Fishing Report Archives
Credit Cards are Accepted
734-475-9146 Phone to
book your trip
Book Your Trip Online
Charter Fishing Information
Book Charters Online
to the Current Fishing Reports
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.
8/21/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had to delay our departure on today's charter until about 9:30 am due to high winds. It blew very hard the last several days with winds yesterday over 40 knots at time. I didn't know what to expect when I headed out having not been able to fish in days. We did go through a lot of riled up water in patches, but the area we fished was not too bad with visibility about 3-4 feet down into the water. The first four hours of the charter were pretty slow with only 4 or 5 walleyes making it into the box. The second half though was better as the wind died down and things settled down a bit. At first we had to make west to east trolling passes, but when it died down and switched to the southwest, we were able to circle around in an area where we found some semi-active fish. The bite was very light today with all fish barely hooked. My clients from Pinckney, MI though did very good on the rods today and as a result they went home with their limits of walleyes. We only caught two undersized walleyes today and all our keepers were in the 19 to 26 inch range for a nice sized box of fish. They also caught one yellow perch (kept) a couple catfish and one sheephead (thrown back). We did get raided some by white perch today that stole a lot of crawlers. Most of the fish were marked on the bottom today, but with all the perch down there with the walleyes we had to keep the lures a few feet off bottom to keep things running efficiently. Trolling speeds of 1.7 to 1.8 mph were best. I pulled all 3 ounce bottom bouncers with spinner/crawler rigs. The color did not mater as everything got hit about equally. We fished in 25 to 30 feet of water and did not have another boat fishing within sight of us all day. This will likely be my last fishing report of the season. I only have one open date left this year and half a lot of writing assignments to complete before the end of the month. On top of that, we are closing on a house in Au Gres next week and need to get a lot of projects done on that place before the snow flies. We will be moving to Au Gres next spring permanently and will be selling our house and 38 acres near Chelsea. We will also be selling our 20 acres near Au Gres next year too. This will be a very busy next month for me indeed.
8/17/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients today from Grand Blanc, MI, enjoyed a nice day on Saginaw Bay while catching their limits of walleyes. The day didn't start off so great though with winds in the 20 knot range from the southwest, but it died down to the upper teens by the time we departed and about mid mourning the winds died down to the mid-teens bringing the waves down from threes and fours to twos and threes. The bite today started off pretty decent with six in the box on the first pass. After that though, when the winds died down, the bite stalled for a while, but then picked up and my clients were limited out by a little past noon. Yesterday my clients from the Hillman/Atlanta, MI area, only managed 11 in the box on an all day charter, so today's bite was certainly better. We caught all our fish today on spinner/crawler rigs trolled a few feet off bottom at 1.7 to 1.8 mph. We were the only boat going out of the Au Gres ramp this morning and we only had one boat fishing near us, who was a buddy of mine. We fished in 25 to 29 feet of water. The color did not mater at all today as everything got hit about early from natural colors to bright florescent. We caught most of our fish off the six Church Walleye Boards, but the two flat lines I ran probably contributed 25% if the fish to the box too. This is not easy fishing now, but it is still pretty good none-the-less. I am also hearing reports of some yellow perch being caught now too, so those golden gems are starting to school up near Au Gres too.
8/15/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
This past week served up the worst weather I've ever seen on the Bay with very windy weather daily mixed in with storms too. I couldn't even fish from Sunday through Thursday. We tried to fish yesterday, but because of five foot waves, we had to stay very close to port inside Au Gres Bay where there was some protection. The problem was though that there are few fish in that area and we only picked up four walleyes before some huge thunderstorms came rolling through. Those storms were massive and bombarded us with none stop rain, lighting, super high winds and even some hail too. That storm further scattered the already scattered fish. Today we had a nice breeze in the early morning, but then it died down to dead calm conditions for most of the day. With sunny skies, when that happens, even when the bite is going good it will really slow things down, but with scattered fish from all the bad weather, it made for very tough fishing indeed. My clients from Indianapolis, IN did manage to box 14 fish though and they even caught a bonus steelhead too that gave us quite the aerial battles with lots of jumps. Most of our walleyes were in the 19" to 22" range with only two below 19". The bite was extremely light with a lot of fish lost too. Hopefully tomorrow will give us a consistent wind, which will really help ramp up the bite. We were marking a lot of fish in the area we fished, so given better conditions, it should be very good there. We caught all our fish today on spinner/crawler rigs trolling them about five feet above bottom. Trolling speeds of 1.7 to 1.8 mph were best. Color did not mater as all rigs got hit about equally. We did only take one fish on the two flat lines that I ran, so the Church Tackle Walleye Boards really worked best today with the dead calm conditions probably making the fish spooky.
8/9/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I've been super busy the last few days with all day charters, company, writing deadlines and we are also in the process of buying a house in Au Gres too. We will likely move here from Chelsea permanently next year. We did managed 20 walleyes on the last two charters, but the fishing was tough with the fish moving around, turning on and off, and generally making things difficult with all the weird weather and constant wind changes. I have seemingly fished in all corners of the Bay in the last two trips using all sorts of techniques and found a good spot at the end of yesterdays trip where I was planning on spanking them today. Unfortunately the predicted calm winds turned out to be a gusty, southeast blow complete with waves over five feet high. The forecast was also calling for the wind to turn to the northeast today and pick up by 11:00. We ate a slow breakfast at H&H waiting to see if the wind would die down, but it didn't. Then we drove down to the park overlooking the Bay and watched boats trying to go out, but when they hit those huge waves past the break-walls, they turned back. Eventually we called the trip off and departed. By 11:00 though the wind did die down. Up to this point in time (4:19 pm) it is still pretty calm so it turned out that we could have fished if we had just waited around for a while longer. The National Weather Service really messed us up today with their ineptness. I have a couple days off to spend some time with an old friend of mine who drove up from Oklahoma for a visit and some business. I will hit the water again on Wednesday and will hopefully get back into some quality fishing. Stay tuned.
8/6/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
As I was running back to port today, I declared today to be the most beautiful day of the year and my clients from Grand Blanc and Brighton, MI agreed. We had blue skies all day over the Bay with puffy, fair weather clouds over land to add contrast to the picturesque day. The temperatures were cool in the morning, but with a high of about 75 degrees, low humidity, and a light easterly breeze for most of the day, it was comfortable to say the least. We started out heading back to where we had been fishing north of Big Charity Island, but the water temperatures there had taken another nose dive and after an hour or so of trolling there, we only had one catfish strike to show for our efforts. Some of my other fishing buddies that I was in contact with also had not found any fish in that area either, so it became apparent that the walleyes there had gotten tired of all the constant water temp fluctuations and had left the area. I pulled lines at about 9:00 and ran to my plan B spot, but only caught a couple walleyes there in an hours worth of fishing. We then pulled lines once again and headed to my plan C spot and started to take some walleyes there right away. Once I figured out the best pattern, it was pretty steady action until we limited out with 20 walleyes by about 12:30. We had to sort through some undersized walleyes and perhaps a dozen sheephead too, so the action was pretty good in that spot. The keeper walleyes there were perfect eating sized fish in the 16 to 23 inch range. We caught them by pulling meat behind bottom bouncers right on the lakebed at 1.7 to 1.9 mph. The faster speeds helped to reduce the occurrence of sheephead and also kept the gobies from steeling the crawlers. When I bumped the speed to 2.0 though, the action stopped. The fish hit everything I had in the water today, so no pattern or color preference was noticed. We did take a lot of fish off the flat lines though, so those were certainly worth the extra effort to run. Even tough the bite was tough to find today, we still enjoyed an awesome day on the Bay and with ideal weather conditions, it doesn't get much better than that.
8/5/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients from Hale, MI, Ann Arbor, MI and Illinois enjoyed some fun walleye fishing on the Bay today. We started out heading onto the Bay with fairly stiff, northwest winds combined with pretty big rollers from the northeast for some sloppy conditions. The early morning bite was good though as we had 15 walleyes in the box by 11:00. After that though, when the wind died down and then started switching this way and that way, the bite was very slow and also turned light. Before 11:00 we caught most of the fish that were hooked, but after that, we lost far more than were caught. When the walleye bite slowed, the gobies got a lot more active and started coming up and steeling crawlers exacerbating the problem. If we had gotten a bit earlier start, we would have limited out early, but instead we fished all day and ended up with 19 walleyes, one short of my clients limits. At least my clients got to enjoy a full day of fishing though. The only real complaint that I get on my boat is that limits are caught too fast. Today they did not have that problem. Next year, when the limit is doubled to 10 walleyes on Saginaw Bay, hopefully that complaint will be a thing of the past. We caught all our walleyes on spinner/crawler rigs with bottom bouncers. I did run some crankbaits and did not get any action on them today. Our hottest rig was the starboard flat line with a red/silver pattern harness 60 feet back with a three ouncer weight. We trolled at speeds of 1.4 to 2.0 mph depending on the depth. We fished north of Big Charity Island once again. There are a lot of fish there for sure, but there are also a lot of baitfish there too, so the bite is not as consistent as we experience in other areas earlier in the season. Depths fished ranged form 20 to 30 feet of water today and the walleyes were scattered over a wide area with pods of fish here and there that were moving around a lot making them hard to peg down. If we get stable weather, then the fishing there is fantastic, but if the weather is unstable with changing winds, then the fishing is tougher. Hopefully tomorrow will bring stabile weather.
8/4/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
For the second day in a row we had to curtail the charter due to squalls blowing through the area. Also for the second day in a row, my clients caught two fish shy of their limits and likely would have limited out if we could have concluded the charter much like yesterday too. The bite today was extremely light as we lost probably as many walleyes as we caught. They were just nipping at the lures and not hooking up solid. We fished again north of Big Charity Island taking a trolling pass in shallow first, but coming up empty there. We then moved deeper and found some action there, but it was pretty slow through the morning hours with the wind switching from west to southerly. When the wind picked up though, the fish turned on and we had one very good trolling pass taking about 10 walleyes in short order, but then a squall popped up right over us and when it passed the wind switched back to the west and the bite slowed down to a crawl once again. We then had another squall pass to the north of us, but when we saw another menacing looking squall line developing on a course towards us, we pulled lines and called it a day. Besides walleyes, we also caught one nice smallmouth bass, one catfish, and several sheephead. I pulled mostly spinner/crawler rigs today, but I did do some experimenting with other stuff, which did not produce at all. I pulled 3 ounce bottom bouncers just off bottom adjusting the running depth by slowing down and speeding up as we went over the varied depths of that rocky, structure laden area. I ran both natural and bright florescent spinner patters and everything got hit equally so no real color preference was evident. We trolled at speeds that ranged form 1.3 to 2.2 mph and caught fish at all speeds. Despite the challenging weather conditions my clients from various parts of Michigan still indicted to me that they had a good time. They are waterfowlers so today probably seemed like a very nice day to them. The weather is predicted to be more stabile tomorrow, so that will be a good thing though in my book.
8/3/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a blow-day yesterday with wicked winds between the multiple severe storms (I saw 1" hail balls) the walleyes were scattered today and the bite was tough. The weather today was also worse than predicted with gusty winds all day and we had to curtail the trip due to multiple squalls in the area. My clients though from Atlanta, MI still managed to good catch coming up only two fish short of their walleye limits. We fished in four different areas this morning catching walleyes in all spots, but never really finding a "hot spot" where we could catch fish steadily. We fished in waters from 14 to 30 feet deep north or Big Charity Island and could only get bites when pulling the lures closely past the fish as they laid tight to the bottom. That area is home to zillions of round gobies though, so putting night crawlers near the bottom results in a lot of stolen baits, so I tried to keep the strolling speeds at more than 1.8 mph to lessen the thievery. I also had to use long setback, especially in the deeper water to keep things productive. The fish did show a preference for any one particular harness color as they hit everything equally, as long as it was kept on the bottom with the night crawler intact. This was certainly a tough day to fish today, so hopefully the weather will stabilize for my upcoming days. I only have a few openings left for the remainder of the charter season and they area going fast, so if you want to get in on this fantastic fishery with me, please phone soon to make your reservations. We of course are also taking reservations for 2016 for those who want to plan ahead.
