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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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5/28/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Reports
Today I had a repeat client who brought along three friends, all of which had disabilities. Over the years, I've had disabled clients of all types and I really enjoy showing people with challenges a great time of fishing and today was no exception. After yesterday's big blow, and canceled charter, I wasn't sure where to fish, so I went to where we found fish three days ago, but the water temperature there had dropped five degrees and the fish had mostly moved out. The winds were south/west yesterday, which tends to push the warm water and the fish with the wind, northeast, so I checked another spot northeast of my first spot, but the water temp there had also cooled off big time, so I continued to move northeast. My third spot had better temperatures, but we only caught a few walleyes there, so I moved to yet a fourth spot. That spot had even better temperatures and water conditions and we started catching fish right away and didn't stop until my clients had taken a four man limit of nice walleyes. We caught them on the same rigs I've had on my rods for a month with four fire/tiger and four red/silver spinner/crawler rigs behind bottom bouncers. The best speed today was 1.6 mph. There were lots of smiles and laughter on the boat all day, even during the slow periods. Those guys certainly knew how to have fun despite their disabilities.
5/26/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After getting blown off the water prematurely yesterday with only 9 walleyes in the box, it was nice today to have really nice conditions today with moderate winds and lots of sunshine. We did catch a couple jumbo perch yesterday, one of which was 14.5", so that was a nice bonus. We caught two dandy perch today too. Today we started off going back to the spot where we caught limits on Sunday, but couldn't get back there yesterday due to the high winds. Unfortunately, the walleyes had moved out of that area, so we began a spot checking mission that included six different moves. Finally, on the last troll for the day, we found an active school of nice sized walleyes and my clients limited out there on walleyes that were all 20" or larger. We did catch walleyes in every spot where we stopped, but the walleyes had been scattered from the 50+ mph winds we had yesterday, so we just kept looking until we found a concentration of fish. 1.6 mph was the best trolling speed today and with the light, tough bite, I stuck with the same very consistent spinner/crawler rigs that have been working very good for me for years. We trolled with the wind all day today. When the wind is putting waves over one feet high over the Bay, and I need to hit slow speeds, like is common during the spring, a down-wind trolling strategy is usually best. Trying to go into the waves at slow speeds will not yield a consistent trolling speed, which is necessary now. Going with the wind is the reason we limited out today. On days like today, it really paid to be persistent and patient, as our best fishing was experienced in the last hour of the charter. We fished waters from 10 to 34 feet deep and I never changed rigs sticking with the same 3 ounce bottom bouncers and spinner rigs and just adjusting the setbacks and speed as necessary. When the fishing is slow, sticking with proven presentations is wise. If the fishing is good, then that is the time to experiment with different stuff. That how the pros do it.
5/24/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
When I saw my client this morning putting super-hot sauce on his biscuts and gravy at H&H, and then talking about spicy, blackened fish being a favorite of his, it was an omen for sure. We motored back to the area where we had taken good catches the past two trips and picked up five quick walleyes, then the bite slowed with the dying wind and after that, it was a very slow pick for the next four hours. Eventually though we trolled into a hot-spot and hooked up with four at once, which was when I punched in a waypoint and we began circling that area and catching fish constantly. Sometimes it's like that: the fish are only real active in a small spot and today we found "that spot" and quickly filled the rest of a five man walleye limit plus three bonus channel catfish that my clients from Texas and Arkansas really appreciated. We caught all our fish on the same spinner/crawler rigs that I've had on my rods now for quite some time with four fire/tiger and four red/silver patters getting hit about equally. We had a .4 mph current in the area today that ran from south to north, so I trolled 1.3 mph up current and 1.7 mph down current. Any variation in those speeds turned off the bites as they were very speed fussy today for sure. The bite was light again today too, so super sharp hooks certainly improved the bite to catch ratio. Even then, we lost over a dozen fish. We also caught a lot of undersized walleyes today: More than on any day so far this year. It's great to see those young walleyes coming up as it bodes well for the fishery in the future. When I got back to my aboden, with all the talk about blackened fish, I decided to eat fresh, blackened walleye for supper. I coated the filets in melted butter and then a liberal layer of Zatarains, Blackened Seasoning. Into a smoking pan they went with smoke billowing from then pan on my outdoor, camp stove. A couple minutes on each side and they were plated next to some fresh green beans. Washing it all down with ice cold beer was icing on the cake. It doesn't get much better than that.
