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Trophy Specialists
Fishing Charters

Michigan fishing charters for walleye and perch at Au Gres (AuGres) and Tawas City (or East Tawas) on Saginaw Bay along with king salmon (Chinook Salmon) at Manistee on Lake Michigan and walleye at Monroe or Detroit on Lake Erie.  Our sportfishing charter boat targets the biggest, trophy sized, Great Lakes walleye and king salmon (Chinook salmon) that Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay have to offer.

Michigan Sportfishing Charter Trips:

Saginaw Bay
Walleye Capital
of the World!!!
Walleye Charters
at Au Gres (AuGres)
and Tawas City (or East Tawas)


Lake Erie
Walleye Charters
at Monroe,
Toledo and
Port Clinton


Saginaw Bay
Walleye or Perch Charters at Au Gres (AuGres)


Lake Michigan
King Salmon Charters
at Manistee


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YouTube Videos

2014 Video of Some Fast Paced Walleye Fishing Action on Saginaw Bay with Photos Too
Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters YouTube Video

2014 Video of New Mercury 150 HP FourStroke and 9.9 HP ProKicker Motors where I demonstrate and talk about the new motors while showing some awesome walleye Fishing on Saginaw Bay
Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters YouTube Video

2013 Video of Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay Trophy Walleye Fishing Action with Photos Too
Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters YouTube Video

Video Slideshow of Some Impressive Trophy Walleyes, Salmon and Trout
Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters YouTube Video


Newsletter Mailed to Customers During the Winter

2016 Fishing Charter Newsletter (page1)

2016 Fishing Charter Newsletter (page2)

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Au Gres
(Saginaw Bay)

(Lake Erie)

Manistee (Lake

Travel Guides

Au Gres - Saginaw Bay Walleye Fishing Travel Guide

Sportfishing charter boat for trophy walleye, steelhead, salmon, lake trout and brown trout, perch too  

Charters Starting at Only $400
Full and Half Day Trips Available

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Capt. Michael Veine
511 S. Detroit St.
Au Gres, MI 48703
Phone 734-475-9146
Email mikeveine@trophyspecialists.com

Book Sportfishing Charters Online

Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters does just what the name implies, specializes in sportfishing for the biggest, most prized fish (walleye, perch, king salmon, Atlantic salmon, steelhead, lake trout and Great Lakes brown trout) that Michigan has to offer.  We accomplish this by sport fishing on the hottest waters at their peak trophy producing periods.  Yes, tailoring a charter boat from port to port is expensive and a hassle, but quite frankly, it's the only way captains can consistently deliver peak sportfishing action throughout the season.  By concentrating on the right places at the right times, Trophy Specialists guarantees its customers a successful fishing experience.  If no fish are hooked up, our guarantee states that your next trip is free (only valid on 8-hour trips), so we actually put our money where our mouth is.  You can kick back and let the captain worry about catching walleye, salmon, steelhead and brown trout.

Trophy Specialists is all about professionalism with a total commitment to quality customer service.  We provide leading edge, tournament tested boats, gear, tactics and know how.  You need not be an expert angler to land the big ones with us. Our services include expert coaching skills that gives even novice anglers a real chance to catch huge walleye, salmon, brown trout or steelhead.  We also offer unique fishing trips like early spring trophy walleye charters on Lake Erie and charters at the best walleye fishery in the world - Saginaw Bay.  Fishing with Trophy Specialists may in fact be your best chance at catching that trophy of a lifetime for the wall or the photo album.  With over 30 years of hard-core fishing experience and a U.S. Coast Guard Masters License with commercial towing and other endorsements, Capt. Michael Veine is one of the most highly qualified charter boat captains operating on the Great Lakes including Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay.  In fact, Capt. Mike is licensed to pilot ships; now how many guides or charter captains can claim those kinds of credentials?  Mike Veine is also a widely published outdoor writer and photographer, so your trophy tale and/or photos may even be featured in your favorite magazine (with your permission of course).  Also, be sure to check out our fishing reports to see what's biting.

Gift certificates are available - Giving someone a fishing charter gift certificate makes an awesome present for Christmas, birthday, father's day, mother's day, anniversaries, graduations, bachelor party and other special occasions.  Fishing charter gift certificates are also ideal for fund-raisers, charities, raffles, employee appreciation, business entertainment and many other purposes, and they can be customized just about any way you want.  The recipient can choose the port, species and timeframe.  Because Trophy Specialists fishes from many different ports targeting walleye, salmon, steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and other species, the recipient of the gift will certainly have plenty to choose from.  

