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Michigan fishing charters for walleye and perch at Au Gres (AuGres) and Tawas City (or East Tawas) on Saginaw Bay along with king salmon (Chinook Salmon) at Manistee on Lake Michigan and walleye at Monroe or Detroit on Lake Erie. Our sportfishing charter boat targets the biggest, trophy sized, Great Lakes walleye and king salmon (Chinook salmon) that Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay have to offer.
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Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters does just what the name implies, specializes in sportfishing for the biggest, most prized fish (walleye, perch, king salmon, Atlantic salmon, steelhead, lake trout and Great Lakes brown trout) that Michigan has to offer. We accomplish this by sport fishing on the hottest waters at their peak trophy producing periods. Yes, tailoring a charter boat from port to port is expensive and a hassle, but quite frankly, it's the only way captains can consistently deliver peak sportfishing action throughout the season. By concentrating on the right places at the right times, Trophy Specialists guarantees its customers a successful fishing experience. If no fish are hooked up, our guarantee states that your next trip is free (only valid on 8-hour trips), so we actually put our money where our mouth is. You can kick back and let the captain worry about catching walleye, salmon, steelhead and brown trout.
Trophy Specialists is all about professionalism with a total commitment to quality customer service. We provide leading edge, tournament tested boats, gear, tactics and know how. You need not be an expert angler to land the big ones with us. Our services include expert coaching skills that gives even novice anglers a real chance to catch huge walleye, salmon, brown trout or steelhead. We also offer unique fishing trips like early spring trophy walleye charters on Lake Erie and charters at the best walleye fishery in the world - Saginaw Bay. Fishing with Trophy Specialists may in fact be your best chance at catching that trophy of a lifetime for the wall or the photo album. With over 30 years of hard-core fishing experience and a U.S. Coast Guard Masters License with commercial towing and other endorsements, Capt. Michael Veine is one of the most highly qualified charter boat captains operating on the Great Lakes including Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay. In fact, Capt. Mike is licensed to pilot ships; now how many guides or charter captains can claim those kinds of credentials? Mike Veine is also a widely published outdoor writer and photographer, so your trophy tale and/or photos may even be featured in your favorite magazine (with your permission of course). Also, be sure to check out our fishing reports to see what's biting.
Gift certificates are available - Giving someone a fishing charter gift certificate makes an awesome present for Christmas, birthday, father's day, mother's day, anniversaries, graduations, bachelor party and other special occasions. Fishing charter gift certificates are also ideal for fund-raisers, charities, raffles, employee appreciation, business entertainment and many other purposes, and they can be customized just about any way you want. The recipient can choose the port, species and timeframe. Because Trophy Specialists fishes from many different ports targeting walleye, salmon, steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and other species, the recipient of the gift will certainly have plenty to choose from.
Charters for the Film Industry - Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters offers charter boat and marine services (lease and rental) for the film, television (TV), cinema and movie industry. We have on-the-water video production experience on the Great Lakes and other rivers and inland lakes of Michigan and Ohio. We are fully licensed and insured and can provide professional on the water support for your cinematography projects.
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Check out our fishing reports to find out if the
walleye, perch, king (Chinook) salmon, steelhead, brown trout, lake trout or Atlantic
salmon are biting where Trophy Specialist is running fishing charters.
These fishing reports will cover the ports of Au Gres (AuGres) on Saginaw
Bay, Rogers City on Lake Huron, Manistee on Lake Michigan and Monroe and
the Western Basin of Lake Erie. We will try to update the fishing
report regularly during the open water charter fishing season. For
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9/3/13, Final Fishing Report for the Season
The good news is that the walleye fishing continues to be fantastic on Saginaw Bay out of Au Gres and Tawas. My customers have taken limit catches on all of our August and late summer Saginaw Bay walleye charters, bar none. The fish have run pretty big at this time of the year too, which has been especially great. After fishing at Manistee on Lake Michigan for the last two weeks of August though, I am sad to report that the salmon fishing there was just poor to fair at best. While the salmon did run much larger than in the past, recent years, the numbers of fish were way down as were the catch rates. We did manage to take 20+ pound kings on nearly every charter. We even caught one massive 30-pounder and several in the high 20s too. Actually, the number of adult salmon was only down perhaps 40 to 50 percent from last year. What was terrible though was the extremely low numbers of younger salmon, which typically make up half or more of our catch. I would estimate that the younger, sub-adult salmon numbers are down over 90 percent from last year. That lack of young salmon is what really worries me, because those young fish are the future of the fishery. I am very worried that next year, the Lake Michigan salmon fishery will crash big time. What really makes me mad about the situation though is that it is entirely being caused by the DNR. The main forage fish for salmon are alewives. The DNR was concerned that the alewife numbers in Lake Michigan were too low, so they began a salmon stocking cutback plan of epic propositions. A 50% cut was made seven years ago and then three years ago they decided to cut stocking by another 75%. The low Great Lakes region water levels though impacted natural salmon reproduction in recent years a lot. The great reduction in both natural salmon reproduction along with the DNR's slashing salmon stocking have created a crash in the salmon population. This year, for the first time in decades, dead alewives washed up on Lake Michigan beaches in mass requiring the beaches to be cleaned of the stinking mess. Alewife numbers are at very high levels completely due to a lack of salmon in Lake Michigan that kept their numbers in check. It's a sad situation and unfortunately, I will not be offering any salmon charters next year as a result of the low salmon numbers and I will not run any salmon charters until the DNR restores the salmon population to an abundant level. Luckily, Saginaw Bay's walleye and perch populations are at all time highs and have shown no signs of slowing down. Those populations are 100% the result of natural reproduction as there are no fishing being stocking in Saginaw Bay at all. I will be offering even more walleye charters for 2014 on Saginaw Bay to take advantage of that world class fishery. Starting in 2014, I will also be offering perch charters for the first time on Saginaw Bay too during the late summer period.
8/13/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I packed up my boat and left Au Gres destined for Manistee and some salmon fishing there on Lake Michigan. My customers limited out on every walleye charter during August. What's amazing is that we took all those limit catches this month fishing in an area where we would never normally fish at this time of year. Typically, we hammer the walleyes now fishing out near the Charity Islands, however this unprecedented, prolonged cold snap flushed all the warm water out of that area a long time ago and the walleyes moved back into the inner Bay and scattered out in a vast area. Making things even more challenging is that there is a baitfish explosion in the inner Bay now and the walleyes were very well fed, fat, happy and finicky biters. Adding even more to the challenge was the cold weather pattern, which dropped the water temperature a lot and kept it cool making the fish even more inactive. Despite all these obstacles, August was still one of the best months for fishing on my boat this year. Taking limit catches every day in tough conditions just exemplifies the quality of the walleye fishery now in Saginaw Bay. Next year is sure to be even better too. The record 2011 year class of walleyes will all be keepers then adding to the already bountiful walleye population of larger fish that are swimming in the Bay right now. After doing some maintenance on my boat and re-rigging for salmon, I'll be heading to Manistee later this week to wrap up my charter season there. The fishing reports there are getting better and better by the day as the salmon begin to stage offshore from their natal streams. The Manistee area gets the biggest run of salmon in the Great Lakes region and it's always exciting to be there when all those huge kings stack up there.
8/11/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I have some new customers both today and tomorrow from Cincinnati, OH. They had never fished Saginaw Bay before and were treated to an awesome day of fishing today at the Walleye Capital of the World. The bite started out very good as we took eight nice keeper walleyes in the first hour of fishing. Then the wind died down to dead calm conditions and the bite dropped off significantly. We still proceeded to pick away at them though, and before noon, we had limited out with a nice box of prime, eating sized walleyes. We did take a few fish on chrome Hot N' Tots this morning, but crawler harnesses trolled near the bottom were probably better. No particular pattern was best as we took fish on both bright colors and natural colors as well. Trolling speeds of 1.6 to 1.7 mph seemed to be the most productive. We fished a big area in a huge semi-circle coving several miles of water looking for a hot bite, but didn't really find any one hot spot worth circling around on. We did fish way away from other boat traffic though which was nice not having to dodge anybody all morning long. Floating weeds were a problem once again today as they were fouling the lines and boards all the time. I had to pull in the lines to clean and check them every 20 minutes or so to keep things running productively. It's a lot of work fishing in those kinds of weedy conditions, but well worth the effort though. I only have a few more days left at Au Gres before I move my boat to Manistee for some salmon charters. I have a ton of stuff to get done here before I pull out for Manistee, so this will be my last walleye fishing report for the year. This has been an incredible run of walleye fishing for me since I got to Au Gres in April. Since then, I've run a ton of charters here and every single one of those trips have been excellent with good catches on all my Saginaw Bay charters. By far, this year has served up the best walleye fishing I've ever seen before anywhere here on Saginaw Bay. The Bay is certainly now the Walleye Capital of the World.