8/1/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today was a perfect example of why 8 hour charters are sometimes a trip saver. After a tough day of fishing yesterday we had much better conditions today, but it was still a bit choppy out. We ran out to where we had been catching lots of fish near the Charity Islands and didn't even get a bite at the first spot as the water had cooled down and cleared up there with all the high winds we had the past few days. We then picked up and scouted another area, but didn't find anything there either. We then tried yet a third spot and found some fish, but the bite was sporadic. We did work over that area for the rest of the day and my clients from Oscoda (with one downstater too) managed to catch their limits of nice walleyes with most of them coming in the last few hours of their charter. Our biggest walleyes today were a pair of 25 inchers, but we did have one up to the side of the boat that was lost that might have been a bit bigger. We also caught two jumbo channel catfish and perhaps a dozen sheephead too to add to the action. We pulled all our fish today right off the bottom as suspended presentations did not produce for us at all. We had our best luck on humps that were about 23 to 25 feet deep with deeper water nearby. The bite was sporadic. When the wind died down some, so did the bite. When the wind would blow again, the bite would pick up. We used various spinner/crawler rig colors today with no real preference shown as they hit everything about equally. With the predicted 27 knot winds, storms and small craft warnings posted for tomorrow, I have already cancelled my charter for Sunday. Hopefully the weather will simmer down some for my Monday trip.
7/28/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today I had a repeat client form Grand Blanc, MI that has been fishing with me since the 1980s. On this outing he brought along his two Grandsons and their Dad. We started out into the fish right off the bat catching fish one after another. In just two hours of fishing time, they caught their four man limit of nice walleyes that ranged in size from 17 to 25 inches. Sure the kids lost some fish, but it was no biggie as they were quickly replaced with more fish on the lines. They were all chunky, well fed walleyes today with lots of girth and plenty of spunk. One of our walleyes today, a 24 incher, wore a MI-DNR lip tag and the young man that caught her will send the info in to the DNR and will get a report back from them detailing the fish's history. He may even win $100 as some of the tagged fish have a reward on them. We also caught about a dozen sheephead, so as you can imagine the action was non-stop. I never did really get a chance to sit down all morning running the boat by myself with all the action going on. We fished once again out by the Charity Islands pulling the fish out of rocky structure with lots of breaks, humps and rock piles in that area that hold millions of gobbies, which the walleyes love to eat. Yesterday I had some grilled walleye and those gobbie fed walleyes, even though most of them are on the rather large size, are absolutely scrumptious to eat. We pulled the same spread I've basically been running all summer with four chartreuse/orange spinner/crawler rigs and four more red/silver spinner rigs with six off the Church Tackle boards and two flat lines run right off gunnels behind the boat. They hit everything about equally and the bite today was good with few lost fish and plenty hooked deeply. Actually, after the first hour, I went down to a six rod spread and our action was still non-stop. I fished even faster today with speeds in the 1.8 to 1.9 mph range being best. Faster trolling speeds are best as the water gets warmer. This is walleye fishing at it's finest right now and this action is sure to stay good for weeks to come as the Outer Bay is setting up for a prolonged walleye bite this year that aught to be world class for the rest of the summer.
7/27/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had another great day of fishing on the Bay again today. My clients from Gladwin had never fishing on Saginaw Bay before, so they were pleasantly surprised when they caught their limits of dandy walleyes that ranged in size from 17" to 27" with most of them over 20". We fished out by the Charity Islands again today and the number of fish in that area is very high producing outstanding fishing. With dead calm, hot conditions this morning, we had another light bite as we lost way more walleyes than we caught. The lost fish didn't mater though because there were so many fish around that they were replaced quickly. We caught all our fish today on spinner crawler rigs with no color shining as they hit everything off the boards about equally. With the calm condition and sunny skies, the flat lines did not produce much. We only caught one walleye off the flat lines. We trolled at 1.8 mph and covered about four miles of water in one, looping trolling pass before I turned around and headed back to port with a box full of walleyes.
7/26/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a cancelled trip yesterday due to high winds and storms in the area, we hit the water today with clientele from Anchorage, Alaska. We headed north of the Charity Islands today and found world class walleye fishing with limits taken in short order. Most of our walleyes today were over 20 inches with a half dozen five to six pounders anchoring the fish box. We pulled all spinner/crawler rigs today with no color preference being noticed. We had a breeze when we ran out, but by the time we started fishing, the wind died to dead calm conditions which slowed the bite considerably. The bite was light today as we never had one walleye hooked deeper than the edge of the mouth. Today we caught a lot more fish off the boards compared to the flat lines, likely due to the dead calm conditions spooking the fish near the boat. We also lost a lot of fish too. I trolled at 1.7 to 1.8 mph to keep the gobbies from steeling too many crawlers, but we still caught a lot of those little rascals. I think some of them would attempt to steel the crawler and get hooked in the process and then a walleye would grab the gobbie. With those kinds strikes, with the hooks partially hidden in gobbies, the walleyes would hit over and over again until they got hooked themselves or got tired of the game. The walleyes in that area are extremely fat and well fed looking with girths so thick that the fish look obese. They also fight very hard too with many of them tanking the boards on the strike and then going nuts as they get closer to the boat with surging runs and lots of thrashing. They are lots of fun to catch. It was truly a beautiful day to fish today with blue skies, low humidity, and the calm conditions with long visibility. This is some outstanding fishing right now on the Bay indeed.
7/24/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a very successful trip on Wednesday, I had a couple scheduled days off, but with very stabile weather all week in the area, it was driving me nuts to be home working on writing assignments when the fishing was on fire. I had been working out the details of helping out a friend of mine by getting them on some walleyes on Saginaw Bay for an episode of Great Lakes Fisherman's Digest TV. With the weather ideal though, and with me having an open day today, we got it all together and met at Au Gres this morning for a day of filming some fishing action. We went out in John Bergsma's boat, a new 21' Crestliner Authority powered by a 225 horse power, Mercury Verado. The boat was also decked out with 9.9, hp Mercury Pro Kicker and a 36 volt, Motorguide, XI5, auto pilot, bow mounted, electric motor and all the other bells and whistles you can imagine. My main task for the day was to direct them to some good walleye fishing and to supply the rods, reels, lures and knowhow for putting nice walleyes in front of the camera. The wind was about double the velocity of what the National Weather Service had predicted today, so we set up for our first trolling pass with Big Charity Island offering us some protection form the waves. We started out in shallow water and then trolled north, with the wind into deep water catching walleyes everywhere we went. We made two trolling passes and had put enough walleyes in front of the cameras to make several shows. There were a lot of gobies in that area and they were steeling crawlers like crazy, so John pulled out some Uncle Josh port rind that was a night crawler imitator specifically made for trolling for walleyes. We cut the 6" port rind in half, and put it on my hot harnesses, and the walleyes ate them up like crazy. Towards the end of the trip, we were catching more walleyes on the side of the boat with the port rinds compared to the other with crawlers, so I have some for tomorrow and will give them another try then. Our fish today were mostly nice sized ones over 20 inches. We trolled with the same setbacks in shallow and deep water, but just went faster shallow and slower deeper to keep the lures within five feet of bottom. In the up and down bottom structure of that area, that system works great. It was a lot of fun fishing today with a camera crew. Even the guys behind the camera got in on the action as everybody caught their limits of walleyes on this awesome day of fishing on the Bay.
7/21/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today my clients from various parts of Michigan caught lots of walleyes and some big walleyes too. We had a pretty good forecast for a change today, but when I checked the buoys weather stations on the Bay on the Internet, the winds were way higher than predicted, which left me indecisive on where to fish as we motored up the river heading towards the Bay. I decided to try out by the Charity Islands hoping for the winds to die down as the day went on. We ran out in three footers and set lines north of the Big Island and set up for a down wind trolling run. We didn't get a bite for almost a half hour, but then, all the sudden in was game-on as we started running into pods of fish with multiple hookups. 12 walleyes went into the box in no time and we pulled lines for another run through that area. By then though the winds had died down and on that second pass, the bite also died down there, so we just continued to troll in one direction and eventually got into another area with some outstanding action. My clients caught some very impressive fish today with several in the five to six pound range and most were well over 20 inches. The biggest one was a nine pound, Master Angler qualifying, lunker. We also caught two big, fat channel catfish and a few sheephead to add even more action to the morning. My clients had caught their 20 fish limit by 11:00, which is outstanding especially considering the quality of the fish taken in such a short time span. We caught all our fish suspended today on spinner/crawler rigs. They hit everything in the water about equally, so no color preference was noticed. I trolled at about 1.7 to 1.8 mph today with 40' setbacks behind the boards and 3 ounce weights. Two flat lines took a lot of fish too with 50' setbacks and the same rigs. By the time we had limited out the seas had calmed down to near perfect conditions and the long, 15 mile run back to port went by fast as we skimmed back at high speeds in the light chop. Everybody on the boat agreed today that was a awesome day of fishing on the Bay indeed.
7/18/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
This week has been nothing short of crappy, weather wise. On Tuesday I had to cancel due to storms and small craft warnings. On Wednesday the winds blew over 30 knots out of the northeast, which also cancelled Wednesdays trip too. That big nor'easter really changed the water big time. When I went out to the spot where we did good south of Au Gres on Monday, the walleyes had moved from that area completely by Thursday, so we had to go to my plan B spot a few miles from there. We did find fish there and my clients from Indianapolis took a good catch home with them on their half day charter. Yesterday we had more storms in the area along with heavy winds. With small craft warnings in effect, we cancelled yesterday too. The forecast for today was supposed to be sunny, hot and calm, so my clients form various parts of Indiana and I decided to head north towards Big Charity Island. It was a smooth ride out there, but as I began to set lines, the wind kicked up making it very difficult to fish the structure type spot we were at. We did catch walleyes in my target area, but we had to make short, trolling passes over them wasting a lot of time. About the time the wind started to die down I noticed storms brewing up on my radar. We picked up lines about half way into the trip with 12 nice sized walleyes in the box and headed back to port. The wind really kicked back up just as we were nearing Au Gres, and a storm did pass by the spot we had been fishing, so it was certainly a good call to head in. We caught our fish today suspended on spinner/crawler rigs pulled 40' back behind the boards and 50' back on the flat lines. All the rigs had 3 ounce weights. We trolled at 1.7 to 1.8 mph. Color did not mater as we took hit about equally on everything in the water.
7/13/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
On four days in a row, I we took limits fishing four completely different areas of the Bay. My clients form the Flint, MI area had no trouble at all doing their job of catching fish today, however the National Weather Service sure did an incompetent job with their forecasting for today. They had predicted light, southerly winds with waves under one foot high. I was fully prepared to run up to where we had done so well yesterday north of Au Gres, however the reality of the wind was something quite different and caused me to change my plans. I had to resort to a Plan-B spot that fished well with the stiff, southwest wind we had this morning. The wind never did go below 15 knots and by the time we were heading back with my clients limits, the wind had risen to 20 knots with three to four footers and it was building too and is likely going to be five times worse than the weatherman predicted. At least the predicted storms held off though, so even though they were wrong about the storms in the forecast at least that was an error that we didn't mind. We caught our fish today on about the same program as yesterday pulling meat at a pretty fast clip of 1.7 to 1.8 mph, but in the surging waves today, that speed was up and down. The spot we fished today is a consistent producer during mid to late July and oftentimes into August too. I looked at my fishing logs last night and saw that last year I started fishing there on about this date and the fish have migrated into there again at about the same timeframe this year. We have more iffy weather predicted for the next couple days, so we'll see how that all plays out with this cold front coming though the region. Right now though, there are so many great spots on fish on the Bay that even a cold front will not slow down the fishing much.