Charters for the Film Industry - Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters offers charter boat and marine services (lease and rental) for the film, television (TV), cinema and movie industry.  We have on-the-water video production experience on the Great Lakes and other rivers and inland lakes of Michigan and Ohio. We are fully licensed and insured and can provide professional  on the water support for your cinematography projects.        

Coast Guard and DNR Inspected Charter Boat
Long Time Member of Michigan Charter Boats Association  (MCBA)

Michigan Charter Boat Association (MCBA)


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Current Fishing Reports

Check out our fishing reports to find out if the walleye, perch, king (Chinook) salmon, steelhead, brown trout, lake trout or Atlantic salmon are biting where Trophy Specialist is running fishing charters.  These fishing reports will cover the ports of Au Gres (AuGres) on Saginaw Bay, Rogers City on Lake Huron, Manistee on Lake Michigan and Monroe and the Western Basin of Lake Erie.  We will try to update the  fishing report regularly during the open water charter fishing season.  For more fishing reports and Great Lakes Fishery News, please check us out on Facebook and/or click on the Like Button below and you get fishing reports sent right to your Facebook page.


5/27/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

My clients today from the Davison, MI area  got quite the boat ride, but ended up catching their limits of nice walleyes despite a slow start to the trip.  We headed back to the area first thing where we limited out yesterday, but only caught two walleyes there in three hours of fishing.  The water was dead calm there, and despite the fish still being there, they would not bite.  We eventually gave up on that spot and made a rather long run to another area, but didn't mark any fish there at all, so we then headed towards another area where I hoped to find fish.  Half way there I started marking a lot of fish, so we set up over those marks and began catching one walleye after another non-stop until my clients were limited out.  Those same chartreuse/orange harnesses that worked yesterday were also preferred today.  We trolled at 1.7 mph in that spot for our best speed.  Had my clients only booked a five hour charter today, they would not have experienced that awesome bite, so the eight hour booking certainly paid off well today.  They also caught some perch and catfish today, which were kept for bonus fish.  Most of the walleyes today were 18 to 22 inchers with a couple smaller ones and a couple bigger too.  We were fishing in pretty shallow water today; in fact it was the skinniest water I've found fish in yet this year.                

5/26/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

We had a nice day on the water with my clients from S. Michigan and West Virginia taking their limits of dandy walleyes by noon.  I had a day off yesterday, but instead of working around the house like I probably should have done, my wife, a friend and I went out fishing to scout out a bunch of spots on the Bay other than where I had been fishing previously, which seemed to be petering out.  When I scout, I don't stay in one spot too long regardless of how many fish we catch there.  We just keep spot checking to hopefully compile a good A, B, C.... plan for my next charter.  We only found one good spot yesterday though in all the spots we checked and that is where we went first thing in the morning today.  They had been predicting a chance of rain today, but we did not get any in Au Gres and we had pretty good fishing conditions all morning with light winds and mostly overcast skies until late morning when the sun finally broke out on and off.  We had fairly steady action all morning except for one lull when the sun first popped out and the wind died down to nothing for a short stint.  Today the fish were picky with orange/chartreuse harnesses being preferred.  All the fish we marked and caught were tight to the bottom, so that is where we put the crawlers, behind bottom bouncers.  The trolling speed needed to be under 1.6 with 1.2 bring best trolling into the wind and 1.5 doing the job best with the wind.  There was a current in that area, thus the difference in trolling speed preference.  There were also lots of floating weeds and debris floating in the area which required constant lure maintenance to keep them running unfouled.  Most of the walleyes today were 18 to 22 inches, with only three below that range.  We also caught two bass too, with one being a master angler qualifier by 1/2 inch.  The bite was light today, but the number of fish lost was minimal.  Most of the fish would just latch on to the lures without much pulling.  I had some good fishermen on the rods today though, so that helped them limit out for sure as they made no fish fighting mistakes all morning long.  We caught all our fish off the Church Walleye Boards today with not one walleye hit being recorded on the two flat lines, which tells me they were spooking from the boat today.  We were fishing in 15 to 20 feet of water, so the fairly calm conditions in that somewhat clear water probably caused their spookiness and bottom hugging.                                      