8/10/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers today were the epitome of perseverance. They first tried to fish with me a couple years ago and got weathered out a couple times then. Then last year, following another weather cancelation for a lake Erie Trip, a motorcycle accident further delayed their destiny with walleyes. Then this spring, at Erie, the winds were much worse than predicted, so they rescheduled for an Au Gres charter today. With some perseverance, my customers limited out with 20 nice walleyes. After an initial burst of action, the bite slowed up some this morning as we picked away at them steadily. The walleyes turned on more during the afternoon though as the wind picked up some, which stimulated the bite and sent my customers home with their limits. We took bigger fish this afternoon too, with most of those late day fish being over 20 inches. I ran a mixed trolling spread of Hot N' Tots and crawler harnesses all day today with both working about equally. Bright harness colors were best though with chartreuse/orange being attacked more than natural colors. I ran two Tots on my outside boards and they accounted for 25 percent of our fish including our biggest ones too, so those rigs were definitely worth the effort. We had lots of floating weeds in our fishing area, so that made things tough for me as I had to constantly pull lines in to clean off the weeds. All in all though, it was a beautifully day on the Bay with lots of sunshine, light winds and lots of happy people on the boat.
8/9/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
With sunny conditions and mild weather today, we hit the Bay with high expectations. Right away on the charter, the walleyes started hitting like crazy and I couldn't even get the lines in the water with constant action. Then the fishing suddenly died off with the calming water conditions. It stayed pretty slow until after noon when the action picked up considerably. In fact, we caught more fish in the last hour of the charter than in the six preceding hours of fishing and those afternoon fish were much bigger and feistier too. We were marking tons of fish on the sonar all morning, but they just were almost totally inactive. Later in the day, when the wind picked up more, those walleyes went on the feed big time and we cashed un with limit catches of 20 nice walleyes and some nice perch too. Our first walleye today came on a Hot N' Tot and the last fish also came on a Tot too, but other than that, and the lions share came on crawlers pulled behind bottom bouncers. Not particular color of harness stood out today as we took them on both bright and natural colors. Speeds of 1.5 to 1.6 mph were best; Any slower and we got lots of junk fish attacking the crawlers; Any faster and we didn't get any bites. I only have a half dozen more charters here in Au Gres on the Bay for walleyes. So far, we have not had one bad trip here yet with good catches on every charter making this the best walleye fishing I've ever experienced in my life. With all the undersized walleyes in the catch this year, next year should be even better too. I did get a cancellation opening up a Manistee salmon trip on 8/25/13, so contact us if you are interested in this rare, weekend, opportunity for some world class salmon action.
8/8/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We have been taking limit catches on every one of my charters during August, and today was no exception. We had tough fishing conditions today with winds that started out from the south early in the morning and then they switched to the northeast and kicked up to 20 knots with white caps. Then by about 9:00 the wind switched to the northeast and eventually it changed to the east. When the wind is super unsteady like it was today, the walleye bite is typically very tough and light, which it certainly was. Still, we managed to pick away at the walleyes and by about noon, my customers had limited out with a nice catch of perfect eating sized walleyes. They also caught a bonus channel catfish that weighed 12 pounds along with some perch too. We caught 10 walleyes on the first trolling pass, which took about two hours. After that, the wind had shifted to the northeast and the walleyes got real fussy and would only hit on crawlers and even then the bite turned very light as we lost a lot of fish from then on. At this point, all my charters are booked up solid for the rest of the season, but we are taking reservations for 2014. It really pays to reserve your dates early as those prime weekends do book way out in advance.
8/3/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I was a little bummed out when my customers that I had scheduled for yesterday called at 10:00 p.m. last night canceling their charter for the next mooring. It was made even worse when a friend of mine called me yesterday morning and had 10 walleyes in the box in his first hour of fishing, so those customers that canceled missed out on some world class walleye fishing for sure. Today we hit the Bay with some eager anglers from the Kalamazoo area (Vicksburg). I went through my typical safety talk along with fish fighting tips as we motored down the river. Little did I know, but they were actually, really listening closely to me. When we hooked into our first fish, they responded like seasoned pros and really kicked some walleye butt. They only lost two fish all day and managed a four man limit before noon with a bonus, dandy pike too. The fishing bite today was red hot during the first two hours of the charter, but when the wind shifted slightly, the action slowed considerably. We took 13 walleyes on the first trolling pass, but the second pass only yielded a couple fish. We then turned into the wind and trolled into those two footers and the fish seemed to bite better into the waves and we finished off the limits with a pile of nice walleyes. At first, fire/tiger harnesses worked best, but later on, Hot N' Tots and Chrome spinners took over as the choice offerings. Speed was critical with 1.6 being the hot ticket. Any slower and the white perch were merciless. Any faster and we didn't get any bites. All our fish were taken near bottom. At this point, I only have one open date left for the rest of my charter season this year (8/9) and that date will likely be gone in the next day as we've had several callers interested in that date, but no bookers yet. I'll be moving my boat to Manistee on 8/15 and those salmon charters have all been booked solid for over two months with a long waiting list on those trips too. Hopefully the salmon fishing there will pick up in the coming weeks. This has certainly been the best walleye fishing I've ever seen this year on Saginaw Bay and next year is sure to be even better.
8/1/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
With iffy, weather forecasted today, we hit the Bay heading out to the area where we had taken good catches of fish the last couple days. The wind was gusting pretty stiff though from the west, so we had no choice but to troll with the wind on trolling passes. The fish bit half way decent for the first few hours, but then the wind shifted to the south and the bite slowed considerably. Walleyes just don't like changes in the wind like that. We then had to really work hard for those last five fish to fill out my customer's four man limit of 20 nice walleyes. At first, crawlers were the only thing working, but eventually, Hot N' Tots started to put some fish in the box too. As it turned out, five of the 20 keepers were taken on the Tots, so crawlers and plastic were and even draw (percentage wise) since I was running six crawlers to the two Tots. Today was another perfect example of why 8-hour charters are often necessary to fill out limits when four man charters are taken out on days with challenging weather conditions. We had two storms pass by us today: One went south and the other blew by us to the north. I was able to track those storms on the radar and they didn't stop us from fishing. It was another super fun and productive day of walleye fishing on Saginaw Bay.
7/31/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We wrapped up July with a bang today with some awesome walleye fishing on the Bay. This trip was a birthday present to a 13 year old from Grandparents to grandson. Our planned start time of 7:00 had to be delayed due to a rain storm that came through from 7:00 to 8:30. We hit the water at about 9:00 and ran south into a Southwest wind and about a one to two foot chop. As we passed the point, the wind began to shift to the West and when I reached my planned fishing area (where we caught fish yesterday) the wind was Northwest and fairly stiff. We then had to troll Southeast, with the wind, until the wind died down. We started to pick away at the fish right away though and when the wind died down completely, I turned the boat towards our hot spot from yesterday. It then rained lightly for about 15 minutes, but the fish kept biting. We were taking hits about every five to 10 minutes, so there wasn't much time for chit, chat, eating or anything else besides reeling in fish. My customers limited out by about 11:30 taking a nice mixture of smaller, eating sized fish and some bigger ones too. We did have one exciting moment today too: We spotted a huge, dead fish floating in the water as we trolled by it. I thought it might be a sturgeon from the size. I marked the spot on my GPS and after we had quit catching walleyes for a minute, I turned the boat around and trolled past it for a closer look-see. It turned out to be a giant, flathead catfish. Today our hottest lures were chrome Hot N' Tots as we took about half our fish on those rigs. I only ran two Hot N' Tots along with six crawler rigs. We also caught a lot of fish on crawlers too, but we also caught some sheephead and perch on those rigs too. It was all bigger walleyes on the Tots. There were a lot of floating weeds in our fishing area today, which sucked having to clean off the boards and lures all the time. The water temperature out of Au Gres was 67 degrees this morning. With that cold water (for this time of year), we had to troll slow at 1.5 mph. By the end of the trip, our birthday-boy was all smiles as he had experienced some world class walleye fishing for sure.
7/30/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had an absolutely beautiful day on the Bay this morning. It started out a bit cool, but the sun was out in full and the winds were light with just a ripple on the water. We set up for a troll about two miles north of where we caught our fish yesterday and started catching walleyes right away. We took about 10 walleyes in the first hour, but when the wind died down to dead calm conditions, the bite slowed considerably after that. Still, my customers picked up their limits by about 11:00 and I even caught some fish for myself, which I just ate for dinner. I pan fried the filets after dipping them through an egg wash and dredging them through Italian bread crumbs. Done golden brown and served with hash browns and some fresh, sautéed summer squash just picked from my garden, it was certainly a fine meal indeed. Today all but one of our walleyes came on crawlers fished right down on the bottom. I ran two Hot N' Tots all morning and only caught one fish on those two crankbaits. The bite was light today as we lost a lot of fish due to short strikes. At first, silver blades were best, but in the last hour of fishing, the fire tiger blades were definitely hit more than the silver. Trolling speeds of 1.5 mph were necessary as any faster and we got no bites and any slower and the fish were not hooking up well. We did not take many larger fish today as most were in the 15 to 20 inch range with just five over 20". All in all though it was an extremely good day of fishing and everybody had a lot of fun. This family that I fished with is from Indiana and they also took a bass fishing charter on Lake St. Clair yesterday, so they got to sample one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in the world along with Saginaw Bay, the walleye capital of the world. They were certainly impressed with Michigan's incredible fishing.