5/23/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients today, from Marion, Michigan, caught their limits of nice walleyes. This was a Christmas present gift certificate that they cashed in today and they expressed that it was a very good gift. I sell a quite a few gift certificates and I have never had a recipient that was not happy with the gift of fishing. We ran out to the same spot where we limited out on yesterday's charter, but the bite started off slower than the day before with a light bite and more fish being lost than caught. The bite did pick up as the morning went on, but we still lost probably over 20 walleyes today as they were just not taking the lures very well at all. They also caught a trophy class, 15 pound channel catfish today too as a bonus and that brute put up a very long lasting battle. We also caught one sheephead too, but all the rest were nice, perfect eating size, walleyes. Most of our walleyes today were 16-20 inches but we did have two bigger ones right up the boat, but they got away before I could get a net around them. We stuck with the same spinner/crawler rigs that I have been using successfully for weeks with four red/silver and four fire/tiger harnesses: Six were deployed off Church Tackle Walleye Boards and the remaining two were run right off the gunnels (flat-lines). The Starboard flat-line was the hottest rod today by far for some reason, but every rod took multiple hits too. We were trolling at 1.3 to 1.6 mph in the surging 2 to 3 foot waves, that eventually calmed down to ones and twos by late morning. It was Christmas in May today on my boat and it was a very merry Christmas indeed.
5/22/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a couple days off the water, I conversed with a couple good friends of mine and set up a strategy for today's fishing efforts. The three of us, in three different boats, went to three different spots and then checked in, via cell phone, in the morning to see who had the best results. Two of us, including my boat, only had a few fish in the box, but one friend had found a good, active school of fish, so we all moved our efforts there. Once we set lines in that spot, we had non-stop action until we had 25 walleyes in the box in very shot order. It really pays to have some trusted friends on the water that can share information, especially when the fish are moving a lot, which is often the case during the spring. I often share info a lot with friends, but today, my buddy really helped us out a lot. Saginaw Bay is a huge body of water and the walleyes there move around a lot so having a network of fishing buddies on the water really helps out a lot, especially, when you have been off the water for a stint, like today. Our fish today ranged from 16 to 25 inches and we took all our fish on spinner/crawler rigs fished tight behind the boards. I just wrote an article for Woods-N-Water News that details the type of fishing techniques we deployed today. Look for it in the next issue. After our trip was concluded, the three of us friends met at Town and County and compared notes further and tomorrow, you can bet that we will all pound the snot out of those walleyes again and will drink to another good day on the water once again.
5/17/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients limited out on walleyes the past two days in a row. Today we ran back to the same spot where we had found success yesterday, but most of the fish had moved out of that vast area as we moved three times there and did not find any concentrations of active fish. It was good there while it lasted though with easy, quick limit catches there on every trip for the past week. When we were running to that spot this morning, I noticed a lot of fish marks on my sonar where I had not seen fish so far this year. After failing miserably at our first spots, we then ran to that fishy look location and started catching walleyes before I could even get all the lines set. We had 20 walleyes on in the first hour there, but the bite was light though and we lost more than we caught. I could only get them to bite at a slow trolling speed of 1.2 to 1.3 mph, so loosing a lot of fish is typical at those speeds. The lost fish didn't mater though as we kept picking away at them until my clients had boxed their limits of fine walleyes. One of my anglers today was surprised that I was using rather heavy, 3 ounce bottom bouncers, but when we set up in that second deep water spot, those heavy weights were mandatory to get the lures down to the bottom hugging fish. I only marked one fish up off bottom there: All the rest were tight to the lake-bed. Had it not been for quality electronics, we would have never spotted those fish while running over them earlier at high speeds. If you don't have a fish finder that can identify bottom hugging fish at speeds over 25 mph, then it is a real handicap on the Bay. I scout fishing areas at high speeds a lot and that ability puts me on a lot of fish that I would have otherwise have missed.
5/15/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We experienced another poor job of forecasting by the weatherman today. They had predicted 7-12 knot winds with scattered showers with just 1/8" to 1/4" in the forecast for today. Instead we fished through twice as much rain and winds over 20 knots prevailed all morning. I had to change my plans on where I had originally intended to fish with the big, southerly winds a reality. It took us a while to reach the fishing grounds and it was nice to have the top on the boat protecting us with a dry ride out. It didn't take but a few minutes after I began to set lines for the first walleye to hook-up. After that it was non-stop action until we limited out on walleyes up to 24". We fished in one long trolling pass without turning around once, so the fish were stacked in over a large area there. We even took a couple dandy yellow perch as a bonus too. The last time my client fished for walleyes they were skunked. Today though they got to experience the kind of fishing that even rain can't dampen. We caught all our fish on spinner/crawler rigs fished tight to the bottom trolling at speeds ranging from 1.2 to 1.6 mph with the surging waves. We lost a lot of fish too, which is typical in choppy conditions where the lures are lurching through the water. The fish don't latch onto the lures solidly all the time so some get off. The lost fish didn't mater though in the end as they were quickly replaced by fish that didn't let go. My client today, from the Grand Blanc area, will be fishing with me again at the end of May and they can't wait for that return trip as this awesome fishing will just get better as the weather stabilizes and water warms up and really gets the bite into high gear.
