Trophy Specialist is running fishing charters.
These fishing reports will mainly cover the port of Au Gres (AuGres) on Saginaw
Bay, but we sometimes venture to other areas like Tawas City, East Tawas,
Linwood, Standish, Pinconning, Bay City and even Sebawaing and Caseville
on occasion. We will try to update the fishing
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on), check out our
Fishing Report Archives.
8/14/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients today were four brothers from northern Indiana and they had a gift certificate charter for a full day of fishing. I decided to fish a new area today and on the first trolling pass though there, we caught seven walleyes, but probably lost more than we caught due to a super light bite. In fact almost all of the fish we did catch, popped off in the net. On the second pass though the bite improved dramatically and we put 16 more walleyes in the box on that run. We then went back for a third pass and the wind switched and the bite slowed down again and we only put five more in the box. We then set up in a different spot a bit deeper and in no time we filled out their 32 walleye limit. I stuck with a basic meat/bottom bouncer program taking most of the fish just up off bottom trolling at 1.4 to 1.8 mph in the surging waves. Color did not seem to mater much. I ran my typical eight rod spread with six lines off the Church Walleye Boards and two flatlines. Everything got hit about equally today. I still have several open dates left for late August and early September and this excellent fishing should remain solid for the duration of the summer.
8/13/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had fairly calm and sunny conditions today and while we did have a lot of fish on today, we probably lost about as many as were caught, so with only a five hour charter, my clients managed 18 walleyes in the box today. We fished the same area as yesterday and caught most fish suspended, but we did pull some off the bottom too. Lure color did not mater, but it did seem like they wanted the spinner/crawler rigs slower today, so I tried to keep the speed under 1.5 mph. The fish a bit smallere today with only two larger walleyes caught. We would have needed a couple more hours of fishing time for my clients to max out, but they were satisfied with the enjoyment they had on the Bay today on a five hour charter.
8/12/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had perfect fishing conditions today with light winds, sunny skies and very cooperative walleyes. My clients from Okalahoma, and Colorado had done some walleye fishing before, but today they got to experience true, world class walleye fishing at its finest. We fished a totally different area than we fished yesterday, but still stuck with the same program of spinner/crawler rigs. I did sharpen my hooks though, which I do about every other day. The early morning bite was especially good, but as the morning wore one, the catch per hour rate did drop some and oddly, the fish seemed to be moving around a lot as previous hot spots were void of fish on the next pass. Those hot runs though still predominated with a pretty beefy average size in the box. If you were looking for smaller walleyes today, then my boat would have sucked. We caught several walleyes that were about 24 inches long and a quite a few just shy of that size too and only a couple fish that I would consider perfect eating size. We also hooked into a couple steelhead, but both won their freedom. We caught all our fish on meat trolled at 1.4 to 1.5 mph. Some were taken near bottom, but most were caught suspended at various depths. The color did not seem to mater, but we did catch all of our fish trolling with the wind. Even when the wind was light, when I tried to troll north, we never caught a fish. Must have been some currents in that area affecting the feeding particulars. This is truly shaping up to be one of the best walleye fishing seasons I've ever seen. I still have some openings at the end of August, so give me a shout if you want to get in on this phenomenal fishing.
8/11/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients from Wyoming, Cadillac, MI and Bay City, MI caught 20 walleyes and two nice yellow perch today with lots of fish lost on a light bite. The charter was a truncated trip that was curtailed due to heath concerns. The bite was decent this morning, but when the wind suddenly died down to calm conditions, the walleye bite slowed up considerably. There are a bunch of places where the walleyes are biting good out of Au Gres now. Several friends of mine did well fishing several distinctly different locations, so the fish are wide spread and numerous. We should have some great fishing throughout the rest of the summer. It makes it tough though to decide on where to fish from day to day with multiple, good spots to choose from.
8/10/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Ges, Fishing Report
I'm starting to sound like a broken record with limit catches taken again today. My clients from Fowlerville, MI have their own boat and only had limited success on the Bay on past outings. They booked a trip with me to learn some techniques and particulars on the Bay and they certainly did just that today. The early morning started out a bit slow with only a few walleyes in the box in the first hour of fishing. The wind had just switched though before we started fishing, so I elected to just stay in the same area to wait out a better bite. Eventually the bite did improve and by the time they put their 24th walleye in the box (limits) the bite was in the range of about 10 walleyes per hour. In fact, as we were pulling lines, I bumped the speed up to 2.8 mph just to keep fish off the lines, but we still latched onto three more walleyes even at those breakneck speeds. We trolled with spinner/crawler rigs exclusively. Today the color did not mater. Speed did not mater much either, although if m trolling speed dropped below 1.7 mph, sheephead started to dominate the catch more. What did mater was perseverance in a spot that I suspected held fish. When the wind shifts, the bite often slows down. When you set up in those conditions and catch still catch a fish or two, it often pays to stay in that spot and see what develops.
8/8/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had awesome fishing today with my clients from Battle Creek, MI taking home limit catches of beautiful walleyes. The forecast today was a bit iffy with a storm system going though the area early in the morning and more predicted for the afternoon. We also had some pretty stiff NE winds out on the Bay before the scheduled start time. Fortunately though, by the time we left the dock the winds had died down some and the rain had moved east, away from us. We set up in the same area where we had good luck yesterday and started catching walleyes right away with steady action until limits were reached. I quickly changed over to a pure meat program today when it became obvious that crank baits were not working. The fish were tight to the bottom and gorging on shiners in our fishing area. In fact they were puking up shiners all over the back of my boat. At one point I put a fresh looking, barfed up shiner on a harness in place of a crawler, but after trolling it for about a mile, nothing hit it. They were really going after the crawlers though with harness color not seeming to mater much. For some reason we seemed to catch the most fish off the port, flat line; not sure why. We trolled at about 1.7-1.8 mph today. I have a rare opening in my charter schedule tomorrow (Thursday, 8/9), and there is a super high chance that the fishing will be super successful tomorrow too, so if anybody is interested in getting in on this fantastic fishing, give me a call at 734-475-9146.
8/7/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a lot of wind over the past two days causing a cancellation yesterday and a curtailed trip due to sea sickness on Sunday, we headed out to a spot where the fishing had been good on Saturday, but since we couldn't fish that area since then, it was not a high percentage location. We started catching some walleyes there right away though, but the bite was light with as many lost fish as caught ones, and in two hours of fishing we only had six fish in the box. I had kids on the boat that had football practice this afternoon, so with a shortened trip to deal with, I decided to try another spot. As soon as we set lines in that spot we had fish on and the action continued non-stop until my clients from West Branch, MI had limited out on nice walleyes. We pulled mostly meat today, but I did run one crankbait up high, but did not catch any fish on it, although we did loose a nice one on the crank once. We also had a steelhead on for a jump or two, but that one got away too. We only caught a couple sheephead today and all the rest of the pile of fish we boated were walleyes with only one undersized one in the bunch. We trolled at 1.4 to 1.8 mph varying the speed and making lots of turns, which seemed to get more hits than a straight line trolling path. This was certainly a teaching trip today with the two kids (10 and 11 years old) setting lines, reeling in fish and doing all the netting too. They certainly made some mistakes that resulted in some lost fish, but by the end of the trip they were finely tuned fishing machines that were performing better than the vast majority of anglers I see on the Bay. It was a good day of fishing indeed.
8/4/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients today from Flint and southern Michigan enjoyed a gorgeous day on the Bay complete with lots of walleye action as icing on the cake. It didn't start off to great though with the first three spots that I checked resulting in just a few walleyes in he box. The fourth spot though saw us put 10 walleyes in the box in less than an hour of fishing. Then the wind shifted a bit and that bite slowed down considerably. We made two more passes through there and only took three and then four more walleyes. We then made another move to spot number five and that spot was "game on" from the start and it didn't take long to fill up the box in that spot with my clients limiting out in short order there. I stuck with a meat/bottom-bouncer program with everything on the bottom. Trolling speeds of 1.7 mph were best, but it was hard to maintain in the ever fluctuating winds and surging waves. That wind though was a blessing since it provided a much cooler experience with the temperatures never getting hot until we ventured back to shore with a pile of fish to clean. Spinner color was unimportant today as they hit everything in the water about equally. My clients from today are already planning a return trip for next year to enjoy another day of world class walleye fishing on Saginaw Bay.