7/29/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had a family from Missouri (three) with their Grandfather from Jackson, MI. We had lots of fun today despite the tough conditions. It was a cold morning today as the water temperature just outside Au Gres had dropped more down to 68 degrees. That's a 14 degree drop since this cold snap hit the region. We ran south today looking for warmer water and it did warm up a couple degrees as we motored past the point. We were forced to do trolling passes this morning in the gusty conditions with the winds blowing from the SW early and then switching to the WNW at about 8:00. We marked a lot of fish on the bottom, so I loaded up the trolling spread with bottom hugging presentations. We ended up taking a good catch of walleye today with a dozen of them being over 20 inches. We also caught a couple nice perch too. Slow trolling speeds of 1.4 to 1.5 mph seemed to produce better than faster speeds. Silver blades on the spinner/crawler rigs were certainly the best off the bottom bouncers. We also took four nice walleyes on Hot N' Tots too. I ran two Tots off the outside boards with chrome patterns. I marked a lot of baitfish suspended up near the surface, but I didn't see any bigger fish up that high after them. All of the fish we caught were full of shiners that were about two to three inches long. The fish are visibly more plump than what they were earlier this summer. They are certainly fattening up on a exploding baitfish supply in the Bay now.
7/28/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had to cancel today's charter due to high winds, big waves and rainy,
cold conditions. We fished yesterday, but when we got down to the area
where I wanted to fish, the water temperature there too had dropped off
sharply in the last day. We did see a water spout yesterday morning down
in the South end of the Bay. This weather we are experiencing is more
like fall than summer, which is when water spouts are more common. After
only catching a couple keeper walleyes and a nice northern pike, we
pulled lines and headed to another spot that I hoped would hold some
active fish, but when we got there all I saw on my screen were tons of
bait-fish, which is indicative of few walleyes in the area. We then
headed to another spot and did pick away at the walleyes enough to amass
a decent catch there, but one of my customers had gotten seasick from
the get-go yesterday morning, and after five hours of misery, he needed
to head for shore ending the trip a bit early. Most of our fish came on
crawlers pulled across the bottom, but we did take a few walleyes,
including our biggest, and the pike, on Hot N' Tots. We had to troll
slow yesterday due to the now cold water conditions. If I went over 1.5
mph, then we stopped catching fish.
7/24/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weather report was kind of bleak for today with small craft warnings, but that same contradictory marine forecast predicted winds of only 6 to 9 knots from the northwest. It didn't look to bad at 7:00 this mourning and my group of mason workers from Fort Wayne, IN were sure really raring to go, so we headed out of Au Gres with the winds about 15 knots from the North West. About a mile out we started plowing through some big roller though coming from the North East. As we got further out into the Bay, the waves grew and were coming from two different directions and that NW wind had increased to over 20 knots. My Lund Baron kept on pushing through the slop though and when we neared the area where we hammered the fish yesterday, I got more than a little bummed out when the surface temp showed a five degree drop in the water temperature there. My customers certainly picked up on my lack of confidence. We were about a mile up wind from my hot area when I started marking lots of fish though on the bottom, so I pulled back on the throttle and figured I'd try a trolling pass from deeper water into the previously hot area. I started out setting lines with the two outside boards going in first with Hot N' Tots and then I started putting spinner/crawler rigs in pulled behind bottom bouncers. It was pretty rough out there with threes and fours bouncing us around and I wasn't sure, but it looked like the first crawler rig was pulling kind of funny right off the bat. I set another crawler rig on the other side and it too was not planning into position properly with that Church Walleye board lagging behind the boat some too. I kept setting though and my two other planer board rigs also were acting like they too had fish on, but I kept setting lines and didn't say anything as I thought that there was no way that those could be fish in those terrible conditions. My last two lines were two flat lines off the back of the boat with crawler/bottom bouncers. When both of those bent over, it was obvious that we likely had six fish on all the crawlers rigs. When I turned to my customers and told them that we had fish-on, they had noticed the two flat lines with hook-ups, but when I said that we had six fish on, they were a bit skeptical. We ended up loosing four of those six fish in the surging waves, but at that point my mood had still improved immensely We then proceeded to hammer those walleyes and in three hours of fishing we had amassed a limit catch of nice walleyes. We also caught three big catfish too along with some sheephead and a lot of undersized walleyes which helped to keep the non-stop action over the top. The Hot N' Tots didn't produce much at first, but when I added more weight to take them closer to the bottom, those crankbaits also took hits non-stop. We had to make trolling passes in those big waves, but by the time it was time to head in, the wind had switched to the North East and had died down. We were able to run in at 27 mph without any trouble. Silver bladed harnesses were probably best today running them with a half crawler at a sharp angle to the bottom at 1.7 to 1.8 mph. I was running very heavy bottom bouncers today. This was certainly one of those days were Saginaw Bay blessed us.
7/22/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We hit the water this morning going into choppy three foot seas and when I got three miles from shore, my Mercury Optimax suddenly died on me and I had to turn around and head back to port on my kicker motor. I would never consider fishing the Great Lakes with just one motor on a boat as it is just not safe. My kicker motor not only controls my boat during trolling perfectly, but it is also a backup motor should problems with my main engine crop up. On the way in I phoned Inland Marine and appraised them of my situation and they were able to get right on my motor as soon as I pulled in. It was a tough problem to diagnose, but they figured it out and had parts in stock to correct the problem which ended up being a temperature switch and sensor which had gone bad. By noon, I had met back up with my customers, who pertinently waited out the repairs, and then we hit the by with high hopes of the good afternoon fishing. By the wind had switched to the south and had died down a quite a bit, so we headed out just south of the area where we ended up on my charter yesterday. We had great action in the first hour and a half and my customers took limit catches of some nice walleyes in just two hours of fishing. Hot N' Tots were on fire for the first hour, but then the wind died down more and the Tots cooled off and the crawlers rigs started to take more fish. Chrome Tots were best, but no particular spinner colors stood out as they hit various colors of harnesses about equally. I have the same group for two days in a row so hopefully the weather will cooperate for tomorrow and I can show them a repeat performance of world class walleye fishing on the Bay tomorrow too.
7/21/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The forecast today was all over the place, so when we hit the Bay this morning with fairly calm=ish seas with a slight north wind, it looked pretty good. We set lines about four miles north of where we hit our fish yesterday and planned to troll with the wind into that area to see what lied above where we hammered them yesterday. We started catching fish non-stop right off the bat though and didn't stop catching fish until we limited out. We barely made it to the spot from yesterday when we had 25 nice walleyes in the box in just two hours of fishing time. Everything that I put in the water today caught fish (crawlers and crankbaits). The best trolling speeds were 1.8 to 2.0 mph. It seemed like a lot of fish had moved into that area since yesterday. A friend of mine came into that spot just as we were leaving and also experienced non-stop action with quick limits too and later told me that it was some of the best fishing for walleyes he had ever seen. Other than him, no other boats were within miles of us. I posted a while back that the best fishing was yet to come on the Bay. Well, that fishing is happening now. The fish have been concentrated from the recent windy weather and they will remain bunched up until the wind blows that perfect water out of my fishing area. Anybody with charters booked with me over the next week or two will likely experience world class walleye fishing
7/20/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had canceled my trip for yesterday on Thursday due to the bad forecast, but the weatherman certainly underestimated how bad it was to be. The predicted 25 knot winds turned out to be 75 knots and the storms that swept through the area still have a lot of people without power. I actually video taped a tree being topped by the wind in my front yard yesterday near Au Gres. All that wind really impacted the bay too. The area were we hammered the fish Thursday saw a 10 degree water temp drop and the floating weed mats there were worse than I've ever seen before, making that spot unfishable. We then went to my plan B spot and even though there were tons of fish on the sonar there, none were biting. We then went to my plan C spot, which I had checked twice last week (nothing there then) and we found some active fish hooking up in the first minutes of our trolling pass, but then the action went from walleyes to sheephead quickly. We then pulled lines, modified the trolling spread some and ran back to a bit deeper water and then proceeded to get some decent action. After that, we fine tuned the spread further, and relocated to where I though things might be a bit better yet and proceeded to hammer away at them until we had our limits. Today was another perfect example of why booking eight hour charters is smarter than 5 hour trips. Most of our fish came today between noon and 1:00. We limited out just in time though to miss the storm that swept through the Bay as we slipped into the Au Gres River just as the squall was revving up with high winds and lots of rain. Most of our fish came on crawler harnesses with bright colors being best (chartreuse and florescent orange). We did take some fish on Hot N' Tots (bigger fish) later in the trip though when we zeroed in on the more active fish. We also caught more sheephead today than on any other trip so far this year, but only on one pass through one area where we hooked into at least a dozen of those farm animals. This was a tough day on the bay today that required a lot of savvy and expertise to figure out where to find the walleye and then how to catch them. My customers today had fished with me on Lake Erie earlier this year and did not do well, but today Saginaw Bay rewarded them with a nice box of walleyes.
