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Check out our fishing reports to find out if the walleye, 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.
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.
8/23/12, Manistee, Lake Michigan, Fishing Report
We are continuing to catch some dandy salmon on every trip out of Manistee. The water has warmed up a lot in the last two days pushing the fish to the bottom We have been having our best luck during mid morning to early afternoon fishing just off the bottom with meat rigs. An all white rig with white teasers and bait head trailing behind a white Fish Catcher has been catching most or our fish. All but a couple fish the last few days have come off the down riggers. We are fishing in waters 90 to 150 feet deep and tracking the balls along the bottom. Trolling speeds have been about 2.6 mph (lure running speed). There has been a consistent south to north current in the Manistee areas this week, so the surface trolling speed has needed to be adjusted radically depending on the direction of the troll. I'm running about 3.3 mph heading north and 2.2 mph trolling south.
8/19/2012, Manistee, Lake Michigan, Fishing Report
The weather has been a little crazy the last few days, but I've been able to get in my charters on the last three days at Manistee. I moved my boat to Manistee on Friday morning and ran an evening charter that day. It was rough early, so we got a late start, but still managed a decent box of fish with 15 hits. The crowds on Saturday were huge with I'd guess over 2,000 boats going out of Manistee. With all that fishing pressure, the bite was predictably tough. We had a thunderstorm pass through Manistee this morning, but by 5:00 it was long gone so we got out on time and the fishing pressure was extremely low for a Sunday. The bite started off rather slow but remained steady all day as we had at least 20 hits and boxed 12 fish. We have been taking fish on Moonshine spoons off the riggers and boards (Clip Weights) 30 to 60 feet down. We are also taking fish on meat rigs off the riggers 50 to 60 feet down. Dipsys have been loaded with flashers and flies and have been taking lots of hit fishing 50 to 60 feet down. Last year meat rigs off the Dipsys were hot, but this year I have yet to have any luck with those sets. The fishing should continue to improve as the weather stabilizes over the next 10 days as predicted by the weather man. I still have one open date left at Manistee from a cancelation on 8/24/12.
8/15/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
I'm wrapping up my Au Gres walleye charter tomorrow. I'll be moving my boat to Manistee Friday for two weeks of salmon fishing. I did have a cancelation on 8/24/12 for a salmon charter there, so I do have that one opening left. The walleye fishing this week has been fair to slow. We boxed 13 fish today with the largest walleye being about 24". The walleyes we are catching are full of shiners and we are marking tons of baitfish on the sonar. The walleye are very fat and well fed now and that makes them much harder to catch. Most of our fish today were taken in 30 to 35 feet of water fishing crawler harnesses 50' behind the boards at 1.6 mph. I had three ounces of weight ahead of the harnesses. I figure that we are running the harnesses about 20 to 25' down. Silver blades were best for me today. Most anglers are fishing for perch out of Au Gres as the perch fishing there has been phenomenal. There are still lots of walleyes in the area though, but the walleye fishing is tough on the bay right now.
8//12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
My customers took limit catches of today with some bonus yellow perch in the box for good measure. The day started out with a nice southerly breeze and a good "walleye chop." We had good action through about 10:00, but then the wind died down and the bite slowed considerably as a result of the wind change. We had to work hard to get hits from then on and managed to limit out by about 2:00. We trolled with crawler harnesses at 1.8 to 2.0 mph. With all the perch in the area, a faster trolling speed kept the perch from steeling the night crawlers. Small silver blades were best on the harnesses as that color attracts less perch than brighter colors. My whole strategy these days revolves around keeping the perch from hitting the crawlers, yet still putting lures in front of walleyes to get them to bite. With perch numbers way up this year, the perch fishing should be excellent as the summer progresses. Peak perch fishing occurs during late August, September and even October. I don't offer any perch charters, so please contact my friend Capt. Bill Carter for perch trips.
8/1/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
August is finally here on the Bay and the fishing this month should remain excellent. My customers took limit catches of walleyes today on a beautiful day indeed. With sunny skies, light winds and moderate temperatures, it was a near perfect day weather wise. The bite was a little sporadic during the morning hours but from 11:00 on to 1:00 (we limited out by 1:00) the action was much more consistent and the late morning and early afternoon fish we caught ran bigger too. The only down side to today's fishing was the floating weeds in the area we were fishing which kept fouling our lines. All the wind last week ripped up a lot of weeds around the fringe of the Bay and those weeds blew out to our fishing area today. We also caught a fair number of perch today too as the number of yellow perch appears to be up this year right along with the ultra strong walleye numbers. Again, today using half crawlers was the key to success and using more natural colors (silver) instead of brighter colors seemed to keep the perch from steeling the baits before walleyes could find them.
7/31/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We finished off the month of July with limit catches today for my customers. A storm blew through the region last night bringing lots of rain, lightning and thunder along with some high winds. I got woke up last night first from a big wind storm preceding the storms and then was kept up with all the rumbling of thunder for an hour or two. By sunrise thought the storms had marched away from the area leaving us with mostly fair skies. The winds today kept switching around and every time the wind would change, the fish would quit biting for 30 minutes or so. It made the fishing tough, but we still ended up with a good catch of mostly big walleyes today. We fished with crawler harnesses behind bottom bounders and color did not seem to make much difference. There were lots of perch in the area though (we boxed some of the bigger ones too) so we had to use just half crawlers and speed up the troll to 1.7 to 2.0 to keep the perch off the lures. Still, we had to constantly check the baits to make sure the perch hadn't stolen the crawlers. It was tough fishing but our high quality catch was worth the effort. Most of our fish were in the four to five pound range today. I only have two open dates left for the rest of the year. It has been an extremely busy and successful charter season and the best is likely yet to come.
7/28/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We've had some rotten weather this week keeping us off the water a lot. When we have been able to fish, we have been catching good fish. All the cool, north east winds though have chilled the water down, which will tend to keep the fish closer to Au Gres and that's a very good thing for us. The fishing over the next couple weeks should be awesome as a result. The fishing pressure has been very light the past week too, which also makes for better fishing. The size and numbers of fish have been outstanding this year and as we get into late summer, the catch typically runs bigger compared to what we get earlier in the season.
7/22/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We fished during a beautiful morning on Saginaw Bay today. We had a light, south wind to start the morning, so we ran out to where we hammered the walleyes yesterday. The weatherman had predicted a northerly wind, so the south wind was 180 degrees off the mark. We set lines at about 8:00 in the morning and my customers had boxed their limits by 10:15. We took a nice catch of fish with seven walleyes in the four to five pound range. Only two of the 20 keepers we boxed were under 20 inches so the fish ran bigger today compared to yesterday. We trolled with the same harnesses I had used yesterday, but color did not seem to mater today. The trolling speed was critical today though with a 1.5 mph speed working great while going slower or faster did not produce much action. The spot I'm fishing will likely produce good catches for the next several days to come until the conditions cause the fish to move.
7/21/12, Au Gres,. Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
After a couphere from 1.0 to 2.0 mph. There are millions of walleyes still in the Bay now and this awesome fishing will likely continue well into August, if not through fall too. This year has produced the best walleye fishing I've seen on the Bay ever in my lifetime (fishing Saginaw Bay since the early 90s).
7/18/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We extended my streak of limit catches with a huge box of fish today. We started out heading out to a spot that had been a consistent producer, but we only caught five fish in the morning, but that bite died when the sun popped out. We worked another spot in that same area, but to no avail. We then pulled lines once again and headed to a deep water spot that had yet to produce this year, but was awesome on many charters last year at this time in the season. Upon arriving there, I marked a lot of fish on the bottom, so I ran mostly crawlers with bottom bouncers, but also ran some plastic with some weights to take them to the bottom. We immediately started catching fish there and the good news was that the fish ran big. Most of the walleye were over 20 inches with some real bruzer mixed in too. It only took a couple hours fishing there before we had limited out, and that was just in time too, as the wind was starting to kick up and throw white caps over the bay. This trip today was a gift certificate to a father from his daughter and he said, "it was the best present he ever received". He also added that he really looked forward to this trip, which also included his son and another friend along with his daughter. We sell a bunch of these gift certificates and they never fail to provide the perfect present for Christmas, birthdays, Fathers Day or other special occasions. With limit catches taken on every trip so far this July, my schedule is really filling up fast. I am now completely booked for all of July dates and my August walleye openings are also booking fast too with only a handful of opening left. If you want to charter me for walleyes this year, now is the time to lock in a date as there won't be anything left very soon.
7/16/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
The outstanding fishing continues off Au Gres on Saginaw Bay. We took limit catches again today with some very big fish in the catch too. I took advantage of the bountiful catch today and ate some fresh walleye for dinner. I was planning on cooking some blackened walleye and had everything prepared, but when I check my Cajun spices container, I found that it was empty. I ended up improvising and it turned out wonderful. First I melted some butter and dipped the dried and cool fillets in the melted butter and then seasoned them with some chili powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper and Lowery's seasoned salt. I then heated a frying pan smoking hot and then put the two filets into the pan. I cooked them for just a minute on each side and that was it. I also had some Mexican style rice with melted Monterey/jack cheese on it as a side dish along with some Tostitos corn chips. The meal was washed down with some ice cold Labatt Blue beer. The fish was absolutely delicious. Saginaw Bay's walleyes are the best eating walleyes I've ever had, likely because they grow so fast that the smaller sized fish are so young, delicate and flaky beyond believe.
7/15/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We took an impressive limit catch again today. In fact, we limited out the last three days in a row continuing my streak of 100% limit catches for the month of July. I only have three open dates left for July, and with this extremely hot fishing now, those dates won't last long. We are still fishing deep water in the same area where we have fished since the cold front last Saturday (with big NE winds) cooled the water down and moved the fish big time. The walleyes we are catching now are chuck full of shiners. All that baitfish is hanging out near the surface over deep water, but the walleyes we are catching are hugging the bottom tightly. My theory is that the walleyes are feeding high in the water column at night and then holding on the bottom during the day. We are nailing them with slow trolling tactics pulling meat right in front of their noses. This week has served up some of the best fishing of the year with easy, limit catches daily and some big fish daily too.
7/12/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
The awesome fishing on the Bay continues as we hammered out another easy, four man walleye limit in about three hours of fishing. We have limited out every trip in July and this world class walleye fishing will certainly continue for weeks to come. I do have one opening next week on July 17, and a couple open slots later in the month, so if you want to experience some of the best walleye fishing available, give me a call. We took all our fish today trolling at 1.6 mph pulling crawler harnesses behind bottom bouncers. When the fish are all on the bottom, this presentation is typically the best thing going. Chartreuse/orange blades were best today. Because I often troll my harnesses somewhat fast, I use mostly small blades (#3) which work better at fast trolling speeds. Larger blades are not good when trolling over 1.5 mph as they tend to start looping though the water at those speeds. I use larger blades when I'm trolling slower, especially for suspended fish, which is when big blades perform best.
7/11/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
I organized a two boat charter today where we took a large group of people out on two charter boats on Saginaw Bay. Both boats limited out with a huge catch of dandy walleyes. My boat limited out first, so we then pulled lines and tagged along behind the other charter boat and cheered and honked the horn whenever they caught a nice fish. We also ate some venison sausage and drank soft drinks too in some of the most beautiful weather you could ask for, while we watched the other boat catch some fish. It didn't take too long before the second boat limited out too and then we headed back to port with two boat loads of very happy customers indeed. This fishing is super hot now on the bay and will likely continue for weeks to come. We caught our fish today on a mixture of crawler presentations. Some of the fish were taken on bottom bouncers and other were caught suspended using in line weights. I have two more multiple boat charters scheduled in the next week, which are always lots of fun. If you have a big group of people, then Au Gres is an awesome place to plan a charter excursion because there a few other good captains that I can partner with to provide an awesome fishing trip for you large group.
7/10/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
Well, we took limit catches once again today on Saginaw Bay near Au Gres. This has been some of the best walleye fishing we've seen here ever with fish of all sizes from small throw backs, to big lunkers and everything in between. As good as the walleye fishing is on Saginaw Bay, I want to change the subject to salmon briefly. I only have one open slot left for Lake Michigan Salmon fishing, so in a couple days, I won't have any openings remaining at all. This is likely going to be the best salmon fishing in years as there has been bigger salmon showing up in the catch this year and lots of them. I expect some of the biggest salmon this year that we've seen in years. 20+ pounders in August will likely be common place. As good as the walleye fishing has been on Saginaw Bay, the Lake Michigan salmon fishery should also be outstanding in August. With only one salmon opening left, you don't want to wait to book your salmon trip or you'll be SOL.