8/3/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients from Oscoda, MI and Roseville, MI enjoyed a pleasant day on Saginaw Bay today with light to calm winds. Those storms yesterday though really did a number on the fishing area where we had done so well a couple days ago. With two storms with gale force winds, it really riled up that part of the Bay big time, and the fishing there was slowed down as a result. We jumped around to three different spots and managed a decent catch, but came up a couple walleyes short of my clients combined limits. Even in the area where we caught fish yesterday, with dead calm conditions, the bite there was pretty slow too. Hopefully the water clears up by tomorrow and the faster paced action. At least it was a beautiful day on the Bay today that was enjoyed by all.
8/2/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had crummy weather conditions today for fishing. The weather had been forecasted to be nice until the afternoon, but at the 6:30 start time there were storms in the area and winds from the south that were twice as high as predicted. We waited a bit for the first storm to finish, then went out with winds in the upper teens and waves in the steady, three foot range. With more storms heading in our direction and the big waves, we had no choice but to fish close to Au Gres and forgo the better fishing areas that are more distant. We marked some fish in the 20 to 25 foot ranch when we were heading out, so we dropped in for a test pass there, but only caught a bunch of sheep head for our trouble. Then we proceeded out to deeper water and started a long, slow trolling pass from one point to the other going with the surging waves. We picked up 10 walleyes and a steelhead on the first pass, so our expectations were high for the second run through the area. About half way through that second passed by us but did not hit our fishing area. After it passed though the winds suddenly died down and the bite slowed up considerably. After that it was a slow pick and when yet another storm came charging into our path, the trip was over. My clients came up one short of their limits, so even though it as a very tough bit, they got a good catch after all. The biggest walleye today was a 25 inch, five pounder. We caught all our walleyes today on crawler harnesses trolled mostly suspended about 20 to 25 feet down over deep water. A slower trolling speed of 1.3 to 1.4 mph was best. Any lures put down near bottom were mauled by marauding white perch. A lot of fishermen on the Bay, including some charter captains that I know, mistakenly call the white perch caught on Saginaw Bay white bass. White bass are sometimes nicknamed silver bass and are a totally different, native species that are quite edible unlike the invasive white perch, which are 100 times more common on the Bay and provide poor table fare. Included are photos of white perch and white bass you can properly identify them and avoid perpetuating misinformation.
8/1/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Like usual I had a plan of attack today where I was going to fish the same spot we did well at yesterday for a while and hopefully load up on a bunch of walleyes, and then before limits were reached, I was going to try a couple different spots that had been producing well in past days with some larger fish there on average. The weather conditions were ideal too with a light northerly wind and a perfect one to two foot "walleye" chop. My plans had to be modified though when one of my clients became sea sick early in the charter and that motion sickness would not abate. She toughed it out though and luckily they pulled quick limits so we could return to port where land cured her sea sickness. We never did try any other spots. We caught all our fish today trolling at 1.6 to 1.8 mph running meat behind bottom bouncers. Color did not mater since all lures got hit about equally. I mentioned a couple days ago how the moon affects the walleye bite and then forgot to discuss it in yesterdays report. Well a few days ago the moon phase resulted in the moon setting during the early morning hours. The period just before the moon sets is typically a great time to fish, but after it sets, you can often expect a lull in the action for hours, which was the case on Saturday and Sunday. On those days it would have been prudent to start fishing before sunup to maximize that good fishing window. As the moon phase shifts more to a late morning setting timeframe, like yesterday and today, the best action lasts longer into the late morning hours. When the moon phase involves an overhead moon during mid-day, then that is the best fishing period of the month. This next five days is that hot period, so expect some good fishing reports from me over the next week.
7/31/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We closed out July in style with easy limits for my clients from Midland, MI and Missouri. We fished a different area than we fished yesterday and found a lot of active fish there, although the bite was a bit sporadic. We made one, long trolling pass in one direction covering perhaps five miles of water. The bite started off very good, then died down some when the wind went dead calm, then they eventually started biting again, but it was more a a steady pick at that point. When a breeze finally did come up towards the end of our efforts, the bite also picked up steam with some bigger fish coming to the net then too. We did try cranks today, but only caught one fish on the one line I dedicated to that presentation all morning. Meat was working good though with no particular color shinning as everything in the water got hit periodically. Our trolling speed was about 1.7 mph today. We also caught one northern pike today and that sucker managed to sink his teeth into my thumb me to bleed profusely for 10 minutes. minutes. We are coming up on some of the best fishing of the season out of Au Gres during August and we still have plenty of open dates left if you want to enjoy this incredible fishing up close and personal.
7/30/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today's weather forecast was going to be a repeat of yesterday with the predicted winds going decently in the early morning, but then dieing down and switching around as the morning and day progressed. Yesterday we had a good bite early in the morning and we caught 10 walleyes per hour then, but when the winds died down, the spot we were fishing died out on walleye action then too. Yesterday's trip was a short one, so we stayed in that area thinking they would eventually turn back on, but they didn't and my clients came up a couple fish short of their limits. Today though we had a full day trip, so when the bite died in that first spot with the calming and switching winds, we pulled lines and moved to a plan B spot and were rewarded with more and bigger fish in that spot. My clients from Kalamazoo caught their 32 walleye limit and I even got to reel in tomorrow's dinner for my wife and I too. In the first spot we caught all the fish on or near the bottom, but in the second spot, which was over much deeper water, we caught about half the fish on the bottom and half suspended. Color did not mater in either spots with bright colored spinners and natural pattern all working about equally. In the second spot though, with depths in excess of 40 feet, we did troll slower. We did catch sheephead, catfish and white perch in both spots and it is obvious that those species are more abundant than normal this year as they probably had big year classes during the easy winter of 2015, and 2016 just like the walleye did. With tomorrow's forecast for more steady winds, I predict that the fishing will be even better. Tomorrow I will also discuss how the moon phases impact the fishing, which has also been a factor the last few days. Stay tuned.
7/28/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today seemed to be a repeat of yesterdays fishing conditions. Even though the winds were predicted to be just moderate, we had westerly winds nearing 20 knots all morning. The fish in the area we have been fishing have had the crap beat out of them for three straight days of heavy westerly winds, and as the waves picked up steam this morning, the bite died completely. We then made the slow, long run back near Au Gres to fish deep water there in the same general area where we fished yesterday. The action there was a slow pick as we managed another nine walleyes there in 1.5 hours of trolling with some good sized ones in the mix up to about 24 inches long and chunky too. Those deep water fish were all over the water column and about half were taken suspended and half near bottom; all on meat with red/silver/glow being best. The weatherman also screwed up with the rain too. There was no rain in the forecast, but as I write this fishing report at 4:40 p.m., it has been raining for almost two hours straight. I want to go and see the classic auto show parade, but not sure if that is even going to happen in the rain.
7/27/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Tough conditions greeted us today on the Bay. The wind was higher a lot higher than predicted yesterday and last night and it really riled up the water where we had fished Wednesday. The fish were still there, but they were more scattered and wouldn't hit much in the dirty water there. We tried five spots this morning and only had 11 walleyes in the box when encroaching, nasty looking clouds on radar forced us to return closer to port. We did pick up a few more walleyes out in front of Au Gres, but when the storms cropped up, we dashed in to port calling it a day. I still have a lot of availability for charter openings in August including some weekend spots too. Last year the fishing during August was very good and hopefully it will also be good this year too. Those August dates though are booking up fast as I just got four reservations today in the schedule. Last year we did book up all those August dates, so please don't wait too long to reserve your spot to avoid disappointment.
7/25/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a pretty nice weather forecast today for a change, but when we got out into the Bay, the winds were a bit more than predicted with two foot waves. We set up where we did well at the end of the last charter, but the water had changed there clearing up and the walleyes had moved. I made an educated guess where they moved to and low and behold I was right as we got into a good bite in that area. When the winds died down though, the bite slowed up from 10 walleyes per hour to two per hour. That lull in the action was short lived though because they eventually started biting again and the intensity of the action was probably more than 15 walleyes per hour and then even better at the end of the trip. After my clients from Iowa had limited out, I decided to catch some walleyes for dinner and it only took about 15 minutes to put my eight in the box. I ran all meat behind bottom bouncers today and trolled at 1.6 to 1.8 mph. Color did not mater much since everything in the water got hit about equally. We also caught one yellow perch today and a few sheephead, but other than that it was all walleyes. I still have an opening in my schedule for tomorrow from a cancellation if anybody is interested in sampling this world class fishing.