7/18/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today was a perfect example of the advantages of booking an eight hour charter. With this heat wave, the walleyes have been moving around like crazy since yesterday. We first headed out to where we really hammered the walleyes yesterday and the fish had vacated that huge area entirely. Then we headed about five miles to another area where I thought the fish may have moved too. We did a long trolling pass through that area and only caught two walleyes. We then moved to my plan C spot and only found sporadic, sparse action there too. Then we moved to my plan D spot and immediately got into a very good walleye bite there. We proceeded to pull a four man, 20 walleye limit out of the Bay there with excellent action for the last two hours of the charter. In the Plan D spot, the fish hit everything I had in the water as long as it was trolled close to the bottom. The best trolling speed there was 1.7 to 1.8 mph. Since most of the walleyes were caught in the latter half of the charter, a half day trip today would have been very poor. The eight hour charter though today ended up being very good my customers being very happy.
7/17/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We headed back to the same area where we have been taking quick, limit
catches since Saturday, and got into some fast and furious action right
off the bat. We made one long trolling pass and had 17 walleyes in the
box. Then we motored back and tried a duplicate pass, caught a quick
fish or two and then the action died. The wind had just calmed down from
a south west wind at about 12 knots, to a barely detectable breeze. As
the water went flat on the Bay, so did the walleye bite. Not only did
the fish stop biting, but we stopped marking fish on the sonar too, so
they had obviously moved. The water temp hit over 80 degrees today, so
the fish are certainly on the move. We moved out to deeper water,
crossed a temperature break (scum line) and then began marking fish
there. I had to reset my trolling rigs, but we started taking fish and
filled out a 25 fish, five man limit there. We took a lot of fish today
on Hot N' Tots, but we probably caught more on crawler harnesses, all
down near the bottom where the fish were lurking. Colors didn't seem to
mater much, but we did have to slow down to catch fish once the bite
slowed down. We started out at 1.5 to 1.7 mph and finished up at 1.2 to
1.3 mph. Most of our keepers today were over 20 inches with the biggest
7/16/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The incredible fishing continues on the Bay with quick limit catches of dandy walleyes on the last two trips. Today my customers pulled a four man, 20 walleye limit in about three hours of fishing time. We also caught over a dozen undersized fish too, so the action was fast and furious. We took several fish in the 24 to 26 inch range, but most of our keepers were 15 to 23 inches. Hot N' Tots were on fire today fishing them within a few feet of bottom. Chrome Tots were great, but those lures are really dulled down from hundreds of walleyes chewing the paint off them. They are actually a dull white/chrome color. We also took a lot of fish on crawler harnesses today too. Color did not mater as I ran some fire/tiger and chrome blades and they both worked equally well. My trolling speed was 1.5 to 1.8 mph. We are still fishing in deep water, but the water temps are rising very fast with this heat wave. I marked 80 degrees on the surface today in the middle of the Bay. If the heat continues, a lot of walleyes will migrate towards the Islands making those locations hot spots in the weeks to come.
7/14/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weather forecast was predicted to serve up near perfect fishing conditions so as we motored up the river this morning, I boldly told my customers that they were in for some world class walleye fishing on their charter. The excitement on their faces was easy to see and when we finally arrived at the fishing area, and I was marking tons of plainly visible fish on my sonar, the anticipation built up even more. It certainly didn't take long for us to get into some action. As we trolled into the hot area rods began bending over and boards started pulling back with walleyes tugging on the business ends. We managed to loose the first fish and I just laughed and told them "no big deal you'll get lots more." When it was all said and done, my customers limited out in about one hour of fishing with a three man limit of nice walleyes of all sizes. Like usual, we also caught some undersized walleyes. The 2011 walleye year class was a massive one and those fish will be keeper sized next year, so things will just keep getting better and better for Saginaw Bay anglers for years to come. We caught our fish today on crawlers pulled behind bottom bouncers and also trolled two Hot N' Tots on the outside Church Tackle Walleye Boards and those Tots took plenty of fish too. I haven't changed lures all week as we have had constant action on those rigs and I haven't felt the need to change anything. One of my tricks this year has been to just use half a crawler on my spinner rigs. We are getting some real huge night crawlers this year, and they area actually too big to fish optimally. Used whole, those jumbo crawlers get the ends bit off or they get bit in half and a lot of those fish are missed. By using half crawlers, the walleyes get the hooks in their mouth better and the crawler stays on the hook better too which eliminates those bait stealing hits. I impale the front hook through the nose of the crawler, then stick the back hook through the collar and then pinch the crawler in half. The back half is then used on the next bait-up. If the crawler is small, then I string him on whole, but put the back hook a little further back. I've only been going through about a dozen crawlers per trip as I can generally catch several fish per crawler and our success speaks for itself. If you really want to read all the details on how I fish crawlers on the Bay, the current issue of Woods N' Water News contains an article of mine on this subject.
7/13/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers experienced another beautiful, fun and productive day on the Bay today. I organized a two boat, eight man charter partnering with Bill Carter and they took an eight man limit of walleyes with the biggest being 27 inches. We fished in deep water trolling with a variety of presentations: Crawlers fished deep with inline weights or bottom bouncers took the loins share of the fish, however we also took some on crank baits too with Hot N' Tots weighted to run near the bottom being good. The action was steady all morning with both boats serving up some world class walleye fishing indeed. We are on some super hot walleye fishing right now and this deep water bite should continue until things warm up more around the islands, which is when the fish will move in there big time. It will only get better then.
7/12/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a day off the water, and nothing scheduled for today, and a double boat charter scheduled for tomorrow, I hit the Bay today for a scouting mission to find the best fishing in the area and covered over 25 miles of water in the process. We started off heading out towards the Charity Islands, which are typically very walleye heavy this time of year, but the water there was too cold and the three spots we hit there were void of fish. Then we fished several deep water spots and really found some good fishing in two areas, but the other two spots that had lots of fish on the graph, didn't produce much action. In total, my friend and I hit eight different spots. In my best spot we caught about 20 walleyes in less than 45 minutes. When you are scouting though, you keep moving around and that's just what we did. The result of our efforts will be a good trip for tomorrow for sure. Since we only could run six rods today, we stuck with the basics (and most consistent presentation) and just trolled with crawler harnesses. We ran a mixture of bright colored rigs and natural patterns and all of them took hits, as long as we were in areas with active fish. The best fishing that we found (or heard of) was in deep water. I heard of fish being caught all over the Bay today, so with this predicted, stabile weather pattern, the fishing should really heat up over the next week. I have an opening on Monday, but after that, I'm booked up for over a week and I only have a couple other open dates later this month, but the fishing will certainly stay great through August, so you'll want to book soon so you don't miss out on the best walleye fishing this state has ever seen.
7/9/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We further extended out streak of limit-catches today. We hit the water with tough conditions: dead flat, calm seas certainly had the fish biting very lightly. I headed out towards the spot where we had limited out on my last charter, but before I even got there, I started marking tons of fish on the bottom, so I pulled back on the throttle, put my kicker motor in the water and started trolling right there. We immediately started catching fish, but the action was spotty with sporadic action. I contemplated moving, but since we were marking a bunch of fish in that area, we stuck it out and kept picking away at them in a large area that we were trolling. We ended up with 20 fish in the box before noon mostly taken on crawler harnesses, but some were caught on Hot N' Tots. Everything was set near the bottom, where the fish were marked. Even on a poor fishing day, we still managed a very good catch of fish, so I'm glad we stuck it out in that area. There are still millions of walleyes in the Bay and the best fishing is likely yet to come when we key in on the super productive, areas around the islands. The waters in the bay are still relatively cool yet, so we are still fishing in areas where we typically troll during June. We likely won't get into our best fishing this year until late July through the first two weeks of August due to the late spring and cool, early summer conditions. Encase you are interested, I still have a lot of openings during that peak period when we will be taking more and bigger fish than at any other time this year.
7/5/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We brought in another world class, walleye catch today despite the super tough, fishing conditions. With dead flat, sunny conditions this morning, I wasn't real optimistic about getting into red hot action, but fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised with some unreal walleye fishing. I was running out this morning towards the area where we had caught easy limits the last two day, but before we were even close to that area, I noticed a bunch of fish marks on my graph. I pulled back the throttle for a closer look and saw that the bottom of the Bay there was literally covered with fish, so with no other boats within a mile of us, we set lines in that spot instead. We started catching fish right away with double and triple headers non-stop and the size of the fish today was excellent too. We lost some really big fish today, but we also caught some true lunkers too for an excellent box of fish indeed. We caught fish on everything I had in the water today as long as it was close to the bottom. Both crawlers and Hot N' Tots took fish this morning like crazy. The fishing right now is off-the-charts good, out of Au Gres. Again, I have never seen the fishing this good in my 20 plus years of fishing on the Bay, so you really don't want to miss this incredible fishing opportunity.