7/9/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
The fishing was excellent today with fast and furious action this morning resulting in a limit catch of some high quality walleyes. We went back to the hot spot we found yesterday afternoon and started catching fish after fish right off the bat. We took mostly good eating sized fish today, but a half dozen of the walleyes were bigger ones with one being a real chunker. We also took one huge channel catfish today that weighed 14 pounds. We limited out this morning by 11:25 taking a nice box of fish indeed. We caught all our fish on crawler harnesses pulled behind bottom bouncers. I ran an eight rod trolling spread with six lines off Church Tackle Walleye Boards and two flat lines. The harness pattern didn't seem to mater today as everything I tried took fish. One tip I will give is that when the night crawler is long, I break it in half, thus avoiding walleyes from nipping off the end of the crawler.
7/8/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
Today was a perfect example of why I only offer 8 hour charters during July and August out of Au Gres. This time of the year provides some of the best fishing of the year, but the fish often move around a lot with the changing weather patterns. I had to cancel yesterday's charter due to strong winds, storms and big waves. That strong Nor-Eeaster yesterday cooled down the water temps by 12 degrees where we had been taking good catches. When I checked that spot this morning, the fish had completely vacated that area. I then went to by plan-B spot, and there was nothing there either. My plan-C spot yielded only two fish, but when we set up on my plan-D spot at about noon, we had non-stop action with some of the best fishing of the year on Saginaw Bay. Among the limit catch were seven fish over five pounds with some of them being true lunkers. Had the trip only been a half day charter, we would have done poorly, but the extra hours on the charter resulted in some awesome fishing indeed.
7/6/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
Thank goodness that this is the last day of super hot weather we'll have to deal with for a while. This is the worst heat wave I can remember in a long while. We had super tough conditions today again with hot weather, shifting winds, mixed with calm conditions and bright sun shine. None-the-less, my customer took and excellent, limit catch of walleyes. They had a running bet going for the biggest fish of the day, and as the day went on that top fish was overthrown over and over as the fish got bigger and bigger throughout the day. About half the fish we caught today were big ones. We caught most of our fish today on crawler harnesses, but we did take some (three ore four) on Hot N' Tots. Green tots were best and florescent yellow and orange spinners got lots of hits. We fished in all sorts of waters today starting shallow, then when that died off, we moved deep, and when the breeze picked up, we moved shallow again. We had steady action all day, accept for one lull at about noon. My next opening on my schedule is July 17 and there are only a handful of opening left this month. Last year July was the most consistent month of the season for awesome walleye action and so far we have taken excellent walleye catches on every trip in July too .
7/5/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
This super heat wave we've been having hasn't shut down the walleye bite at all on Saginaw Bay. I fished today with some repeat customer and they enjoyed some awesome walleye action. We only caught one small fish today and the rest were all nice sized walleyes. My customers limited out in about two hours of fishing, but before I could catch a few fish for my dinner, a thunderstorm reared it's ugly head, so we pulled lines and headed for port easily outrunning the storm with my fast boat. We caught all our fish today on crawler harnesses. The Hot N' Tot bite was non-existent today. Our best harnesses were orange, chartreuse and silver blades. We pulled the harnesses behind bottom bouncers running six Church Tackle Walleye Boards and two flat lines. The flat lines out produced the planer board rigs today. We trolled at 1.8 to 2.0 mph. The faster trolling speed often works best in the near 80 degree waters we are fishing.
7/4/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
Even though we faced extremely tough conditions today with hot, calm, sunny conditions, my customers still limited out on some dandy walleyes. We caught most of our fish on crawler harnesses, but I did work in some Hot N' Tots into the trolling spread today and they took fish too. Tomorrow, we'll be focusing more on Hot N' Tots as bigger fish came on those lures today. The water temperatures are approaching 80 degrees in the inner bay, so the best fishing is moving north to the outer bay and with the continued heat wave predicted, that migration north will continue en mass. As the walleyes move north, they concentrate in predictable locations offering up the best fishing of the year. Last year, mid to late July produced the best fishing of the year and this year will likely yield similar results.
7/1/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We ushered in July today with an awesome catch of Saginaw Bay walleyes. After yesterdays charter, my wife and I traveled from Au Gres to my home town of Manistee where we attended the wedding of one of my oldest friends (congratulations Connie and Dan). Because of that commitment and our late return to Au Gres last night, we started my charter today later than normal at 10:00 a.m. A couple different friends of mine were already fishing when I departed onto the bay, and after talking with them on the cell phone, and learning that they were not catching may fish in the area we had been fishing the past week, I decided to strike out and try some new spots that typically produce well at this time of the year. The first spot I tried showed lots of fish on the graph, but produced no fish. We then moved to another spot and even though we were marking lots of fish there too, we only caught one fish. We pulled lines again and headed to another spot and hit pay dirt immediately. We then proceeded to haul in walleye after walleye non-stop until we reached our limits. We pulled crawler harnesses today and did best trolling them very fast at 1.8 to 2.0 mph. Bright colors were definitely best with orange/yellow being hit like crazy. This was the best action I've experienced yet this year and the fish today also ran larger than normal with only a couple small fish in the bunch. It was certainly another day of world class walleye fishing on the Bay.
6/29/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
The fishing off Au Gres has been phenomenal the last two mornings. Yesterday we limited out in one hour of fishing and today my customers took 20 walleyes in short order with some high quality fish in the catch. The fishing now is peaking out and the next week will provide some of the best walleye fishing of the season. We had a beautiful day today fishing with some long time, repeat customers and they had a great time catching all the walleyes they wanted. The fish were taken on all types of presentations in waters from 22 to 29 feet deep. The walleyes were hitting what ever I put into the water. Saginaw Bay is putting on a world class walleye fishery right now.
6/27/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
As we were getting ready to depart the dock today, another angler in a boat alongside us predicted that my customers would be out and back to the dock by 9:30. My customers, who had never fished with me or on Saginaw Bay before didn't think much of his comment. It was 7:15 when we pulled away from the dock. It took us 15 minutes to reach the fishing grounds and start setting lines. I deployed eight spinner/crawler rigs and enjoyed constant action and my customers reached their walleye limits by 9:00 with one bonus jumbo perch and we were indeed back at the dock by 9:30 as the clairvoyant fisherman had predicted. It was a beautiful morning on the bay with sunny skies and light winds. Our fish today ranged in size up to 26". The fish were biting very aggressively with most of the hooks finding their way to the walleyes' stomachs. In fact, we never lost one fish, which is a clear sign of a robust bite. I have anther charter scheduled for this afternoon and I'm optimistic that we'll have excellent success then too. With the predicted stabile weather pattern over the next week, this will likely serve up our best fishing of the year so far. I had a couple cancelations on July 4 and 5, so if you want to get in on this hot action, give me a call.
6/23/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
My customers took limit catches of nice walleyes today, which was the busiest day I've seen for fishing pressure on Saginaw Bay this year. There was a big walleye tournament at Au Gres today and that combined with fair weather, brought out lots of fishermen. We fished several different spots today in waters that ranged from 10 to 29 feet deep taking fish in all locations. We took all our fish on crawler harnesses. I watched part of the weigh-in at the tournament today and a lot of the competitors fished north of Big Charity Island taking plenty of nice fish there. I haven't fished that area yet this year, but it appears that walleyes have moved out to the outer bay now.
6/20/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We ushered in the first day of summer today with limit catches of some fine walleyes. We are fishing in waters 25 to 32 feet deep trolling with bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses. Silver blades have been productive as have been chartreuse/orange spinner rigs. The fish have been holding deep, near the bottom, so that's where are presentations have been best. We are taking a good mixture of small, medium and large sized walleyes for the perfect mix of walleye over the last week. All of our charters this week have taken some big walleyes. This has been some of the best walleye fishing ever on Saginaw Bay and this hot fishing will only get better during July, which has been our best month for awesome walleye catches over the past two years. I still have some openings during May, but they won't last long as we are getting lots of bookings, which are gobbling up the available dates.
6/17/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We had a weather delay this morning, but we hit the water at about 10:00 and got into some awesome walleye fishing right off the bat. My customers limited out on some nice walleyes with most of them being over 20". We fished with bottom bouncers using several different patterns of harnesses. We trolled for six miles in one direction and caught fish all along the way without ever turning once. The walleyes are so numerous in the Bay right now that the fishing is just plain world class.
6/14/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
The walleye fishing remains excellent on Saginaw Bay out of Au Gres. Today we kept 25 walleyes and released a bunch more trolling with spoons. Our best spoon was a Moonshine Walleye Spoon in Crab Cakes pattern (silver back), but we also caught some fish on Red Grape and Glow Purple Nose. We were pulling the spoons at 1.8 to 1.9 mph set 70' behind the Church Tackle Walleye Boards. I used 030 Jet Divers to take the spoons down to the fish. This was some of the best fishing we've seen this year and all indications point towards the fishing just getting better and better as the spring turns into summer off Au Gres. We took fish of many different year classes today, which ranged from 5" on up to some real chunkers. The future of this fishery looks outstanding with all the small fish coming up, which will provide world class fishing for the foreseeable future.
6/8/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
The fishing is red hot now out Au Gres on Saginaw Bay. My customers took limit catches this morning with most of the fish running over 20". In fact, we have limited out on every charter for weeks, but the fishing the last five days has been especially phenomenal. Yesterday, my customers took there limits of dandy walleyes in about two hours of fishing and since they invited me to a fish fry for dinner later that day, I also caught my limit and supplied all the fish for the meal. Deep fried Vidalia Onion rings, deep fried sweat potatoes and a pile of deep fried walleye put us all in deep fried heaven. Top that off with cole slaw, assorted veggies and water melon for desert along with a few beers, and it just doesn't get much better than that. The last few days we have been fishing in deeper waters (35' to 45') pulling assorted crawler harnesses both near the bottom and suspended. The bite has been pretty light this week, but the sheer numbers of walleyes in the area still result in a some great catches for us none the less. I am marking millions of walleyes on my graph, so I do believe that the best fishing this year is yet to come. We are still experiencing heavy bug hatches (mostly mayflies) and the walleyes are really feasting on that bountiful food supply making them harder to catch. Once the hatches die down the walleyes will really start snapping and the fishing will really go off the charts.
6/5/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We had a beautiful day on Saginaw Bay walleye fishing today. It started out a little choppy with 2-3 foot waves, but it eventually calmed down to smooth seas and nearly calm conditions. We started out fishing off Point Au Gres in 30 feet of water trolling with the north/east wind. We picked up 10 keeper walleyes in four hours of fishing with the walleyes in that area holding tight to the bottom. We then moved deeper for the second half of the trip and found suspended walleyes in about 40' feet or deeper waters. We hammered filling our limits on those fish and all of them were chunky walleyes in the 20 to 26" range. Fire/tiger or chrome/chartreuse blades on the crawler harnesses were best out deep fishing with three ounces of weight 30 to 40 feet behind the boards trolling at 1.2 to 1.4 mph. We also took fish with 1.5 ounce weights 70 feet back on the outside boards.
6/3/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
After a few days off the water due to inclimate weather, we hit Saginaw Bay today and noticed right off that the water temperature had dropped about 10 degrees since my last trip. The weather this morning featured a stiff wind, but luckily it was off-shore and we were able to fish, but only close to Au Gres. We found walleyes willing to bite right away in waters 29-31 feet deep. My customers pulled their limits in about four hours of fishing, which consisted of walleyes 15" to 24", but a couple larger fish were lost close enough to the boat where we got a good look at them. We tried to fish for suspended fish today, but all our fish were taken near the bottom using crawler harnesses. Silver blades were definitely best today with a trolling speed of 1.3 to 1.4 mph being what they wanted. The fish were holding very tight to the bottom today and they were biting very light too as we lost at least as many fish as we caught, but only went through a little over a dozen night crawlers as most of the fish we caught didn't even pull and tug enough to damage the crawlers much. It was not easy fishing today with the constantly cooled down water, changing winds and varying barometric pressure. I didn't hear of anyone else that did much good today. With the predicted, stabile weather pattern this week, things should improve to awesome fishing here once again.