7/12/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had a birthday girl on my boat today and this trip was a present to her from her loving husband and they were joined by her two sisters to round out the party. We had dead calm conditions today, so I presented some options to my clients and we decided to run well north of Au Gres, which is the first time I've fished that way since 2013. I have though fished there hundreds of times in the past, so those waters are not strange to me at all. We set up with the same spinner/crawler rigs that I've been running all summer, but I set them suspended today at various depths and in short order, the walleye told me what depth to load up on with all my presentations. My clients enjoyed non-stop action all morning. The bite was very light with us loosing over half the fish that hit. It didn't mater though because a lot of fish hit. By 11:15 my clients had taken their limits of dandy walleyes and they also took a 5-6 pound smallmouth bass that jumped over and over all through the long fight. They also caught an 8 pound channel catfish and at least a dozen sheephead, all as bonus fish. Our smallest walleye today was 19 inches and that was the only walleye we caught that was under 20". The size today was a consistent 20-24 inch size range, which are hard fighting sized walleyes indeed. A 40' setback behind the Church Tackle Walleye Boards with three ounce weights, pulled at 1.7 to 1.8 mph was the hot ticket. I used half crawlers on red/silver and chartreuse/orange harnesses with equal hits on each color variation today. We fished all sorts of depths in our big hook of a trolling pass. Big Charity Island is a cool place to fish indeed with lots of structure and depth variations. If the weather is good, we may head back out that way again tomorrow. However, in the past three days, I have fished in three widely separated areas of the Bay that are very different and have taken good catches on each day at every location. Saginaw Bay certainly has a lot of good spots these days and it make it hard to decide where to fish.
7/11/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today we had a beautiful day on the Bay with sunny skies, light winds and lots of fish on the line. My clients from St. Johns, MI and Roscommon, MI (The Villages, FL now) caught their limits of nice walleyes. I pull the lateral line (and pin bones) out of all walleyes that are over 17" and all but a few today were zippered. We fished a totally different area today and found a lot of fish there. We caught walleyes today in waters form 23 to 35 feet deep. All our fish came off the bottom with spinner/crawler rigs and bottom bouncers doing all the damage. We trolled with the same setbacks (65'-70' off the boards and 80' off the flat lines) from deep to shallower waters and just adjusted the speed to keep things ticking on the bottom. Speed was not real critical, but keeping the lures ticking on the bottom was. I trolled at speeds of 1.3 to 1.6 mph to keep non-stop action on the lines today. Color or pattern was also not critical, as long as it was ticking on the bottom. We did catch at least a dozen sheephead today too with one being at least 8 pounds. Sheephead are fun to catch as they fight very hard, but they just don't eat well (according to most people who have tried them), so we just throw them back That are considered bonus fish. The forecast for tomorrow has improved a lot over the past several hours going from storms and rain to sunny and nice. Hopefully the current forecast is accurate as it sure would be nice to have another near perfect day like today on the Bay tomorrow.
7/10/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients from the Shelby, MI area caught their limits of walleyes today aboard the Trophy Specialist boat. We had constantly switching winds today that started from the south, then switched to the northwest and then it changed to the northeast. While I was cleaning fish, it was blowing east. In conditions like that, walleyes will typically not bite very well and that is exactly the kind of bite we had today with a slow, sporadic bite with spurts of action followed by lulls when the wind switched. We did mark a lot of fish today, but they just would not turn on much. We had our best luck with high lines this morning early with a lot of hits coming on spinner/crawler rigs set 40' back behind the boards, which was about 22 feet down at a trolling speed of 1.4 mph, with 15 pound copolymer line and three ounces of weight. Later on in the morning, we did best on the bottom at the same speeds. Color did not mater much today as everything got hit about equally well. We trolled in waters from 29 to 33 feet deep today. I also heard good reports of limits being caught north of Big Charity Island today too, so that means that a lot of fish have moved out there. I will likely be trying some new areas tomorrow to find some better action and to take advantage of typical migration patterns at this time of the year that concentrates fish in certain areas.
7/9/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today the weatherman predicted sunny skies, but we instead had mostly cloudy conditions while we were on the water with winds that started from the southeast and then veered to the northeast later in the morning. Changing winds typically equals a slow walleye bite and that is exactly what we had today with a slow pick at the walleyes all day. It took my clients from Holland, MI, Wolverine, MI and Montana about five hours of trolling time to pull their four man limits of walleyes, which for Saginaw Bay standards, on my boat, is considered slow fishing. We fished the same general area today as we did yesterday, but today we were able to troll all morning in different directions as the winds were fairly light. The bite today was light too, with a lot of fish lost in the process of limiting out. All but one of our walleyes were caught on or near the bottom today. Color pattern did not mater much as they hit everything I had in the water about equally. When the bite is tough, like it was today, I don't change lures at all, as I just stick with what works consistently well, day in and day out. I pulled eight, 3 ounce bottom bouncers with about a 70' setback behind the six Church Tackle Walleye Boards and 80' back off the two flat lines to round out my eight rod trolling spread. I trolled all spinner/crawler rigs. Slow speeds (for this time of year) of 1.3 to 1.4 mph worked best. We fished in waters 30 to 35 feet deep. Our first couple fish we caught today were sheephead, but after that, we only caught one more of those beasts. We did pull one nice channel catfish in though, which my clients kept for a fish fry. All in all it was a pretty nice day on the Bay today and a heavy box of fish made it ever better.
7/8/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today a long time, repeat client from Grand Blanc, MI enjoyed taking limit catches of nice, eating sized walleyes. After yesterday's blow-day, the National Weather Service had predicted light winds for today, but that forecast was BS as the wind was blowing pretty stiff when I got up and from the northeast, none-the-less. By the time we hit the water though, the wind had died down to less than 15 knots, but the waves were still rolling pretty good coming down from Lake Huron proper. We ran out a few miles out from the point and set lines pointing the boat with the wind so we could ride the swells better. We got into some pretty good action for the first couple miles of trolling, but when the wind switched more easterly, the bite slowed up some. We had our walleye limits though in pretty short order and also caught six sheephead, one catfish and one nice sized yellow perch too, just to add some mixture to the box. I started off with a mixed spread of spinner/crawler rigs with some on the bottom and some up higher in the water column. The high rigs failed to produce any strikes, so I then set everything down on the bottom and trolled slow, at 1.3 to 1.4 mph to get them to bite best. I had various colors from bright fluorescents to more natural patterns and everything got hit about equally. I talked to a bunch of other fishermen today and none of them had done very well, so the bite was pretty tough overall. Normally, this time of the summer serves up some of the best fishing of the year, but we need some stabile, warm weather to set up that hot fishing, which will hopefully happen in the next weeks to come.
7/7/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today's charter was cancelled due to stormy, wet, windy weather. Yesterday though we did fish, but the weather served up tough conditions. My clients from Saline, MI and Little Rock, Arkansas road with me to the fishing area in fairly rough seas. We only picked up five keeper walleyes in the first two hours of fishing in that area, which had been very hot in recent trips, so with that slow fishing there, we set out to try to find somewhere better. I sonared a lot of water in different parts of the Bay and even made a trolling pass in shallow water, but only caught a few walleyes there. We ended up out in the middle of the Bay and did get into a decent bite there for a brief flurry, but the wind changed and the bite slowed way down. My clients ended up catching 18 keeper walleyes up to 25 inches. They also caught one plump channel catfish and a yellow perch that were kept too. One of the clients were very happy indeed with his nice catfish. All our fish were caught on or near the bottom. The bite was extremely light yesterday and even with freshly sharpened hooks on the harnesses, we still lost more fish than we caught. No real preference was shown for spinner patterns as they hit everything about equally. Cancelling the trip today turned out to certainly be the right call as the winds really kicked up mid-morning and it rained pretty steady all morning too. Today's clients rescheduled to an open date later this week from a cancellation on Friday. The weather is predicted to be nice for the rest of the week, so hopefully they will cash in on Friday with a nice day on the water then.
7/5/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients from Lambertville, MI enjoyed a nice day of the Bay today catching their limits of dandy walleyes in the process. This family group related to me that they had been having some bad luck walleye fishing elsewhere, but the way the bite has been going here now, I assured them before the trip started that success would be likely today. We ran out just north or the same area we fished yesterday and set lines when I started to really mark a bunch of fish. We had some quick action with four bites in just minutes, but then the action died for a short while. Eventually though we trolled into an active school of walleyes and I just circled in that spot a couple times until we loaded up with their limits. The fish ran bigger today compared to yesterday with five of them in the 23 to 25 inch range and all but a couple over 17 inches. Today I set two high lines about 10-15 feet off bottom and those two rigs caught not only most of the fish, but also the bigger ones too. We did take walleyes off the bottom too though and once we got into them, the action was fast paced enough that I didn't bother to change things up. Two fire/tiger spinner/crawler rig, 35' back off the inside boards, with a 3 ounce bottom bouncer, trolled at about 1.5 mph, was the hottest setup. We also caught a walleye that had another anglers harness inside his gut with the trailing line hanging out. The hooks were all rusty, so it appeared that that fish had been in that condition for a while. It was still healthy looking though. So if you know someone that has blue line on their harnesses and broke off a walleye a while back, then tell them that their knot failed where it connects to the weight.
7/4/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients and I celebrated the Fourth of July today in style with limit catches of nice walleyes. We had absolutely beautiful, perfect fishing conditions today with blue skies, a steady, light, southerly breeze and temperatures in the mid-70s for a high. We started off today heading to a promising spot, but as I cruised over that area and saw no fish on the sonar, I didn't even slow down and headed for my plan B spot. There were lots of fish marks there, so we set up for a long, with the wind, northeast trolling pass that covered almost five miles of water with walleyes all through the area from top to bottom. At first the higher lines that I had set about 10' off bottom did a lot of damage to the walleye population, but then later, when the sun came up, the fish moved down and the bottom presentations took over. I changed up from high to low as the bite dictated. We pulled 25 keeper walleyes in less than three hours of fishing today with steady action all morning. We also caught a fair number of undersized walleyes too, which is always nice to see for the future of the fishery. A few sheephead were caught to add even more action to the trip. Fire/tiger spinners worked best up high, but red/silver worked better later when the fish were low. Trolling speeds of 1.5 mph or less was the hot ticket. My clients today were repeat customers and they are already planning a return trip later this summer and will take advantage of my 10% discount on second and subsequent charters that I offer.
7/3/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Blue skies with cool temperatures greeted my clients this morning who mostly hailed from the Pinconning, MI area. We also had light winds that died to calm conditions at times too. Without the breeze, the bite was just a slow pick, but they did catch their limits of nice walleyes with minimal effort. When the breeze would blow a little, the bite would turn on, but when it calmed down, the bite slowed down. It was like that all morning. Today the finicky fish would only bite a red/silver harness well and it had to be on or near bottom too. Trolling speeds of 1.4 to 1.5 mph best. Any slower and we started to pick up sheephead. Any faster and we caught nothing, so I had to constantly adjust the speed with the wind coming and going. We fished the same general area as yesterday in waters that ranged from 28 to 34 feet deep. While I was cleaning their fish, my clients were planning out their fish fry for dinner today. It doesn't get much better than fresh walleye filets cooked any way you want.