7/3/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We went fishing today after five days off the water and I honestly didn't know what to expect. I caught a nasty cold on Friday. Saturday morning brought on more bad fortune as my Mercury Optimax died at the dock. Further inspection revealed that the compressor had broken into pieces and had to be replaced, but thanks to Bill Carter, another local charter captain, I arranged for my customers to salvage their day and Bill got them on some fish. I was planning to fish with Bill on that charter, but when I almost fell into the water on Bill's dock, I knew that my equilibrium was messed up and had to spend most of the next few days in bed. Thanks Bill for saving the day. Inland Marine diligently worked on my motor and due to their extremely prompt and talented mechanical work, I was back on the water yesterday. Thanks Inland. However, the big north east winds had been blowing since Saturday, so I would likely have had to cancel Sunday, Monday and Tuesday anyway due to the nasty weather even if my boat and body had been functional. I was feeling a lot better this morning though and my boat was running like a top however after three days of a north east blow, I knew we faced a fishing challenge. I've faced post cold front, July conditions, dozens of times though on the Bay, so I had a Plan A, B and C all set and ready for today. We found very cold water out in front of Au Gres, so we just motored south east until the temp climbed up a bit and fish marks started showing up on the graph big time. We set lines and started hooking fish immediately and in one, modestly long, trolling pass my customers were limited out. Since I hadn't eaten any fish myself in a week, I decided to head to even deeper water and try for some fish for my limit. We hit pay dirt again there and my limit didn't take very long to reel in and I was all set for a blackened walleye and five alarm chili dinner, which I just finished before keying in this report. I ran the same mixed Hot N' Tot and spinner/crawler/bottom bouncer spread that I had run on my last charter and never changed a thing as the fish ate everything I had in the water, as long as it was on or close to the bottom. Speeds didn't mater much either as I mostly trolled at 1.4 to 1.7 mph in the two to three footers, but at the end of the trip, when I had limited out, and still had a couple lines left in the water, so I bumped the speed up to 3.0 mph just to keep more fish from hooking up, but we still tied into two more nice walleyes anyway even at those ridiculous speeds and then threw them back. It's been a rollercoaster this week for sure, but the fishing is still red hot despite the tough conditions. As the predicted warmer weather moved in over the next week, the fishing is sure to be off-the-charts, world class out of Au Gres.
6/27/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The excellent walleye fishing continues out of Au Gres. Today we hit the water early this morning, but with dead flat, calm conditions, the bite was very slow for the first two hours. Then when the wind picked up a little and put a slight chop on the water, the walleyes turned on big time. We then caught one fish one after another until a four-man limit was filled. Crawler harnesses were the top producer today, but towards the end of the trip, when the fish were biting good, Hot N' Tots began to catch fish too. Silver blades were best early, but towards the end of the trip, everything got hit. We are fishing deep water still. I trolled in one direction this morning for four miles and marked tons of fish all along the way with most of them hugging the bottom. There are still millions of walleye off Au Gres as we are catching few other species of fish, so those marks on the sonar have to be mostly walleyes. We will likely still be fishing close to Au Gres for at least another week before the better fishing relocates out by the Islands or other areas of the Bay.
6/23/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers experienced another day of world class walleye fishing on Saginaw Bay this morning. We limited out with a nice mixture of eating sized walleyes, mid-sized fish and some jumbo fish too up to 27 inches. We caught 25 keepers by 11:00. We had some fast action right off the bat on the trip, then it slowed up a bit and then picked up later on in the morning. The best fishing today was for suspended walleyes. We took a lot of fish on Hot N' Tots about 20 feet down over deep water. We also caught a lot of walleyes on crawlers too fishing them about 5 to 10 feet off bottom. No particular color or pattern shined as they hit everything I threw at them. The spoon bite is about to explode on the Bay now that the water is warming up and the fish are getting more and more active. I'll be taking a day off tomorrow heading to the U.P. to spray my food plots on my hunting property, but will be back in Au Gres fishing after that.
6/22/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The fantastic fishing continues out of Au Gres with limit catches today consisting of some real nice sized fish. Most of our fish today were over 20 inches. We fished the same area we fished yesterday, but found a school of larger walleyes and worked them throughout the charter by circling around and around on them. Most of our keeper walleyes came on Hot N' Tots fished 75' back behind the boards with 1.5 ounces of weight 5' ahead of the Tots. We fished deep water on those suspended fish. The best trolling speed was 1.6 mph. That put the Tots down about 20 feet below the surface and those lures were hit non-stop. We also ran some spinner crawler rigs with bottom bouncers, but those setups didn't produce as well as yesterday and caught smaller fish compared to the Hot N' Tots. We caught some real dandies today up to eight pounds. This is some of the best fishing I've ever seen on the Bay right now, and the best fishing is likely yet to come when we get into our peak July bite.
6/21/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a great day of walleye fishing on the Bay this morning with 25 keepers in the box well before noon. We ran a mixed trolling spread of Hot N' Tots (middle and outside boards), and spinner/crawler rigs on the inside boards and the two flatlines. Everything was taken near the bottom trolling at about 1.5 to 1.6 mph. Chrome Tots were best, and harness pattern did not matter as they hit the crawlers like crazy on all rigs. It was amazing too see how many fish we marked today on my fish finder in the area we fished. We trolled for about four miles in one direction and never ran out of fish. There are literally millions of walleyes in the Bay now; More than ever before. Most anglers were taking good numbers of fish straight out from Au Gres in deeper water. We, on the other hand fished a bit shallower and didn't have any boats near us all morning accept for a few passersby. We took a good mixture of fish sizes today with some larger ones, and a bunch of eater sized walleyes too. In fact, I'm having walleye for dinner this evening. I haven't decided on how I'm going to cook it yet, but you can bet that it will taste very good. The accompanying photo is of the cooler full of fish from today.
6/19/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a day off due to high north east winds yesterday, we hit the water today going to the same area where we did well on Monday. The big blow didn't impact the fishing one bit as my customers took limit catches in short order this morning. The fishing is certainly red hot out of Au Gres now and will likely continue this way for months to come. I have an opening for a charter tomorrow, which is rare for this time of year, which is generally booked solid. The weather tomorrow is predicted to be ideal for walleye fishing too with light southerly winds, and mostly sunny conditions in the low 70s; a perfect forecast indeed. I can guarantee that if someone books tomorrow, that they will catch their limits of walleyes. Today the bite was pretty steady as we ran a mixed trolling spread of Hot N' Tots and spinner crawler rigs. Most of the fish today came on crawlers, but we did take some nice fish on Tots too. At one point we had five fish on at one time, which was while I was making a turn. I talked to other anglers back at the dock that had also limited out and people were catching fish from 12 feet of water out past 40 feet deep. Now that's some good fishing when they are hitting nearly everywhere.
6/17/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We've had excellent fishing the last few days with limit catches every day, including today, which was a challenging day whether wise for sure. We started off with a delayed departure waiting for a rain storm to blow by. We hit the Bay with waves coming from two different directions, which always makes for tough fishing. The wind was out of the north early, but then it switched to the west and then went dead calm with the sun coming out very bright, which made it hot in a hurry. We also had a quick rain fall pass over us this morning. With all the switching of the winds, the fishing was a bit slow as we just picked away at them and eventually took a four man limit of some nice walleyes in five hours of fishing. We ran a mixed trolling spread of four Hot N' Tots and four spinner/crawler rigs. Chrome Tots and Orange and Chartreuse blades were best. At first the fish hit the Tots best, but towards the end of the trip, when the wind died down completely, the crawler rigs produced better. To top off the day, on the way back to port, the wind picked up quickly from the north east and we went from dead flat conditions to choppy whitecaps on the run in. A challenging weather day indeed, but the Bay still produced despite the tough conditions.
6/14/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My group from Illinois finished up their five day stint fishing with me. In five days on the water, they experienced world class walleye fishing every day and have they have eaten a lot of fresh walleye this week too. The fishing was so good that they have already booked five days for next year, but due to spreading the word, next year we will be running a two boat, five day charter trip for their group. Today we first ran out to deep water and finding rough conditions there, we came back in closer to shore and set lines at about 8:00. By 9:30 my customers were limited out with a dandy box of walleyes. Several of the fish were in the 26 to 28 inch range and we lost several more whoppers in the choppy conditions too. We ran a mixed spread of Hot N' Tots (middle and outside boards) and crawlers with bottom bouncers (inside boards and flat lines). They hit every lure I put in the water this morning as long as it was close to the bottom so no presentation dominated. Our trolling speed was very inconsistent in the surging waves ranging from 1 to 2 mph. I had to throw in a drift sock a couple times when the wind really kicked up. The best part is that we caught the fish on one big, long, down wind, trolling pass. Our fish were caught non-stop over a two mile area.