7/23/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Before the weekend we had been taking limit catches on every charter this week, but that all changed with the three day, rainy, windy conditions with east winds daily which really sucked. We only got to fish for a couple hours yesterday before the waves built up to the four to five foot range forcing us off the water. We did pull 10 fish though in on trolling pass right close to Au Gres in 18 to 24 feet of water. The wind today was twice as bad as they had predicted, so we tried that same close area again today, but the fish were gone. The wind died down quickly though this morning, so we ran out by Big Charity where the bite was very good a few days ago, but that area was also void of fish. We then ran to yet another spot and did find some good action there, but with only a five hour charter booked, my clients came up a few fish short of their limits, which was pretty good considering the conditions we've had the past few days. We took everything off meat on the bottom today trolling at 1.5 to 1.8 mph. Color did not seem to mater. I have a few days open in the next week due to cancellations including tomorrow (Tuesday, 7/24) and Thursday (7/26). Both of those days have nice weather forecasts, and I know where a great spot is now, so dates will certainly provide some outstanding walleye fishing. Please give us a call at 734-475-9146 if you are interested.
7/17/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I felt kind of guilty today after team Michigan dealt team Ohio a resounding defeat in the team competition at the National Arm wrestling Championships this past weekend, so today I had two boat charter of clients from Ohio and we maxed them out on nice walleye with limit catches on both boats. We basically fished the same area that I found at the end of yesterday's charter, but with a stiff northwest wind, that spot was a lot tougher fish. Both boat had to make short trolling passes over a break where the walleyes were holding in mass. It took several short passes of perhaps one hour catching about 10 walleyes per pass to get the job done. It was fairly rough today with three footers all day long and when the wind switched form the NNW to the West, the bite slowed up a bit. Yesterday plastic was best, but today, spinner/crawler rigs were the ticket, but color did not seem to mater. We put the spinner close to bottom and the walleyes latched on. My boat lost very few fish, but my companion boat lost a lot. I had the senior members of the family, while the other boat had the younger generation. Perhaps older, wiser, slower and steadier was superior today. :)
7/16/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After taking the weekend off to participate in the National Arm Wrestling Championships where my four medals helped Team Michigan win the team competition, I had to rely on friends fishing reports to select a fishing area. It didn't help today either with possible storms predicted. The first spot I tried, where a friend of mine caught 16 walleyes yesterday evening was full of fish, but they were biting much, so we ran to where we caught a lot of fish on Thursday. That spot had some fish there too, but in one long trolling pass through the area, we only had nine walleyes in the box. We then tried another spot a few miles form there and as soon as I began setting lines fish were latching onto the lures. I was running two Hot N' Tots on the outside boards and those got crushed, but the spinner/crawler rigs were also getting hammered to, so in about an hour my clients had their 24 walleye limit iced down plus a couple eating sized channel catfish as a bonus. The biggest walleye today was about 24 inches. Chrome/green Tots were best today, but everything in the water caught their share of fish. I was trolling at about 1.8 mph, give or take a couple tens, in the surging waves. Walleyes are being caught all over the Bay right now, so if the bite isn't good in one spot, you need to move around to find the hot bite.
7/13/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a delay going out today with storms rolling through in the morning. When we headed out it was pretty windy too; about 7-10 knots more than the National Weather Service had predicted. Since their was a possibility of more storms during the day, we had to stay pretty close to port. We tried out in deep water first and caught some nice walleyes there, but the wind continued to increase and the waves built up so we had to head closer to shore. We had sporadic action there for the duration of the trip and ended the day with 23 nice walleyes in the box with some good sized ones up to 26 inches. My clients also caught a 30" northern pike and two yellow perch that all went in the box too. There were a lot of sheephead and catfish in that area too, so there was enough action to keep everyone interested. We pulled meat with everything suspended about five feet off bottom going 1.4 to 1.8 mph in the surging waves. Color did not seem to mater much today as everything got hit about equally. I have the weekend off, which is my only weekend that I have off all summer. I'm going to the AAA, National Arm Wresting Championships and hopefully my cousin's wedding reception after the tournament. My back is killing me though after today's charter in those rough conditions, so hopefully I'll feel better in the morning.
7/12/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We finally had a beautiful day for fishing today with low winds, a light chop, and filtered sunshine; near perfect for walleye fishing. We ran back to the spot where we found lots of walleyes yesterday and picked up right where we left off with non-stop action right form the time I set lines until the end of the trip. My clients from Cadillac, MI and Chicago, IL had to problem putting 24 walleyes in the box in short order. They also kept a couple perfect eating size channel catfish too. I mixed some crankbaits into the trolling spread today and the walleyes ate them up. The old standby, chrome, 1/4 oz. Hot-N-Tots with a rubber core sinker 5' ahead of the lures did the trick. A trolling speed of about 1.8 mph was my velocity. We also some meat today too and that also worked like a charm. The wind is predicted to be up some for tomorrow with two completely different wind predictions form two weather sources. The National Weather Service calling for 12 knot SW winds, which would be fine, but Windfinder is predicting wind to 27 knots from the south turning SW, which would be awful. We'll just have to wait and see how thing shape up tomorrow morning to see if we can fish.
7/11/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I decided to try some different spots today right from the start of the trip. The first location produced a couple quick walleyes but then nothing more, so we moved to spot #2. There we caught a couple more walleyes, but nothing steady, so we moved to spot #3, which turned out to be full of walleyes. We had non-stop action for a two mile stretch, but unfortunately, my clients had only booked a 5 hour trip and they ran out of time before they had limited out. With four clients aboard, catching 32 walleyes takes very steady action right from the start, which certainly isn't always going to be the case with the way walleyes move around in the Bay. It often takes checked several spot before finding a concentration of active fish. They did end up with 25 walleyes today though with the biggest being about 26 inches. They also caught some catfish and sheephead along with a white bass, white perch and a yellow perch too. We had a big pike on, but it bit through the line taking the lure with him. We pulled meat on the bottom today with every lure in the water catching their share of fish. It was fairly windy and rough at times today, so the trolling speed varied a lot in the surging waves from 1.4 to 2.0 mph. We had some issues with seasickness yesterday and today too even though it was really not all that rough out. In both cases, taking a good seasickness preventative would likely have cured the motion sickness. If you are planning a fishing trip on big water and motion sickness is possible, then consult your doctor about Transderm Scop, which is a prescription medication that is applied through a patch worn below the ear. In every case I've seen where this product is used it has blocked all sea sickness including some hard cases that were especially prone to motion sickness. Over the counter remedies like Dramamine may be fine for those that get light sea sickness occasionally, but Transder Scop is a much surer bet.
7/9/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I often wonder how the folks at the National Weather Service can keep their jobs when they are wrong more than they are right. Trump should fire them for incompetence. They had predicted 12 knot winds today, but when we launched it was 15 knots and by the time we arrived at the fishing area, it had increased to 20+ knots with building waves. We toughed it out though, but it was pretty tough fishing in three to four foot waves even though we were trolling with the wind. The wind eventually died down some though and the bite picked up and my clients from Grayling, MI managed to catch their limits of walleyes. At first today the fish were tight to bottom, but when the wind subsided slightly, they moved up and we did better with suspended presentations. The walleyes were also moving around a lot. We would make a pass through a area and get lots of action, then we'd make another run through the spot and it was empty. Fire tiger harnesses worked best suspended, but red/silver/glow worked best on bottom. Speed varied a lot in the surging waves with a range of 1.2 to 1.6 mph producing. With a nicer forecast predicted tomorrow, it sure would be if the NWS was actually right for once. We'll see.
7/8/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weatherman blew it again today predicting winds under 10 knots, but reality was far from that fantasy with winds in the high teens and three footers all morning long. The charter today was a half day trip, so I was happy to get 17 walleyes and one five pound steelhead today. Most of the walleyes were pretty good size, but we did loose a lot of fish in the surging waves. We caught most of the walleyes today suspended in deep water with 20 to 25 feet down being best. Color did not mater much. A trolling speed of 1.3 to 1.5 mph seemed to work best. The fish were moving around a lot today too which made it tougher. Hopefully the winds die down some by tomorrow and for the rest of the week since I have mostly half day charters booked through the week. At this time of the year half day charters can really handicap the clients when it's windy or stormy and we can't run far from port to better areas because the long, slow runs eat of too much of the fishing time. The bite is then usually more of a slow pick and with the short duration of the trip the catch often ends up being far less than what would have been possible with a full day trip. I do understand though that some people just don't want to fish all day long, and that's fine, but clients need to have reasonable exceptions of successes in that case. With an eight walleye limit on the Bay, it just takes more time to max out and half day trips offer far lower odds of doing so compared to full day charters.