7/2/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a day off the water so I could go to the U.P. and spray my food plots there, along with doing some other needed chores, my clients and I from the Mt. Pleasant area hit the Bay with less than ideal conditions today. The National Weather Service had predicted light winds with waves less than one foot, but reality served up a stiff wind that switched from the northwest, then to the northeast, and then to the east, but it never let up to the predicted levels. Instead we had twos and threes to start off with and that eventually built up to threes and fours and while I was cleaning fish, the waves surpassed the four foot mark. Our fishing started off with us loosing our first five fish, but after that, our success rate skyrocketed as my four clients pulled limit catches of some very nice walleyes. Our biggest fish was a 25 incher, but they also caught several more that were close to that size too with most of the walleyes being 18-22 inch size. We had two young men on board that had a blast catching walleyes until their lips turned red and blue (from their drinks). If this would have been a couple day later, and they would have smeared on some white, they would have been considered very patriotic indeed. A friend of mine reported to me that he was catching most of his fish up high today, but we bucked that trend and pulled most of our fish off the bottom even tough I ran high lines all day with little success there. I ran three Church Tackle Walleye Boards on each side: The outside and middle boards were on the bottom and the inside boards we set about 10-15 feet off bottom. I also ran two flat lines off the gunnels and they were set on the bottom too. We only caught one keeper on the inside boards today, but the action was so good on the rest of the spread that I didn't bother to put the inside boards lures down, into the brunt of the fish. We set lines about five miles out from Au Gres and trolled with the wind all morning, but with the switching winds, that trolling direction varied a lot into a L shaped direction. At the end of the trip we ended up trolling in 5.5 miles before we had limited out and we never did run out of fish with no real lulls in the action. With some stabile weather predicted for the next days to come, the fishing here could be some of the best of the year. We certainly haven't had any stabile weather yet this year, so look out.
6/30/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We closed out the month of June today with a stellar fishing trip. With possible storms predicted this afternoon, I was glad the fish bit well and my retired postal worker clients from the Ortonville, MI area caught their limits of nice walleyes in short order. We had very constant hookups all morning with no lulls in the action at all. Most of the walleyes we caught were bigger ones today with only one sheephead in the mix. We caught several nice yellow perch yesterday, but today we did not. We caught our fish at 1.5 mph today, but once the 15th keeper walleye hit the cooler, I sped up to 2.5 mph to keep the persistently biting walleyes from latching on, but even when pulling harnesses at that zippy speed, they still kept biting and we caught two more walleyes before I could get the rest of the lines out of the water. We caught most of our fish today on or near the bottom on various spinner/crawler rig patterns with no real preference demonstrated as they hit everything about equally. We fished the same general area as yesterday and trolled in one, straight direction without ever turning around and likely could have kept catching fish in that direction for many miles more. It was good fishing indeed today and my clients are already planning a return trip for next year to take full advantage of this fantastic fishery we have on the Bay.
6/29/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
What a beautiful day it was indeed on the Bay today and my clients from Hillman, MI took full advantage of it today enjoying some awesome walleye fishing at the walleye capital of the world. We had light winds, blue skies and an eager young man and an energetic young lady accompanying their grandparents on this trip. It is always nice seeing kids having lots of fun catching a bunch of nice fish. Today we ran down to the area where we had been catching lots of fish before the last round of northeast winds. We marked a lot of fish all along that area and got into a decent, although light bite right away. The bite picked up as the morning went on and in about four hours of fishing my clients had caught their limit of 20 walleyes. Just before they had limited out though, a good friend of mine called and told me that he had tangled his kicker motor prop with fishing line and other trash and his main engine also decided to not run then too for a double whammy of bad luck. We caught walleye number 20 and then I caught one for myself just as we trolled up to my dead in the water buddy. I deployed my bumpers and pulled up along side him and tied off so my stern was just behind his stern so that I could reach his kicker. I had to remove his prop and cut all the line and trash off the shaft and then reinstall his prop so he could get back underway. Another friend of mine had caught a lot of fish between us and port, so the friend I helped out trolled his way back picking up more fish on the way. Our best rig today was a fire/tiger spinner/crawler rig fished about 8-12 feet off bottom. We also caught a lot of fish right off the bottom too on various colored spinner rigs. We lost more fish than we caught today with the light bite. It seemed like the bigger fish we hooked were the ones we lost the most, which is typical in the light bite situation as their bigger, bonier mouths tend to shake hooks easier compared to smaller walleyes when they ware not hitting aggressively. We also caught at least 10 undersized walleyes today too and a few sheephead which added more action for the kids to reel in. A slower trolling speed of 1.5 or less was needed to get strikes. I'm about to eat a fresh walleye dinner right now and with a cold beer and some fresh cauliflower, it doesn't get much better than that.
6/28/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients had their trip cancelled due to bad weather back during the spring, but they rescheduled for today. With winds at 25 knots out of the northeast yesterday, we had to cancel that charter. Those big winds continued through last night and into the early morning hours. A couple hours before the start of today's charter, the wind switched to the northwest, so we had wind and big rollers from two different directions. We stayed close to shore for protection from the waves and found a small school of fish in 23 to 28 feet of water. We caught a fair number of walleyes, but when the wind shifted to the northeast the bite slowed up to a crawl. After a while though, they started biting again, but when the wind shifted once again, but to the east, the walleye bite died, but by then my clients had caught their limits of nice walleyes. I decided to scout out a different area on my limit for tomorrow's charter and set up for a reconnaissance trolling pass in 42 feet of water just west of the weather buoy. The bite was slow there too, but we did manage some more walleyes and two of them were pretty big ones. We only caught a couple walleyes today that were under 18" with our biggest being a 26 incher. We also lost several 25 inch-ish walleyes too, so there were some nice sized fish in the area. The bite though was painfully tough despite the fact that I was marking fish where ever we went. The light bite resulted in us loosing more fish than we caught. All but one of our walleyes came right off the bottom on spinner/crawler/bottom bouncer rigs. We had to keep the speeds slow at 1.3-1.4 mph to get them to bite. Color did not seem to mater as they hit everything about equally. The weather this June has been very unstable, but we do have a good forecast for tomorrow. Hopefully July will bring more stable weather. If so, the fishing here will explode.
6/26/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a few days off the water, my clients from various parts of southeast Michigan and I hit the water with tough conditions indeed. We had a fairly stiff, northeast wind all day with waves in the three to four foot being pushed down from Lake Huron proper. With conditions like that, we had only one logical choice of a fishing area: Right out front of Au Gres and in close enough for protection from the winds that Gravely Shoal provided. We set up for our first trolling pass in 28 feet of water near the Gravely Shoal and trolled with the wind southwest. I started out with six spinner/crawler rigs set right on the bottom, but kept two more up about 20' down from the turbulent surface with a 35' setback. Those high lines took our first three bigger fish, so I naturally switched over to more of those rigs, but when the clouds rolled in about 45 minutes into the troll , that "high bite" died and we never took another hit up off bottom for the rest of the day. We picked up nine keeper walleyes on our first pass from point to point, but when I set up for our second pass, I put all the lures right on bottom and our hit rate went way up. We made it about half way through that second pass and had put our legal limit of 20 walleyes in the box. Spinner color did not mater as long as it was trolled on the bottom at slow speeds of 1.3 to 1.4 mph. I had to put one 26" drift sock into the water to attain that trolling speed. We marked a lot of fish in that area, but not all of them were walleyes. We also caught two white suckers: the first ones of the year. We also caught a sheephead that was so big that it ranked as probably one of the biggest one I've ever seen before. Most of our walleyes caught were 18-20 inchers, but we did catch some that were undersized and had to throw them back with several being 14-3/4 inchers. Some were also bigger, chunkers too that were well over 20 inches. All in all, despite the tough conditions, it was a very fun day on the water and everyone on my boat had a lot of fun in the process.
6/22/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My repeat clients from Eagle, MI consisting of the 85 year old patriarch of the family and his three sons. We had rather nice conditions today despite the iffy forecast by the National Weather Service. Accept for an east wind that kicked up for about an hour, the winds were light. We also had sunny skies and an aggressive bite at first, but then it did go neutral after the east wind died as suddenly as it started. We ran down to where we fished two days ago with awesome success and got into the action right away and it did not stop until we put limits of nice walleyes in the box for everyone on board. I ran the same varied trolling spread today that has been working so well in recent trips running all spinner/crawler rigs at various depths. I ran the outside boards right on bottom, the middle boards were just off bottom and the inside boards were set about 20 feet down (10-15 feet off bottom). I also ran two flat lines on bottom too, which rounded out the spread. Trolling speeds of 1.5 to 1.7 mph were working great today. Color or presentation did not mater as they hit everything about equally. This was a very enjoyable day today for me too as these clients really know how to fish and have done well on every trip with me over the years.
6/21/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients from the Brighton, MI area enjoyed a beautiful day on the Bay today taking their limits of nice walleyes in the process. As we were motoring up the river today on our way to the Bay, they expressed to me that they were concerned about limiting out too fast, so I changed my plans and decided to fish a different area from yesterday where we caught quick limits of walleyes. We fished straight out from Au Gres in 36 to 50 feet of water, but even there the super abundant walleyes hit everything I trolled, at every depth and we still limited out taking 20 keeper walleyes by about 10:00 in the morning. The bite is on fire right now all over the Bay and I actually think it would be hard to find a place to fish where the bite would be tough on a nice day like today. I ran the same spinner/crawler program as yesterday with the outside boards on the bottom, the middle boards near bottom and the inside boards about 20' down. I also ran two flat lines on the bottom too. I ran a variety of florescent rigs and natural colored rigs and everything got hit about equally so color did not mater much. My speeds were slow at first (1.3 mph), but then I sped up to 1.5 to 1.7 and still got a lot of hits. Those higher speeds pulled the lures up off bottom in that deep water, but even so, the fish kept hitting and I think the faster trolling speeds actually got us more action at the end too since we finished up with six fish on. We caught all walleyes today with no other fish species hooking up. We marked a lot of fish there and I believe that they were mostly all walleyes since that's all we caught. Most of the marks were on or near bottom, but we did see the occasional fish up high too. Our fish today were mostly 17 to 20 inchers with a few bigger ones and a few smaller ones too. After I cleaned the fish my clients and I enjoyed a tailgate lunch at the park under the shade of some trees. The sun was still shining and there was a gentle breeze tempering the temperature in the mid-70s. It doesn't get much better than that and in the end, my clients expressed that they were very happy with their fishing trip on the Bay despite the somewhat quick limits.
6/20/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a vicious northeast wind yesterday forced a cancelation of Friday's charter, I hit the water today with clients from Marshall, MI and this trip was a wedding gift certificate for the newly weds. We had a beautiful day on the Bay today with a southeast breeze of about 13 knots on the way out, but that breeze died down though when we finished up the trip. We had blue skies and temps in the low 70s too, which was very nice to experience. The fishing action this morning was nothing short of phenomenal with 15 fish in the box in less than one hour of fishing time. All the fish we caught were keeper walleyes too with no short ones or junk fish at all. The walleyes ran from 16" to 26" and all of them came on spinner/crawler rigs fished at various depths. I fished the same general area that we fished on Thursday running south and then fishing north with the wind. I set some of the lures on the bottom, some just off bottom and some about 10' off bottom and everything got bit. Trolling speeds of 1.5 to 1.7 mph did the trick and the bite today was aggressive with few fish lost. The color of the lures did not mater as they hit various stuff about equally. I just ate walleye for dinner and it doesn't get much better than fresh walleye filets served with a moral mushroom sauce with Bush's Grilln' beans (Bourbon and Brown Sugar) on the side washed down with a cold beer. I also had a couple cookies for desert. Life is good.