6/13/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
It was limits of walleyes the last two charters yesterday and today. Yesterday we limited out in just a couple hours of fishing, but today with the constantly changing winds, it took us about five hours of fishing to max out. We fished a mixed spread of Hot N' Tots and crawler harnesses on both trips fishing in deep water on or near the bottom I run the Tots on the outside and middle Church Walleye Boards, and the harnesses on the inside boards and flat lines. We took a lot of undersized fish on both trips making the future look awfully good for the Saginaw Bay walleye fishery. Seeing all those young fish in the system mixed in with medium and large fish really shows how healthy the fishery is. Our last fish of the day today was a lunker 28 incher that was a big fat toad. That fish really capped off an excellent day on the water.
6/11/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a nice day on the Bay today with limit catches of some nice walleyes. Only a few of the keepers were under 20 inches. We first headed to the spot where we caught fish yesterday non-stop at the end of the trip, and in the first hour this morning we caught fish non-stop again and it looked like it was going to be quick limits. Then the wind switched from the west to the north and the bite died quickly. We trolled in that area for another two hours, but only caught a few walleyes. We then moved to another spot in deeper water where we had caught limits on Sunday and picked away at the fish until we limited out. This morning, most of our fish came on crankbaits with Shad Raps being best. At the second spot we fished though, we pulled the fish off the bottom with crawlers behind bottom bouncers with Fire-Tiger harnesses being best. I have the same crew from Illinois for the next three days, so they should experience some awesome fishing on the Bay indeed.
6/8/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After four days of reeling in lots of walleyes, my customer today proclaimed, "My arms are sore from reeling in fish." We concluded the Manistee groups four day walleye fishing vacation today. They limited out today making it four straight days for the threesome, maxing out on each charter with dandy fish caught every day. We started out fishing today in the area where we left off yesterday, but with dead flat conditions, the fish there did not cooperate. We then picked up and moved to another spot five miles away where were we typically take lots of walleyes at this time of the year. The bite there was only fair though, so we moved once again and got into some sporadic action that was red hot at times, but with some lulls between active schools of fish. We did take a lot of bigger fish today, which is always nice. Our best bait today was a #7 Shad Pattern, Shad Rap fished near bottom. When I mixed the Raps into the spread, They got slammed nonstop by all big fish too. After tomorrow's charter, I have the same party booked for five days in a row. The way the fishing is going, they will certainly get to experience a whole lot of world class walleye fishing.
6/7/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We have had stiff northeast winds the last three days making for some tough fishing conditions indeed. If we were fishing anywhere else but Saginaw Bay, success would have been doubtful, however we have limited out every day this week with especially excellent fishing this morning. We started off this morning fishing where we left off catching fish yesterday, but the fish had moved out of that area. We then moved to another spot a few miles away and started catching fish like crazy, with non-stop action until my customers had limited out on a nice box of walleyes. We caught most of our fish on Hot N' Tots, but we did take some fish on crawler harnesses too. All of the fish were caught trolling the lures close to the bottom. Fire Tiger Hot N' Tots were the top producer today. All but a few fish were good sized, with the biggest being about 26 inches. We are predicted to have a nice weather day tomorrow, so the fishing then should be fantastic.
6/5/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We limited out on a bunch of dandy walleyes both yesterday and today. The bite is transitioning into a Hot N' Tot and spoon bite. We caught most of our walleyes today on Hot N' Tots, but when I worked a couple Moonshine Walleye Spoons into our modest spread of six rods later in the trip, we took a quite of few fish on those rigs too. I fished two Crab Cakes Moonshine Walleye spoons off the inside Church Tackle Walleye Boards. Both the spoons and the Hot N' Tots were taken down with a rubber core sinkers about 6 feet ahead of the lures. Our trolling speed was 1.7 to 1.9 mph. I ran the lures about 2 to 5 feet off the bottom, but we did take some fish up higher. Most of the fish we caught today were jumbo sized walleyes. We only took a few fish under 20 inches with several chunky ones in the 26 to 27 inch range. The fish have been getting more aggressive by the day and are hitting hard and pulling much harder than they did just a week ago with the now warming waters. The guys that fished with me today are from my old home town of Manistee, so it's nice to have people on the boat from ski town. They will be fishing with me for the next three days too, so they will be eating a lot of walleyes this week and for months to come with this phenomenal fishing we are experiencing on the Bay.
6/3/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Reports
Today we had a beautiful day on the water, which was especially nice after a few days of crazy, unstable weather. We still took good catches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but it sure is a lot easier and more fun to catch fish during nice weather. Instead of heading out to where we had been catching consistent limits out in front of Au Gres in deeper water, we decided to try a spot where we really hammered them last week. I hadn't been able to return to that more distant hot spot due to the constant threat of stormy weather all week. Unfortunately though, my plan A spot did not produce any decent sized fish, so we relocated to my Plan B spot and found some good fish nearby. My customers then proceeded to take a nice limit catch of dandy walleyes well before noon. It wasn't non-stop action, but it was consistent and all the fish in that area were 18 to 23 inches, which are nice, chunky eaters for sure. We took all our fish trolling our lures near the bottom. I ran a mixed spread of Hot N' Tots and spinner/crawler rigs and they hit both presentations about equally well. Bigger fish certainly came on the Tots though. A faster trolling speed of 1.6 to 1.8 was best, but we did take a few fish a bit faster or slower on turns. I had only been having luck with Fire Tiger Tots this week, and they did hit those today, but they also began to take chrome patterns today too. Crawler harness patterns did not matter as we took walleyes on both natural and bright colored rigs. I also talked to some other anglers today that did very well straight out from Au Gres in deeper water where we had been fishing over the weekend. I also saw someone launch a 27 foot boat today (Sportcraft) at the DNR ramp with no problems. The water has come up there about one foot since late April when I got to Au Gres, which is great.
5/31/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We wrapped up the month of May with another excellent fishing trip today. The weather was a bit iffy, with a 50% chance of storms. We decided to try fishing close to Au Gres and found lots of fish right out front. We limited out in short order on some nice walleyes, but we also caught a lot of smaller, undersized fish too, which bodes well for future years fishing on the Bay. We also caught some jumbo perch today too, with one over 12 inches. So far all of my Saginaw Bay charters out of Au Gres have been very successful. We have limited out on all charters accept for one, and even on that trip, we came within one walleye of maxing out. Walleye fishing just doesn't get much better than that, however in years past, June is better than May and July is better than June, so the best may be yet to come this year. Today our best presentation was Hot N' Tots pulled close to the bottom at 1.5 mph. Fire Tiger Tots were best. We also caught fish on crawlers, but the bigger fish seemed to come on the Tots. There was lots of sorting on Crawlers. I have every day booked for the next couple weeks, but I do still have a few opening left for late June and there are also plenty of open dates left for July too. Don't wait too long to book your trip through as typically all my dates book up. I only have a couple open dates left during August for salmon trips at Manistee and those openings won't last long.
5/26/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a phenomenal morning of walleye fishing on Saginaw Bay this morning. We set lines at about 8:00 and by 9:00 we were limited out with a nice catch of eaters and some bigger ones too up to about five pounds. The area I fished was good last week, so since I had an eight hour trip, we made the rather long run and tried it again this morning. This spot is either full of fish or void of walleyes, so I usually only fish it on 8 hour trips in case the fish aren't there and I have to relocate. We set lines and began trolling south with the wind and had non-stop action for about two miles. I never got a chance to turn around as we never stopped catching fish. We had very active fish at our spot today, to I increased the trolling speed to 1.7 mph and didn't loose many fish as a result. We took most of our fish on crawler harnesses fished just off the bottom. We also pulled two Hot N' Tots and took a couple fish on those crankbaits (bigger fish), but the crawlers were definitely taking more hits this morning. Yesterday, Hot N' Tots produced better than crawlers, but that was in a totally different area under much different conditions. Harness colors did not mater today as the three drastically different patterns I used all took hits about equally. I don't have a charter scheduled tomorrow, and since the weather is predicted to be ideal and I know where a massive concentration of walleyes are, if I don't book a trip, I will take my wife our fun fishing. By the way, we didn't have another boat near us in the area we fished too.
5/24/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had some interesting fishing conditions today to say the least. The weatherman had predicted a north wind at 5 to 10 mph, but when we hit the water, it was blowing at about 20 mph from the north west and it was very cold. The water temp is still in the low 50s, so we slow trolled mainly with night crawlers and picked away at the fish through the morning. When the wind died and then quickly switched to a brisk north east blow, the fishing got a little tougher, but by noon, my customers had limited out on some nice walleyes despite the tough fishing conditions. We did take a couple fish on Hot N' Tots, but most of the walleyes came on crawler harnesses trolling near the bottom. The trolling speed had to be slow this morning for the fish to bite. All our fish came in deeper water as we got no hits in water shallower than 28 feet deep. The weather is predicted to improve each day this weekend, so we should have some more consistent fishing in the days to come.