5/9/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weather forecast was very iffy today with a 90% chance of thundershowers at Au Gres, but as is typically the case, the National Weather Service was very wrong. I checked the radar this morning and the storms were missing our area to the north, so we hit the water with a forecast of 5-10 knot, northerly winds. The winds were stronger than predicted though with 15+ knot winds all morning. It took us a bit longer to reach the fishing area due to the waves, but the winds did not slow down the walleye bite much as my clients mostly from SE Michigan, but with one from Minnesota, pulled a quick, four man limit of walleyes. They were used to fishing on Lake St. Clair so the fast paced fishing action on the Bay was a pleasant change of pace for them. It took us far longer to get back to port with the choppy conditions than it actually did to catch over 20 walleyes. We used the same program of spinner/crawler rigs trolled at close to 1.6 mph that has been working all week. I'm trying to run a light, six rod spread, but keeping all the lines in the water is difficult with the constant action taking place on the boat. We did have a few light, sprinkles on the water today, but for the most part, it was dry and fairly pleasant fishing conditions. I have a few, scheduled days off the water so I can take care of some chores, and with the wet and windy forecast for those days, it will work out great when I get back to the awesome fishing action mid-week.
5/8/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had a repeat clients from Garden City and Highland today and they experienced world class walleye fishing action with quick limits of some perfect, eating sized walleyes that were mostly 18 to 20 inches long. We ran down close to the hot spot where we have been taking easy limits in recent charters and got into walleyes right away with fish-on before I could even get all the lines in the water. We trolled towards where we had fished the past two days and the action picked up with multiple fish on the lines most of the time until we maxed out with a live well full of fish. I've had the same lures on my rods for three straight days with a mixture of spinner/crawler rigs with bottom bouncers. There was no sense changing anything today either as they hit everything I put in the water with patterns not making much difference. A trolling speed of no more than 1.6 mph was best. We ran a light, six rod spread as we did not need any more lines in the water to keep us very busy pulling in fish non-stop. All our fish today were walleyes and all the walleyes we caught were keepers although a few twenty inchers did get thrown back at the end of the trip from the quintuple header we had at the conclusion of the charter. This was certainly an awsome day of fishing on Saginaw Bay.
5/7/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had another excellent outing today on the Bay taking limit catches of walleyes. We hit a spot first that had very few fish in it, then we ran to another area and it was "game on" with non-stop action until we limited out in short order. It was the same spinner/crawler rig program as yesterday with silver blades and fire/tiger taking equal hits. Speeds of 1.6 mph were best. My client today just bought a place by Au Gres and hired me to show him some locations and techniques so he could shorten his learning curve on fishing the area. It was a good call too as he took notes all day with a lot of information dispelled on the boat today. The weather was beautiful today with no wind at all and warm temperatures. Hopefully this good weather will last through tomorrows charter as the only thing between us and another limit catch is the weather.
5/6/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today I decided to fish an entirely new area in search of a concentrations of walleyes, which I knew were out there in mass. The Bay right now has more walleyes swimming in it than at any other time in recent history. In fact, the DNR has gone on record saying that there are "too many walleyes in Saginaw Bay". I hadn't fished this new area in a few years, but I did have a lot of GPS waypoints for that portion of the Bay from past years and we spot checked a couple locations using sonar and didn't see many fish in those locations. Then we ran to another spot and did mark some fish, but they weren't biting there. We then ran a few miles to yet another spot and started hooking up right away. From then on it was non-stop action with fish on constantly for the next hour. My four man crew of mostly active and retired U.S. Postal Service workers pulled their four man limit in just a little over one hour at that hot spot. We were fishing in water 15 to 18 feet deep pulling spinner/crawler rigs behind bottom bouncers with a 35' setback off the Church Tackle Walleye boards. Color did not mater as they hit everything I had in the water from bright, florescent colors to natural patterns. Speeds of 1.6 to 1.7 mph were best. We also ran a couple flat lines with the same rigs, but didn't get any hits on those all morning, so the fish in that clear water were obviously negatively reacting to the close presence of the boat and not taking lures close to the vessel. The walleyes were caught were all keepers ranging up to 23". This was certainly some world class walleye fishing today and we did not have any other boats within a mile of us today while we were fishing.