5/23/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

After a customer cancelled day off the water on Saturday, we tried fishing Sunday,  but the stiff, easterly wind forced us to fish very close to Au Gres and eventually the big waves also forced us to curtail the trip too with a light catch.  Today though we had just the opposit conditions with dead flat water with about zero wind speed, and  super, bright sunshine all day.  We ran to where we had caught good numbers of fish on Thurday and Friday, but even though I was marking a lot of fish there, the bite was super light.  We still ended up catching 20 keeper walleyes and four nice yellow perch, but we probably lost twice as many walleyes as we caught in the process, which is frustrating.  The fish would just latch onto the lures and not pull hard enough to drive the hooks in and when on the way to the boat, they would shake free.  That's why they call it fishing and not catching though and even though the bite was tough, my clients still had a lot of fun and took home a good catch of walleyes.  They also caught two jumbo, channel catfish too, which both went over 10 pounds.  We caught all our fish trolling slowly with spinner/crawler rigs.  I didn't notice any preference in color today, but the speed had to be below 1.4 mph to get any hits, which likely exacerbating the poor hook to catch ratio too.  We also caught almost all our fish off the planer boards with the middle and outside boards outperfomed the inside boards too, indicating spooky fish in the glass, calm waters with bright sunshine.  We caught all our fish right on the bottom today as any lures trolled up higher were ignored.  The bites came in spurts today too with long lulls followed by short bursts of action.  We mainly trolled in 17 to 19 feet of water, but towards the end of the trip, we did troll in shallower and got a spurt of action there too.              

5/20/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

We had another great day of walleye fishing on the Bay today with sunny, blue skies, light winds and lots of hungry walleyes on the lines.  The bite was a bit slower today compared to yesterday, but my clients still managed to put 24 walleyes in the box by noon.  They also caught a jumbo perch too as a nice bonus.  We had a breezy morning to run out in, but just as we were setting lines, the wind died down and it stayed dead calm for the rest of the trip.  The bite was steady all morning, but it was also light too with a lot of fish biting, but escaping capture.  We caught all our fish on crawler harnesses with red/silver being a good choice today for us, but a friend of mine did well in that same area with copper blades.  We had to keep the speed at under 1.5 mph today or the fish would not respond much.  We fished the same general area as yesterday trolling in one direction (south to north) for four miles catching fish all along that route.  We did troll up onto some shallower water towards the end of the trip though and the fish did not bite there, so we had to make a turn back to deeper water, and the fish bit there for sure as we finished up the trip with fish on most of the lines, with two of them getting a pardon from the fish box, so it was there luck day.  We have an opening for tomorrow (Saturday, 5/21) from a last minute cancellation, so give me a shout if you are interested.                      

5/19/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

After a stint off the water to attend the Arm Wrestling Nationals in New Jersey, and also a couple days in the U.P working on my hunting property, I had to do a lot of research to narrow down a good fishing spot, especially after all the heavy winds over the weekend.  I ended up changing locations completely from where I last fished on Thursday and it was a good call too as we got into some good action right after setting lines.  We pulled a 24 fish limit in just 2.5 hour of fishing, which was steady action with only one lull when the wind shifted.  We also caught two jumbo, yellow perch and a 12 pound catfish as bonus fish too.  We trolled in waters from 15 to 20 feet deep pulling spinner/crawler rigs near the bottom at 1.4 to 1.6 mph.  Color did not mater as we took fish about equally on different patterns from bright colors to more natural ones.  In the calm, sunny conditions, almost all our fish were taken off the Church Tackle Walleye boards with only the perch coming off the flatlines.  We fished in one direction (north to south) over about three miles of water too, so the fish there were pretty spread out.  We did make a turn towards the end of the trip and did catch them well trolling in different directions.  The bite was pretty light today as we lost at least a dozen fish in the process of limiting out.                      