5/26/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
The walleye fishing out of Au Gres has been awesome this week on Saginaw Bay. My customers limited out on walleyes today in about three hours of fishing and also took one bonus perch too. No junk fish were caught in the last two days. With walleyes priced at about $20 per pound at the supermarket my customers really cashed in with a very valuable catch indeed. We took all our fish on crawler harnesses fished near the bottom. There was no preference in lure colors today as everything I ran took fish. I used blades in silver, chartreuse, orange and fire/tiger with good success. My speeds were in the 1.2 to 1.5 mph range and we trolled with the wind all the way today. We set lines in deeper water and trolled one, straight, five mile long trolling pass never turning once and taking fish all along the way until we pulled lines in 25 foot of water with limits in the box. The fish were widely scattered the last two days and holding tight to the bottom. The recent heavy bug hatches (Mayflies and Midges) are what the walleyes are feeding on now so they are holding deep during the day.
5/23/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
My customers limited out today in less than one hour of fishing. Then we took my limit and that was awesome as I got to enjoy another scrumptious walleye dinner this evening. I beat an egg and then dipped the filets into the egg-wash and then dredged them in Italian bread crumbs. Once coated nicely, the filets were plunged into hot oil and pan-fried until golden brown. Garnished in tarter sauce and served with a couple nice side dishes and a cold beer, I had a meal fit for king. The fishing off Au Gres is really starting to heat up as the fish are biting like crazy. We are still fishing with crawler harnesses but that will soon change as the walleyes typically start to come off the bottom and suspend by late May, which is when we switch over to spoons primarily. We took some good sized fish today along with plenty of smaller ones too for a good mix. My May and June dates are booking fast, so don't wait to long to book a charter as those opportunities will be gone soon.
5/17/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
The fishing has been good for walleyes on Saginaw Bay. Today, my charter customers took limit catches fishing in waters 25 to 32 feet deep. We caught all our fish on crawlers on the bottom. We took a lot of smaller fish today, but we did manage to catch plenty of bigger ones too for a nice mix. After we found the fish, which took an hour, we never went for more than five minutes this morning without "fish-on" action. They seemed to be biting better today with the warming water temperatures into the high 50s now. The fishing will likely continue to get better and better this spring as there seems to be more fish than ever this year.
5/11/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We took limit catches the last two days on Saginaw Bay fishing just two miles from the Au Gres river mouth in 29 to 31 feet of water. Yesterday it took us six hours to take my customer's limit of 20 walleyes and it was a very fun trip indeed with some regular customers from my home town. Today we limited out in about four hours of fishing taking walleyes up to 27". In fact several of the fish today were real dandies. We've been taking all our fish over the last two days on crawler harnesses fished right on the bottom with bottom bouncers. The bite continues to be extremely light with the fish barley latching on and often times just swimming with the troll with very little pulling. We hooked one six pounder today that didn't even move the planer board at all and we didn't even know she was there until we checked than line. It's taking two to three bites for every fish we are landing but they are biting so lightly that we are only going through a couple dozen crawlers per trip: They are hitting so light they are not even ripping up the crawlers much. I have trips scheduled for the weekend and the weather is predicted to be good, so I anticipate good catches.
5/9/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We limited out on walleyes again today fishing in 26 to 33 feet of water off Au Gres on Saginaw Bay. It was kind of a crummy day today with a lot more wind than the weatherman predicted along with spitting rain and winds that switched around; not real good fishing conditions. The walleyes have been extremely lethargic and picky and the bite has been tough, but by being very precise with presentations along with employing correct fish fighting techniques, we have been doing pretty good anyway. Most of the fish that hit are just latching onto the lures and swimming with them without pulling much at all. It's been hard to tell when even the big fish have hooked up. Trolling speed has been especially critical with 1.2 to 1.4 mph being the best speed. The bite has been changing a lot too with the fish preferring different colors at different times of the day. Chartreuse/orange spinner/crawler rigs behind bottom bouncers have been the most consistent presentation for us. We have also taken some fish, and bigger ones, on perch pattern Hot N' Tots pulled within a couple feet of the bottom. The fish seem to be scattered in deeper water. Almost all the fish I'm seeing on my sonar are hugging the bottom with very few suspended fish or baitfish being marked yet.
5/8/12, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
I've been able to fish three days this week on Saginaw Bay with several days off due to bad weather. All of the trips were successful taking walleyes of all different sizes (big, medium and small). Our biggest walleye taken on Saginaw Bay so far was 28". Today my customers limited out taking most of their fish on bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses, but a couple fish did come on crankbaits. All fish were taken on presentations on or near the bottom. We fished right out in front of Au Gres in 25' to 32' feet of water. It's nice to be able to fish so close to the harbor with the high fuel prices these days. This is looking like it's going to be a great season on Saginaw Bay with this many fish in the area this early in the season. Things typically get better and better as the spring progresses into summer.
4/27/12, Monroe, Lake Ere, Fishing Report
I finally got back out onto the water today after waiting out a prolonged period of rotten weather that kept me shore bound. We headed out to the Toledo Harbor Light first thing in the morning with jigging rods ready to rock today and the walleye bite there was fast and furious for the first hour with some bigger than average walleyes, then the bite slowed down as the sun rose up. It took us a couple hours of fishing to limit out in Ohio jigging with blade baits, then we slid over west across the boarder and broke out the trolling rods. I deployed a mixed spread of crank baits and spinner/crawler rigs. The white bass there were quite a pain in the rear, but we were able to sort through them and take a half dozen more walleyes. All the walleyes caught trolling came on crawlers/bottom bouncers with chartreuse/orange being best. The trolling bite was slow for walleyes because of all the white bass fouling our lures constantly. I have two more days scheduled on Lake Erie, then I move my boat to Saginaw Bay. I'm looking forward to heading to Au Gres as we don't have to deal with the trash fish like we do on Erie.
4/20/12, Monroe, Lake Ere, Fishing Report
We took excellent catches of walleyes the last two days on Lake Erie with over 20 fish each charter. Yesterday, our best spot was in 10-12' of water off Little Cedar Point in Ohio waters. Gold blade baits worked the best there in that dirty water. Today, despite the high winds and pounding waves, we managed to jig up a quick Ohio limit out near the Toledo Harbor Light House with silver blade baits being most productive in those more clear waters. The fish we caught jigging today were some real dandies with some going over five pounds. After catching and releasing fish today until our arms hurt, we decided to troll some in Michigan waters. We caught some real nice walleyes on Rouges set 60' back behind the boards with a 3/8 ounce rubber core sinker one rod length ahead of the lure pulled at about 1.7 mph surging with the waves. We made one, long trolling pass from about one mile north of Turtle Island and pulled lines when we were about two miles out in front of Bolles Harbor taking hits all along that stretch.
4/18/12, Monroe, Lake Erie, Fishing Report
The wind kicked up a bit more than predicted today which made the fishing tougher, however my customers still managed to limit out on some quality sized walleyes none-the-less. We caught our fish jigging in Ohio waters. Our best lure was a gold Laser Eye blade bait. We also did a little trolling at the end of the trip and picked up two nice walleyes on Smithwick Rouges fished about 10' below the surface. The water was a little riled up from all the wind over the past few days, but the jigging bite is often best in stained water, so that's what we focused on today. I have charters scheduled for the next five days straight and I'm anticipating some awesome fishing in the next week to come.
4/14/12, Monroe, Lake Erie, Fishing Report
My customers limited out on walleye the last two charters taking some big fish along with some good eating sized too. We have been trolling in waters from 13' to 20' deep using a variety of crankbaits and body baits. Large size (three hooks) Rouges have been best lately trolled 30'-60' behind the boards taken to depth with a 3/8 ounce rubber core sinker. Trolling speeds of 1.2 to 1.4 mph have been productive. I'm taking a few days off to let this storm system blow through, then I'll be back on the water again on Wednesday for a five day stint at Monroe. I still have some openings left for next week for Lake Erie charters and the fishing should be excellent at that time, which is when millions of post spawn fish really start putting on the feed bag. This has been an outstanding year so far for big walleyes on Lake Erie with every charter taking lunkers. Time is running out for Lake Erie charters. I'll be moving my boat to Au Gres for Saginaw Bay walleyes on May 1.
4/12/12, Monroe, Lake Erie, Fishing Report
With bluebird type weather conditions today, my customers took limit catches of dandy walleyes. The only downside to today's charter was possible sunburn. We took fish that ranged from 15" to 28" today trolling in the open waters of Lake Erie. Our top five fish today weighed a total of 35 pounds. We started out with the plan to do some jigging out by Turtle Island, but the water looked too clear there to me, so we went right to trolling. We had good action in the morning, but when the wind switched, the bite died down some, but we still managed to pick away at them all day long. Our best presentation today was a #7 Shad Rap in Natural Shad pattern set back 45' feet behind the boards, taken to depth with a 3/8 ounce rubber core sinker, pulled at about 1.5 mph. We also caught a lot of white bass today, so there was lots of action.
4/7/12, Monroe, Lake Erie, Fishing Report
It was an absolute beautiful, enjoyable day on Lake Erie today with good people, blue skies, calm winds and plenty of fish on the lines. We took limit catches of some outstanding walleyes fishing mostly in Ohio waters, but we did try one trolling pass in Michigan waters too at the end of the charter. We took most of our fish trolling in water 20-23 feet deep with our best lures being gold/black Thundersticks 60' back and a Rattling Shad Raps 45' back behind the Church Tackle Walleye Boards. I had 3/8 ounce of weight 5' in front of the lures. We found some good trolling water about 15 miles southeast of Bolles Harbor. We also did some jigging and pulled six fish off the reef in about 45 minutes, then we went back to trolling which always produces bigger fish. We did take some jumbo walleyes today to top off an impressive box of fish. I'll be taking the next few days off to let this predicted weather system blow through and then I'll be hitting the water again when fair weather returns mid-week. I everyone a happy Easter.
4/4/12, Monroe, Lake Erie, Fishing Report
We hit Lake Erie today heading out to Ohio Waters. We had a lot of fun limiting out taking fish using both trolling and jigging tactics. Our best trolling lure was a gold/black Jr. Thunderstick with gold sparkles fished 65' behind the Church Tackle Walleye Boards. Our best jigging lure was chrome Laser Eye Blade Bair with holographic finish fished on the reef on the bottom. We took a good mixture of big, lunker sized walleyes along with some smaller and medium sized fish too for the perfect mix. I'll be running charters daily out of Bolles Harbor at Monroe, Michigan until the weather turns sour. The forecast is great though at least for the next week, so I expect some good catches in the next charters to come. We still have a lot of openings left Lake Erie walleye charters, so don't miss out on this world class early spring walleye fishery.
3/22/12, Monroe, Lake Erie, Fishing Report
We limited out today on some dandy walleyes on Lake Erie. The fun part was that we were successful using both jigging and trolling tactics. We started out jigging on the Turtle Island Reef and after hauling up walleyes there with spinning rods until our arms and wrists hurt, we then switched over to trolling equipment and brought in some more walleyes with a stick bait trolling program. This early spring weather has been the warmest I can ever remember. Today we fished under blue skies with 80 degree air temps. The wind was light and it just couldn't bet much better weather or fishing success wise. The water temps are already in the low 60s, which is more like May that mid-March. The walleye spawn is way ahead of normal this year as the fish are stacked up on the reefs and super aggressive biters. I'll be taking a couple days off the water to let the predicted stormy weather pattern pass through, then I'll hit Erie again. The weather over the next week is predicted to be very warm and mild, so this outstanding fishing should continue right into early April and beyond. This is already shaping up to be an outstanding spring walleye fishery this year.
03/20/12, Monroe, Lake Erie, Fishing Report
My 2012 fishing charter season is well underway on Lake Erie. The super warm weather has allowed us to get off to a very early start indeed. We started out on Saturday, 3/18/12 with a beautiful fishing day with calm winds and temperatures into the high 70s. The trolling bite was very slow that day, but the jigging bite on the reefs was halfway decent, so that was where we focused our efforts. I was able to limit out on some nice sized walleyes in about one hour of jigging on the Turtle Island Reef using Laser Eye Blade Baits. Early spring trolling typically yields a much larger average size of walleyes though and that trolling bite has really picked up big time in the last couple days. My trip today yielded limit catches for my customers of some really big walleyes. These walleyes averaged over seven pounds and consisted primarily of ultra-chunky, pre-spawn females. Four of those brutes are heading to their taxidermist. We trolled in Ohio waters in 20-24 feet of water. Our best bait today was a gold Jr. Thunderstick, but we did take one lunker on a Tennessee Shad Deep Husky Jerk Bait. I am running all my charters now from an On-Call List and there is plenty of room left on that list to accommodate more anglers for some of this prime spring walleye fishing.