5/5/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a day off the water, clients from the Atlanta, MI area joined me for a day of walleye fishing on the Bay. We had a cold front come though the area yesterday and there were showers and storms from Bay City south all day today, but we never felt a drop of water all day fishing near Au Gres. The weatherman did predict sunny skies, but we had fully cloudy conditions all day with blue skies visible to the north throughout the trip, but those fair skies never blessed us with any sunshine. We hit four widely separated areas today looking for a concentration of active fish and never really found a hot spot. We did however catch walleyes in all but the the first spot we fished, and my clients managed to catch their limits of walleyes along with one bonus, jumbo persh, but it took most of an eight hour charter to accomplish that goal. We fished shallow and we fished deep water today, but the frontal boundary had the fish in a negative mood and they just wouldn't bite much at all. Even a slow day on Saginaw Bay though is much better than most of Michigan waters on a banner day of fishing. My customers today, one of which has been fishing with me for over 10 years, told me that they had a great time and that is what it's all about.
5/2/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We took another impressive pile of fish again today on the Bay and did it on a beautiful day indeed with sunshine galore. My clients today, from SW Michigan, fished with me last year and limited out in less than two hours of fishing. Today though the fishing was tougher with dead calm, sunny conditions in the morning and in the crystal clear water we were fishing, that tends to make the fish very tough to catch. The wind eventually picked up some though, but it was unsteady and changing directions, which is also not great for walleye fishing. We picked away at them all day and it took the better part of an 8 hour charter to max out my customers limits of walleyes. Most of our fish were chunky specimens today with only one under 20 inches. These fish are great fighters too with everyone commenting on how they were pulling like crazy. We trolled spinner/crawler rigs all day today with no particular pattern really being preferred. I did have one fire/tiger rig though,, where the chartreuse float got bit off, that was really producing well off a flat line. Most of our fish though came off Church Tackle Walleye Boards, which I spread out about 50 feet apart to cover a lot of water. Trolling speeds of 1.5 to 1.6 mph were best. When I testing speeds faster, we got no hits at all. Even though the fishing today was somewhat tough today, my clients still took home a four person limit of dandy walleye filets.
5/1/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
May started off for us with a bang today with my four clients from Temperance and Lansing taking their limits of dandy walleyes. I first ran to where we had taken good catches the last couple days. We had a northwest wind to start off the day but we only had only fair action during that period. When the wind died down though I moved to the deeper water area where we closed out our day yesterday during that calm wind spell and we got into some fast paced action with five fish on at one time. That action died down though when the east wind came up, but we still picked away at the walleyes until my customers had maxed out. Our fish today consisted of mostly bigger walleyes with just a few just under 20 inches. Our biggest was about 26". The catch filled up two five gallon buckets. Most of the walleyes were actively spawning males, but one pree-spawn female and one was a post spawn lady added to the catch. Trolling speeds in the 1.5 to 1.6 mph range were best with no particular spinner/crawler pattern being preferred. We caught all the fish on or near bottom. This is some awesome fishing going on now and I still have an opening on Tuesday, May 5 if you want to get in on this action.
4/30/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We closed out April with a great fishing trip on the Bay continuing my streak of limit catches for all my customers on all completed trips out of Au Gres. The forecast was a little iffy for today when I looked at it yesterday with stiff NE winds predicted. Fortunately though, it turned out much better with light NW winds and then it went calm. The predicted mostly county skies turned out to be mostly sunny, so that was nice too. My client today, from the Grand Blank area, is a repeat customer that has been fishing with me for over 15 years. Every year, when we get together for a fishing frenzy, we share our deer hunting stores of the past fall and catch up on life's curve balls. The bite was red hot for the first hour and then it died down as the wind diminished. When the water went flat, with the sun out, the fish quit biting alltogether in my first area, so we relocated to deeper water and picked up the rest of the limit catch there. The fish continue to run rather large with only one walleye taken that was under 20 inches today. We caught all our walleyes on spinner/crawler rigs fished tight to bottom using bottom bouncers with trolling speeds of 1.5 mph being best. When I bumped the speed higher, the bites stopped. They preferred a fire/tiger harness during the first hour, but after that, color preference didn't seem to mater. This has been a very good April for spring, walleye fishing on my boat this year with a lot of great fish caught at both Lake Erie earlier in the month, but also a awesome string of very fun and productive walleye charters out of Saginaw Bay too over the last two weeks. May should be awesome and I can't wait for upcoming trips as the weather is predicted to be great for the next week. I do have opening on Monday and Tuesday too, but May trips are filling fast so call soon so you don't miss out.