5/12/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report 

Over the last three days I had clients from Nebraska and Indiana scheduled to fish all three days in a row with me.  Tuesday was a blow day though with east winds to 26 knots, so we had to cancel that trip.  They ended up fishing for steelhead on the Au Sable River as a fun backup plan.  Yesterday we did fish all day, but the big winds from Tuesday ended riling up the water and the bite was very slow for Saginaw Bay standards as they ended up three fish short of their combined walleye limits.  The bite was also very light too with more fish lost than caught.  We had to troll very slow to get them to bite on Tuesday, which was made hard by the stiff northeast wind blowing well up into the teens pretty much all day long.  I had to deploy two driftsocks at times just to slow us down to the 1.3 mph speed that they wanted.  We started out today trying a trolling pass right out in front of Au Gres starting off in 35' of water and trolling towards the river mouth.  We marked a lot of fish there, but after a long stint with no bites, we pulled lines and ran to where we had been fishing yesterday.  The bite there was better than yesterday, but it was sporadic.  We would catch a few fish quickly, but when we trolled through that same spot just a short time later, the fish there would be gone.  Then it was a guessing game to troll towards where I thought the fish might have swam off too.  Fortunately I guessed right most of the time and my clients pulled their limits before noon.  I even got to catch some fish for dinner too.  We did best in waters 20 to 25 feet deep fishing near two poorly (illegally) marked commercial fishing nets.  We pulled spinner/crawler rigs with red/silver being the preferred pattern today .  We caught most of our fish close to the bottom, but some did hit suspended rigs too.  The bite was very light as we lost about as many as we got today.  Today the best trolling speed was on the slow side as anything over 1.4 mph did not produce any hits.  The water had cleared up some today, so that helped the catch for sure.                            

5/9/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

My clients from the Grand Rapids area enjoyed some fast paced action and fairly quick walleye limits (about 1.5 hours of fishing time).  We headed back to the area where we left off yesterday, but with a northeast wind already blowing, we set up a few miles upwind of that area and trolled with the wind.  We started getting one fish after another shortly after getting all the lines set and that action continued pretty much until limits were reached with lots of double headers in the process.  I ran spinner/crawler rigs about 18' down and trolled a break of varying depths.  I trolled down wind for about one mile, then trolled back into the wind, but the down wind troll was a bit better.  It was a good thing we limited out quickly too, as the NE wind continued to pick up and it was pretty bumpy when we ran in.  The fish ran a bit smaller today compared to yesterday though; a couple inches shorter on average.  No particular spinner pattern shinned.  We did catch our first white perch of the year, and with water temperatures of only 51 degrees, I was pretty surprised with that oddball.  I trolled at about 1.5 mph today, but with the winds coming and going, that speed did vary a lot and they still bit well.  We never did troll to the area where we limited yesterday.                  

5/8/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

We have had very tough fishing conditions over the last three days with fronts coming through the region bringing constantly shifting winds, which tends to make the walleyes bite less and lighter.  None-the-less, the last three charters were productive with today's clients, who are long time college buddies from LSU, managed to catch their limits of nice walleyes.  This trio are repeat clients that live all over MI, and are good fishermen that are fun to fish with.  It took us eight hours to accomplish their limits with the best action coming during the afternoon.  In fact we only had a few fish in the box by 11:00.  We had winds from just about every direction today, some of which were pretty strong too.  Whenever the wind would switch or die down, the bite would slow or stop, but when we had the same wind for an hour or so, the action would pick up.  We caught all our fish today using spinner/crawler rigs baited with a half a night crawler. Slower trolling speeds worked best at 1.3 to 1.4 mph.  We used bottom bouncers, but probably caught half our fish a few feet off bottom, which the other half came right off the bottom.  We did best in waters over 20 feet deep this afternoon.  No color preference was apparent as they hit everything I had in the water about equally with bright florescent spinners and natural ones too.  The lite bite over the last few days results in loosing over half the fish hooked even for good fishermen.         

5/5/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

We had constantly shifting winds today on the Bay, which made the bite on and off with a lot of light biting fish too.  My clients from the surrounding Grand Rapids area still managed to catch their limits of walleyes though despite a lot of missed fish.  We probably lost one fish for every one caught as a lot of them would just pick up the lure and swim along with it without setting the hooks and when they felt any changing pressure (angler reeling in the fish) then they would just drop the bait.  The fish were right on the bottom today and we caught them pulling spinners with bottom bouncers at 1.5 to 1.6 mph.  No color was preferred over another today.  We started out with a northwest wind that changed to the north and blew pretty stiff at about 15 knots.  That wind eventually died down to nearly calm conditions, but then about an hour later it suddenly picked up from the south east.  It then shifted to the east and the northeast.  The fish would bite in spurts and then shut down with the changing winds.  Either we were getting lots of hits or not much at all.  Odd day on the water indeed, but still very productive with a pile of walleyes with most of them over 20 inches.                        