9/7/11 - Au Gres, Fishing Report
I wrapped up my charter season early as some truly rotten fishing weather engulfed Michigan over the last five days. I'm talking storms, big winds and cold conditions that moved in behind some super hot weather, which really scattered the fish and shocked them into a negative mood. The 48 knots winds that came up quickly and without warning on my last charter were higher than most of the winds that came ashore with "Hurricane" Irene. Our weather costs me plenty of money every year, but I doubt that FEMA will be sending anybody in Michigan a check any time soon. I bet Michigan's annual storm (snow, ice, wind, rain...) expenses far exceed that caused by Irene yet we rarely get any disaster release. It's certainly not fair.
Regardless of the poor finish, my 2011 charter season was still excellent. We had excellent catches of fish on most charters and the future looks good for the 2012 season too. Saginaw Bay has had two huge year classes of walleyes in a row and even though it was a pain in the rear on some days having to sort through a bunch of undersized fish this year, we know that we'll have tons of keeper sized walleyes on the Bay next year. I predict the best fishing ever on Saginaw Bay for 2012. It's said that every cloud has a silver lining: Due to the poor spring conditions on Lake Erie this spring, very little fishing pressure was put on the trophy size walleyes that show up every spring. This means that 2012 should provide more big walleyes than ever on Erie. Salmon sizes were way up this year on Lake Michigan and that trend will likely continue into 2012 as the DNR's management plan is producing the largest salmon we've seen in years. A new state record Coho was taken this summer along with a bunch of kings that topped the 30 pound mark.
I'm already booking trips for 2012. My schedule filled up pretty well this year and I expect the same thing for 2012. We turned away dozens of people this year that failed to book early enough. Making your reservations well in advance in the only way to guarantee that you'll get the dates you want. Have a good fall everyone and good luck to the hunters.
8/27/11 - Manistee, Lake Michigan, Fishing Report
We've been taking 4 to 10 salmon per trip the last week out of Manistee. We fished today, but got blown off early as a stiff north wind kicked up some impressive waves indeed. We did best today in 260 to 300 feet of water taking our fish there 40 to 75 feet down mostly on spoons. Blue Dolphin was best today. Yesterday we caught most of our fish in 90 to 100 feet of water fishing near the bottom with meat rigs off the riggers. A modified Moonshine teaser rig was best yesterday and we also took a couple on that rig today on the Dipsys too, but it did not work today off the riggers. Tomorrow is my last day at Manistee as I'll be packing up and heading back to Au Gres after my Sunday charter and will be fishing there through 9/8/11 fishing for walleyes on Saginaw Bay. After that I'll be at the Woods N' Water News Weekend. If you have never been to this hunting and fishing sports show before, it's very good and lots of fun. I highly recommend it as a great pre-hunting season primer.
8/21/11 - Manistee, Lake Michigan, Fishing Report
For three days in a row the National Weather Service showed their incompetence by totally screwing up the marine weather forecast for the Lake Michigan Waters off Manistee. Today they predicted waves less than one foot in hight, but Mother Nature blew a tad bit more than predicted kicking up five footers by the end of our trip today. They did the same horrible job for the last three days too. The fishing has only been fair on recent trips due to the unstabile weather. Were getting 10-15 bites per trip the last few days and are only converting about half those fish to fish in the box due to their less than aggressive striking habits recently. We've been taking some jumbo kings though with fish over 20 pounds on most trips, which is nice to see. We've been fishing mostly in waters 60 to 300 feet deep inside and outside of The Shelf. The boat traffic on The Shelf proper has been intense the last few days, so that area has been nearly impossible to fish effectively. The crowds should thin out during mid-week though, so the fishing there should improve. I always tell my customers that weekend crowds typically reduce the catch rate a lot due to all the fishing pressure. Weekdays are usually much more productive at Manistee during August. Moonshine, Magnum Flounder Pounder and Nel's Limit spoons have been best in low light conditions (and down deep). Fishlander Blue Dolphin spoons have been best when the sun has been out in the top 70 feet of water. We also took five hits on the Dipsys today fishing them about 75 feet down with white and green Spin Doctors and jumbo homemade flies that feature green, blue, iridescent and glow mylar. The best rigger depth today was 75 to 90 feet down. I haven't been running much off the boards over the last three days to heavy boat traffic. I just added the 2012 Charter Schedule to this website so people can now more easily book their charters for next year.
8/18/11 - Manistee, Lake Michigan, Fishing Report
The water conditions continue to fluctuate like crazy off Manistee. The nearshore waters have warmed back up to the mid-60s, so the salmon have moved offshore more to the The Shelf and beyond. During these types of conditions, it often pays to head way off shore and that's exactly what we did the last two days. We fished in 500-700 feet of water targeting the top 50 foot of the water column. We had 19 strikes yesterday morning on a five hour trip and at least 15 hits on today's morning trip. We took a mixture of kings, coho and steelhead on each of those charters with kings over 15 pounds each day. The coho are running above average in size this year with those silver salmon weighing a chunky 7 to 10 pounds. We've taken dandy steelhead on the last several trips too up to 10 pounds. We took three chromers today and lost several more. We are taking fish off the Dipsys set on 2.5, 80 feet back using Spin Doctors and Flies. We've had lots of hits off the riggers set 40 to 50 feet down, but half the strikes are coming off the sliders. I'm running spoons on the riggers with a mixture of Moonshine Half Moons (Silver Beef and Silver Anchovy) and Blue Dolphin Finlander spoons. The boards are also producing well at times. I'm running Dream Weaver Ruby Red spoons and Moonshine Half Moons (Worm) off the Walleye Boards using Church Tackle Clip Weights to take them down 25-30 feet below the surface. Trolling speeds have been 2.5 to 3.2. Trolling into the current has been most productive. The bite on the Shelf has been picking up over the last few days. If it's not to crowded tomorrow, I may set up there at first light, otherwise, I'll run offshore again, especially if its calm.
8/16/11 - Manistee, Lake Michigan, Fishing Report
The weather and water conditions have been extremely unstabile the past three days. On Sunday the wind cranked up all day and I had to cancel both trips that day. It turned over the water big time. The water at the harbor mouth went from about 74 degrees to 50 degrees on Sunday. This type of weather event normally brings in a lot of salmon into the harbor and shallow areas, so I fished that area on Sunday. That charter was very slow with some fish coming into the harbor, but not mass quantities like I had hopped for. We did catch jumbo salmon that tipped the scales at 22 pounds though. We fished deeper today and had fair success taking coho and king salmon along with one dandy steelhead. We also took a couple fish trolling back in towards the harbor in 35 feet of water. Most of our fish came on spoons today off the boards fished about 25 feet down with Church Tackle Clip Weights. Hot patterns featured lots of silver with green and blue Moonshine Half Moon spoons being best. We also took a nice king off the riggers at 35 down and had a few rips on the Dipsys set 50 back on number 2.5 setting with Spin Doctors (white and green) and trailing Moonshine Flies (green). The water should be warming up tomorrow with the predicted southerly winds. That should stabilize the water conditions and hopefully make the fish more patternable. I booked my last charter for my 2011 charter season yesterday, so my calendar is now full. We are booking trips for 2012 though, so if you want a prime date for next year, now is the time to make your reservations. Waiting until the last minute to book typically results in disappointment as we turn away lots of people every year that fail to book early enough.
8/13/11 - Manistee, Lake Michigan, Fishing Report
I moved my boat from Au Gres to Manistee yesterday for some salmon fishing. I have a full schedule for my entire stay at Manistee. We did have a cancelation today, but that opening was snapped up within hours. In fact, as of this writing, I only have one open date left for the the 2011 season at Au Gres on Sept. 2. It's been a very busy season indeed. I did run a five hour charter yesterday afternoon and a full day charter today. This fishing has only been fair so far with some rather crummy weather conditions. Once the weather stabilizes, the fishing should pick up big time. The good news is that all the fish we have caught so far have been big, fat kings (accept for one big steelhead today) with all but a couple being over 15 pounds. The fish have been scattered in both location and in depth of water. We've taken fish from just 20' down to over 90 feet deep. Most fish have been taken on spoons off the riggers with both standard and regular sized spoons both producing. Moonshine Happy Meal and Smitty have both taken fish as have Yellow Tail and some old, worn out dolphin spoons too. We've also taken 10 or so rips on the Dipsys and those have been loaded with Spin Doctors and home-made flies. White/glow Spin Doctors with a green fly is what I'm running. We've taken some hits on the boards too running spoons taken to depth with Church Tackle Clip Weights. So far plugs have not produces at all despite having been run plenty. We fished straight out yesterday and more to the south today with 90 to 130 feet of water producing best.
8/7/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We fished in many different areas of the Bay the last two days and ended up by Buoys One and Two today taking limit catches in 23 to 26 feet of water. All the fish came on crawlers with our best presentation being 50' behind the boards with 1.5 ounces of weight trolled at about 1.5 mph. If the lures got too close to the bottom, then white perch became real nuisance bait stealers. Keeping the crawlers up higher kept the meet on the hooks resulting in more walleyes in the box. The walleyes ran decent sized by Buoys One and Two with only a couple small fish in the lot. The biggest walleye was about 24". I only have a few open slots left for the 2011 fishing season. I'll be moving my boat to Manistee later this week and returning back to Au Gres to finish off the season over the Labor Day weekend.
7/31/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We finished off the month of July in style with another highly successful charter on the Bay. We hammered the walleyes today taking limit catches in just 8 to 10 feet of water out by the Charity Islands. We started out where we had good action yesterday in 15-20 foot of water, but those fish moved. We trolled in closer to the Island and found a good school of active walleyes in shallow up close to the Island. It's a tricky area to fish with all the rocky, shallow stuff in there, but I know the area very well as I've fished it many times before. We caught all our fish on crawlers/bottom bouncers. I only ran five rods today as that was all I could keep in the water with the hot action. We trolled at about 2.0 mph. The next few days are open on my schedule, so if I don't book any trips then, I'll finally get to deal with some of the chores I've been putting off.
7/30/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We limited out today on walleyes in just a couple hours of fishing. We trolled in the same area as we fished yesterday afternoon. Yesterday we took 20 walleyes, but it was a slower bite taking us much longer to limit out. We are fishing out by the Charities in 13-20 feet of water. We took walleyes today on crawlers, Gulp Worms, Moonshine Walleye Spoons and Hot N' Tots. They were not very picky. We've also been taking some dandy smallmouth bass daily. Two were at least five pounds. This fishing is red hot right now and for the first time in months, I actually have some opening this coming week.
7/28/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay Fishing Report
After a scheduled day off to catch up on my writing assignments, we hit the water today. A bunch of storms rumbled through all night long to our south, but the Au Gres and the Outer Bay didn't get any rain at all out of that system. The wind was light and south/west all day with 1-2 foot waves. We started out a little slow, but found some good action later in the day. My customers limited out on some nice, eating sized walleyes by 1:00. We only took a handful of undersized fish today. We caught our fish on a mixed trolling spread of Hot N' Tots and crawler harnesses off bottom bouncer. We started out in 10-15 foot of water and had sparse action there. We had our best luck today in 15-20 foot of water out by the Charities. I only ran one harness all day today and that was Mr. Consistent (red beads/silver blades). Chrome tots put fish in the box too fished 42' behind the boards with a 1/8 oz. rubber core sinker one rod length ahead of the lure. Our best trolling speed today was about 1.8 mph (in 15-20 FOW and faster in shallower). We didn't have another boat in sight all day today (except a freighter).
7/22/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
We had a fun day on the Bay today chasing walleyes. We started out hitting a spot in deeper water where we had been having good, consistent success for the past several trips. We marked a lot of fish on my fish finder there, but could not get them to bite. We then moved to shallower water south of Little Charity Island as plan B. The water temperature was 81.5 degrees, so I didn't think that there would be any walleyes there, but I was wrong. We started catching fish right away and put 10 in the box in about one hour. Then the wind shifted from east to south/east and the action slowed. Then after an hour of slow fishing things started picking up again, but then the wind shifted to the south/west and once again the bite slowed. Walleye just don't like wind changes. After an hour of slow fishing, the walleyes turned on once again and we were able to fill out our limits on some dandy fish indeed. We caught them on Hot N' Tots 40 feet behind the boards and also on crawler harnesses fished with bottom bouncers right on the bottom. Our trolling speed was about 2.0 mph. We took fish in waters from 10 to15 feet deep.