4/29/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I "sort of" had a day off yesterday, so I installed my new Lowrance HDS Touch with Structure Scan. After accomplishing that task in the morning, I had to get my boat inspected by a trained, DNR conservation officer, which is a requirement for Michigan Charter Boats. After the successful inspection, I went out onto the Bay and tested the new electronics and tuned them in for today's charter. I also scouted for fish too. We started out in an area where I found fish yesterday, but they had moved, so we were forced to strike out and check out some new spots where past experience led me to believe walleyes may be holding. We used my electronics to look for preferred water temperatures and ultimately looked for fish marks on my sonar. It took us a couple hours to find likely looking spot where we set down and deployed a trolling spread. We were soon rewarded with a lot of action over the reminded of the charter. We actually fished a school of male walleyes that were actively spawning. The only way to get those bottom hugging walleyes to bite was with bottom bouncers and spinner/crawler rigs. That type of situation typically results in an odd type of walleye bite. They hit the lures aggressively, but are just trying to get them away from their beds, so they don't take them down hard or hold on well. This type of fish behavior will cause the hit to catch ratio to be low as a lot of the fish will hit, but not hook up solidly. My customers lost more fish than they caught, but it did not mater as they still managed to catch a four man limit of dandy walleyes. We had over 50 fish on though, so the action was pretty good. The fish ranged in size from 19" to 26" and all of them were males that were oozing milt. Spawning male walleyes tend to fight a lot harder than normal, so most of those fish today put up a lot of resistance, making us think that a lot of them were a larger than they were. Colors did not mater today as we caught walleyes on both natural and bright patterns. Trolling speeds of 1.5 to 1.6 mph were best. I tried a variety of body baits and crank baits today and the walleyes ignored them completely. Crawlers with a harness featuring a #3 Colorado blade were the ticket to a bountiful catch today.
4/26/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Despite the tough weather conditions over the past week, we have still maintained my streak of limit catches for my customers on every completed trip on Saginaw Bay. Yesterday and today were certainly challenging conditions with switching winds, primarily easterly, that brings cold temperatures off Lake Huron onto the Bay. Today I had clients originating from the Mio area that were experienced fishermen that fish the Bay with their own boat and they chartered with me primarily to learn some fishing techniques to polish their own skills. On these types of trips, a tough bite is actually better for them because this will show them how to scrounge up fish when the fish are not active, which is exactly what we did today. Yesterday we started out pulling stick baits, which had been working great, but that presentation is only good when the fish are actively feeding, which was not the case at all over the weekend. We switched over to spinner/crawler rigs half way through yesterday's trip and pulled a good catch as a result. We started off today with the same spinner/crawler rigs trolling though the same shallow water area where we finished up yesterday. The stiff, overnight winds disbursed the stained water from that area though and the fish had relocated deeper and a scattered. We then started a search type trolling program and picked away at the fish all day today ending up with a good catch of nice sized walleyes. We only caught one fish today that was under 20 inches and tied into some that were real lunkers. I didn't see any real preference in spinner pattern, but they did certainly want it slow with speeds of 1.0 to 1.3 mph being best. I put those crawlers right on the lake bed with bottom bouncers and special care had to be taken with fish fighting techniques as the bite was light to say the least. My guys today actually did phenomenally well with minimal lost fish and as a result they took home a bountiful catch of thick walleyes, which will provide a bunch of fine meals featuring some of the best eating fish on the planet.
4/24/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Even though the weather has been cold and windy here at Au Gres, the fishing has still remained quite good. For those that have been braving the harsh conditions, limit catches have been the rule and the fish are still running big too. Most walleyes are being caught on deep diving stick baits like Husky Jerk Baits and Rouges fishing mostly in water 10 to 20 feet deep targeting suspended fish. Various colors have been productive and this captain has taken fish on just about ever color of the rainbow this spring with no real pattern predominating. The cold weather is holding smelt in the area and that is what the walleyes are going after along with lures that look somewhat like smelt. This has been the best spring trolling fishery on the Bay that most seasoned anglers can remember and the fishing should just keep getting better too as the weather eventually improves. So far Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters has limited out on every trip out of Au Gres where Mother Nature allowed us to complete the charter.
4/17/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had an absolutely beautiful day today on the Bay and my customers amassed an impressive catch of dandy walleyes trolling close to port. We got into an intense bite right away, but after that flurry, we picked away at them all morning until my customers limited out. Most of our fish were on the big side today with the largest being 28" although we did loose one that was likely much bigger. In the sunny, calm conditions, we caught all of our fish off the Church Tackle Walleye Boards today and running them way out away from the boat was the ticket as the fish were obviously spooked by the boat in the clear, calm water. Our best bait was a Sour Grape Rouge, but we did also take fish on a variety of Husky Jerk Baits too in naked glass, blue/silver/orange, glass/purple/perch and Tennessee Shad. Speeds of 1.3 to 1.5 mph were best. This fishing is red/hot right now with a lot of big fish cruising in a post spawn, feeding mode. Dippers are getting smelt in the Au Gres area at night and the walleye are congregating there to feed on those smelt too. I have a lot of openings over the next couple weeks, so if you want to get in on this fantastic post spawn, smelt feast, fishing action, give me a shout and I'll set you up with some world class walleye fishing.