5/3/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

My clients today from southeast Michigan enjoyed a beautiful day on the Bay today catching their limits of nice walleyes.  I even got to catch my limit at the end of the trip too, and just enjoyed a fresh grilled walleye dinner, which was delicious.  We started out the morning in the same spot where we fished yesterday, but after no bites there, we picked up and moved to another spot.  We caught a couple fish in the second spot right away, but that bite died as we trolled with the wind into the area where I expected to catch fish.  We then headed back further south and had slow, but steady action there until the wind picked up a bit and then the fish really turned on there big time.  We caught about 20 walleyes from 10:30 through 12:30 so that timeframe saw the best action.  Our fish today were all 18 to 25 inchers with most being over 20" for a big pile of filets at days end.  We fished in water temps of 47 to 48 degrees and caught all our fish on spinner/crawler rigs trolled near the bottom with bottom/bouncers.  Both bright and natural colors all worked well with no real preference shown.  We did best with a trolling speed of 1.6 mph and caught them going both with and into the wind going back and forth over the school   My new electric speed control on my Mercury 9.9 ProKicker is really helping me to dial in the exact speed, which I'm sure boosts our catch.  My clients today were great on the rods too, bringing in the fish like pros, which also really helps to boost the catch.  With the super generous, eight fish limit this year, anglers that do well on the rods stand a lot better chance of limiting out, especially with the light bite that is common during the spring.  Smooth reeling, keeping the board from bouncing around, maintaining a constant 90 degree angle of the rod in relation to the fish after board removal with constant pressure (no slack) are the main ingredients to success there.                 

5/2/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

We faced a very light bite on today's charter catching 17 walleyes and one northern pike, but we probably lost two fish for every one caught today.  We had a pretty stiff north wind to greet us in the morning, but that eventually changed to a northeast wind and then it shifted to the east in the afternoon.  Even though there were a lot of fish in the area we trolled, that cool, ever changing wind certainly had the fish in a negative mood.  We caught all our fish today on spinner crawler rigs with no particular pattern out producing others in the spread.  We fished the crawlers tight to bottom as that was were the fish were laying.  We are supposed to have a nicer day tomorrow and hopefully will break the long, unprecedented streak of easterly winds, which should improve the fishing greatly.      

4/29/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

We had a good bite going for the first few hours of the charter this morning taking 20 nice walleyes in about three hours of fishing.  Then the wind did a quick, 90 degree shift and the bite slowed considerably.  My clients from the Frankenmuth/Saginaw area still amassed a bountiful catch of walleyes though that were all chunky, 18 to 25 inchers.  We did take one pre-spawn female, but the rest were an assortment of post spawn males and females.  We  caught all our fish today on spinner/crawler rigs trolled at about 1.4 mph near the bottom.  Color did not mater as all rigs I had out were hit about equally.  The water was riled up from the big, northeast winds over the last couple days and the water temperature is still pretty cold for this time of year at just 46 degrees.  Oddly, I have a Saturday opening in my schedule for tomorrow, but after that I am booked solid for several weeks.  If I don't book a last minute charter, I plan to fix or enhance a couple minor things on the boat and also give it a thorough scrub job since they are calling for some sunshine tomorrow.             

4/28/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The strong northeast winds have been persisting and making the fishing very tough indeed. We tried to fish yesterday morning and had a good bite going for the first hour of the trip taking 10 quick walleyes on spinner/crawler rigs. Then the wind cranked up though and blew at double the velocity as predicted by the National Weather Service. The bite died as the big waves built up, so we curtailed the trip as a result. This is the longest stint of northeast winds I can ever remember, which is the worst wind for fishing out of Au Gres. Oddly enough, easterly winds are also the rarest winds in Michigan which makes this even more weird. I have a day off today and will be going to the dentist and also attending the career day at the Standish schools this afternoon. It's OK that I scheduled this day off because they have small craft warnings posted for all day anyway. We will be back on the water again tomorrow and hopefully the wind will stay down as predicted so we can get the trip in.

4/24/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

My clients from Stanton, MI enjoyed a bountiful catch today.  They caught their limits of nice walleyes with mostly an afternoon bite filling the box.  It was such good fishing that I even got to take  some fish for myself to.  The morning started off slow with only one walleye being caught in the first several hours of effort.  We moved around a lot though and the third spot we tried was full of fish and from then on it was pretty constant action.  We started off the day trolling with a verity of stickbaits, but it was spinner/crawler rigs that ended up being the best presentation for the day.  We took most of our fish trolling at 1.4 mph and that speed had to be very precise as any slower or faster would not work.  Color of lure was not important as long as it was near bottom at that exact speed.  Our fish today were mostly 20 to 24 inch walleyes, so there were a lot of chunky, prime eating filets indeed.  Most of the fish we caught today were male walleyes.  Up until today, we had been taking mostly post spawn female fish, but obviously a lot of male fish hit the Bay today, which is a good indication that that the spawn is done, or nearly finished.            