07/17/11, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
The hot, dog-days of summer are upon us big time, and the walleye fishing is really starting to heat up on Saginaw Bay too. We took good catches of fish the last couple days. Today we limited out taking 20 walleyes in about five hours of fishing. I ran a double yesterday and we limited out on the morning trip in very short order taking limit catches in about one hour of fishing. My afternoon trip yesterday yielded a mess of nice walleyes too. We've been fishing in 28-32 feet of water over a vast area South/West of Au Gres out in the middle of the Bay. When there has been some wind, the fish bit like crazy, but when the wind was calm, the bite was slower, but still decent. We've been taking the fish right off the bottom using crawler harnesses behind three ounce bottom bouncers (75 feet behind the Church Walleye Boards) and Hot N' Tots with 1.5 ounces of weight (100 feet behind the Church Walleye Boards). Trolling speeds have been 1.4 to 1.7 mph. The best harness color (the only one I've used in two days) is red beads with a silver blade. My best Tot has been green and silver. If there is some wind tomorrow, I'm going to try further north near the Charity Islands as I know that area produced well today. With the warming water temps, the Islands will be full of walleyes now.
07/15/11 - Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Once again, the weatherman showed his incompetence when his predicted light winds turned into a stiff NE blow complete with plentiful whitecaps and steady three+ footers. We first went to where we had been taking good catches south of Little Charity, but overnight the water temperature had dropped there six degrees and those fish had vamoosed. We then proceeded to hit spot after spot in a progressively southerly search pattern until we finally found a bunch of active fish in 30-33 feet of water some eight miles south from where we started. We then took 15 fast walleyes to top off our limits with some dandy fish never taking one small fish in the bunch. The fish definitely favored crawler harnesses with red beads and silver blades fished right on the bottom, but we also took a good number of walleyes with Hot N' Tots with 1.5 ounces of weight back 100 feet behind the boards. Those Tots were also right near the bottom too. Another guy I know (he bought me a beer this evening - "thanks Jerry") fished that same area today and fished harnesses about half way down in the water column, and he only took a few fish. Obviously you needed to be on the bottom in that area. Incidentally, there was tons of baitfish marked on my fish finder in much of the Bay, but the best fishing location was where there was less bait, but still lots of bigger fish marks.
7/12/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
I just finished a scrumptious dinner that consisted of fresh walleye fillets, hash browns and a cold beer: Not exactly health food, but really delicious none-the-less. Here's a good recipe for walleye that's simple but awesome: Preheat a frying pan with ample olive oil. Wash and pad the fillets dry. Beat an egg and dip the fillets in the egg wash and then dredge them in Italian bread crumbs. Then put them into the hot frying pan and cook them until golden brown. I season with a little salt and pepper and wash the fish down with cold beer. It doesn't get much better than that. Now the Fishing report. As you probably guessed, when the captain is eating fresh walleye, the customers probably got their share too. They limited out today taking 20 walleyes in about four hours and then we caught my fish in short order after that too. We fished south of Little Charity in 10-13 feet of water. I trolled with Hot N' Tots today on the outside boards and crawlers with bottom bouncers on the rest of the rigs. Everything took fish. We had to troll fast today to keep the catfish and sheephead from latching on, and doing so resulted in only caught an few of those beasts being caught. Most of our fish today were 16-20 inchers with a few larger ones thrown in for good measure.
7/11/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, Fishing Report
I finally had a day off today after a very long stint of continuous days chartering on Saginaw Bay. I called off today's charter due to storms in the area and it turned out to be a good call too with a storm coming through the area at 10:00 a.m. The last three days I was fishing north and north/east of Big Charity Island. That area is loaded with structure with humps and shallow reefs intermixed with deep areas galore. We caught all nice sized walleyes on all those trips with some real dandies up to eight pounds. We even got a tagged fish yesterday too, so it will be interesting to learn the history of that walleye. We have been trolling with crawler harness up high in the water column basically targeting the top 15 foot of the water column over depths of 15-38 feet deep. Productive harnesses have been red beads with silver blades, chartreuse beads with silver/chartreuse blades and rigs with a mixture of chartreuse and orange too. Trolling speeds have varied but have generally been on the slow side for best results with most fish coming at under 1.4 MPH. Depending on the wind/water conditions, I may try by Little Charity Island tomorrow. We'll see.
7/5/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
We ran our first charter out to the Charity Islands today and had a banner trip. We took 25 keeper walleyes with only five of them being under 20 inches. The Charity Islands are my favorite place to fish on the Bay and I know every nook and cranny in the area like the back of my hand. I've been fishing the Charities for over 20 years. It's a beautiful area to fish with scenery that is breathtaking and tons of walleyes too. We'll be fishing there a lot over the next month as the period after the Forth of July through August typically brings lots of walleyes to that vast area.
7/3/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
The fishing on Saginaw Bay is red hot serving up the best fishing of the year so far, and it will only get better as I move out to the Charity Islands any day. We limited all my charters the last three days. The good news is that we are taking some dandy big fish on about every trip. We've been fishing out in the middle of the Bay in waters that range from 30-36 feet deep. The fish have moved a little each day, but they have been in the same general area in a massive school. I'm still using bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses (chartreuse/orange was best today) as that's the only presentation I've tried that has worked well on those bottom dwelling fish. What's happening is that there is a huge baitfish population of shad and shiners in the Bay right now. The walleyes are likely feeding at night on the plentiful baitfish up high in the water column and then holding on the bottom during the day. Putting crawlers in their faces is like force feeding them. Most of the fish were are catching are full of half digested baitfish. These walleyes we are catching this year are the most chunky I've ever seen anywhere, so obviously that are eating very well.
6/30/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
What a beautiful day on Saginaw Bay today. Light winds, blue skies and lots of walleyes. It doesn't get much better than that. On the run out I didn't mark many fish until I was six miles from the harbor. I set lines there and trolled south with the wind. We picked up some fish right away, but when the wind died, so did that bite. Still marking lots of fish there, we plied those waters for a little longer waiting for them to turn on again, but they didn't, so we pulled lined and ran to deeper water out towards the middle of the Bay. We started catching fish there right away and it didn't take long to limit out in those walleye infested waters. Most of the fish I marked were really tight to the bottom, so it was no surprise that our fish were all caught on bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses fished on the bottom. The morning bite preferred silver blades, but later on in that deeper water, chartreuse and orange colors were best.
6/28/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
I've been very busy the last four days. I had an eight hour charter on Saturday and they limited out in short order on some high quality walleyes and also caught and released a bunch of fish too. On Sunday morning the fishing was slower but they did manage a decent catch anyway with one particularly large walleye, which was nice. The afternoon charter was a bit better with a limit catch in the box. My customers took 15 bigger walleyes along with a bunch more small walleyes Monday morning. I was thrilled to have a World War II Purple Heart recipient, veteran on board who got to catch his first walleye of his life. He also got the biggest fish of the day too which was especially cool. My afternoon half day charter got a limit catch in short order. I had to cancel today's charter due to high winds and I've also already cancelled tomorrows trip due to predicted high winds too. I'll be back on the the Bay again on Thursday and have charters scheduled ever day up until July 14 (I do have a couple half day slots open during that period though). The 10 day forecast after tomorrow is looking awfully good, so the fishing should really break loose this coming two weeks. The late July charters are starting to fill up quickly too, so don't wait too long to book your walleye trips for 2011 or they will be gone. I still have six days open for Lake Michigan salmon charters at Manistee, which won't last long. They are already having a good season on Lake Michigan for kings, so that should be some awesome fishing during the prime time of mid-August.
6/24/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
My customers limited out this morning in just a couple hours of fishing. The trolling program changed yesterday as the walleyes moved to the bottom. Before that we had been taking them up higher in the water column. We caught our fish this morning using spinner/crawler rigs fished with bottom bouncers in 27-35 feet of water just a short distance from the mouth of the Au Gres River. I set up in 27 foot and then trolled with the wind towards deeper water taking fish all along the way and limiting out by the time we hit 35 feet deep. Spinner color today did not matter as they hit everything I put down there. Yesterday though they showed a preference for silver spinners with red beads. We took walleyes today from 10 to 26 inches long and the walleyes are running noticeably chunky this year as the average weights definitely up from last year.
6/18/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
My last two charters limited out in short order on a bunch of dandy walleyes. We are fishing close to Au Gres too, which makes it nice with fuel prices so high. We were about 3-5 miles out from shore in 32-42 feet of water taking all our fish in the top 20 feet of the water column. We are trolling with crawler harnesses and all patterns I've tried the last few days have been productive, so they are not being picky. My best trolling speed has been about 1.4 miles per hour. This fairly stabile weather pattern will keep the fish located close to port for the near future, so this red hot fishing should continue there well into July. After that the walleyes will typically move out in the bay further, which is when the Charity Island area turn on with consistent walleye catches. That's all for now; it's tie to fry up some tasty walleye felets, which are my favorite fish to eat.
6/15/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
We had an awesome day out of Au Gres today. My charter customers limited out on fish up to 26". We pulled a lot of fish off the bottom yesterday and the day before, but today the fish were up high and we caught the 10-20 feet down over 32-42 feet of water. The fish are widely scattered all over the central part of the Bay. We made one six mile trolling pass down wind that started 8 miles from the breakwalls and we caught fish all along the way. We fished crawlers today and I think anything up high would have worked but I have a bunch of crawlers to use up so we stuck with that program. I tried a dozen different spinner patterns today and everything I tried caught fish, as long as they were fished 10-20 feet down. Our trolling speed was 1.3-1.8 as we bounced in the waves. Crawlers were taken to depth using bottom bouncers and rubber core sinkers. The best fishing time today was from 11:00 to 2:00. We pulled lines at about 2:00 p.m. The morning bite was decent, but not nearly as good as later on.
6/11/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
For once, the actual weather today turned out much better than the predicted forecast. The weatherman said we would have storms and high winds, but the day instead turned out to be quite nice. We started out with slow action with some morning showers and wind switches keeping the fish negative. The fish finally turned on though at about noon and we limited out on some dandy walleyes with the biggest ones being about 25 inches long. We started out pulling spoons and didn't have much luck. We had been taking good catches on Moonshine Walleye Spoons all week fishing in the top 15 feet over 30-35 feet of water. We switched over to a combination of Hot N' Tots (outside boards) and crawlers (inside, middle boards and flat lines) and moved in to 15-18 feet of water where we found active fish that gobbled up our offerings. Everyone had a great time today and the sun even came out at the end of the trip as and unexpected bonus.
6/6/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
We caught a bunch of walleyes today on Saginaw Bay. We started fishing with spoons on yesterday evening's trip and found fish high in the water column in 27-33 feet of water. We started out today with a red hot bite on spoons fishing about 10 feet down in deep water. There is a major hatch going on and the walleyes are feeding on bug up high. We caught about 50 walleyes today trolling 1.9 - 2.2 mph on Moonshine Walleye spoons fished behind Jet Divers. Hot patterns were Red Grape and Crab Cakes. I was timed today cleaning fish. My customer informed me that I completely feleted walleye in 30 seconds. I've been getting a lot of practice cleaning fish lately with the fishing really turning on. I finally have a day off tomorrow, but I'll be back on the water Thursday. The water has been warming up a lot the last few days, with all the hot weather. I think I'll go swimming on my day off. The fishing should be awesome for the weeks to come with the warming water temps.
6/5/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
Today was a beautiful day on Saginaw Bay indeed. We limited out today taking about six keepers per hour of fishing. We also caught a quite a few walleyes that were just undersized, which is a great omen for next year. We've had two great years in a row of natural walleye reproduction and those fish that are just undersized this year will be keepers next year and there will be millions of them according to biologists. We fished in 12-18 feet of water today and caught most of our fish on spinner/crawler rigs fished on or near the bottom. We also took some fish on crankbaits today too, which is the first good action I've seen on those lures this spring on the Bay. We caught our bigger fish on Hot N' Tots today the largest being about 6-7 pounds. The crankbait/spoon bite is right around the corner as the water clarity and temperature are almost there.