6/18/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients today also fished with me earlier this spring on April 26 and on that day they limited out, but it took a long time with a tough bite. Today though they got to see a different scenario with the fish hitting like crazy and they took their limits in short order. We caught fish at all depth today from right on the bottom, to just off bottom, to about half way down in the water column and they seemed to hit about equally on every presentation. We pulled meat at 1.4 to 1.5 mph and our meat of choice was a half a night crawler on a tandem hook, spinner/crawler rig, with a 3 ounce bottom bouncer about 5' ahead of the lure. We fished the outside boards right on the bottom (70' back), the inside boards near the bottom (65' back) and the inside boards about 20 feet down with a 35' setback. The flat-lines were 75' back and right on or near bottom. We had constant action, but not excessive taking about 10 keepers per hour, which is good fishing in anybody's book. The bite was fairly light today with the fish not pulling much when they hooked up, but turning it on when they got near the boat. Most of our fish were perfect eating sized walleyes in the 16" to 20" range. We also caught and released a few undersized "dink" walleyes which are always good to see as it bodes well for the future of the fishery. My clients will be fishing in their own boat for the rest of the week, and my guess is that their knowledge gained today will help them to fill up on walleyes for the rest of their vacation.
6/17/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients from Flint had a beautiful day on the Bay today catching their limits of dandy walleyes. We set lines today a mile or so north of where we finished up yesterday and had a steady pick all morning fishing a large area (five or more square miles). I marked fish all over the water column so I set a mixed spread targeting various depths and that exploratory spread, helped out a lot as we found that the fish that were about out 10' off bottom were the most active and they ran pretty big today too. We took five fish that were in the 23" to 26" range. A fire/tiger harness, with a 35' setback (behind the boards), with 3 ounces of weight, trolled at close to 1.5 mph was best and I figured that the lures were about 10' off bottom with that setup. The winds were from the southeast for most of the morning, but then it calmed down briefly and then switched to the northeast, but by the time the wind shifted NE, we were pulling lines and heading in with limits in the box.
6/16/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weather today was beautiful with sunny skies and moderate winds. My clients from Marysville, MI caught their limits of walleyes despite a tough bite. The winds were from the northwest all morning, but we had waves also from the northeast too, from a wind way out on Lake Huron, and that created "sloppy" fishing conditions with waves coming from two different directions. It makes trolling harder and also tends to make the fish bite less in sloppy waters. We made trolling passes from Northwest to Southeast today coving about two miles on each pass staying close to shore with nets on both sides of us. We just picked away at them tough with a lot of undersized walleyes also taken today for some reason that we had to sort through. Our keepers were a mixture of 16 to 23 inchers, which are awesome eating sized fish. I saw where walleyes were $20 per pound in the store the other day, so we caught a lot of valuable fish today indeed. I ran the same spread of spinner/crawler rigs as the last two days with the lures set on, near and above bottom. The fish came on all rigs about equally. In the early morning, fire/tiger spinners worked best, but at the end of the trip, red/silver seemed to get more hits. I had to troll with a drift sock out today, not so much to slow the boat down, but to steady the trolling speed in the sloppy waters. A speed of about 1.5 was best today. The fish were still in the same area as yesterday, but they just were not biting as well. It was a tougher bite, but my clients still had a lot of fun fishing the Bay today and I'm sure they said they will be back again to take advantage of this fantastic walleye factory called Saginaw Bay.
6/14 and 6/15, 2015, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had a group from Pennsylvania fishing with me both yesterday and today and they got to experience some world class walleye fishing for sure. Yesterday we had storms rolling though the area all morning, so we were patient and waited them out and didn't hit the water until the threat of storms had past. We headed out at 1:00 p.m. and went out to where we had caught scattered fish on the 13th in deeper water. We started catching fish right away and in about 3 hours of fishing my clients had caught their limits of nice walleyes with most in the 17" to 20" size range, but with a few smaller and several that were bigger chunkers too. We caught the fish on spinner/crawler rigs fished on the bottom, just off bottom and about half way down. Speeds of 1.5 to 1.6 mph were best and the bite was neutral with some of the fish hitting light and others hitting aggressively. Color or pattern did not mater as they hit everything I threw at them. It turned out to be a beautiful afternoon on the Bay with calm conditions and temps in the mid-70s. Today we went right back out to the same area, set lines and trolled southward. We again started getting hits right away and the non-stop action continued until my four PA clients again took their limits of fine walleyes. I ran the same program as yesterday with the outside boards pulling spinners right on the bottom, the middle boards presenting spinners about 3' off bottom and the inside boards set about half way down. The two flat lines were set on the bottom too. All rigs took about equal hits as the fish were all over the water column and very aggressive today. Speeds of 1.5 to 1.7 mph worked well today and color patterns were not important as they hit everything I had down in the water equally. The fish were about the same size today as yesterday with a nice mix of sizes in the box. We caught about a half dozen undersized walleyes each day too, which bodes well for the future on the Bay. Today we trolled south for about four miles and never ran out of the fish. In fact, I did not have a chance to turn around once on that troll as we had non-stop action all the time. My PA clients will have a lot of fish-fries in their futures and my wife and I will also be having fresh fish today too. You gota love this fantastic fishery we enjoy out of Au Gres on Saginaw Bay.
6/13/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I'm beginning to sound like a broken record: After a blow day yesterday with several inches of rain, lighting storms, and a 25+ mph northeast winds pushing giant waves into the Bay, we went out today with a fair forecast predicting light winds and sunny skies. The weatherman though got it totally wrong again as the sun never did show itself all day and the winds were strong from the east with waves in the 2 to 4 foot range all day. The Au Gres River was flooding with extremely muddy conditions and the Bay itself was riles up a lot from yesterdays big-blow. We went to our first spot where we fished on Thursday, but I didn't really mark much there, so we headed to another spot and made one trolling pass there, but only caught a few walleyes in one hours effort. We also caught a bunch of sheephead there, so we picked up lines and moved a few miles to deeper water and marked a fair amount of fish there, but they were scattered from yesterday's storm, so it was a slow pick all day taking the full eight hours of the charter to fill my four client's limits on some nice walleyes. Most of the fish were 16" to 21" with a few bigger and a few smaller ones. It was an extremely light bite today with more fish lost than caught. The walleyes would just latch on without pulling much to set the hooks and then they would swim along with us on the troll barely making their presence know. Making maters worse, I had to troll very slow today to get much action with speeds of 1.2 mph being necessary. We ran all meat today right on the bottom with bottom bouncers ticking right on the lake bed. We did mark some fish up higher, but couldn't get them to bite much. Color preference was not a factor today as everything got hit about equally. The forecast tomorrow is calling for light winds , but a chance of storms and that type of forecast predominates for the rest of the week. Hopefully we can get all of this next week's trips in as the month of June has been nothing close to summer-like. Even though the conditions are tough, luckily we have the best walleye fishery in the world here, so tough conditions still result in very successful fishing here.
6/11/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients from Troy, MI and Plainwell, MI enjoyed a beautiful day of the Bay today taking a limit catch of nice walleyes. One of my clients also shared the same high school alma mater with me as we both graduated from Manistee High. Even though we were more than a few years apart, we still had some of the same teachers. It was funny that my favorite teacher, Mr. Strouf, was his most hated teacher. Despite that, we still got along great and it was fun talking about our old home town. We had a blow-day yesterday with the small craft warnings and nasty, high winds ruining more than a few planned fishing trips I'm sure. Today, we headed out with the destination of the same area we finished up on Tuesday. We marked a lot of fish over a five mile stretch leading there though, but there were lots of boats along the way too. We set lines when we cleared all the boats and started to get some hits right away. After about an hour of good action, the bite slowed up a lot after the wind died down to dead calm conditions. After that it was a slow pick until my clients had boxed their legal maximum for the day. Our keepers were all 16" to 23" walleyes with one 10 pound catfish and one small sheephead also caught. Color was not much of a factor, but putting the spinner/crawler rigs on the bottom with a fairly slow trolling speed was certainly necessary to get consistent action. When we had the West wind chop early, speeds of 1.4 worked well, but when the wind died, I had to slow it down to 1.3 mph to get them to bite. With millions of dead Mayflies all over the surface, it was obvious that a major hatch had taken place last night, so that was certainly a factor in the very light bite we experienced. Despite having sharpened my hooks before the trip, we still lost more fish than we caught. The fish were certainly well fed as they puked up a lot of Mayflies, minnow and shiners in my live well. I've had several clients this year from my old stomping grounds and it is always a treat to take out hometown folks for some awesome fishing on Saginaw Bay.
6/9/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I'm officially declaring today as the nicest day of the year. We had blue skies, highlighted with some skimpy, fluffy clouds and a light westerly breeze. With temperatures in the low 70s, it was as close to a perfect day as one could ask for. My clients form the Grand Rapids area joined me today on this beautiful day and they had an awesome charter indeed taking their limits of nice walleyes. We started out heading back to where we finished up yesterday and did manage to catch three fish, also loosing one in about a half hour, but fishing pressure in that area was high and some of the other boats didn't seem to know the rules of navigation, so we pulled lines and headed to where we fished Thursday and got into some good action right away. That good bite lasted for a while, but when the wind died down, the bite slowed and our last few fish took some effort, but with near perfect weather conditions, that effort was certainly pleasurable. Unlike yesterday, all our fish today came on or near the bottom. I ran high lines all day and never did catch one keeper on them. Pulling harness through the fish with bottom bouncers was the hot ticket. We fished in a long trolling pass covering waters 26 to 33 feet deep. No particular spinner color proved superior today as they hit everything about equally as long as it was trolled at less than 1.5 mph and near the bottom. When I got back to the ramp, my clients from yesterday were also just pulling into the docks at the same time in their boat. They chartered with me on the first day of a week long vacation in the area and hoped to learn some savvy so they could catch more fish on their own. They too had taken limits of walleyes and told me that their success was due to what they had learned on their charter the day before with me. My clients for tomorrow were also at the launch too and I got to meet them while cleaning fish and they got to see what will be in store for them tomorrow and are now even more excited about their upcoming charter. Hopefully the weather will cooperate tomorrow as the National Weather Service has predicted a cop-out forecast of a 50% chance of bad weather tomorrow. I guess that their forecast also means that there is a 50% chance of good weather. My glass is half full.
6/8/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After two days off the water due to crummy weather, my clients from Down-State and Petoskey joined me for some fishing with an iffy weather forecast. I looked at two different forecasts, both from the National Weather Service: The marine forecast called for possible storms from 8:00 am on, but the Au Gres, forecast disagreed and predicted storms, but after 2:00 pm. I checked the radar at 7:00 and what storms were in Michigan were not heading our way so we hit the water, but I decided to stay close to port just in case a storm popped up. We first tried the area were we did good at the end of my last trip on Friday, and caught three quick walleyes, but after that the bite slowed down when the wind switched. We moved to another spot a few miles from there and did the same thing picking up several fish quick, but then the bite slowed down when the wind switched again. It was like that all day: We would catch some fish, then the wind would change and the bite would die. We just stayed at it though and eventually my clients caught their limits of nice walleyes. I ended up settling on a trolling spread with six lures set about 20' down and two, on the outside board, set on bottom. We caught most of our fish on the high lines with a fire/tiger pattern crawler harness being best. A trolling speed of 1.3 to 1.5 mph was also best. The bite was extremely light today with a lot of the fish just latching on and then swimming along. We could barely tell when even the bigger fish were on the line. About half our fish were over 20" with the biggest being a 24 incher. We did loose one at the side of the boat though that was bigger. In the end, all the fish that were lost were insignificant as they were just replaced in time. Eventually some storms did pop up in the area, but we were back at the dock when they soaked Au Gres, and we never did get wet all day.