4/20/16, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

I moved to Au Gres on 4/14, so I have been extremely busy fishing and with the major relocation effort. We have been living in the same house in Chelsea for 26 years, so as you can imagine, we have a lot of stuff to move. The fishing here on Saginaw Bay has been pretty good on most days, but like usual during the spring, we have also had some challenging bites, but every trip though has been productive. We are still mainly fishing with stickbaits and crankbaits fairly close to shore in waters ranging from 15 - 25 feet deep. Our best baits this week have been shallow Rouges in various patterns with gold being best. I'm running them with 3/8 oz. weights to get them down 10-15 feet. We have also been taking some fish with Deep Husky Jerks with pink being best on that lure. The fish have been running larger than those we typically catch during the summer, which is always nice. We are seeing walleyes over 25 inches on most trips. We have also been catching 100% post spawn female walleyes without one male fish showing up in our area yet. This means that the males are still in spawning mode with the best fishing yet to come. Once the spawn ends, likely this week, we will get inundated with millions of males walleyes in the Bay and the fishing will get even better.

3/30/16, Lake Erie, Monroe, Fishing Report

We had another good day of fishing on Erie today with my clients boating 19 walleyes.  The most popular size fish today was 28 inches with lots of those chunky, toothy beasts ending up in the catch.  We also caught a few smaller walleyes today in the 20-26 inch range which is always nice too because haling in too many jumbo walleyes one after another can be grueling.  We started off with some good action early this morning taking eight fish on the first trolling pass over the same area we ended up in yesterday.  The second pass through that same area though was less thrilling as the wind had died down and shift by then slowing the bite.  We then started making trolling passes at several other different spots to try to find some active fish.  We had a two hour lull in the action until we found some good action toward the end of the trip in shallower water (12-14 feet).  Today the best lure by far was a shallow, three hook, shallow Rouge in purple/gold/white color.  This lure was discontinued a few years ago and is only available in the used lure market for scalper prices.  Luckily I bought a bunch of them before they went bye-bye.   I ran them on the boards with a 50' setback and we also took a bunch of fish with them on  flatlines 80' behind the boat all with a 3/8 ounce rubber core sinker 6' in front of the lure.  These shallow style Rouges are most effective on walleyes when the water temperature is in the low to mid-40s and the water is slightly stained to dirty.  We had 45-46 degree water temps today with about 3-5' of visibility where the fish were located.  These are some of the warmest water temps I have ever seen for March on Erie.  Trolling speeds today were 1.2 to 1.5 mph and I had to use a drift sock at the end of the trip to slow the troll to those speeds when the wind whipped up.                                

3/29/16, Lake Erie, Monroe, Fishing Report

I finally got out today for my first charter of the year.  We fished out of Bolles Harbor in the Michigan waters trolling for eight hours and catching 17 fish, most of which were jumbo walleyes with most in the nine to ten pound class.  The water temp in the area we fished started out at 44 and rose to 45 by trips end.  We had our best success trolling at 1.2 to 1.4 mph.  The fish were scattered and we hooked up with perhaps 30 fish today loosing about half due to a light bite.  Our best bait was a purple/gold/white shallow Rouge with a 3/8 oz. weight 50 feet behind the Church Walleye Boards.  Second best was a bare naked Deep Husky Jerk 35 feet behind the boards also with a 3/8 oz. weight.  We started out with a north wind but when it switched east, the bite died down for a couple hours.  But then it switched SE and it eventually picked up again.  Everyone on board had great time today with the only complaint being that the cooler full of walleyes was too heavy to lift.                       