5/19/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The bite certainly changed big time from yesterday to today. First thing in the morning we hit the spot where we finished off yesterdays successful charter and did pick up a few quick fish but then that spot died. We then went to deeper water and picked up a few more sporadic walleyes, but the high numbers of fish that had been stacked up out in front of Au Gres were not showing up in mass on my graph. We then ran five miles to another spot and only managed a few undersized walleyes there. We then headed to my plan D spot and almost immediately started hitting some nice walleyes there. By then the sun was very bright overhead and the Bay was dead flat, but none-the-less we kept picking away at the fish at my plan D spot and managed a very nice box of fish indeed (two buckets full). The fish there ran pretty good size too with only one fish under 19 inches and several in the mid-20s. We took all our walleyes today on crawler harnesses fished near the bottom at 1.4 to 1.5 mph. Bright colors like florescent orange and chartreuse worked best. I tried messing around with crankbaits all day today and never took a single walleye on those rigs. Today's charter emphasized the benefits of 8 hour charters compared to 5 hour trips. We took the majority of our fish during the last few hours of the charter. It also personified persistence too: we just kept trying different spots until we found active fish. Dead calm, sunny days often are the toughest days to catch quantities of walleyes too. It's nice to fish on nice days, but walleyes typically bite best on days with a chop and/or cloud cover.
5/18/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We took limit catches the last two days. Today we went out first thing to where were hammered the walleyes yesterday towards the end of the charter. Our first fish on was a real hog that we got all the way to the side of the boat, but unfortunately it broke off and was lost. After that, all we got in that area were undersized fish, so we moved deeper to 33 feet of water and did a trolling pass two miles out. We picked up sporadic action out there and took more than half our fish (my customers limits) in that deep water with Fire Tiger Hot N' Tots pulled 80 back behind the Church Walleye boards with a 1.5 oz. sinker 6' in front of the lure. We were trolling at about 1.5 mph. Needing some fish for dinner for myself, when the wind kicked up, we headed for the more protected shallow waters and hit a bunch of fish in short order on crawlers. I was going to try the Tots in shallow, but we never got more than a few lines out, so we did it all there on crawlers. We did take a big sheephead in shallow (first one of the year). We also caught a 30" northern pike there too. With some fish for myself, I just ate a delightful blackened walleye dinner. For this dish I melted some butter and dipped the dry, cold fillets in the butter and then coated them with Zatarain's Blackened Seasoning. Using my camp stove outside, I heated a frying pan up until it was white-hot and then fried the fish for about one minute on each side (smoking like crazy). For side dishes I had spiced up Bushes Onion Baked Beans and some Potato Chips all washed down with some light beer. I'm still licking my lips as I write this.
5/16/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had an absolutely beautiful day of fishing on Saginaw Bay today with sunny skies, light winds and near perfect temperatures in the low 70s. The only down side today was the winds kept switching directions, but even that didn't seem to impact the walleye bite as we caught walleyes steady all day today. My customers caught in excess of 40 nice walleyes catching and releasing most of the fish caught today. They did take some filets home today though and so did I. My dinner today consisted of fresh, pan fried walleye with fried potatoes washed down with ice cold Busch beer. My fish recipe was simple: dip the fillets in beaten egg and then dredged through Italian bread crumb and then into the hot oil. Fried golden brown on both sides and seasoned with salt and pepper, all I can say is that it was delicious. We caught our fish today on a modest trolling spread with crawler harnesses and crank baits. Rattling Shad Raps are still working good and producing bigger fish and harnesses fished on the bottom also produced hookups every few minutes all day. Color was not a factor today. A trolling speed of 1.5 to 1.6 mph worked wonders but we did catch some going faster and some going slower. We trolled all over the place today just staying away from all other boats taking fish in waters ranging from 15 to 27 feet deep. We never trolled over the same area twice and just kept catching walleyes everywhere we went. Most of the fish we caught were around 20 inches, but we did take some smaller and some bigger with only a couple undersized fish taken today. This is some awesome fishing out of Au Gres now indeed.
5/13/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
You certainly didn't need ice in your cooler this morning to keep your drinks cold. Not only was there frost on my windshield, but there was also frost on the docks too. The cold temps combined with the brisk winds made it rather chilly indeed. None-the-less, my charter customers had a very successful day on the Bay. I had the Kool-Aid Drinkers party on my boat today. They didn't get their nickname from doing what they were told without question, but rather because they were actually drinking Kool-Aid all day. The bite today was ultra light with most of the fish just latching on and not pulling much at all. The walleyes were widely scattered too. In fact we probably had over 50 walleyes on today and never had a double header once. The action was not steady either. The winds kept coming and going and whenever the wind calmed down, the fish would quit biting. When the wind kicked back up, we would get some strikes. We fished the same pattern as my last few trips with the outside boards pulling Chrome, Rattling Shad Raps and the other six rods loaded up with crawlers fished on the bottom with bottom bouncers. All the fish that hit the Raps were bigger ones. Those Rattling Shad Raps are also one of my favorite crankbaits on Erie when we are fishing in low-visibility water, such as the current conditions out of Au Gres. We did take some nice sized fish on the crawlers too, but we also took some barely legal fish on those rigs. We only took one undersized fish today. Speed was critical today with hits coming at 1.4 to 1.5 mph. Any slower and we were dragging the bouncers; any faster and the fish just wouldn't hit. We took fish over a wide area today ranging from 15 to 30 feet deep. I marked scattered fish where ever I went, so just covering water as efficiently as possibly seeking out active fish proved to work best. Today's limit catch extended my streak of 100% limits on charters during May. Taking all these limit catches in tough fishing conditions really exemplifies the world class walleye fishery in the Bay this year.
5/11/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weather certainly has been up and down the last few days. Yesterday it blew up 10 foot plus waves on Saginaw Bay, but today we got in our trip between the storms. We started out fishing in deeper water out in front of Au Gres, but only produced one fish in the first hour. Then we relocated to another spot closer to shore and started picking up some nice walleyes pretty steadily until the wind switched from the west to the south, which shut down the action for a stint. Eventually the fish began feeding once again and we started to pick away at the walleyes for the rest of the day ending up with my customers limiting out with some nice fish indeed. They also threw back another dozen walleyes too. Most of our fish came off crawler harnesses fished behind bottom bouncers with all the spinner patterns working about equal today. We also took four bigger walleyes on Rattling Shad Raps, which I fished two off the outside boards all day. We ended our charter today just before the afternoon storm hit as we were safely back to shore by then. The weather is supposed to be crummy tonight and tomorrow, but hopefully things will clear out for my Monday charter. The forecast for Monday looks promising.
5/4/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had another beautiful day today on Saginaw Bay for sure. We had some pretty hard winds overnight that had diminished to no winds by the time we hit the water at 7:30 in the morning. We went out to the spot where we hit fish the previous afternoon, and the fishing started out rather slow with a slow pick for most of the morning. As soon as a slight breeze picked up though, the walleye bite did too. We ended up limiting out before noon on a nice mixed box of smaller eating sized fish, medium sized chunkers, and some big, lunkers too. We caught most of our fish on crawler harnesses with every pattern that I tried taking fish. I also did some experimenting today with crankbaits too and had some real good success running a couple Rattling Shad Raps off the outside boards. Our three biggest fish all came on the Raps (26-27"). We fished the Raps about 12 feet down in waters ranging from 10 to 25 feet deep. The crawlers were fished near the bottom. The fish were scattered all over the rather large area we fished today with no real hot spot. The key was just to cover lots of water and pick off the active fish. I trolled at 1.5 to 1.6 mph. This is some very good fishing for early May, which bodes well for the rest of the spring and especially the summer.
5/3/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Just in case you are interested, if you add some Wilson Sharp Cheddar cheese and a bit of broccoli to macaroni and cheese and serve it next to venison bratwurst and wash it down with Labatt beer, it really makes for a nice quick dinner after a day on the water. We had a challenging day walleye fishing out of Au Gres today. Of course we started out trolling where we left off yesterday when the fish were snapping up our lures with reckless abandon. We boxed six nice walleye pretty quick and then the wind shifted to the north east and the water temp in the area we were fishing quickly dropped five degrees and the fish stopped biting completely. We then tried another spot that was good at this time of the year last year and blanked there. On the way to my plan C spot, I noticed a bunch of fishy looking marks on my sonar and we stopped there and decided to give it a try. We started connecting with fish right away running a mixed spread of stick baits and crawler harnesses in fairly shallow water. It didn't take very long for my customers to pull in limit catches of some nice walleyes. Our biggest fish (27") all came on the stick baits (Rouges) fished about 10 feet down. We caught more fish though on crawler harnesses fished near the bottom. Chartreuse and orange were the best colors, but they did bite pretty good on other harnesses patterns as well. With this string of nice weather predicted, the next week should produce some outstanding catches on Saginaw Bay.