6/5/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a major Mayfly hatch today on much of Saginaw Bay: Bigger than any hatch I have ever seen there before. We ran out to my plan-A spot and the bugs were so heavy there that we kept on going to my plan-B spot and the bugs were also thick there to the point where trolling would have been made difficult due to a blanket of bugs on the surface of the water. We then ran to my plan-C spot where the bottom composition makes bug hatches minimal. We set lines there and caught some walleyes right away, but then the winds kicked up from the north/east at over 20 knots. The weatherman had only predicted winds at half that velocity, but none-the-less, we were way out in the Bay and those heavy winds and the possibility of the ensuing big waves made me take the action to pull lines there and head back closer to port, which we did. We then set up for a trolling pass, with the wind, out in front of Au Gres and much to my pleasure, we caught some fish right away. After a couple hours of trolling spread adjustments, we got into some good action on suspended walleyes and my clients from various cities down/state caught their four man limits of perfect eating sized walleyes, which was just what they were looking for. We caught all our fish on spinner/crawler rigs fished about 20-25' down over 30-35 feet of water at 1.3 to 1.4 mph. Red/silver harnesses were best. The bite was extremely light as we lost about as many fish as we caught. In fact, many of the walleyes, even the bigger ones, were barely detectable when they hooked up, which is especially odd for a suspended walleye bite. My clients today were experienced fishermen looking for knowledge on how to catch walleyes on the Bay and today they saw a lot of different areas of the Bay with depth of 8 to 35 foot of water, all containing walleyes and they learned different ways to fish the same rigs in those varying depths.
6/4/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My Manistee group finished up their Saginaw Bay fishing vacation taking their limits of walleyes on all three of their charters. We first ran out to the area where we had good success on Tuesday and Wednesday, but after trolling there for an hour without any walleyes on the line, it became apparent that the fish had moved. At first I thought that they had moved because the water temperature had sharply risen, but later I found out that my transducer's water temperature sensor had failed and was giving out false readings. Luckily, I had a spare transducer, so after the charter I changed out the bad one. I keep a lot of spare parts handy for just such reasons. After my Plan-A spot failed to produce, I headed to my Plan-B spot a few miles from there. We caught fish there, and some nice sized ones at that, but the action was pretty slow with the dead calm conditions and intermittent winds, all blowing in different directions. Those kinds of conditions are tough. We worked that second spot for about five hours and decided to check out a Plan-C spot, a few miles from there. We only fished in that spot for about 30 minutes before realizing that the Plan-B spot was better, so we picked up lines and moved back there. We were marking a lot of fish in that area, but the fish were real finicky and biting light. We were loosing more fish than we were catching, but perseverance paid off and my clients eventually had caught their limits, but it took the full 8 hours of the charter to pull it off. Our walleyes today came in all sizes form 6" to 26" and we lost a couple that were likely even bigger. Everything was caught on spinner/crawler pulled behind bottom bouncers. No particular color preference was noticed. Extremely sharp hooks were certainly a factor with their success today with the light bite. I sharpen my hooks every day before the charter and touch up hooks as needed throughout the day. There will be a lot of walleye dinners in the Manistee area when my clients return home today. They stayed at a cabin on Tawas Lake this week and enjoyed a lot of fish dinners this week too and even fished there too for bass and panfish when they were not fishing with me. Serious fishermen indeed.
6/3/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients today from the Manistee/Minneapolis area had another great day on the Bay and they have one more day to go, which is predicted to be good weather and likely good fishing too tomorrow. The action this morning started out fast and furious with the first 15 walleyes coming in just a couple hours of fishing. Then the wind switched to the east and the bite slowed down considerably, but they were still able to pull another five man limit of fine walleyes. Most of our fish today were over 20" with the largest being a dandy 28 incher that is heading to the taxidermist. That fish was caught by a MCC graduate, and current MSU student who will be joining the Air Force next year as an officer. I started off with the same mixed Hot N' Tot - spinner/crawler rig program that worked great yesterday, but today they never touched the Hot N' Tots, so I pulled them and replaced them with spinners after a good, fruitless, soaking of the Tots. The color today leaned towards bright colors (fire/tiger) early, then after the first hour, they started hitting everything about equally. The water temps are still in the low 60s, so a slow (for this time of year) trolling speed of 1.4 to 1.6 mph was best. We caught all keeper walleyes today accept for one catfish, which was nice. I'm not sure why the fish ran bigger today compared to yesterday, in the same area, but regardless of the reason, nobody was complaining on my boat. We are just getting into some of the best fishing of the year now with June, July and early August being top times for world class walleye fishing out of Au Gres. My clients this week are enjoying some awesome walleye fishing and are already planning their return trip for next year.
6/2/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After three days off the water due to crappy weather, 20+ years of experience on the Bay came in handy today as I was able to predict where the fish moved after the "big blow" we had. The water temperature was just 57 in front of Au Gres, but where we set up for fishing, the temp was 61 degrees and the fish were in that warm, stained water big time. My clients from Eastlake, MI (My home town) and Minnesota caught 30 keeper walleyes along with some bonus catfish and sheephead. With a light bite, we probably lost as many fish as were caught, so we certainly had plenty of action today indeed. We ran a mixed spread of two Hot N' Tots off the outside boards and four spinner/crawler rigs off the middle and inside boards. We also ran two more spinner/crawler rigs as flat lines. All our fish were taken near bottom and they were feeding on a mixture of minnows and bugs. Lure color did not seem to mater much as they hit everything I put in the water. Speeds of 1.5 to 1.6 were best. When I went 1.7, we got not bites. Any slower and we picked up more junk fish and zebra mussels. When the wind shifted to the east, the bite really slowed down for us, so the morning was certainly best. I have these same repeat clients for the next two days, and with good weather predicted then, they will likely experience great fishing on those trips too and will take a lot of Saginaw Bay's walleyes home to Manistee County.
5/29/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a nice day on the Bay today. The winds were up in the morning and we ran to where we ended up yesterday, but it was a slow, bumpy ride to the fishing area. The action was steady all morning until the wind suddenly died completely and the bite died them too. We also had storms popping up on the radar in western Michigan, so we pulled lines and moved to another spot, close to port, where we had no luck at all. My three customers from Ohio enjoyed the day and took home 14 walleyes, three perch and one big catfish. They also threw back a bunch of walleyes too and told me they will come back to catch the ones they threw back next year. Now they are heading north to do some mushroom hunting for the rest of their short vacation. We took our fish on a variety of spinner/crawler rigs with no real preference shown by the fish. Speeds of 1.5 to 1.7 were best. We marked a lot of fish right out front of Au Gres, but a major bug hatch (mayflies and midges) there coupled with dead calm conditions resulted in no takers.
5/28/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Reports
Today I had a repeat client who brought along three friends, all of which had disabilities. Over the years, I've had disabled clients of all types and I really enjoy showing people with challenges a great time of fishing and today was no exception. After yesterday's big blow, and canceled charter, I wasn't sure where to fish, so I went to where we found fish three days ago, but the water temperature there had dropped five degrees and the fish had mostly moved out. The winds were south/west yesterday, which tends to push the warm water and the fish with the wind, northeast, so I checked another spot northeast of my first spot, but the water temp there had also cooled off big time, so I continued to move northeast. My third spot had better temperatures, but we only caught a few walleyes there, so I moved to yet a fourth spot. That spot had even better temperatures and water conditions and we started catching fish right away and didn't stop until my clients had taken a four man limit of nice walleyes. We caught them on the same rigs I've had on my rods for a month with four fire/tiger and four red/silver spinner/crawler rigs behind bottom bouncers. The best speed today was 1.6 mph. There were lots of smiles and laughter on the boat all day, even during the slow periods. Those guys certainly knew how to have fun despite their disabilities.
5/26/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After getting blown off the water prematurely yesterday with only 9 walleyes in the box, it was nice today to have really nice conditions today with moderate winds and lots of sunshine. We did catch a couple jumbo perch yesterday, one of which was 14.5", so that was a nice bonus. We caught two dandy perch today too. Today we started off going back to the spot where we caught limits on Sunday, but couldn't get back there yesterday due to the high winds. Unfortunately, the walleyes had moved out of that area, so we began a spot checking mission that included six different moves. Finally, on the last troll for the day, we found an active school of nice sized walleyes and my clients limited out there on walleyes that were all 20" or larger. We did catch walleyes in every spot where we stopped, but the walleyes had been scattered from the 50+ mph winds we had yesterday, so we just kept looking until we found a concentration of fish. 1.6 mph was the best trolling speed today and with the light, tough bite, I stuck with the same very consistent spinner/crawler rigs that have been working very good for me for years. We trolled with the wind all day today. When the wind is putting waves over one feet high over the Bay, and I need to hit slow speeds, like is common during the spring, a down-wind trolling strategy is usually best. Trying to go into the waves at slow speeds will not yield a consistent trolling speed, which is necessary now. Going with the wind is the reason we limited out today. On days like today, it really paid to be persistent and patient, as our best fishing was experienced in the last hour of the charter. We fished waters from 10 to 34 feet deep and I never changed rigs sticking with the same 3 ounce bottom bouncers and spinner rigs and just adjusting the setbacks and speed as necessary. When the fishing is slow, sticking with proven presentations is wise. If the fishing is good, then that is the time to experiment with different stuff. That how the pros do it.
5/24/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
When I saw my client this morning putting super-hot sauce on his biscuits and gravy at H&H, and then talking about spicy, blackened fish being a favorite of his, it was an omen for sure. We motored back to the area where we had taken good catches the past two trips and picked up five quick walleyes, then the bite slowed with the dying wind and after that, it was a very slow pick for the next four hours. Eventually though we trolled into a hot-spot and hooked up with four at once, which was when I punched in a waypoint and we began circling that area and catching fish constantly. Sometimes it's like that: the fish are only real active in a small spot and today we found "that spot" and quickly filled the rest of a five man walleye limit plus three bonus channel catfish that my clients from Texas and Arkansas really appreciated. We caught all our fish on the same spinner/crawler rigs that I've had on my rods now for quite some time with four fire/tiger and four red/silver patters getting hit about equally. We had a .4 mph current in the area today that ran from south to north, so I trolled 1.3 mph up current and 1.7 mph down current. Any variation in those speeds turned off the bites as they were very speed fussy today for sure. The bite was light again today too, so super sharp hooks certainly improved the bite to catch ratio. Even then, we lost over a dozen fish. We also caught a lot of undersized walleyes today: More than on any day so far this year. It's great to see those young walleyes coming up as it bodes well for the fishery in the future. When I got back to my abode, with all the talk about blackened fish, I decided to eat fresh, blackened walleye for supper. I coated the filets in melted butter and then a liberal layer of Zatarains, Blackened Seasoning. Into a smoking pan they went with smoke billowing from then pan on my outdoor, camp stove. A couple minutes on each side and they were plated next to some fresh green beans. Washing it all down with ice cold beer was icing on the cake. It doesn't get much better than that.