7/7/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The northeast wind that forced the cancellation of yesterday's charter really moved the walleyes on the Bay. The first spot we tried, where we had been catching lots of fish all week was very slow. We then tried another spot near there that is typically very good at this time of the year and there was no fish there. I then ran to a third spot where the fishing was good a couple days and we did mark a lot of fish there, but the walleye bite was only fair. It was only a five hour charter today, so when we ran out of time, my clients had 13 fish in the box. If it had been an eight hour trip, then the box likely would have been much more full, but on five hour trips, when the first spot or two don't pan out, you just don't have enough time to pile them up. All the walleyes were taken off the bottom at 1.5 to 1.6 mph with no particular color jumping out as superior. Hopefully the scattered fish will regroup tomorrow and the fishing will improve.
7/5/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a good bite this morning for a short period, then the action slowed down when the wind picked up and changed directions. My clients from Southern Michigan boxed 22 walleyes and two northern pike. All fish came on spinner/crawler rigs trolled at about 1.7 mph. All colors produced. I've already cancelled tomorrow's charter as my clients elected to reschedule to a different date with the predicted 24 knot north east winds.
7/4/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients celebrated the fourth of July in style today with limit catches of walleyes. This was their second day in a row fishing with me and they brought home 64 walleyes in their two day fishing spree. The also caught a dandy northern pike today, which I filleted out bondless and they are nearly as good eating as the walleyes, so a nice bonus. We fished the same area as yesterday and had a good morning bite, but when the wind died down to dead calm, the bite slowed up a lot. When a slight breeze came in though, the walleyes turned back on and my clients were able to fill their limits. These four guys were all very good on the rods though, so that helped a lot in this light bite situation we had today. I tried to run a crankbait today, but after a couple hours and no hits on the on them, I went to all meat, which was working well. The only down side is that we caught a lot of sheephead today. We also caught a rock bass, yellow perch, white perch, catfish and the pike I mentioned before. Lots of variety indeed. We also threw back at least a dozen walleyes too, so lots of action on the boat today by all standards. No color preference was shown today as everything near bottom got hammered. I even got to bring fish too and had a walleye dinner fit for a king. I put the walleye on tin foil, squirted lemon juice on it, then salted and pepper it a bit. The fleets were covered in Vidalia onions, sealed up and put on the grill until done. Delicious.
7/3/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report\
We had a hot, calm day on the Bay today, which is usually not good fishing condition, but we checked out several new areas today and spot number three was a winner. My clients from Sault St. Marie and Holly Michigan caught their 32 walleye limit, but it did take most of the day to accomplish that with a light bite and lots of missed fish. We also caught a lot of sheephead today to, which also slowed down our walleye efforts at times. We caught all our fish today on spinner/crawler rigs, however I may mix in some crankbaits tomorrow if we fish the same area. Trolling speeds of 1.5 to 1.7 mph were best today. We caught walleye on all colors, but fire/tiger was probably best. I have the same clients tomorrow, so I'm sure they will be pumped up for another fun day on the water once again.
7/2/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This was the second 28 incher my clients caught this week. They also caught another one that was almost as big today too.
7/1/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The heat wave this weekend has really slowed the fishing. The water temperature jumped up about 10 degrees. My clients caught 19 walleyes and one northern pike today fishing for eight hours with a lot of fish lost. We had similar results yesterday too. Anywhere else and that would be considered "good fishing" but on Saginaw Bay it is sub par. We have been fishing a lot of different places trying to seek out active fish, but haven't been able to find anything fantastic. The fish are likely just a bit shocked by the sudden warm up and will start biting like crazy again once this warm spell passes and they get used to the water temps. We fished deep, medium and shallow water today looking for fish. We caught fish in most of the places we checked but didn't stay long since the action was not great in any one place. We stuck with spinner/crawler rigs today which are going to be the best choice in tough conditions when we are fishing a lot of varying depths. Color has not mattered much the past couple days with everything I've had in the water getting bite once in a while. When the fishing is tough a lot of people start changing lures to try something different with hopes of better results. I opt to just stick with the highest odds lures that work day in a day out all summer and only start changing lures when the bite is good. Using low odds lures in a tough bite just lowers your chances for success that much more.
6/29/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had another beautiful day today on Saginaw Bay for walleye fishing. We started out fishing a bit south of the area where we fished yesterday and had a flurry of action right away, but when we got to the area from yesterday, the action dried up. We then pulled lines and ran back through the better area again and the bite had died down there too. The wind had picked up and then died down then, which shut them off. We just stayed in that area though and eventually they turned back on and my clients from southern Michigan caught their limits of nice walleyes with the largest being 24 inches, although a few others that may have been larger were lost. They also caught to nice sized yellow perch too. All the fish were caught today near bottom with spinner/crawler rigs presented with bottom bouncers. I'm running six rigs off the Church Tackle Walleye Boards and two right off the back of the boat for a eight rod trolling spread. The trolling speed today was 1.3 to 1.4 mph. Anything over 1.5 resulted in no hits. The water temperature is finally over 70 degrees, so the fish will be more active now, but they also move around more when the water is warm too. We don't fish the same spots for long at this time of the year. My clients today had a great time on the water and are already planning a return trip for next year. With the fishing so good here though, they seemed to be having a hard time deciding on a time of the year to fish.
6/28/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
It was a picture perfect day for fishing on the Bay today with light winds that were fairly steady, blue skies, comfortable temperatures and very cooperative fish too. In fact the only complain I heard today was that various body parts were getting sore form reeling in too many big walleyes. My clients today from St. Helen, MI, Texas and Las Vegas, NV caught their limits of walleyes in short order with most of them being over 20" long. The biggest was just under 28 inches and was hauled in by a lady who had never even seen a walleye before today, but she did awesome on the rods catching several of the biggest fish of the day and a jumbo perch too. We had a blow day yesterday with stiff, northeast winds and rain all day long, so I wasn't really sure where to go since hadn't fished for a couple days. I ended up going to the spot where we finished up Tuesday's charter, which had lots of fish marks there, but was a bit slow on bites due to the crappy weather. The fish really bit a lot better today with the nice conditions. We pulled spinner/crawler rigs on the bottom with bottom bouncers trolling at 1.3 to 1.5 mph. The downwind troll was more productive than upwind. The best lure today was a red/silver/glow harness that I have been using all spring and summer with good success consistently. I did an article for In Fishermen last month featuring this harness and another super productive one and the article includes tons of details on the presentation that we use day in and day out on the Bay. I was told it is supposed to come out this fall some time. The weatherman has predicted a similar, beautiful weather day for tomorrow, so I expect great things then too.
6/26/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had ever switching winds today, which resulted in a on and off bite all day. We started our with rollers coming in from the northeast and wind from the southeast churning up waves in two different directions. Then it went east and then back southeast, then back east again, then southeast again. Eventually it went east again and then veered northeast and finally it went north just as we were finishing up the trip. Every time I would set up for a trolling pass, the wind would change sending us sideways in the wind. We jumped around for several different spots: Some produced walleyes and some didn't. My clients from Manistee, MI hung in there though and eventually caught their limits of walleyes along with three yellow perch as a bonus. Some of the walleyes were good sized too with most being above average specimens and the biggest being 26 inches. I kept the same high percentage program going all day today with six lures set right on bottom and two up about 22' down. Most fish came off bottom, but the two suspended rigs caught their share too. All our fish were caught in deep water, so slower trolling speeds of 1.3 to 1.4 mph were best. Lure color did not matter on the spinner/crawler rigs. These clients have another trip scheduled with me in July and have done two trips every year for many years. They always seem to get their fish.