6/2/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
My last two charters were very good ones. We limited out this morning in short order on some very fine walleyes. We were fishing in 12-17 feet of water trolling with crawler harness. The walleyes were all located on or near the bottom. Early this morning chartreuse/orange spinners were best, but then later on silver spinners were better. We probably hooked up with over 30 walleyes this morning in the first few hours, then the fishing slowed some with a major wind shift. As I write this report, I'm between charters as I have another trip this afternoon, so I had better get at some chores on the boat. Good luck to all you anglers.
05/28/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
After taking a few days off to take care of chores at my U.P. hunting property I hit the water this morning with mixed expectations. My customers had never caught a walleye before and would have been happy catching just one each. Due to the high winds, I couldn't fish the area where we did well a few days earlier, so I was forced to fish the more protected area to the north. We got into a decent bite right off the bat and my customers ended up limiting out in about 3 hours of fishing taking walleyes of all sizes from tinny throw backs to dandy sized ones. We trolled with crawlers in 12-26 foot of water and the fish were all taken right off the bottom. Because my customers had such low expectations, they were especially thrilled to take such a fine catch of nice walleyes. With walleyes selling for over $15 per pound at stores these days the value of their catch was all the better. Even though we have been taking some great catches lately, the fishing on Saginaw Bay will only get better when the water warms up and the weather stabilizes into something that more resembles summer weather. Right now the water temperature is only 54 degrees in the Bay when the normal temps for this time of the year would be pushing 70.
5/22/11 - Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
We found good fishing on Saginaw Bay yesterday and today. On my typical charters, when we catch the first few fish, I'll comment to my customers that they now won't have to worry about a fish dinner any more. When they box another half dozen fish I'll comment that they won't have to worry about fish for dinner for some time. Then when they catch their limits, I comment they they are now officially successful fishermen. Today, I got to announce all those comments as we limited out on Saginaw Bay on some dandy walleyes. It started out kind of slow today as my number one spot produced a big goose egg. My number two spot though resulted in some very good fishing as we caught a bunch of fish in short order. We were fishing in shallow water out of Au Gres and the hot lure was a crawler harness trolled behind bottom bouncers. Small blades trolled fairly fast (1.8-2.0 mph) worked best for the last two days (color did not matter). The key on both days was to fish the dirty side of clear/muddy water lines. Much of the Bay is still very muddy from all the floods and high winds over the last week, but the fish are still there and willing bitters as long as the right presentation is used in the right spots.
We couldn't fish on Tuesday due to high, east winds. I had my dry-dock charter boat inspection done Tuesday afternoon. This is the first inspection I've had done by a private contractor that the DNR hires to perform these rigorous inspections where they look at all aspects of the boat from stem to stern. The inspector was quite thorough but he didn't find any problems with my boat accept for one wire that needed to be rerouted and only took me a couple minutes to fix. We did fish yesterday, but the winds kicked up out of the east and blew us off the water just before we could top off our limits of walleyes. We fished this morning for four hours and saw the weather change from clouds and showers to beautiful, sunny conditions. The winds were calm all morning too for a change. We took an excellent catch of walleyes and actually landed every fish that hit this morning, which is a rare occasion. I had a dock-side charter boat inspection scheduled for 1:00 today which is performed by the DNR. Conservation Officer Nick Atkin performed that inspection which covers all the safety equipment on the boat and took about one hour and I passed that inspection too with flying colors too. With all my inspections completed, I can now focus more on some serious fishing. There are tons of walleyes stacked up just out from the Au Gres River and the fishing will be phenomenal as long as the weather is half way decent. I've been wanting to head up to Tawas to try that fishing there this week, but the fishing has been so good off Au Gres that it's hard to pull myself away from that awesome fishery to try somewhere else. I do hope to hit Tawas though for a mixed bag of salmon, trout and walleyes on Saturday, weather permitting.
I moved my boat to Au Gres yesterday and we fished for walleyes on Saginaw Bay in the evening for a few hours just to check things out. In that short amount of time, we caught more walleyes than we did on my last three trips on Lake Erie combined. Saginaw Bay certainly rocks and I'm glad to be fishing here as the walleye fishing is certainly much better than on Erie or anywhere else in Michigan for that mater. We had 25 fish on in just a few hours of fishing and the good news is that most of the fish were good sized ones too. We fished very close to the mouth of the Au Gres River so that was another big plus as we don't have to go out very far to get to the fish. Even with the bad weather conditions yesterday the walleyes still bit well. I didn't fish this morning because I had to get my charter boat inspected, which went off without a hitch. I have lots of May walleye openings and this fishing here at Au Gres will only get better and better as things warm up more.
Our last trip was on Thursday, 4/14/11 and it was a good one. My customers limited out on walleyes in Ohio waters in just a couple hours of fishing and they caught and released fish from there on all day long. The morning bite was good, but the afternoon bite slowed when the NE winds picked up. The winds increased in velocity through thursday night and the predicted 25 knot winds turned into gales to 50 knots with giant waves. The result was that Lake Erie got all riled up and is now muddy throughout the entire Western Basin. A internet viewable satellite image of the Lake showed the lake conditions. It will take several days for the muddy water to settle out and for the lake to become fishable again. I had to cancel all my charters through Tuesday and will hit the water again towards the end of the week. The good news is that this cold front will keep the water cool. There is also a massive amount of baitfish (shad) in the southern end of the Wester Basin (where we fish). All that cold water and abundant baitfish will keep all those fish in that area for an extended period this spring. We will experienced a prolonged big fish bite in our fishing area likely well into May. The best is yet to come.
The fishing action on Lake Erie is heating up for sure. We took an impressive catch of walleyes using both jigging and trolling tactics today. The morning trolling bite was a bit slow, so we went out to the Turtle Island area and jigged up 16 fish that ranged from 2-7 pounds. Then we headed into deeper water and tried trolling once again and the bite was red hot. We caught some monster walleyes including several true whoppers in the 31 inch class. We jigged with Bass Pro blade baits and had our best success trolling was using Thundersticks 60 feet behind the Church Tackle Walleye Boards at 1.7 mph. We also took a couple fish on Deep Husky Jerk Baits. There are massive numbers of walleyes stacked up in the waters of Bolles Harbor. There is also more baitfish than I've ever seen there before and that will draw in the fish after they spawn. This next couple weeks will serve up some world class walleye fishing for sure, as long as Mother Nature cooperates. The Jigging bite at the mouth of the Maumee River north of a line from Turtle Island to Little Cedar Point will be on fire the next week, then it will peter out as the peak spawning period ends. This next two weeks will provide the best fishing on Erie for the year so don't miss out.
The lingering East winds have caused the walleye bite on Lake Erie to remain challenging, but we are still taking some big walleyes and even caught a musky today as a bonus. We caught two walleyes over 10 pounds and all our fish came on either Thundersticks or Rouges trolled slowly (1-1.5 mph) out of Bolles Harbor on Lake Erie. The wind is predicted to shift to a southerly direction tomorrow and bring in some warm air. If that happens, the fishing will be phenomenal as warm spring weather really spurs on a hot walleye bite.
Our 2011 charter fishing season got a late start this year due to the cold, nasty weather we've experienced over the last couple weeks. The late spring is delaying the walleye spawning activity this year. The bad news is that the fishing has been spotty, but the good news is that springs like this typically offer prolonged fishing opportunities for lunker, trophy class walleyes as they will stay in our fishing area well into April and even through early May. In fact, I would predict that the best fishing for trophy walleyes on Erie this year will be during the last two weeks of April. We did fish the last two days and while we haven't been tearing them up, we did take some decent catches of large walleyes. In the last two days only one of our fish has been less than six pounds. The average size of our walleyes has been a very respectable 7-8 lbs. with some of those big jumbo walleyes in the catch too. We have been trolling stick baits (Thundersticks and Rouges) in waters 10-20 feet deep off Bolles Harbor. There are a lot of fish stacked up in that area and also a lot of baitfish too. The fishing will only get better and better as the water warms up some. We'll be fishing every day we can to take full advantage. We still have some openings left for the last two weeks of April, so give us a call and we'll hook you up with some awesome fishing.
8/16/10, Tawas, Saginaw Bay/Lake Huron
We are still taking good catches of walleyes fishing the outer reaches of Saginaw Bay on the edge of Lake Huron Proper. My last trips have all been launched out of Tawas. The fish seemed to be getting bigger and bigger on average as the summer progresses. Today the strong winds necessitated a cancelled trip, however previous trips this week were very productive. The photo at right shows yesterdays catch, which consisted of a bunch of nice walleyes along with a 7 pound steelhead to spice thing up a bit. We are fishing 7-10 miles out from Tawas in waters 50-80 feet deep. Most fish have been taken within 20 feet of the bottom. Slow trolling with crawler harnesses has been most productive. I'm using 3 to 4 ounces of weight to take the crawlers to the active fish. Harnesses with smaller sized silver and gold blades have been best. Bead color has not been that important. There are huge schools of smelt in that area that are attracting the walleyes. With Saginaw Bay water temperatures still very warm, the area off Tawas seems to be holding a massive concentration of walleyes because of the cooler water there along with an ample supply of baitfish for he walleyes to eat. I expect that fishing to stay good off Tawas for several more weeks to come.
8/9/10, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
We've been limiting out on about half our trips over the last week on Saginaw Bay. Actually, we have been fishing outside Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron proper lately. The extraordinarily warm summer has caused the bay to warm up to un-normal levels and the walleyes have moved out to the deeper, cooler waters of Lake Huron as a result. We've been running 12-17 miles out fishing waters from 50-80 feet deep. Today we came within one fish of taking limits, but the weather killed the bite for the last few hours of the charter. We took all our fish on crawler harnesses with a red bead, silver blade rig being best down near the bottom and a chartreuse bead, silver/chartreuse splash blade being best up higher in the water column. The average size of our walleyes has been good this week with almost all fish being over 20". It's fun fishing the vast open waters of the lake, but still a stark difference from last week when we were taking fish in shallow water around the Charity Islands. The long runs make half day charters out of the question to reach the good fishing area. Customers that want to take good catches fish need to book 8 hour charters until the fish move back into the bay, which won't happen until the water cools way down and that may not happen until fall. The good news though is that the fish are concentrated well in that deep water region and on decent weather days will will be taking easy limits of nice sized walleyes.
8/1/10, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
I just had a scrumptious meal featuring fresh walleye in a high octane chowder along with some fresh bread. This is a recipe that I haven't cooked in quite some time, but I've been eating so much walleye lately that I'm looking for variety with my three to four walleye meals per week, so the chowder was a nice change. Walleye is awesome fried, gilled, broiled or baked. It's a fish that eats well no mater how you cookm' up. My customers limited out today with a nice catch of walleyes and a couple trophy class smallmouth bass thrown in for good measure. We had our best success in 20-25 feet of water just west of the Charity Islands. The bite started off pretty good, then slowed, then we found them in deeper water and finished the job there. Chartreuse crawler harnesses were the best lure today. We've been taking some nice bass every day though and they have mostly been caught on Hot N' Tots.
7/30/10, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
I'm keying this fishing report in after a delicious meal with fresh walleye as the main course. We limited out today on walleyes fishing out by the Charity Islands out of Au Gres (AuGres). We had our best action this morning in about 15 feet of water. Most walleyes were caught on my homemade crawler harnesses. We also took a fair amount of fish on Hot N' Tots too trolling them 50' back behind the boards. Early in the trip, we had cloud cover and 2-3 foot waves and we took most of our fish off the gunnel rods during the early hours. It was like the walleyes were attracted by the boat then. Later the wind died, the waves subsided and the sun came out. That's when we started taking all our fish off the boards away from the boat. In this captain's opinion, walleyes are the best eating fish I've ever eaten. Getem' while their hot.
7/29/10, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
We had a beautiful weather day on Saginaw Bay today. We caught 21 walleyes (biggest two were 26"). We also caught two trophy smallmouth bass that were 20" and very fat. We started out fishing near Little Charity Island, but that bite there never materialized. We then ran out north of Big Charity island and fish in deeper water over the some humps in an area commonly called the Steeples. We took most of our fish off one hump, but there were scattered fish all over that area. Most of our fish came on crawlers fished near bottom, but we did take a couple on crankbaits.