4/16/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I moved my boat to Au Gres yesterday and with a iffy weather report for today, we headed onto the Bay for my fist trip there of the season. We got into the fish right away with constant action until we had maxed out with 15 walleyes in less than two hours of fishing effort. We caught all our fish on body baits trolled at 1.1 to 1.4 mph. I had a bunch of different baits on my lines to start off and it didn't mater much for walleye preference today as every lure I put in the water took some fish and I fished about 10 different lures today too. Deep Husky Jerk Baits were good, but so were Rouges and colors varied a lot including mixtures of blue, gold, clear, silver, purple, orange, red, pink and black. In other words, the fish were not picky today. The fish ran big today too, with only a couple fish under 20". We fished a wide area too covering deeper and shallow water and ran the lures about 8-10 feet down all morning with constant hits with fish coming at all depths we fished. Most of the big fish were marked on or near the bottom, but the baitfish (smelt) were up higher, so that is where I ran my lures and the walleyes came up to gobble up what we pull through that portion of the water column This fishing in Au Gres will only get better as the spring continues as more and more fish move in to the area with their normal migrations. April and May typically yield larger average sized fish and today certainly proved that true. I videoed some awesome fishing action today and will eventually put together a Youtube video of today's trip.
4/6/15, Lake Erie, Bolles Harbor, Fishing Report
After a blustery, tough fishing day yesterday, we hit the water this morning with frosty, overcast conditions and thankfully light winds. The first area we fished this morning was slow, so we picked and moved deep into Ohio waters where we located a big school of humongous walleyes on the feed. I quickly fine tuned the spread to a hot setup pulling all Thundersticks about 12' down and those suspended fish gobbled down those lures big time. My customers ended up limiting out on walleyes that averaged about 9 pounds with all but two exceeding 28 inches. Our biggest walleye today was an eye-popping, 12.75 pound giant. The total catch overflowed a 120 quart cooler with solid fish. The area we fished is one my most consistent trophy walleye spots and the area gets extremely light fishing pressure this time of the year with no boats in sight of us all day there. The water temp was about 39 degrees when we started and it warmed to 40 by the time we departed the fishing area at about 3:00 p.m.. We had to keep the speed slow today with 1.1 to 1.2 mph being best. Both gold/black and gray/scale patterns were on fire about equally. I tried some Rouges and Husky Jerks but they failed to produce any bites. I still have some Lake Erie openings for next week, incase someone wants to get in on this awesome fishing which is the best I've seen in years there.
4/4/15, Lake Erie, Bolles Harbor, Fishing Report
The awesome fishing continues on Lake Erie as we took another bountiful catch of mostly trophy class walleyes today. Last year I had a unreal streak consisting of limit catches on every completed charter that went on well in to August before we came a couple fish short of a limit. This year though, I have a different streak going: Every person, on every charter, has caught at least one walleye weighing over 10 pounds. Today my customers boated five walleyes with double digit weights and a bunch more that were not to far below 10 pounds too. We got checked by the DNR today when we returned to the docks. After checking my customers fishing licenses, they opened the live well hatch and you could see the shock in their eyes when they took in the sight of a 30 gallon live well, drained of water, nearly filled to the top solid with jumbo walleyes. There was no way to count the deep pile of fish, so they made us pull them all out so they could tally them all up, which drew quite the crowd. They said that it was the most impressive walleye catch that they had ever seen. After inspecting the safety equipment on my boat and finding no violations, the very polite, professional acting, conservation officer asked me for a brochure and wished us a good day. The water changed dramatically today with the stiff west wind blowing during the night and all day too. It blew most of the stained water out into the lake and pulled in lots of clear, cool water in its' place. The water temp was still in the high 30s. We fished today long, down-wind trolling passes. I had to deploy and pull the drift socks constantly to keep the speed at 1.1to 1.3 mph, which seemed to work best for us. The walleye bite was scattered over a wide area as we really never did find a "hot spot" but had constant action all day none-the-less. Our best lure today was a Sour Grape Rouge, pulled 55' behind the boards, with a 3/8 ounce weight 6' ahead of the lure. We also did a lot of damage with gold/black/orange/green Thundersticks too 50' back. This is some of the best walleye fishing I've seen in years on Erie. The eggs were all very tight in the females today, so the spawn is still likely still weeks away, leading me to believe that this red-hot fishing is likely to continue for possibly weeks to come.