6/25/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a blow day yesterday complete with stiff northeast winds and driving rain, we headed out this morning with winds just over 10 knots. Things were looking pretty good until the wind suddenly came up another five knots just as we reached the fishing area. We set up for our first trolling pass in two footers, but by the end of that run we had threes. We took two long passes through that spot covering about three miles on each one and managed about a dozen walleyes on each pass, so not too bad. By the end of the second pass though the wind had increase a few more knots and the waves were more in the four foot range with an occasional five footer thrown in for good measure. We decided to head closer to shore where Pt. Lookout would block the wind more. We had several fish on right away, lost a couple of them but did put some walleyes in the box there too. Finally the wind hit 20 knots and even close to shore it was getting real rough so we called it a day. We pulled most of our fish off the bottom today trolling at a very erratic 1.0 to 2.0 mph with the surging waves. Color of the harnesses did not mater much with everything in the water getting hit. We did seem to have our best luck with the two flatlines though, which had two different harnesses on them, but both were on bottom. I've have trips booked every day for the next couple weeks and hopefully the weather will stabilize one of these days. I'm getting tired of northeast winds. I think we've broken a record with over a week straight with NE winds.
6/23/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a weather delay this morning for an hour due to storms in the area and then we had another delay getting out of the harbor due to a big walleye tournament going on our of Au Gres. When we head out into the bay there were some big, left over waves rolling in from the northeast, but the wind had just switched to the east/south/east creating sloppy conditions with waves going in different directions. The morning bite was a bit slow as a result but we picked away at them for the duration of the five hour trip without too many lulls in the action and ended up with 21 nice walleye, which was pretty good considering the conditions and the short duration of the trip. We had one nice 25 incher, a super chubby 24 inch walleye and several more in the low 20 inch range, so some nice fish indeed. We also caught a couple sheephead and some perch too. We pulled meat at 1.2 to 1.4 mph with color not making much difference today. We caught about an equal number of fish suspended and near bottom, so the depth of presentation was not critical today either. We plied deep water today and had a lot of boat traffic in the area, which also impacted the fishing too with lots of boat wakes and trollers all over the place on this, perhaps the busiest day of the year out of Au Gres. My repeat clients had a great time today though and are already making plans for a return trip next year.
6/22/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
A heavy northeast wind forced a cancellation yesterday, but today the winds were predicted to be lighter, but still northeast. We went out in twos and threes and in the first trolling pass we had 14 fish in the box. When we went back for pass number two though, the northeast winds picked up to the high teens and the waves quickly built up to fours and fives, so we had to call it a day. The weatherman blew it again today with a prediction that the winds would not rise up much until noon, but it got rough well before that. We had a pretty good bite going on suspended fish today, but the walleyes were also hitting lures down near bottom too. I'd say the suspended bite though was slightly better. Fire/tiger spinners worked well suspended. Speeds of 1.3 to 1.4 were the fastest I could run and get them to bite. My clients didn't really loose too many fish today, so the bite was decent while it lasted. We are predicted to have a NE wind for the next two days, so hopefully the wind speed forecasts are not under estimated once again.
6/20/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a couple crummy weather days on Monday and Tuesday, we finally had better weather today with a great forecast. The National Weather Service was a bit off once again though as we were greeted by rain first thing in the morning. The rain quickly dissipated though by the time we got to the fishing area and we were left with cloudy skies with a light chop. Right after setting lines in my first spot we started catching fish and it was non-stop action from then on until limits of walleyes were reached. The fish were on the bottom, so we put all the lures there in their faces trolling spinner/crawler rigs at medium speeds today. They hit everything in the water, however the fire/tiger (orange and chartreuse) was especially productive as those were hit within a few minutes of being deployed over and over. After the trip was over and we were back on shore, we tried out the new fish cleaning station that the City of Au Gres just finished. It was fantastic with nice tables, a quite grinder and it was nice to be in the shade while doing that chore too.
6/17/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We've had decent fishing the last two days with similar catches. We are still marking a lot of walleyes in lots of areas of the Bay, but the bite has been somewhat slow due to light and variable winds, which often impacts walleye fishing negatively. We boxed 23 fish today, but lost a bunch too. This would have been a limit catch under the old regulations that the rest of the state is under, so a pretty good catch, which included some nice sized walleyes too. We are still finding our best action in deeper water fishing with spinner/crawler rigs on the slow side (1.3 to 1.4 mph). Lure color has not been much of a factor. We are still taking fish both on bottom and suspended too. The bite will take back off again when the wind is steady for a day otherwise it will be picking away at them.
6/15/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had ever changing winds today on the Bay and the bite slowed down considerably as a result. It took my clients from southern Michigan the full eight hours of their charter to box their 32 walleye limit and we had to fish a very small area to get it done. We had been fishing a big area of 30 to 45 foot of water for weeks, but now the fish appear to be scattering, so we'll likely be fishing a different area tomorrow. We had to put all the lures down on bottom today to get them to bite and the speed had to be under 1.4 mph to get much action too. The bite was extremely light today too as we probably lost as many fish as we caught, which can be very frustrating, but you just need to be patient. Color did not mater much today as everything seemed to get hit about equally. With the walleyes petering out in that area, the white perch there got braver and were pestering us more than in past days steeling night crawlers and fowling our lures with their presence.
6/14/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The wind was a lot stronger than predicted by the National Weather Service today. They said is was going to be light winds, but when we hit the water we had a west wind at 20+ mph. We fished a bit closer to shore today as a result, but there were walleyes there too and my clients from South Bend, IN and Eau Claire, MI caught 32 walleyes in about six hours on the water. We pulled spinners today behind bottom bouncers catching most fish near bottom, but about 20% of them came up higher suspended. I ran two suspended rigs about 20' down and they caught fish equally as the six bottom rigs I ran. Color did not make much difference today as bright colors did the same as natural ones. It was a light bite again today as we lost perhaps 20 fish or more during the outing. They also boxed two yellow perch and caught a sheephead that weighted about 15 pounds, which was one of the biggest ones I've ever seen. The biggest walleye today was almost 26" with several others just smaller than that. The winds eventually died down about three hours into the trip, but by the time we headed back in just after noon, the wind had cranked back up again from the northwest. Even though the weatherman was wrong once again, the fish still cooperated with limit catches once again today.
6/13/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We only got to fish for a short period before a storm cell chased us off the Bay and with winds cranking up, we called it a day. They still caught 13 nice walleyes and one jumbo perch though, but the bite was very light this morning with more fish lost than caught. Two of the walleyes were 23 inchers. With light winds and sunshine predicted for tomorrow, we should do a lot better. There are tons of walleyes out in front of Au Gres right now and there is lots of baitfish there too, so they should stay there for a while before we have to venture further out into the Bay this summer.
6/12/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a blow-day yesterday complete with vicious, northeast winds, I was happy to see light winds and blue skies today. We had a robust bite to start the day and the first 20 walleyes came pretty fast, but then the breeze died down completely and we had a lull in the action, although we did pick up some during that slow period. At about noon though the bite picked back up and my clients from Caledonia, MI filled out their 32 walleye limit and also took a couple nice catfish and several jumbo perch with one over 12" long. The fish were feeding mostly on smelt judging by the barf in the bottom of my cooler. I did mark lots of schools of baitfish, which were likely smelt, and walleye love smelt. We caught fish on bottom and suspended and color did not seem to mater much today. A slower trolling speed with my spinner/crawler rigs of 1.3ish mph was best. I have the same Caledonian foursome tomorrow too, and with a favorable weather forecast, they will likely see similar, excellent fishing on Wednesday too. I still have a couple openings at the end of June and lots of open dates during the prime time of July and August too if you want to get in on the fantastic fishing.
6/10/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Our prevailing winds are supposed to be westerly, but we had easterly winds once again today with bigger waves than I prefer. My clients from Livonia though still caught their limits of nice walleyes without any problems. They also caught a jumbo yellow perch as a bonus too. We made one long downwind trolling pass starting out in 45' and ended up in 35' and caught fish all along the way. I only ran seven rods today and at the end of the trip we ended up with seven fish on at one time and caught all of them. Speed, color and depth of presentation did not mater much today as we caught fish at all sorts of speeds and at varying depths on everything we had in the water with no real preference noted. Put a spinner/crawler rig in the water off Au Gres now and it will catch walleyes. I can't remember another time when I've seen so many walleyes so close to Au Gres.