5/23/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients today, from Marion, Michigan, caught their limits of nice walleyes. This was a Christmas present gift certificate that they cashed in today and they expressed that it was a very good gift. I sell a quite a few gift certificates and I have never had a recipient that was not happy with the gift of fishing. We ran out to the same spot where we limited out on yesterday's charter, but the bite started off slower than the day before with a light bite and more fish being lost than caught. The bite did pick up as the morning went on, but we still lost probably over 20 walleyes today as they were just not taking the lures very well at all. They also caught a trophy class, 15 pound channel catfish today too as a bonus and that brute put up a very long lasting battle. We also caught one sheephead too, but all the rest were nice, perfect eating size, walleyes. Most of our walleyes today were 16-20 inches but we did have two bigger ones right up the boat, but they got away before I could get a net around them. We stuck with the same spinner/crawler rigs that I have been using successfully for weeks with four red/silver and four fire/tiger harnesses: Six were deployed off Church Tackle Walleye Boards and the remaining two were run right off the gunnels (flat-lines). The Starboard flat-line was the hottest rod today by far for some reason, but every rod took multiple hits too. We were trolling at 1.3 to 1.6 mph in the surging 2 to 3 foot waves, that eventually calmed down to ones and twos by late morning. It was Christmas in May today on my boat and it was a very merry Christmas indeed.
5/22/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a couple days off the water, I conversed with a couple good friends of mine and set up a strategy for today's fishing efforts. The three of us, in three different boats, went to three different spots and then checked in, via cell phone, in the morning to see who had the best results. Two of us, including my boat, only had a few fish in the box, but one friend had found a good, active school of fish, so we all moved our efforts there. Once we set lines in that spot, we had non-stop action until we had 25 walleyes in the box in very shot order. It really pays to have some trusted friends on the water that can share information, especially when the fish are moving a lot, which is often the case during the spring. I often share info a lot with friends, but today, my buddy really helped us out a lot. Saginaw Bay is a huge body of water and the walleyes there move around a lot so having a network of fishing buddies on the water really helps out a lot, especially, when you have been off the water for a stint, like today. Our fish today ranged from 16 to 25 inches and we took all our fish on spinner/crawler rigs fished tight behind the boards. I just wrote an article for Woods-N-Water News that details the type of fishing techniques we deployed today. Look for it in the next issue. After our trip was concluded, the three of us friends met at Town and County and compared notes further and tomorrow, you can bet that we will all pound the snot out of those walleyes again and will drink to another good day on the water once again.
5/17/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients limited out on walleyes the past two days in a row. Today we ran back to the same spot where we had found success yesterday, but most of the fish had moved out of that vast area as we moved three times there and did not find any concentrations of active fish. It was good there while it lasted though with easy, quick limit catches there on every trip for the past week. When we were running to that spot this morning, I noticed a lot of fish marks on my sonar where I had not seen fish so far this year. After failing miserably at our first spots, we then ran to that fishy look location and started catching walleyes before I could even get all the lines set. We had 20 walleyes on in the first hour there, but the bite was light though and we lost more than we caught. I could only get them to bite at a slow trolling speed of 1.2 to 1.3 mph, so loosing a lot of fish is typical at those speeds. The lost fish didn't mater though as we kept picking away at them until my clients had boxed their limits of fine walleyes. One of my anglers today was surprised that I was using rather heavy, 3 ounce bottom bouncers, but when we set up in that second deep water spot, those heavy weights were mandatory to get the lures down to the bottom hugging fish. I only marked one fish up off bottom there: All the rest were tight to the lake-bed. Had it not been for quality electronics, we would have never spotted those fish while running over them earlier at high speeds. If you don't have a fish finder that can identify bottom hugging fish at speeds over 25 mph, then it is a real handicap on the Bay. I scout fishing areas at high speeds a lot and that ability puts me on a lot of fish that I would have otherwise have missed.
5/15/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We experienced another poor job of forecasting by the weatherman today. They had predicted 7-12 knot winds with scattered showers with just 1/8" to 1/4" in the forecast for today. Instead we fished through twice as much rain and winds over 20 knots prevailed all morning. I had to change my plans on where I had originally intended to fish with the big, southerly winds a reality. It took us a while to reach the fishing grounds and it was nice to have the top on the boat protecting us with a dry ride out. It didn't take but a few minutes after I began to set lines for the first walleye to hook-up. After that it was non-stop action until we limited out on walleyes up to 24". We fished in one long trolling pass without turning around once, so the fish were stacked in over a large area there. We even took a couple dandy yellow perch as a bonus too. The last time my client fished for walleyes they were skunked. Today though they got to experience the kind of fishing that even rain can't dampen. We caught all our fish on spinner/crawler rigs fished tight to the bottom trolling at speeds ranging from 1.2 to 1.6 mph with the surging waves. We lost a lot of fish too, which is typical in choppy conditions where the lures are lurching through the water. The fish don't latch onto the lures solidly all the time so some get off. The lost fish didn't mater though in the end as they were quickly replaced by fish that didn't let go. My client today, from the Grand Blanc area, will be fishing with me again at the end of May and they can't wait for that return trip as this awesome fishing will just get better as the weather stabilizes and water warms up and really gets the bite into high gear.
5/9/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weather forecast was very iffy today with a 90% chance of thundershowers at Au Gres, but as is typically the case, the National Weather Service was very wrong. I checked the radar this morning and the storms were missing our area to the north, so we hit the water with a forecast of 5-10 knot, northerly winds. The winds were stronger than predicted though with 15+ knot winds all morning. It took us a bit longer to reach the fishing area due to the waves, but the winds did not slow down the walleye bite much as my clients mostly from SE Michigan, but with one from Minnesota, pulled a quick, four man limit of walleyes. They were used to fishing on Lake St. Clair so the fast paced fishing action on the Bay was a pleasant change of pace for them. It took us far longer to get back to port with the choppy conditions than it actually did to catch over 20 walleyes. We used the same program of spinner/crawler rigs trolled at close to 1.6 mph that has been working all week. I'm trying to run a light, six rod spread, but keeping all the lines in the water is difficult with the constant action taking place on the boat. We did have a few light, sprinkles on the water today, but for the most part, it was dry and fairly pleasant fishing conditions. I have a few, scheduled days off the water so I can take care of some chores, and with the wet and windy forecast for those days, it will work out great when I get back to the awesome fishing action mid-week.
5/8/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had a repeat clients from Garden City and Highland today and they experienced world class walleye fishing action with quick limits of some perfect, eating sized walleyes that were mostly 18 to 20 inches long. We ran down close to the hot spot where we have been taking easy limits in recent charters and got into walleyes right away with fish-on before I could even get all the lines in the water. We trolled towards where we had fished the past two days and the action picked up with multiple fish on the lines most of the time until we maxed out with a live well full of fish. I've had the same lures on my rods for three straight days with a mixture of spinner/crawler rigs with bottom bouncers. There was no sense changing anything today either as they hit everything I put in the water with patterns not making much difference. A trolling speed of no more than 1.6 mph was best. We ran a light, six rod spread as we did not need any more lines in the water to keep us very busy pulling in fish non-stop. All our fish today were walleyes and all the walleyes we caught were keepers although a few twenty inchers did get thrown back at the end of the trip from the quintuple header we had at the conclusion of the charter. This was certainly an awesome day of fishing on Saginaw Bay.
5/7/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had another excellent outing today on the Bay taking limit catches of walleyes. We hit a spot first that had very few fish in it, then we ran to another area and it was "game on" with non-stop action until we limited out in short order. It was the same spinner/crawler rig program as yesterday with silver blades and fire/tiger taking equal hits. Speeds of 1.6 mph were best. My client today just bought a place by Au Gres and hired me to show him some locations and techniques so he could shorten his learning curve on fishing the area. It was a good call too as he took notes all day with a lot of information dispelled on the boat today. The weather was beautiful today with no wind at all and warm temperatures. Hopefully this good weather will last through tomorrows charter as the only thing between us and another limit catch is the weather.
5/6/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today I decided to fish an entirely new area in search of a concentrations of walleyes, which I knew were out there in mass. The Bay right now has more walleyes swimming in it than at any other time in recent history. In fact, the DNR has gone on record saying that there are "too many walleyes in Saginaw Bay". I hadn't fished this new area in a few years, but I did have a lot of GPS waypoints for that portion of the Bay from past years and we spot checked a couple locations using sonar and didn't see many fish in those locations. Then we ran to another spot and did mark some fish, but they weren't biting there. We then ran a few miles to yet another spot and started hooking up right away. From then on it was non-stop action with fish on constantly for the next hour. My four man crew of mostly active and retired U.S. Postal Service workers pulled their four man limit in just a little over one hour at that hot spot. We were fishing in water 15 to 18 feet deep pulling spinner/crawler rigs behind bottom bouncers with a 35' setback off the Church Tackle Walleye boards. Color did not mater as they hit everything I had in the water from bright, florescent colors to natural patterns. Speeds of 1.6 to 1.7 mph were best. We also ran a couple flat lines with the same rigs, but didn't get any hits on those all morning, so the fish in that clear water were obviously negatively reacting to the close presence of the boat and not taking lures close to the vessel. The walleyes were caught were all keepers ranging up to 23". This was certainly some world class walleye fishing today and we did not have any other boats within a mile of us today while we were fishing.
5/5/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a day off the water, clients from the Atlanta, MI area joined me for a day of walleye fishing on the Bay. We had a cold front come though the area yesterday and there were showers and storms from Bay City south all day today, but we never felt a drop of water all day fishing near Au Gres. The weatherman did predict sunny skies, but we had fully cloudy conditions all day with blue skies visible to the north throughout the trip, but those fair skies never blessed us with any sunshine. We hit four widely separated areas today looking for a concentration of active fish and never really found a hot spot. We did however catch walleyes in all but the first spot we fished, and my clients managed to catch their limits of walleyes along with one bonus, jumbo perch, but it took most of an eight hour charter to accomplish that goal. We fished shallow and we fished deep water today, but the frontal boundary had the fish in a negative mood and they just wouldn't bite much at all. Even a slow day on Saginaw Bay though is much better than most of Michigan waters on a banner day of fishing. My customers today, one of which has been fishing with me for over 10 years, told me that they had a great time and that is what it's all about.
5/2/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We took another impressive pile of fish again today on the Bay and did it on a beautiful day indeed with sunshine galore. My clients today, from SW Michigan, fished with me last year and limited out in less than two hours of fishing. Today though the fishing was tougher with dead calm, sunny conditions in the morning and in the crystal clear water we were fishing, that tends to make the fish very tough to catch. The wind eventually picked up some though, but it was unsteady and changing directions, which is also not great for walleye fishing. We picked away at them all day and it took the better part of an 8 hour charter to max out my customers limits of walleyes. Most of our fish were chunky specimens today with only one under 20 inches. These fish are great fighters too with everyone commenting on how they were pulling like crazy. We trolled spinner/crawler rigs all day today with no particular pattern really being preferred. I did have one fire/tiger rig though,, where the chartreuse float got bit off, that was really producing well off a flat line. Most of our fish though came off Church Tackle Walleye Boards, which I spread out about 50 feet apart to cover a lot of water. Trolling speeds of 1.5 to 1.6 mph were best. When I testing speeds faster, we got no hits at all. Even though the fishing today was somewhat tough today, my clients still took home a four person limit of dandy walleye filets.