4/3/15, Lake Erie, Bolles Harbor, Fishing Report
The bite was a little slower today compared to the past two days, but none-the-less, the catch was still good. It's certainly a great when an 8 year old boy catches a walleye that is just shy of 12 pounds. We had fog this morning that slowed our run out and limited our spread for the first half of the trip, but when the fog cleared, we started taking fish. We caught our fish today mainly on the same Thundersticks as yesterday, but we did get some action on Rouges later too, which is typical as the water warms up to near 40 degrees. My customers today from Illinois ended up with 28 pounds of skinless, boneless filets after they were cleaned at the Lake Erie Party Shoppe, which is a pretty good haul.
4/2/15, Lake Erie, Bolles Harbor, Fishing Report
We had unstable weather today from the get-go with two fronts coming through as we fished. The fishing was good through the first front, but when the second front blasted us, the walleye bite slowed. It didn't matter though as my customers had limited out by about noon with a impressive catch of walleyes including two that were 10+ pounds. We did take a few smaller males today for the first time this year, but even those were all over 24". Our average weight today was still about 8 pounds. I set up this morning with four Gray Scale Thundersticks on the starboard side and four gold/black/orange/green Thundersticks to port and did not change any lures all morning taking about equal hits on each. The fish were biting lighter today compared to yesterday as we lost more for sure, including some hogs. This is when very sharp hooks will add fish to the catch. There was also a lot more woody debris floating out there today, so we had to keep a sharp watch out for hazards. The best trolling speed today was 1.0 to 1.2 mph. When the wind kicked up, I had to drop in drift socks to slow things down and keep the fishing productive. I have a fair amount of openings over the next two weeks for Lake Erie trips and this fishing should continue to be very good for trophy fish with the unseasonably cold water temperatures delaying the spawn a bit keeping those hogs out in the Lake longer than normal. The water temperature where we fished is still in the 30s.
4/1/15, Lake Erie, Bolles Harbor, Fishing Report
After a successful shakedown cruise yesterday evening, I ran my first charter of the season today, and it was a very good one indeed taking 6 walleyes over 10 pounds, many in the 7-10 pound range and a bunch of lesser walleyes to fill the box too. Our two biggest fish were 11 pounds on this gorgeous, sunny day on the water. Some taxidermist near Kalamazoo will be happy when he gets a batch of those dandies to mount up from my customers today. We trolled with minnow imitating body baits at 1.1 - 1.2 mph today with 3/8 oz, rubber core sinkers and setbacks targeting trolling depths of 8-12 feet down over varying depths of water. The fish were scattered all over today and I marked fish over a huge area and really never found a concentration of fish with no double headers all day. It was just a steady pick from 8:00 until we pulled lines at about 2:00. The best lures today were Gray/Scale Thundersticks early and later in the trip gold/black/orange/green Thundersticks turned red hot. We trolled with six lures off Church Tackle Walleye Boards, one flat line and the eighth line off a TX-7 Stern Planer 200 feet behind the boat. That Stern Planer was the hottest setup taking a lot of the biggest fish today. I ran a Thunderstick 50' behind that TX-7. The water conditions are excellent on Erie right now and I expect great fishing for days to follow.
News on the 2015 Charter Season
Michigan's fisheries continue to evolve in a seemingly never ending state of change: Some for the better and others for the worse. A combination of invasive species, much cleaner waters in the Great Lakes and fisheries management decisions made by he DNR are causing some significant changes to our sport fish populations. Select Great Lakes fisheries will provide world class fishing during 2015 and Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters will again offer fishing trips taking our boat to the right places at the right times to put customers on those hot bites. Our charter fishing rates for eight hour charters are unchanged from last year and are among the most competitive in the industry. When you consider that Michigan has some of the lowest lodging and eatery rates in the country, a fishing trip to Michigan on our boat is one of the best vacation bargains out there. When you factor in the quality of the fisheries, the value on our boat and all the other fun things to see and do in Michigan, you just can't go wrong. Here is a rundown of the fisheries Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters will focus on during 2015:
Saginaw Bay is the official, undisputed, reining "Walleye Capital of the World" and Au Gres is the top port for years running on Saginaw Bay. 2014 proved to be a record setting year with walleye catch rates higher than they have ever been before. In fact the Bay's walleye catch rates were the highest in Michigan. We will be expanding our charter offerings once again on Saginaw Bay moving my boat their earlier and staying longer compared to last year. For years we have been able to take limit catches consisting of a mixture of eaters and lunkers on most of our charters for the best possible mix of fishing fun. Saginaw Bay has been blessed with 12 straight, huge year classes, of naturally reproduced walleyes. When those massive numbers are added to an already strong older, adult walleye population from past years, the shear numbers and quality of walleyes in the system now simply boggles the mind. There are now so many walleyes in Saginaw Bay that easy limit catches are the rule and anglers can even catch and release fish too (8 hr. charters only) until their arms hurt, if they want. The fishing on Saginaw Bay is pure, unadulterated fun and you can expect non-stop action on most of our charter trips there. The only down side to the fishery is that the word has definitely gotten out and the demand for fishing charters there has escalated sharply in recent years. So, as a result I'm increasing my charter schedule once again out of Au Gres (AuGres) and Tawas to take advantage of the demand. Au Gres (AuGres) is the best of the best among Saginaw Bay's ports with the highest walleye catch rate anywhere in Michigan. With a state of the art DNR launching facility, it is also the best port for accessing the Bay during periods of low or high water levels like we experienced last year. We'll be fishing there from mid-April through early-September. We also may run walleye charters at the north end of Saginaw Bay out of Tawas City or East Tawas during August and September. Tawas is only 20 miles north of Au Gres. During late summer the walleyes often migrate to the deeper, cooler waters of the northern fringe of Saginaw Bay off Tawas. We take full advantage by running our charters then out from Tawas, which is very close to that hot fishing area. We will also be offering some perch fishing charters out of Au Gres during late summer. Jumbo perch have made a strong come-back on Saginaw Bay and the fishing at times can be phenomenal. If perch are not biting, then we can always target the super abundant walleyes. Please keep in mind though that I filled most of my available charter openings on Saginaw Bay last season and with the lower gas prices and a stronger economy, we will likely be even busier this year, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Lake Erie serves up awesome early spring walleye fishing and we will be offering late March and early April charters there to cash in on that short lived trophy walleye bite. The record breaking 2003 year class will 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. Given decent weather conditions I expect phenomenal there this year. Given lots of good weather, we may even break my boat record of over 100 Master Angler class walleyes in one season. If you want to try something different, and quite fun, we will be offering jigging charters on Lake Erie's reefs during the peak spawning period. Those jigging charters often yield non-stop action where anglers can do hand to hand combat with feisty walleyes in shallow water. At that time, you can even combine trolling with jigging on 8-hour trips. I'll be offering Lake Erie walleye charters from ice-out (usually mid-to-late-March) through mid-April providing limited open dates to service the high demand at that location. Fishing charters before April 1 are restricted to an "on call list" booking structure. Customers will have to sign up ahead of time on the "on call list" and will be contacted a couple days in advance to fish when the weather and water conditions are favorable for a successful trip. Because of the highly volatile weather and fishing conditions during March, this is the only way to run a charter boat business at that time of year on Lake Erie. From April 1 on, I will be scheduling fishing charters in advance as normal. The Detroit River will also have good runs of walleyes this spring, so I'll be offering Detroit River charters as a backup when Erie is too rough to fish (Monroe is very close to the mouth of the Detroit River).
Lake Michigan and Lake Huron Salmon fishing was extremely disappointing last year. I thought 2013 was bad, but 2014 was even worse. The average size of king salmon was down, and the number of fish available in the lake was the lowest in over 20 years. The decline in salmon numbers in Lake Michigan (and Lake Huron) is actually part of the DNR's plan to increase baitfish numbers in those lakes. Lake Michigan's and Lake Huron's water clarity has improved so much in recent years that certain baitfish species that salmon depend on have declined drastically in numbers. As a result, the DNR decided to reduce salmon numbers mainly through stocking cutbacks. A massive stocking reduction a six years ago combined with another huge stocking reduction two years ago has reduced salmon numbers to an alarmingly low level. In fact, many believe that the DNR went way too far with their cutbacks. The DNR has no interest in increasing salmon stocking any time soon, so the currently depressed salmon numbers will likely get worse in the future as the full impact of the stocking cutbacks are felt in the next three years to come. I've been fishing salmon at Manistee since the first year they were stocked there in the 1960s, but because of the pitifully bad state of the Lake Michigan salmon fishery, I decided to not offer any salmon charters in 2014, which turned out to be a smart move on my part with things getting worse there. Instead of late summer salmon charters, I just focused more on Saginaw Bay's abundant walleyes and we had phenomenal success there all through the spring and summer and I kept busier too fishing the Bay as I picked up a lot of new charter customers that having also given up on the poor salmon fishing. I will not be offering any salmon charters on either Lake Michigan or Lake Huron this year. If the DNR rebuilds the salmon fishery on Lake Michigan (or Lake Huron) then I will once again offer salmon fishing charters. At this point, I'm going to focus my fishing efforts on the world class walleye fishing Michigan has to offer, primarily on Saginaw Bay.
Michigan Fishing Charters Saginaw Bay Walleye Lake Erie Walleye Lake Michigan King Salmon Fishing Great Lakes Charter Boat Sportfishing
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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Capt. Michael Veine
15555 Cassidy Rd.
Chelsea, Michigan 48118
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