6/9/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a northeast wind again today with rain predicted along with a stiff wind. The rain never materialized, the winds were less than predicted and the fish were biting like crazy. My clients from Otisville, MI and Holly, MI caught their 32 fish limit in short order and also took home a whitefish too, which is a fairly unusual catch. We fished the same area where we have been all week and used the same program too putting most of the spinner/crawler rigs on bottom, but also running two rigs about 20-25 feet down over deep water catching some suspended fish too. We had real consistent action over a large area. We trolled for about three miles in one direction and never stopped catching fish. I think one could troll all the way from Au Gres to Bay City on a day like this and probably catch fish all along the way. There are millions of hungry walleyes in the Bay now with perhaps the largest walleye population we've seen in modern times.
6/8/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients today from Boca Raton, FL, Clare, MI and Portage MI caught their limits on a sunny, cool morning. The northeast wind was a bit more than the National Weather Service had predicted, so it was rather bumpy on the Bay, but the fish were still close to Au Gres in mass. We marked lots of bigger fish and baitfish schools close to bottom, so we set most of the rigs down near those marks and they produced well. I did leave two spinner/crawler rigs up higher (about 20' down) and they also caught some fish too. Lure color did not seem to mater today. We trolled slow today in the surging waves trying to keep the speed at under 1.5 mph. It was a very light bite today as we probably lost over 20 walleyes with most of them getting off well away from the boat. Only a downwind trolling direction was possible, so we had to make two trolling passes over a fairly big area to limit out. The fish today were of all sizes from 10" to 25". All in all it was a very good day of fishing on the Bay.
6/7/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The fishing at Au Gres has been awesome all week and my clients from Port Sanilac, MI today continued our streak of limit catches every day for the month. We had some southerly winds early this morning that kicked up some rolling waves to greet us, but that wind quickly died down and then switched to the west. We had a good bite going right away, but that wind switch slowed the action to a steady pick. The bite began to pick back up, but then the wind switched again the south and the bite slowed up once again. We were marking tons of fish on the bottom today in deep water, so we just stayed over them and eventually limited out with a nice box of walleyes and two jumbo perch for a bonus. We pulled spinner/crawler rigs mostly on the bottom, but we did set a couple lures 20' down and those caught their share of fish today too. That suspended rig was fire/tiger but the bottom bite showed a preference for red/glow/silver. A slower trolling speed of 1.3 mph seemed to work best today with the on and off mood of the fish. We caught some larger fish today to go along with a preponderance of eater sized fish with the biggest being 25 inches. I still have a few openings for June charters, but those opportunities are dwindling fast.
6/3/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a blow day yesterday with northeast winds that ripped to 28 knots, I didn't know what to expect when I ventured out the Au Gres River mouth. As we motored out though we started to mark a lot of fish under the boat close to port, so we set lines right on top of them. We made a fairly long trolling run, in one direction covering a couple miles and caught walleyes non-stop. We put 28 keeper walleyes and one nice northern pike in the box on that first pass. We then went back through them again and my clients took their 32 walleye limit in short order. We had a good mixture of smaller, prime frying sized walleyes and plenty of larger ones too in the three to five pound range. Today neither the running depth or the color of the spinner rigs mattered much. We caught walleyes both on the bottom and suspended and they were biting good too with few fish lost. I kept the trolling speed near 1.5 mph. When I sped up once, the action stopped, so speed was a factor. We also threw back some walleyes today too, which is certainly a good thing. My clients from Hersey, MI and Ann Arbor, MI got to experience some high quality fishing on Saginaw Bay indeed and they took home bags of scrumptious walleye filets too, which is the ultimate payoff of a successful day on the water.
6/1/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We managed to put over 50 walleyes in the boxes today on a half day, two boat charter. We also threw back a lot of walleyes too. It was foggy when we went out this morning, but it soon cleared out and we had calm conditions until the very end of the trip when the wind kicked up and generated fog again for the return trip back in. We were only fishing one to two miles out from port today, so the fog was not really a problem. It was a very light bite today with as many fish lost as caught on my boat. Many of those lost fish would just grab on for 5 to 10 seconds and then drop off well before they were even close to the boat. The bite was also on and off with lulls in the action as the winds switched around. We couldn't get much action faster than 1.5 mph, so that was our target speed today. The clients all had a good time though with lots of action We caught most of our fish on or near bottom today, but I did run a couple suspended rigs too, and those caught fish about on an equal ratio as the six bottom rigs I ran. The other boat in the two boat deal caught some fish on plastic, be we used all meat. The weather is not looking good for tomorrow, so we'll see if we can get out. It's nice having lots of fish close though, which gives us options in the predicted NE winds.
5/30/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had less than favorable fishing conditions again today with a southeast wind to start off the day changing to northeast. The shear quality of the Saginaw Bay fishery though overcame the negative conditions and my clients from Eastlake, MI, Kalamazoo, MI and Minneapolis, MN caught their limits of 32 walleyes. We had good action for the first few hours in the sloppy (waves from multiple directions) conditions. When the wind switched to the Northeast though with gusto, we ran back closer to Au Gres to be safe, since NE winds produce some big waves in a hurry. We made one pass out in front of Au Gres and filled the box with a bunch more walleyes limiting out. We caught fish both on bottom and suspended. A fire/tiger harness about 20' down over deep water was best though in both locations. I had to deploy one drift sock to keep the speed down to 1.5 mph, which seemed to produce the best results. We had three foot waves pushing us along when we ended the day, but when it was sloppy before that, we had two footers from two different directions, and that was worse for standing up in the boat. We caught some nice sized fish today too with the biggest being a chubby 26 incher, with several others not to much smaller. All in all, after three days on the water with this group, they had a good time and have already picked out their dates with me for May of 2019. They likely have enough fish in three days of fishing to last them the rest of the year. Saginaw Bay out of Au Gres is the walleye capital of the World and these best fishing is yet to come this year when the weather stabilizes this summer.
5/29/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weatherman predicted a 14 knot wind today, but when it went up to 22 knots from the Northeast and the waves built up fast, we curtailed the charter. We fished very close to Au Gres today due to the winds, but still caught a dozen nice walleyes. Most of them were bigger ones with the largest being a fat, 27 incher. The bite was pretty light today with a lot of big fish lost in the surging waves too. We pulled all of the fish off the bottom in 30 to 33 feet of water with red/silver/glow spinners working well. These long time, repeat clients have one more day to fish with me, so hopefully tomorrow will bring better weather. The winds are predicted to be less than 10 knots, so hopefully the weatherman is right for once.
5/28/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today we had decent conditions early on in the charter with a nice chop on the water and my clients from East Lake, MI, Kalamazoo, MI and Minnesota caught about a dozen mostly nice sized walleyes in about two hours of fishing. After that the wind died down and the bite slowed up to next to nothing. We made of move then and my Plan-B spot was full of fish and we had non-stop action until they limited out with 32 walleyes in the box. I set the spinner rigs on the boards up off bottom, and had the two flatlines on or near bottom and those flatlines caught fish non-stop. The higher stuff had a lot of action too, but in reality, we could have just run two flat lines on the bottom and limited out: It was that good. I have the same clients for the next two days and the weather may not allow us to fish the same areas tomorrow with a rather stiff, northeast wind predicted, but there are lots of fish out in front of Au Gres now, so even if we have to fish there, with the wind tending to turn on the fish more, we should still have excellent fishing there too.
5/27/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients today from Northville, MI enjoyed a near perfect day of fishing on the Bay taking limit catches of nice walleyes. We had a rain storm come through just before we were scheduled to depart, but after that the skies cleared up and the gentle breeze provided a nice "walleye chop". We caught fish of varied sizes with the biggest being almost 25". The hot setup today was a fire/tiger spinner rig fished about 10' off bottom in somewhat deep water. We also caught some fish on bottom too, but couldn't get the really high going despite marking fish in the top 10 feet. My trolling speed was kept close to 1.6 mph, which was the fasted I could get them to bite at. If I slowed down to less than that, then white perch pestered the lures more taking them out of commission. We had a happy seven year old boy on the boat today and he got to catch a lot of fish including the biggest one of the day too. These walleyes charters are perfect for kids as we get lots of action and the fish put up enough fight to make it fun, but not so much that kids can't handle them like salmon. Kids have a lot of fun for sure.