5/1/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
May Day brought on some fantastic fishing today indeed. It was an absolutely beautiful day on Saginaw Bay today fishing out of Au Gres. We had sunny skies, warm temperatures and light winds; nearly a perfect day. We started out fishing a crankbait program where we hit fish yesterday. That crank bait program consisted of Rouges and Husky Jerks fished 10 to 20 feet down over 20 to 30 feet of water. We boxed some fast fish for the first hour, then the action suddenly died. We then moved to a different spot in deeper water some four miles away and picked up some slow paced fish. With the water temperature surpassing 50 degrees though, we then tried some crawler harnesses and started to get some hits. After some refining of the program, we certainly got into some awesome fishing with multiple double and, triple headers until we limited out with a nice box of fish composed of both eaters and some bigger fish too. I marked tons of fish all over out from Au Gres. There are likely more walleyes in Saginaw Bay now than ever before and the fishing outlook for the next few months is nothing short of phenomenal. In fact, I will predict that this spring and summer will provide the best walleye fishing we have ever had on the Bay.
4/27/13, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I moved my boat to Au Gres this week and we finally got some nice weather to fish in too. When I was first setting lines this morning we instantly got into some fast paced action with a double-header followed by more hits. For the first hour we couldn't keep the lines in the water. All our walleyes today were big ones with the smallest being about 26". We also took some jumbo whitefish today too for bonus too. this was the first time I've ever seen whitefish caught while trolling body baits. One of the whitefish was the largest one I have ever seen in my life (see photo). We were trolling with the same trolling program I last used on Lake Erie with stick baits slowly trolled and taken to depth with small rubber core sinkers. Rouges and Thundersticks worked best today with the water temps in the low 40s. Gold colors were best. We were trolling somewhat close shore in 15 to 25 feet of water. The fantastic fishing should continue over the next week as somewhat stabile weather is predicted. We typically catch some of the biggest sized walleyes of the year during May on Saginaw Bay.
4/21/13, Lake Erie, Monroe, Fishing Report
The rotten weather this spring has not allowed for much fishing on Lake Erie. The heavy winds and torrential rains this past week have muddied up most of the Western Basin and the heavy waves that pummeled the area the last week has really put the fish in a negative mood. I had to cancel all my charters this week and the forecast for Lake Erie for the next week is predicted to be poor too with more high winds and precipitation predicted. This has been one of the worst springs I can remember for poor walleye fishing weather. I'll be moving my boat to Au Gres this week and the abundant walleyes there typically yield better catches compared to Lake Erie. May is usually a good month to take some bigger walleyes out of Au Gres and the protected waters there make it much more consistent to fish during periods with lots of weather fronts like we have been experiencing lately. I even hope to do some freelance fishing for brown trout out of Tawas next week too. I'll post some Saginaw Bay fishing reports next week.
4/4/13, Lake Erie, Monroe Fishing Report
We caught some big fat walleyes today on Lake Erie fishing Ohio waters. The water temp is 39 degrees where we were fishing. We caught all our fish today on Thundersticks trolled about 10-12' feet deep over 20-22' feet of water. Trolling speed was about 1.1 mph. The bite was pretty light with lots of fish lost. There were a lot of fish in that area with lots of big fish marked and plenty of baitfish too. We never saw another boat in the area we were fishing.
03/30/13, Lake Erie, Monroe, Fishing Report
I finally got out for my first open water fishing trip of the year and
what a beautiful day it was with sunny skies, light winds and some
pretty good fishing too. We used strictly trolling tactics the
entire trip today pulling stick baits. All but one of our fish
came on Thundersticks, with back/silver being best. The high water
temperature was 37, so a slow trolling speed of about 1.0 mph was
necessary to entice the fish to bite. All the fish we caught today
were large sized walleyes with our smallest fish being about five
pounds. All but one of our fish were chubby pre-spawn, females.
The one male we caught was 28" long. I'm going to be taking a few
days off to let the predicted cold front go though, then we'll hit the
water again later in the week when it is predicted to be much warmer.
Erie's spring walleyes typically turn on best during warm weather
periods. There were a lot of fish in a large area today with lots
of big fish (walleyes) and baitfish marked on the sonar, so the fishing
in the next few weeks to come should be fantastic for big fish.
News on the 2013 Charter Season
Key Great Lakes fisheries will provide world class fishing during 2013 for two of the most popular Great Lakes sportfish: walleyes and king salmon (chinook). Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters will again offer fishing charters taking our boat to the right places at the right times to put customers on those hot bites when the big walleyes and salmon are most plentiful. Our charter fishing rates are among the most competitive in the industry and 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 consider the quality of the fisheries combined with the value on our boat, you just can't go wrong. Here is a rundown of the fisheries Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters will focus on during 2013:
Saginaw Bay is the official, undisputed, reining "Walleye Capital of the World". For years we have been able to take limit catches consisting of a mixture of eaters and lunkers on most of our charters for the best possible mix. Saginaw Bay has been blessed with 10 straight, huge year classes, of naturally reproduced walleyes. When those huge numbers are added to an already strong older, adult walleye population from past years, the shear numbers and quality of walleyes in the system now simply boggles the mind. There are now so many walleyes in Saginaw Bay that easy limit catches are the rule and anglers can even catch and release fish too (8 hr. charters) until their arms hurt, if they want. The fishing on Saginaw Bay is pure, unadulterated fun and you can expect non-stop action on most of our charter trips there. The only down side to the fishery is that the word has definitely gotten out and the demand for fishing charters there has escalated sharply in recent years. So, as a result I'm increasing my charter schedule once again out of Au Gres (AuGres) and Tawas to take advantage of the demand. Au Gres (AuGres) is the best of the best among Saginaw Bay's ports with the highest walleye catch rate anywhere in Michigan. It is also the best port for accessing the Bay during periods of low water levels like we are currently experiencing. The Au Gres access site was built for low water levels, to no problem there safely getting onto the big water. We'll be fishing there from late April through early-September (accept for a break during part of August for king salmon at Manistee on Lake Michigan). 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 15 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. Please keep in mind though that I filled most of my available charter openings on Saginaw Bay last season and will likely do so again this year, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Lake Erie will certainly serve up some awesome early spring walleye fishing this year. The record breaking 2003 year class will be contributing millions of trophy class lunkers to the spring bite, which typically starts during mid to late March and ramps up through early April, depending on the weather conditions. When those 2003 fish are added to the abundant year classes from big hatches during the 1990s (walleyes can live beyond 20 years on Lake Erie), Lake Erie will produce a spring trophy walleye fishery of world class proportions this year. Last year we caught dozens of trophy class walleyes on Lake Erie and I expect similar, phenomenal fishing again this year too. Given lots of good weather, we may even break my boat record of over 100 Master Angler class walleyes in one season. If you want to try something different, and quite fun, we will be offering jigging charters on Lake Erie's reefs during the peak spawning period. Those jigging charters often yield non-stop action where anglers can do hand to hand combat with feisty walleyes in shallow water. At that time, you can even combine trolling with jigging on 8-hour trips. I'll be offering Lake Erie walleye charters from ice-out (usually mid-March) through late April providing plenty of open dates to service the high demand at that location. Once again, fishing charters before April 15 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 and early April, this is the only way to run a charter boat business at that time of year on Lake Erie. The Detroit River will also have good runs of walleyes this spring, so I'll be offering Detroit River charters as a backup when Erie is too rough to fish (Monroe is very close to the mouth of the Detroit River).
Lake Michigan once again served up some awesome king salmon fishing last year and 2013 should also provide some great fishing there as well too. Abundant baitfish supplies and a multi-state salmon management strategy towards larger fish have paid off with bigger king and coho salmon for sure. Last year it was common to take 15 pound king salmon and we even took some that surpassed 20 pounds. Several true lunkers were taken at Manistee that weighed over 25 pounds too! Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters will be offering limited charters from my home town port of Manistee once again this summer. I've been fishing salmon at Manistee since the first year they were stocked there in the 1960s, so nobody can claim to have more experience there than me. Manistee has a well earned reputation as one of the best salmon ports in Michigan and I'll be there during prime time in August. I'm only scheduling a short period at Manistee so those salmon trips will fill up fast necessitating early bookings if you want to fish on Lake Michigan with me.
Michigan Fishing Charters Saginaw Bay Walleye Lake Erie Walleye Lake Michigan King Salmon Fishing Great Lakes Charter Boat Sportfishing
Michigan fishing charters at Au Gres (AuGres) and Tawas City (or East Tawas) for walleye and perch on Saginaw Bay along with Manistee on Lake Michigan for king salmon (Chinook Salmon) and Monroe or Detroit on Lake Erie for walleye. Our sportfishing charter boat targets the biggest, trophy sized, Great Lakes walleye, perch and king salmon (Chinook salmon) that Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay have to offer.
Fishing in the right place at the right time!
Michigan Fishing Information
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Release and Waiver of Liability and Indemnity Agreement.
Capt. Michael Veine
15555 Cassidy Rd.
Chelsea, Michigan 48118
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