7/27/10, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
My customers limited out again today on walleyes with a beautiful fishing day out by the Charity Islands on Saginaw Bay. The fishing started out rather slow with the dead calm sunny conditions, then the bite picked up for a couple hours to a decent pace, then the bite slowed and we started missing most of the fish that bit. Most of our fish came on crawlers fished near the bottom today. We did take a few suspended fish on crankbaits, but crawlers ruled the day. A harness with red beads and silver blades was best today, but we did take fish on every harness I had down there. Overall, it was a very nice morning on the Bay.
7/25/10, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
My last three charters took limit catches and all of those trips were carried out near the Charity Islands. Today we boxed 20 keeper walleyes in about two hours of fishing. The trip before that one was a little slower with limits being taken, but it took the entire duration of the charter to max out. With the ever changing weather the walleyes have been moving around a lot. In fact I've not been able to fish the same spot once from one day to the next. I've even noticed a lot of fish movement from morning to afternoon on the same day. It takes a lot of experience to know where to go and how to consistently catch fish during unstabile weather/water conditions like we are experiencing. I've been fishing out by the Charity Islands for over 20 years, so I've learned over those years how to catch walleye in about any type of conditions the Bay can serve up. Today we caught our fish on a mixture of crawlers and Hot N' Tots. I fished a light spread today only having six rods or less working at any one time.
7/22/10, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
We are still catching walleye limits on every trip since we started fishing near the Charity Islands a while back. Even though we had tough, dead flat, sunny conditions today, we still limited out in just a few hours taking some awfully nice walleyes of all sizes. Most of the fish were 19-22 inches, but some were bigger and a few smaller. All the walleyes we caught today were keepers too. We are also taking some big (5 pounds) smallmouth bass too on most trips as a bonus. I've been running a mixed program of crawler harnesses and crankbaits with very good success. My trolling speed is 1.5 to 2.0 mph. I ran two different crawler presentation: I ran crawlers behind bottom bouncers and we also took some suspended fish today on crawlers as well. We caught a quite of few walleyes on Hot N' Tots today too and I also ran a Shad Rap for a short while today and it took a couple hits as well. All of our bites today came off the Walleye Boards as the sunny, flat conditions made the fish especially spooky of the boat and those board presentations way out to the sides were mandatory for any degree of good success.
7/19/10, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
The walleye action continues to be outstanding out of Au Gres on Saginaw Bay. We took limits today; in fact, we've taken limits on every trip this week. The fish are stacked up big time all around the Charity Islands, which is where we've been pounding them all week. We fished three different areas the last three trips and found good concentrations of fish everywhere we dropped lines. Today we trolled with two different crawler presentations, Hot N' Tots and also Moonshine Walleye spoons. Every lure we put in the water took fish too, so it seemed like the fish were hitting everything we put in their faces. This red hot fishing in the north end of the bay will likely get better and better until the water cools off and the long range forecast is calling for above average temperatures all through summer, so I expect the fishing out of Au Gres to stay fantastic until fall. The Charity Islands are located in the middle of the outer bay about 10 miles from Au Gres' harbor. These islands are a real gem with emerald colored waters surrounding the unspoiled islands, which are teaming with one of the highest populations of shore birds around the Great Lakes. Fishing trips to the islands features views of two light houses and the cool breezes in that area are a real breath of fresh air on hot summer days. The Charities are world famous for some of the best late summer walleye action anywhere with a reputation for serving up trophy class fish and lots of them. This hot summer has caused a massive migration of Saginaw Bay's walleyes to that region and savvy anglers will be having a ball the rest of the summer taking advantage of the massive fish concentration.
7/16/10, Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
We took limit catches of walleyes today out of Au Gres fishing near the Charity Islands in waters 8-25 feet deep. The fish were scattered and moving around a lot, but we did have consistent action all day. We took most of our fish on crawler harnesses, however we also had some luck in shallow water with Hot N' Tots. I also heard from multiple people that fished north of Big Charity in deep water that took limit catches too. There seems to be a big concentration of walleyes around the Charity Islands since the inner bay has warmed way up and the fish have moved north to their typical late summer hangouts. I expect some of the best walleye fishing of the year over the next month as we exploit this walleye fishing bonanza to the fullest. This is also a time when we often catch some true lunker walleyes too as the bigger fish usually school up around the Charities at this time of year big time.
7/3/10 Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
We continued our winning July ways by limiting out on both 7/2/10 and 7/3/10 catching most of our fish on crawlers presented near the bottom; however we also took some fish on spoons and our biggest fish both days were taken on Moonshine walleye spoons. Productive spoons were Moonshine Red Grape and Crab Cakes; both patterns have silver backs. My best harness colors were red with silver blades and chartreuse/orange. We trolled rather slow on both days with 1.4-1.8 mph being best. It was windy both days though so trolling speeds varied greatly with the swells. We also took a few catfish and all of those cats were trophy class fish in 7 pounds and bigger range. The walleyes have been coming in all sizes. We caught our fish in 26 to 35 feet of water. They were scattered and we basically trolled long passes with the wind covering as much as 7 miles of water catching fish all over. No great concentrations but steady, fun action none-the-less.
7/1/10 Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
Well, July ushered in with a very good day on Saginaw Bay indeed. We limited out in about 3 hours taking an awesome catch of walleyes. The post cold front conditions necessitated trolling crawlers slowly on the bottom. We caught all out fish on crawlers behind bottom bouncers. The fishing should get even better in the next few days to come and the month of July and especially August tends to yield bigger walleyes on average. I'm booked up until mid-July, but after that I have lots of openings.
06/28/10 Au Gres, Saginaw Bay
The walleye fishing on Saginaw Bay is heating up to nothing short of fantastic. We limited out today in short order (three hours) fishing off Au Gres in 28-31 feet of water. I'm running a mixed spread of crawlers behind bottom bouncers along with Moonshine Walleye Spoons behind jet Divers (8 rods, 4 of each, 6 off boards, and 2 off the gunnels). The lures are being taken to the desired depth using heavy 4 ounce bottom bouncers (crawlers) and 030 Jet Divers (spoons) putting the lures right on or near the bottom, which is where most of the fish are being marked on my sonar. My best trolling speed is 1.7 to 1.9 mph. The combination spoon and crawler trolling program seems to be working better than anything else I've heard of as we often go through schools of fish that favor one rig over the other thus giving us more consistent, non-stop action. My best spoon pattern this year is Moonshine's Crab Cakes. My best harness has been chartreuse/orange with small blades. We've been taking walleye of all sizes from 4-30 inches. There are so many walleyes of all kinds of age classes in Saginaw Bay right now that the fishing is better than I've ever seen it before. A few things about Au Gres: The best lodging is at the Harbor Inn Motel as they are well set up for fishermen with good boat parking and a fish cleaning station among other amenities. My four favorite eateries in Au Gres are H&H Bakery and Restaurant, Bees, Dunleavys (Killians on tap) and Town and Country (Oberon on tap). The city launch (formerly DNR run) is the best place to put in and is close to the best fishing on the bay. The City has a good campground right in town not to far from the launch. The best swimming areas are north of Point Lookout at several public access sites along US23. The best fishing has been in 26-40 feet of water right off Au Gres and to the south. I'd guess that 90% of the fish taken this year have been hooked within a couple feet of the bottom. Once the weather stabilizes, I'll likely be going with an all spoon program as good weather will likely cause the fish to suspend a bit and turn on even better to spoons. Spoons are also the easiest most efficient lure to use when the bite is red hot. Good Luck.
I finally got my boat out on the water after a week of dealing with a boat breakdown. I had to replace my lower unit on my Optimax. Unfortunately I was booked up pretty busy during that down time. Thankfully Capt. Bill Carter was able to help me out and we run some of those charters together on his boat to salvage those bookings for my customers. It was good though to get back in my boat today. We enjoyed a very nice weather day Saginaw Bay today for sure. We took limits of walleyes today ranging in size from 4 inches to 27 inches. We fished about six miles out from Au Gres starting out with an all spoons program and then later mixed in some crawlers behind bottom bouncers running four of each presentation side by side. We took about half our fish on spoon and the other half on crawlers. Colors didn't seem to mater that much, but they definitely bit best with a trolling speed of around 1.8 mph with the lures right on or near bottom. I'm booked solid out to July 10, but after that I have lots of openings. July is often a very good walleye month on Saginaw Bay. We do tend to take more big fish during late July, August and September too.
Moonshine Walleye Spoons trolled behind Jet Divers remains the top producer in the last two days. My best spoon pattern is a new one for 2010 called Crab Cakes. Today we limited out trolling a vast area picking up a fish here and another fish there for some steady action. There was no real hot action in any one place though. We fished 27-33 feet of water. We probably caught about 25-30 walleyes today. Yesterdays morning trip started out a little hairy when I ran into a floating, unmarked commercial fishing net first thing in the morning. I reported the net to the authorities and luckily (thanks to some quick reactions) no apparent damage was done to my boat or equipment. The net was in 26-27 feet of water right off Point Au Gres. We went on to catch limits after the net incident in about 3 hours of fishing. The afternoon trip yesterday was a somewhat slow though as we came up short of limits, but still got enough action to make it fun none-the-less. The ever switching winds and unstabile weather patterns still persist and it tends to limit success on some outings. Walleyes usually don't bite very good when the wind shifts and changes sharply. We are still managing to limit out though on most trips despite the challenging weather conditions.
This unstabile Michigan weather is causing all sorts of challenges for the fishing on the bay. For three days in a row we haven't been able to make it through a charter without a major change in the wind direction, which almost always slows the fishing. None the less, we are still limiting out on most charters. Yesterday marked a big change in the walleye's feeding behavior on the Saginaw Bay waters near Au Gres (Augres). The walleyes changed from a diet of mostly bugs to minnows and shiners. Not too surprisingly the spoon bite has taken off big time as a result. In fact we caught most of our fish on spoons the last two trips. Moonshine walleye spoons are my favorites with patterns featuring purple and pink being best the last two days. Spoons with silver finishes are always best on Saginaw Bay. I'm fishing the spoons close to the bottom where the walleyes have been the most concentrated. Today's charter was curtailed due to heavy winds switching to the northeast. I've got two trips scheduled for tomorrow, so I hope the weather cooperates a little for a change.
It was limit catches once again today. We had to start the charter late due to high winds, but our noon start time didn't impact our catch at all. We caught walleyes all through the trip and I was able to show some folks from New Jersey some fine fishing on Saginaw Bay indeed. We fished shallower water today taking all our fish in waters 25-29 feet deep. They are still favoring crawlers on the bottom. Check out the June issue of Woods N' Water News to read an article I wrote about fishing Saginaw Bay with crawlers for all the detail. With the changing weather conditions, the walleyes are moving around a lot. We set up shallow today to trolling with the strong NW wind. About half way through teh trip, the wind switched 180 degrees and blew from the east. Anywhere else, the fishing would have died, however Saginaw Bay is so fantastic that even with a huge wind shift, we were still able to keep catching fish. Saginaw Bay is the walleye capital of the world these days for sure. There's no where else that you can go out day after day catching limits about every trip despite crummy weather conditions. We are blessed to have such a fantastic walleye fishery in Michigan.
Yesterday's charter ended up being curtailed due to high winds. We still managed to take just one shy of limits though, so it wasn't too bad at all. We probably had 30 hits, but they were biting very lightly and we lost about half of the fish we hooked. Today we had to delay the start time for the scheduled 8 hour charter. We started at about noon and caught about 30 walleyes by 5:00 which isn't too shabby at all. Everyone had a great time catching all the fish they wanted. We are catching most of our fish still on crawlers fished right on the bottom in waters 25-31 feet deep. The colors of the harnesses has not mattered much. Our best trolling speed is about 1.5 mph.
Yesterday's charter was cancelled due to bad weather. We did fish today, but the conditions were not very good with ever changing winds and a severe drop in the water temperature since the last time I was out. The early morning was a bit slow, but we plugged away at it and managed to take around 30 walleyes in seven hours of fishing. We fished about four miles off Au Gres (breakwall) in 30-33 feet of water. We also managed to catch one of the biggest catfish I've ever seen on the bay today. It weighed almost 16 pounds, almost double the Master Angler qualifying weights. We missed a lot of fish today too. We probably lost about half the fish we hooked, which just shows how light they were biting today with this cold front slowdown. We are marking a bunch of fish though, so it's just a mater of time before the walleye bite explodes on the Bay.