5/26/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients today from Perry, MI caught their limits of walleyes onboard the Trophy Specialist boat. The weather was a little iffy today with a 40% chance of precipitation. All the rain went south of us though and we had dry conditions all through the trip. We fished the same area as yesterday but he bite was a bit slower today with a lot more fish lost. It was a lighter bite for sure. Spinner rigs set about 8-10 feet off bottom worked best today as the active fish were up off bottom. Color did not seem to mater much today. Trolling speeds of 1.5 to 1.7 mph were the fastest I could get them going at. I did hear of some other limit catches from others areas around Au Gres too, so the fishing is becoming ore widespread as we start heading into the prime time for easy limits all over the Bay.
5/25/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Going out scouting yesterday really paid off today as my clients from Gladwin and S. MI cashed in with some incredible fishing action. We caught 40 walleyes in less than a few hours of fishing and also took a nice king salmon as a, rare, bonus fish. We don't normally get kings on crawler harnesses, but I know a king when I see one and one certainly ended up in the cooler today. We fished the same waters where my wife and I found fish yesterday, only the action was much stronger. Running over the area to position us for a down wind trolling pass this morning, I marked a lot of fish all over the water column at high speed, therefore, I set a mixed spread with half up high and half down deep using spinner/crawler rigs. The high rigs with bright, fire-tiger patterns were best as those sets got hit constantly, but everything was taking fish today too. Trolling speed did not seem to mater much as 1.4 to 1.9 mph caught fish with the surging waves. As I predicted, this year is setting up to provide perhaps the best fishing the Bay has ever seen. As the waters continues to warm up, with a record high walleye population, the catch rates this year will be phenomenal.
5/24/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
With the 23rd and 24th open on my schedule, I decided to go out today with my wife to do some scouting around. We had beautiful conditions with lots of sunshine and a light breeze. We checked out five spots that have been good at this time of the year before, but didn't catch any walleyes at any of those past hot spots. The sixth spot though showed a lot of fish marks on my sonar as I approached it. We started catching fish there right away and after about two hours there, caught 16 walleyes. This deeper spot had fish all over the water column from just below the surface all the way down to the bottom. Lots of schools of baitfish were also marked there. We caught fish about equally suspended and on bottom. We ran six spinner/crawler rigs: Three up high and three down deep. Color did not seem to make much difference today. I trolled at about 1.5 mph. I'm booked solid for the next two weeks, but do still have some June openings, which won't last long as that month typically books up completely. Same thing for July. There are millions of walleyes in the Bay this year. Give us a call and we'll put you on them.
5/22/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients from Tucson, AZ fished with me today and they caught their limits of nice walleyes, which will be going towards a big fish fry with their family who lives in Michigan. We had a very good bite for the first hour of the charter this morning and I thought it would be quick limits, but when the wind died down to dead calm conditions during hour two, the bite died down almost completely. We only caught a couple walleye during the next four hours, but when the wind finally picked up in the afternoon, the fish started to hit again and they were able to complete their limits. Most of the walleyes today were good sized ones over 20". They also caught a Master Angler qualifying yellow perch too as a bonus. We also had a big pike on, but it got away. We caught all our fish today on spinner/crawler rigs trolled at 1.5 to 1.6 mph. The same red/silver/glow harness that worked yesterday was best today. I have a couple openings this next two days on Wed. and Thursday and the weather forecast then is ideal with sunny conditions and light winds predicted. After that I'm pretty busy for a stint. We still have some openings left for June, July and August, which usually books up solid, so if you want to go during the prime, summer months, don't wait to book your trip or you might get disappointed and not get the dates you want.
5/21/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We did a two boat charter for 8 anglers today and put over 60 walleyes in the box for a pretty good day of fishing in anybody's book. The fish ran bigger today too compared to yesterday with a lot of walleyes in the 20" to 26" range. It took my clients all of the 8 hour charter to limit out though with constantly changing winds and weather conditions making the bite on and off all day. We just persisted in the same spot though waiting out the lulls in the action and were rewarded with a great catch. We caught fish mostly on spinner/crawler rigs today, but also took some on crankbaits too. A red/glow/silver harness was the only one that worked well today as the fish were pretty particular today. Flickershads were best crankbait. We trolled at 1.5 to 1.7 mph in waters in the mid-50 degree range. All the fish were caught on or near the bottom. I got an email today from my clients from 5/20 and they took some of their fresh caught fish to H&H Bakery and Restaurant for the Catch and Cook meal deal and were very complementary of their meal saying it was delicious. I have client that take advantage of the Catch and Cook program every week at H&H and have never heard anything but good comments about this awesome meal opportunity.
5/20/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The wind blew today a bit more than predicted by the weatherman, but my clients from Vanderbilt, MI still managed to catch their limits of nice walleyes. We got pestered by a lot of white perch today, which made the fishing a lot tougher than it should have been. Those little thieves would steel the night crawlers constantly, but the walleyes were in their with them, so we pushed through the pain they caused. The walleye bite was on and off all day with the changing wind directions. We would have burst of good action followed by lulls. The walleyes did run bigger today compared to yesterday, so that was nice. Most of the fish were over 20 inches. We trolled at 1.5 to 1.6 mph with spinner/crawler rigs on or near bottom. Color did not make any noticeable difference and the bite off the boards or behind the boat was about equal too. All in all though my clients had an enjoyable day with lots of action.
5/19/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had good fishing out of Au Ges Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but the big Northeast winds we had on Thursday and Friday that kept everybody off the water really changed things big time and the fish moved around a lot since I last fished. The first two spots that we tried had few walleyes left there. The third spot though had plenty of fish and we caught them sporadically. Every time the wind would shift or it would rain though, the bite would slow. My clients from Kalamazoo and Battle Creek did manage to box 17 walleyes though a three yellow perch too, which wasn't too bad considering the crummy conditions. We caught all our fish today on spinner/crawler rigs and bottom bouncers. All fish were holding tight to bottom and biting very lightly with a lot of fish lost as a result. The water temperature is still only in the low to mid-50s, which is way cold for this time of year. There are still thousands of diving ducks staying on the Bay due to the cold water conditions. On the way back in today we ran through a massive flock of mostly Old Squaws and they were so full of zebra mussels that they couldn't fly, so they just dove under the water when we went by. I marked hundreds of them on my sonar under the boat, which was a first for me.
5/13/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
What a beautiful day and great fishing to boot. My customers hit the jackpot today with a limit of walleye. Bottom bouncers with spinner/crawler rigs and speeds of 1.2 to 1.8 mph gave us plenty of action. The water temp hit 52 degrees. The fishing just keeps gets better and better.
5/8/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We are still hamming the walleyes out of Au Gres taking limits of chunky fish once again today. All but a couple walleyes today were over 20 inches. We are trolling with spinner/crawler rigs with speeds from 1.2 to 1.8 mph surging with the waves today. Color did not mater today as everything in the water took fish as long as the lure was on the bottom. We are using bottom bouncers to put the lures in the walleye's faces. This will is likely some of the best fishing we'll see this year and I still have openings this coming weekend.
5/7/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Limit catches of nice sized walleyes filled the box again today. We had near perfect fishing conditions with sunny skies, a slight breeze and pleasant temperatures. The walleye cooperated big time with steady action and a maxed out catch. All of our fish today were over 20" long, so the size was good too. We caught them all off spinner/crawler rigs fished with bottom bouncers. We are hitting it again tomorrow, but I still have plenty of openings left this week and next too before my schedule gets super busy, so if you want to take advantage of this awesome spring fishing, just give me a call.
5/5/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had the same group from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo scheduled yesterday and today. We had to stay very close to port yesterday due to the predicted strong winds. We only got to fish part of the trip yesterday due to inclement weather, but still managed to catch some nice fish during the curtailed trip. Today though we ran out to a typical hot spot for this time of the year and loaded up on a bunch on nice walleyes taking limit catches. We trolled with spinner/crawler rigs today targeting larger male walleyes. As of yesterday, we had caught all female walleyes without exception. Today though all the walleye caught were milting, male walleyes. Only a few of the fish we caught were under 20", with the rest in the 20 to 25 inch range. We also caught one nice sized northern pike as a bonus. The 32 walleyes that ended up in the box filled a 120 quart cooler 3/4 full, so they were some chunky fish that were hard fighters too. Since we were targeting post spawn male walleyes, we switched over to spinner/crawler rigs with bottom bouncers. The water temperature was in the low 50s, so we kept the trolling speed at 1.5 to 1.6 mph. Colors did not seem to mater. The bite was fairly light today with a lot more fish lost than caught, but since we were getting hits nearly constantly, those lost fish were inconsequential. At some times we had three or four fish on at the same time, which is awesome fishing action in anybody's book. My clients today already booked their dates for 2019, so they were very happy with the fishing. I have plenty of openings over the next week, so if you want to get in on this fantastic fishing, just give me a call.