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News on the 2016 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, much cleaner waters in the Great Lakes 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 2016 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 2016:

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.  2015 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 moving my boat their earlier and staying longer compared to last year.  For years we have been able to take limit catches consisting of a mixture of eaters and lunkers on most of our charters for the best possible mix of fishing fun. Saginaw Bay has been blessed with 13 straight, huge year classes, of naturally reproduced walleyes. 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 escalated sharply in recent years. So, as a result I'm increasing my charter schedule once again out of Au Gres (AuGres) and Tawas to take advantage of the demand. Au Gres (AuGres) is the best of the best among Saginaw Bay's ports with the highest walleye catch rate anywhere in Michigan.  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 like we experienced last year.  We'll be fishing there from mid-April through early-September and also during late fall too if conditions and demand allow.  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.  Jumbo perch have made a strong come-back on Saginaw Bay and the fishing at times can be phenomenal.  If perch are not biting, then we can always target the super abundant walleyes.  Please keep in mind though that I filled most of my available charter openings on Saginaw Bay last season and with the lower gas prices and a stronger economy, we will likely be even busier this year, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Lake Erie serves up awesome early spring walleye fishing and we will be offering late March and early April charters there to cash in on that short lived trophy walleye bite.  The record breaking 2003 year class will still be contributing millions of trophy class lunkers to the spring bite, which typically starts during mid to late March and ramps up through early April, depending on the weather conditions. Lake Erie will produce a spring trophy walleye fishery of world class proportions this year.  Given decent weather conditions I expect phenomenal fishing there this year.  Given lots of good weather, we may even break my boat record of over 100 Master Angler class walleyes in one season. If you want to try something different, and quite fun, we will be offering jigging charters on Lake Erie's reefs during the peak spawning period. Those jigging charters often yield non-stop action where anglers can do hand to hand combat with feisty walleyes in shallow water. At that time, you can even combine trolling with jigging on 8-hour trips. I'll be offering Lake Erie walleye charters from ice-out (usually mid-to-late-March) through mid-April providing limited open dates to service the high demand at that location. Fishing charters before April 1 are restricted to an "on call list" booking structure. Customers will have to sign up ahead of time on the "on call list" and will be contacted a couple days in advance to fish when the weather and water conditions are favorable for a successful trip. Because of the highly volatile weather and fishing conditions during March, this is the only way to run a charter boat business at that time of year on Lake Erie.  From April 1 on, I will be scheduling fishing charters in advance as normal.  The Detroit River will also have good runs of walleyes this spring, so I'll be offering Detroit River charters as a backup when Erie is too rough to fish (Monroe is very close to the mouth of the Detroit River).

Lake Michigan and Lake Huron Salmon fishing was extremely disappointing last year.  I thought 2013 was bad, but 2014 was even worse.  The average size of king salmon was down, and the number of fish available in the lake was the lowest in over 20 years.  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 a six years ago combined with another huge stocking reduction two years ago has reduced salmon numbers to an alarmingly low level.  In fact, many believe that the DNR went way too far with their cutbacks.  The DNR has no interest in increasing salmon stocking any time soon, so the currently depressed salmon numbers will likely get worse in the future as the full impact of the stocking cutbacks are felt in the next three years to come.  I've been fishing salmon at Manistee since the first year they were stocked there in the 1960s, but because of the pitifully bad state of the Lake Michigan salmon fishery, I decided to not offer any salmon charters in 2015, which turned out to be a smart move on my part with things getting worse there.  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 and I kept busier too fishing the Bay as I picked up a lot of new charter customers that have also given up on the poor salmon fishing.  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, I'm going to focus my fishing efforts on the world class walleye fishing Michigan has to offer, primarily on Saginaw Bay. 



Michigan Fishing Charters Saginaw Bay Walleye Lake Erie Walleye Lake Michigan King Salmon Fishing Great Lakes Charter Boat Sportfishing

Trophy Specialists
Fishing Charters

Michigan fishing charters at Au Gres (AuGres) and Tawas City (or East Tawas) for walleye and perch on Saginaw Bay along with Manistee on Lake Michigan  for king salmon (Chinook Salmon) and Monroe or Detroit on Lake Erie for walleye.  Our sportfishing charter boat targets the biggest, trophy sized, Great Lakes walleye, perch and king salmon (Chinook salmon) that Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay have to offer.

Fishing in the right place at the right time!

Michigan Fishing Information

Booking a fishing charter with Trophy Specialists LLC constitutes acceptance of our
Business Policies, Terms and Conditions of Service and our
Release and Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement.

Capt. Michael Veine
511 S. Detroit St.
Au Gres, MI 48703
Phone 734-475-9146
Email mikeveine@trophyspecialists.com

Trophy Specialists LLC also does world class reproduction (replica) fish taxidermy along with deer heads and more.  Check out the taxidermy website at:


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