I've been extremely busy over the last two weeks running charters on Saginaw Bay and also working on my new property that I bought near Au Gres. I've got most of the tasks completed on my humble abode, so I should be able to post fishing reports more regularly from here on out. Basically, we've been taking limit catches of walleyes on Saginaw Bay off Au Gres. I ran two charters today and we limited out both trips despite the crummy fishing conditions (shifting winds with a front coming through). We've been catching them in waters 28-35 feet deep. Due to the fast water warm-up this spring, we had a major bug hatch last week and the walleyes have been feeding on bugs near the bottom big time. As a result I've had to resort to fishing with crawlers on the bottom using bottom bouncers to take most of our fish. We started catching some fish finally today on crank baits, so I'm hopping the hot spoon bite will develop shortly as I'm getting tired of messing with night crawlers. I always run a couple crank baits along with crawlers and when the cranks start getting hit regularly, I switch over to from crawlers to spoons and crankbaits. During bug hatches though, walleyes will usually favor meat over plastic or metal, so I'll be patient. June is a very good time to fish for walleyes on Saginaw Bay as we limit out on the vast majority of trips. I still have a few June openings, however from past experience, those openings will not last long as demand is high for June charters.
Despite a rather stiff, east wind this morning, we still limited out on trout and salmon in short order. Yesterday though we started out with very good action in the first few hours of the morning, but then the wind died and the fishing slowed a lot. We still had a decent catch though with only one fish short limits for my customers. This spring fishing at Rogers City is nothing short of phenomenal overall and the fishing pressure here is next to non-existent as most days I've had only one of two other boats within miles of me. We are still fishing in waters 35-60' deep and attractors like cowbells and dodgers off the riggers are taking lots of fish. Yesterday we took most of our fish though off the planer boards on spoons trolled about 30-35' down. Today the riggers were best. I've got two more days of fishing left here at Rogers City before I head to Au Gres and it looks like the weather will be cooperating as I should get both of them in. I've had a nearly two week stretch of being able to fish every day without any blow days, so this spring is turning out to be very good indeed for my charter business and my customers as well.
I've been fishing every day this week and saw the fishing change big time with this fast warm up we've experienced. We were hammering the fish in shallow water until the two dead calm, sunny, warm days skyrocketed the water temp up to the point where the fish mostly moved deeper. The last three days we've been fish in 35-60' of water. We took 18 fish today, which was outstanding fishing in anyone's book. Yesterday was slow though, but Monday was easy limits with fantastic fishing. We've been limiting out about 2/3 of the the time here in Rogers City. Basically the dead calm days are not good while a little wind has been getting the fish bitting more. We took about half our fish today on spoons off the Church Walleye Boards. I'm adding 4-5 ounces of weight with Church Clip Weights to get the lures into the fish. My best spoons have been ones I painted myself that are green/golden yellow with green glow tape diagonally across the spoon. We took the other half of our fish off the downriggers. Productive rigger rigs were Moonshine Moonbells on one rigger and a Lure Jensen Dodger on the other both fished within 10' of the bottom. I'm using peanuts and spin glows as lures on those rigs. I've got five more days on the water here in Rogers City before I move my boat to Au Gres for some walleye action. So far this has been one of the best springs for fishing that I've experienced in at least a decade. I've heard they are hammering the walleyes at Au Gres already, so I can't wait to get there.
We only only got to fish for a few hour today before the big East wind came up forcing us to vacate the lake curtailing the charter. Even with the bad weather, we still managed to catch just one fish short of limits. We started out trolling in shallow water and the fishing was somewhat slow as we only caught three fish in the first couple hours. Then we moved deeper to 50 feet of water and started getting better action, however the wind came up before we could top off the cooler with the last fish. The weather is predicted to stabilize by the weekend and the next week after that is looking real promising for some outstanding fishing here at Rogers City. I filled my last open slot here, so I don't have any more openings for Rogers City May trips, however I'm already booking these trips for 2011. These spring mixed bag trips are extremely popular with my customers as we almost always take good catches of trout and salmon. We mostly fish close to shore too, so you get to see some nice scenery up close as you fish.
We finally got out on a charter at Rogers City today. Yesterday the wind blew like crazy from the east, which is bad for Rogers City, so I was forced to cancel. At day break today, the wind was still blowing up waves that looked like five footers, which were too big for us to fish with any degree of fun. So we waiting a few hours and the winds finally died down. We hit the water at noon and by 1:00 we had 10 fish in the box. Then the wind switched to the SE the action died down for a couple hours. The fish began biting hot and heavy again later though and we ended up with a great limit catch of trout and salmon. We fished shallow water trolling a mixture of spoons, body baits and I even ran a cowbell too witch took a couple fish. We were primarily targeting Atlantic salmon, brown trout and lakers, but we also caught a bonus king and a beautiful steelhead to really round out a true mixed bag. We didn't take any huge fish today, however none of the fish we caught were small either. They ran for 5 to 10 pounds. My customers had a great time enjoying a beautiful afternoon on Lake Huron and said it was the best fishing they had ever experienced. The best part is that they get to do it all over again tomorrow, weather permitting.
Sorry for not posting any reports the last couple weeks as I have been extremely busy working on my new place I just bought up in Au Gres. I've also been running some charters too. My last two charters at Monroe were canceled due to bad weather, so I'm now done on Lake Erie and will be moving my boat to Rogers City for a two week stint after a mixed bag of primarily brown trout, Atlantic Salmon and Lakers. I only have one opening at Rogers City for May charters, so book fast for that one. After Rogers City I will be moving my boat to Au Gres for some Saginaw Bay walleye action, which I'm really looking forward to as that fishery is absolutely the best walleye fishing I've ever seen. Back to the fishing reports: My last trips on Erie were somewhat tough because of the unstable weather patterns we had over the last two weeks. Our fishing was what I would call decent meaning that we limited out (or came close to limiting out) but we really had to work to catch them and all those charters took the fully allotted time to get the job done. We fished off Bolles Harbor, but had to run way out in deeper water (Ohio) to find bigger fish. We took most of our walleyes on crawler presented close to the bottom, but I did run a combination trolling spread that included crankbaits and on some of those trips, the take was about an even mix taken on crawlers and cranks. Shad Raps were the best crankbait and I caught walleyes no every pattern of spinner harness I tried, so that was not as important as the correct trolling speed and an accurate presentation. The best fishing on Erie is now behind us, so I'll be focusing my walleye fishing efforts on Saginaw Bay for the rest of the season where the catch rates will be much higher and the average size of the fish a log bigger.
The last few days on Lake Erie were simply phenomenal. We took limit catches of high quality walleyes on all charters. The fish consisted of walleyes ranging in size from 17" to 29". We are trolling out of Bolles Harbor and the hottest bait by far has been Shad Raps. I did run some crawlers today and we had a few takers on them as well, but the white perch managed to steel those crawlers a lot making them a lot more of a hassle. The crank bait bite will continue for another couple weeks and should produce bumper catches through mid-May. This has been the best spring walleye action I've seen on Erie in many years and I still have some opening left if you want to take advantage of this tremendous bite.
Caulk up another banner walleye fishing outing on Lake Erie today. We fished out of Bolles Harbor and managed to troll up limits once again of some really nice walleyes. We even caught a 4 pound smallmouth bass today as a bonus fish too. Our walleyes ranged from 3 to 9 pounds with our top five fish (for you tournament guys) weighing about 40 pounds. We trolled with crank baits and Shad Raps were the top producer. We pulled them about 10-12' down for suspended fish. I've caught more walleyes on Lake Erie on Shad Raps than on any other bait bar none and I have decades of experiences fishing on Erie with them too. Shad Raps are simply my top, post spawn walleye producer and they work great typically from early April through early May. I decided to cancel my scheduled trip for tomorrow (Tues.) due to the predicted high winds. I'll let the lake settle down a bit and then his it again later in the week. The Lake Erie jigging bite typically peaks out during the middle of April, so I'll be torn this weekend between trolling and jigging for our catch then. Both are super fun ways to spend a day on the water and both should also be very productive this week.
We had another fantastic day on Lake Erie today taking limits of very nice sized walleyes. We fished out of Bolles Harbor and most of our fish were 4-6 pounds with some bigger and only one smaller than four pounds. We caught most of our fish on Shad Raps, be we also had some luck with Rouges. We tried jigging today for the first time this year and only had marginal success and only stayed at the jigging technique for perhaps 10 minutes before going back to our productive trolling presentations that have been working so well for us this year. Trolling typically takes much larger sized walleyes than jigging does, however jigging is fun when the action is fast paced, which it was not today. Jigging typically peaks during mid-April, but this year the tolling bite has been so red hot with jumbo sized walleyes, that I've not had much impetus to go after the walleyes on the reefs with jigs. This year is serving up some of the best trolling walleye bite for trophy sized fish than we've seen a several years. I'll be out there again tomorrow and with the predicted week long, stabile weather forecast, the fishing should be even better as the week goes on.
I finished up my first stay at Monroe with style limiting out on walleyes that weighed up to and over 10 pounds. My customers limited out before noon on mostly big fish with a couple smaller ones thrown in for good measure. We trolled off Bolles Harbor again today and for the charter we caught walleyes on crank baits. We had some action on Shad Raps, Deep Husky Jerk Baits, Deep Thundersticks and Deep Rouges. I'll be taking a few days off to take care of some other business and then hitting the water again after this predicted cold front blows through Michigan. With the predicted nice, stabile weather forecast for next week, we should be taking limit catches of jumbo walleyes once again. This is proving to be a world class spring walleye fishery and I have a couple openings left so don't miss out. Here's a photo of a hog walleye from today.
More Lake Erie walleye magic today. We limited out in four hours on walleyes that ranges from 4 to 10+ pounds. We took three walleyes that were 31" that I didn't weigh and a bunch of other trophy class fish too. We had lots of fun today and I had my first ladies out on the water for the season. Everyone did fantastic though catching almost all the fish we hooked. Our catch today filled my 30 gallon well to the top with solid walleyes. Here's my tip of the day, if you fish now bring a very big cooler. My customers brought along a 40 quart cooler to bring their fish home with but it only was able to hold about 1/3 of their catch, so if you book a trip, bring along a big enough cooler to take you're haul home with. Here's a photo of a couple of the nice walleyes we caught today.
The walleye fishing on Lake Erie was fantastic once again. We had a big wind blow through with a cold front yesterday, but even though the water riled up some, the walleyes were still hitting good today anyway. We took limit catches of big walleyes that ranged from 5 to 10 pounds for an average wight of 7 to 8 pounds. This fishing is some of the best trophy walleye fishing for true lunker eyes' you'll find anywhere in the world. The action has been hot and heavy all week. Today we were limited out in less than three hours and customers can also catch and release fish too if they really want to fight big fish until your arms hurt. Here's a photo to the left of a couple dandy walleyes from today.
We took limit catches again today of big walleyes ranging from 4 to 10 pounds. The winds came up at about 1:00 p.m. but we had limited out before noon. We trolled in a variety of areas and managed to catch fish where ever we went. The bite was excellent all morning with most of the fish weighing over 7 pounds. Here's a photos to the right of a couple fish taken by a classy young man that turned out to be a very good fisherman as well.
The fishing was awesome again today on Lake Erie. We took limit trolling very close to Bolles Harbor. Rouges and Thundersticks were the hot baits. The fish were ran big again today with only a couple under five pounds and a bunch over seven pounds with some true lunkers as well. We caught 25 fish total and threw back some of the biggest ones. This is some outstanding fishing and it will likely stay good for at least another 10 days too with the mild weather forecast predicted. I still have some openings over the next week, so contact me if you want to catch a bunch of big walleyes.
We've been fishing the last two days on Lake Erie and have been taking decent numbers of fish with most being true trophy class fish. The best fishing has been off Bolles Harbor trolling with stick baits. Today we took 14 walleyes and yesterday we had a similar bite rate. Most of the fish have been over 5 pounds with about half being over 8 pounds. and some much bigger yet. This is the time of the year when trophy class fish are staging prior to the spawn and the biggest walleyes of the year are taken on Lake Erie. I run these charters from an "on-call:" list. The next week of fishing promises some awesome fishing with the predicted mild, stabile weather forecast. At this point, the on-call list still has room to fit in some more charters during this hot bite so call now if interested. This photo to the right is from yesterday. Unfortunately, my camera lense got a water drop on it and my photos from 4/1/10 were not of good quality. We caught some impressive fish both days.