4/30/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients from southeast Michigan caught their limits of mostly big walleyes today. The fish were all 22 to 28 inches and were spunkier than normal putting up some good battles in the frigid waters, which ran in the neighborhood of 43 degrees today. The bite this morning was pretty good with steady action until the wind shifted and then the bite stopped for a while. Thankfully it picked up towards the end of the trip but it took the entire 8 hours of the charter for them to fulfill their limits. This morning a pink, Deep Husky Jerk bait was best, but later in the day a three hook, shallow Rouge in purple/gold was best. We trolled at 1.4 to 1.6 mph and caught fish in all sorts of depth today keeping the lures about 12 feet down all day. All the fish I've cleaned so far this year have been post spawn females. The snowy owls were still hanging around the south break wall of the Au Gres River mouth today: Both in the morning and when we retuned in the afternoon. I've read where the winter was brutal and very prolonged in Canada and at the Arctic to the north, which is why the owls are likely so far south from their home range. In any case, it's cool to see them for sure.
4/29/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We are still catching some big walleyes out of Au Gres. Heading out of the Au Gres River mouth today, we were once again greeted by snowy owls, but this time there were four of them, which is almost a flock. Pretty cool to see these birds way out of their home ranges like those owls. We didn't have much fishing action early this morning with the super cold conditions suppressing the bite. When I was setting lines this morning ice was forming on the lines. As it warmed up, the bite finally started to pick up some and my clients from southeast Michigan caught some beautiful walleyes with several of the lunkers measuring 27 to 29 inches. The smallest fish we caught today was about 22 inches, so all of the fix boxed were good sized. We caught all our walleyes today on crankbaits trolled at 1.3 to 1.5 mph. Gold/purple Rouges did best, but pretty much every lure we had in the water today caught at least one fish including Deep Husky Jerks, Deep Jr. Thundersticks and Flicker Minnows. This is the time of the year when we catch our biggest walleyes with average sizes much larger than later in the season. It's easier fishing during late spring and summer with limit catches almost every trip, but early spring is when trophy fish are taken about every day. It's lots of fun anytime on the Bay though for sure.
4/28/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We've been catching some big walleyes this week at Au Gres. Our biggest today was about 29 inches and we caught some others this week near that size too. We are catching them trolling with crankbaits with a fire/tiger, Deep Jr. Thunderstick being best today. On previous days this week though a purple/gold Rouge took most of the fish. The water is still well below normal temperature wise at 41 degrees today. It should be in the 50s by now. We are tolling at 1.2 to 1.5 mph. Yesterday, on the way back in we spotted two snowy owls perched on the rocks along the break wall. A rare sighting indeed. This is prime time for catching big walleye on the Bay and we still have some openings for early May trips to go after the big ones.
Go to the Fishing Report Archives
2018 Fishing Charter Newsletter (page1)
2018 Fishing Charter Newsletter (page2)
News on the 2018 Charter Season
Michigan's fisheries continue to evolve in a seemingly never ending state of change: Some for the better and others for the worse. A combination of invasive species, modern farming practices and 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 2018 and Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters will again offer fishing trips taking our boat to the right places at the right times to put customers on those hot bites. Our charter fishing rates for eight hour charters are 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, the value on our boat and all the other fun things to see and do in Michigan, you just can't go wrong. Here is a rundown of the fisheries Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters will focus on during 2018:
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. 2017 proved to be a near record setting year with walleye catch rates at super high levels. In fact the Bay's walleye catch rates were the highest in Michigan last year. We will be expanding our charter offerings once again on Saginaw Bay by offering more early spring options there. That early spring fishing offers the best shot at catching trophy class walleyes. 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 of fishing fun. Saginaw Bay has been blessed with 15 straight, huge walleye year classes, of naturally reproduced fish. When those massive 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. 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 skyrocketed 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. With a state of the art DNR launching facility, it is also the best port for accessing the Bay during periods of low or high water levels. We'll be fishing there from ice-out in March 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. We will also be offering some perch fishing charters out of Au Gres during late summer. With the DNR moving a lot of the commercial perch fishing activity out of Saginaw Bay and converting those operations to whitefish, and also a cormorant kill by the Feds last year, perch numbers are responding quickly with 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 with the somewhat low gas prices and a stronger economy, we will likely be even busier this year, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Lake Erie Is having some problems lately and it is negatively impacting the fishing there especially during the early spring period when we like to fish there. Last year I had to cancel all my scheduled charters out of Monroe due to not only bad weather, but also due to bad water conditions. The previous two years before that were not much better either. By bad water conditions, I referring to muddy water. In recent years, we are seeing a lot more muddy water conditions there and it is having an impact on the fishery and also makes fishing difficult if not impossible most of the time during the spring. It didn't used to be like that: We used to be able to get in over half of my spring Lake Erie charters, but now we are not even close to that and like I said, we had no good fishing conditions at all last year during the early spring. The reason is man made too: Modern farming practices where farmers perform deep tilling in the fall and also often fertilize then too are causing unprecedented, silt laden, and nutrient rich runoff to enter the rivers during the fall, winter and spring. Even when it rains just a little bit, the water runs off the fields and with no vegetation to block it, the soils wash away into ditches and then runs into streams and eventually finds it's way into Lake Erie. This agricultural runoff problem has been in the news a lot lately mainly because it has also caused toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie that have forced cities to turn off municipal water supplies that draw from the Lake. Those blooms have also caused dead zones in the Lake where no fish can survive and massive fish die offs. Walleye spawning success has been poor for Lake Erie in most of the last 10-15 years causing a troubling and sporadic walleye population. Agricultural interests have been very resistant to correct the problem so it is getting worse and worse every year. With these problems persisting on Lake Erie and with Saginaw Bay's walleye fishery booming, I have decided to forgo scheduling any Lake Erie fishing charters this spring and instead just offer more charters on Saginaw Bay instead. This was a hard decision because I have been fishing on Erie for three decades and really love that fishery during the spring, but for now anyway, it is just not feasible to fish there. If they clean things up and the walleye population rebounds, then we will go back there, but until then we will be focusing our walleye fishing efforts entirely on Saginaw Bay where walleye populations are super high, big fish are common during the spring and where water conditions are rarely muddy near Au Gres.
Lake Michigan and Lake Huron Salmon fishing was a
little better in 2017, but still just a shadow of what it used to be. The average size of king salmon was
up a little bit, and
the number of fish available in the lake was slightly higher, but that
fishery is still not nearly good enough for me to offer charters there
with a reasonable chance for good success and decent customer
satisfaction. 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 decided to reduce salmon numbers mainly through
stocking cutbacks. A massive stocking reduction seven years ago
combined with another huge stocking reduction three years ago has reduced
salmon numbers to an alarmingly low level. They also are made
another huge salmon stocking cutback last year, which will certainly
lower salmon numbers in upcoming years. 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,
I decided to not offer any salmon charters once again for 2017, which turned out to
be a smart move on my part with things as bad as they are.
Instead of late summer salmon charters, I just focused more on Saginaw
Bay's abundant walleyes and we had phenomenal success there all through
the spring and summer. Last years walleye fishing during July,
August and even early September was phenomenal with limit catches all
the way through. I was very busy then too booking
every open day then, so a lot of my clients are taking advantage of that
hot fishery then. I will not be offering any salmon charters on
either Lake Michigan or Lake Huron this year. 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 though, I'm going to focus my fishing efforts on the world class walleye
fishing Michigan has to offer on Saginaw Bay.
Coast Guard and DNR Inspected Charter
Long Time Member of Michigan Charter Boats Association (MCBA)
Michigan Fishing Charters Saginaw Bay Walleye Great Lakes Charter Boat Sportfishing
Offering Michigan fishing charters for walleye and perch at Au Gres, Michigan and Tawas City (or East Tawas) on Saginaw Bay. Our sportfishing charter boat targets the best Great Lakes walleye fishing that Michigan, Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay have to offer.
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511 S. Detroit St.
Au Gres, MI 48703
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