5/1/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
May started off for us with a bang today with my four clients from Temperance and Lansing taking their limits of dandy walleyes. I first ran to where we had taken good catches the last couple days. We had a northwest wind to start off the day but we only had only fair action during that period. When the wind died down though I moved to the deeper water area where we closed out our day yesterday during that calm wind spell and we got into some fast paced action with five fish on at one time. That action died down though when the east wind came up, but we still picked away at the walleyes until my customers had maxed out. Our fish today consisted of mostly bigger walleyes with just a few just under 20 inches. Our biggest was about 26". The catch filled up two five gallon buckets. Most of the walleyes were actively spawning males, but one pree-spawn female and one was a post spawn lady added to the catch. Trolling speeds in the 1.5 to 1.6 mph range were best with no particular spinner/crawler pattern being preferred. We caught all the fish on or near bottom. This is some awesome fishing going on now and I still have an opening on Tuesday, May 5 if you want to get in on this action.
4/30/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We closed out April with a great fishing trip on the Bay continuing my streak of limit catches for all my customers on all completed trips out of Au Gres. The forecast was a little iffy for today when I looked at it yesterday with stiff NE winds predicted. Fortunately though, it turned out much better with light NW winds and then it went calm. The predicted mostly county skies turned out to be mostly sunny, so that was nice too. My client today, from the Grand Blank area, is a repeat customer that has been fishing with me for over 15 years. Every year, when we get together for a fishing frenzy, we share our deer hunting stores of the past fall and catch up on life's curve balls. The bite was red hot for the first hour and then it died down as the wind diminished. When the water went flat, with the sun out, the fish quit biting altogether in my first area, so we relocated to deeper water and picked up the rest of the limit catch there. The fish continue to run rather large with only one walleye taken that was under 20 inches today. We caught all our walleyes on spinner/crawler rigs fished tight to bottom using bottom bouncers with trolling speeds of 1.5 mph being best. When I bumped the speed higher, the bites stopped. They preferred a fire/tiger harness during the first hour, but after that, color preference didn't seem to mater. This has been a very good April for spring, walleye fishing on my boat this year with a lot of great fish caught at both Lake Erie earlier in the month, but also a awesome string of very fun and productive walleye charters out of Saginaw Bay too over the last two weeks. May should be awesome and I can't wait for upcoming trips as the weather is predicted to be great for the next week. I do have opening on Monday and Tuesday too, but May trips are filling fast so call soon so you don't miss out.
4/29/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I "sort of" had a day off yesterday, so I installed my new Lowrance HDS Touch with Structure Scan. After accomplishing that task in the morning, I had to get my boat inspected by a trained, DNR conservation officer, which is a requirement for Michigan Charter Boats. After the successful inspection, I went out onto the Bay and tested the new electronics and tuned them in for today's charter. I also scouted for fish too. We started out in an area where I found fish yesterday, but they had moved, so we were forced to strike out and check out some new spots where past experience led me to believe walleyes may be holding. We used my electronics to look for preferred water temperatures and ultimately looked for fish marks on my sonar. It took us a couple hours to find likely looking spot where we set down and deployed a trolling spread. We were soon rewarded with a lot of action over the reminded of the charter. We actually fished a school of male walleyes that were actively spawning. The only way to get those bottom hugging walleyes to bite was with bottom bouncers and spinner/crawler rigs. That type of situation typically results in an odd type of walleye bite. They hit the lures aggressively, but are just trying to get them away from their beds, so they don't take them down hard or hold on well. This type of fish behavior will cause the hit to catch ratio to be low as a lot of the fish will hit, but not hook up solidly. My customers lost more fish than they caught, but it did not mater as they still managed to catch a four man limit of dandy walleyes. We had over 50 fish on though, so the action was pretty good. The fish ranged in size from 19" to 26" and all of them were males that were oozing milt. Spawning male walleyes tend to fight a lot harder than normal, so most of those fish today put up a lot of resistance, making us think that a lot of them were a larger than they were. Colors did not mater today as we caught walleyes on both natural and bright patterns. Trolling speeds of 1.5 to 1.6 mph were best. I tried a variety of body baits and crank baits today and the walleyes ignored them completely. Crawlers with a harness featuring a #3 Colorado blade were the ticket to a bountiful catch today.
4/26/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Despite the tough weather conditions over the past week, we have still maintained my streak of limit catches for my customers on every completed trip on Saginaw Bay. Yesterday and today were certainly challenging conditions with switching winds, primarily easterly, that brings cold temperatures off Lake Huron onto the Bay. Today I had clients originating from the Mio area that were experienced fishermen that fish the Bay with their own boat and they chartered with me primarily to learn some fishing techniques to polish their own skills. On these types of trips, a tough bite is actually better for them because this will show them how to scrounge up fish when the fish are not active, which is exactly what we did today. Yesterday we started out pulling stick baits, which had been working great, but that presentation is only good when the fish are actively feeding, which was not the case at all over the weekend. We switched over to spinner/crawler rigs half way through yesterday's trip and pulled a good catch as a result. We started off today with the same spinner/crawler rigs trolling though the same shallow water area where we finished up yesterday. The stiff, overnight winds disbursed the stained water from that area though and the fish had relocated deeper and a scattered. We then started a search type trolling program and picked away at the fish all day today ending up with a good catch of nice sized walleyes. We only caught one fish today that was under 20 inches and tied into some that were real lunkers. I didn't see any real preference in spinner pattern, but they did certainly want it slow with speeds of 1.0 to 1.3 mph being best. I put those crawlers right on the lake bed with bottom bouncers and special care had to be taken with fish fighting techniques as the bite was light to say the least. My guys today actually did phenomenally well with minimal lost fish and as a result they took home a bountiful catch of thick walleyes, which will provide a bunch of fine meals featuring some of the best eating fish on the planet.
4/24/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Even though the weather has been cold and windy here at Au Gres, the fishing has still remained quite good. For those that have been braving the harsh conditions, limit catches have been the rule and the fish are still running big too. Most walleyes are being caught on deep diving stick baits like Husky Jerk Baits and Rouges fishing mostly in water 10 to 20 feet deep targeting suspended fish. Various colors have been productive and this captain has taken fish on just about ever color of the rainbow this spring with no real pattern predominating. The cold weather is holding smelt in the area and that is what the walleyes are going after along with lures that look somewhat like smelt. This has been the best spring trolling fishery on the Bay that most seasoned anglers can remember and the fishing should just keep getting better too as the weather eventually improves. So far Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters has limited out on every trip out of Au Gres where Mother Nature allowed us to complete the charter.
4/17/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had an absolutely beautiful day today on the Bay and my customers amassed an impressive catch of dandy walleyes trolling close to port. We got into an intense bite right away, but after that flurry, we picked away at them all morning until my customers limited out. Most of our fish were on the big side today with the largest being 28" although we did loose one that was likely much bigger. In the sunny, calm conditions, we caught all of our fish off the Church Tackle Walleye Boards today and running them way out away from the boat was the ticket as the fish were obviously spooked by the boat in the clear, calm water. Our best bait was a Sour Grape Rouge, but we did also take fish on a variety of Husky Jerk Baits too in naked glass, blue/silver/orange, glass/purple/perch and Tennessee Shad. Speeds of 1.3 to 1.5 mph were best. This fishing is red/hot right now with a lot of big fish cruising in a post spawn, feeding mode. Dippers are getting smelt in the Au Gres area at night and the walleye are congregating there to feed on those smelt too. I have a lot of openings over the next couple weeks, so if you want to get in on this fantastic post spawn, smelt feast, fishing action, give me a shout and I'll set you up with some world class walleye fishing.
4/16/15, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I moved my boat to Au Gres yesterday and with a iffy weather report for today, we headed onto the Bay for my fist trip there of the season. We got into the fish right away with constant action until we had maxed out with 15 walleyes in less than two hours of fishing effort. We caught all our fish on body baits trolled at 1.1 to 1.4 mph. I had a bunch of different baits on my lines to start off and it didn't mater much for walleye preference today as every lure I put in the water took some fish and I fished about 10 different lures today too. Deep Husky Jerk Baits were good, but so were Rouges and colors varied a lot including mixtures of blue, gold, clear, silver, purple, orange, red, pink and black. In other words, the fish were not picky today. The fish ran big today too, with only a couple fish under 20". We fished a wide area too covering deeper and shallow water and ran the lures about 8-10 feet down all morning with constant hits with fish coming at all depths we fished. Most of the big fish were marked on or near the bottom, but the baitfish (smelt) were up higher, so that is where I ran my lures and the walleyes came up to gobble up what we pull through that portion of the water column This fishing in Au Gres will only get better as the spring continues as more and more fish move in to the area with their normal migrations. April and May typically yield larger average sized fish and today certainly proved that true. I videoed some awesome fishing action today and will eventually put together a Youtube video of today's trip.
4/6/15, Lake Erie, Bolles Harbor, Fishing Report
After a blustery, tough fishing day yesterday, we hit the water this morning with frosty, overcast conditions and thankfully light winds. The first area we fished this morning was slow, so we picked and moved deep into Ohio waters where we located a big school of humongous walleyes on the feed. I quickly fine tuned the spread to a hot setup pulling all Thundersticks about 12' down and those suspended fish gobbled down those lures big time. My customers ended up limiting out on walleyes that averaged about 9 pounds with all but two exceeding 28 inches. Our biggest walleye today was an eye-popping, 12.75 pound giant. The total catch overflowed a 120 quart cooler with solid fish. The area we fished is one my most consistent trophy walleye spots and the area gets extremely light fishing pressure this time of the year with no boats in sight of us all day there. The water temp was about 39 degrees when we started and it warmed to 40 by the time we departed the fishing area at about 3:00 p.m.. We had to keep the speed slow today with 1.1 to 1.2 mph being best. Both gold/black and gray/scale patterns were on fire about equally. I tried some Rouges and Husky Jerks but they failed to produce any bites. I still have some Lake Erie openings for next week, incase someone wants to get in on this awesome fishing which is the best I've seen in years there.
4/4/15, Lake Erie, Bolles Harbor, Fishing Report
The awesome fishing continues on Lake Erie as we took another bountiful catch of mostly trophy class walleyes today. Last year I had a unreal streak consisting of limit catches on every completed charter that went on well in to August before we came a couple fish short of a limit. This year though, I have a different streak going: Every person, on every charter, has caught at least one walleye weighing over 10 pounds. Today my customers boated five walleyes with double digit weights and a bunch more that were not to far below 10 pounds too. We got checked by the DNR today when we returned to the docks. After checking my customers fishing licenses, they opened the live well hatch and you could see the shock in their eyes when they took in the sight of a 30 gallon live well, drained of water, nearly filled to the top solid with jumbo walleyes. There was no way to count the deep pile of fish, so they made us pull them all out so they could tally them all up, which drew quite the crowd. They said that it was the most impressive walleye catch that they had ever seen. After inspecting the safety equipment on my boat and finding no violations, the very polite, professional acting, conservation officer asked me for a brochure and wished us a good day. The water changed dramatically today with the stiff west wind blowing during the night and all day too. It blew most of the stained water out into the lake and pulled in lots of clear, cool water in its' place. The water temp was still in the high 30s. We fished today long, down-wind trolling passes. I had to deploy and pull the drift socks constantly to keep the speed at 1.1to 1.3 mph, which seemed to work best for us. The walleye bite was scattered over a wide area as we really never did find a "hot spot" but had constant action all day none-the-less. Our best lure today was a Sour Grape Rouge, pulled 55' behind the boards, with a 3/8 ounce weight 6' ahead of the lure. We also did a lot of damage with gold/black/orange/green Thundersticks too 50' back. This is some of the best walleye fishing I've seen in years on Erie. The eggs were all very tight in the females today, so the spawn is still likely still weeks away, leading me to believe that this red-hot fishing is likely to continue for possibly weeks to come.
4/3/15, Lake Erie, Bolles Harbor, Fishing Report
The bite was a little slower today compared to the past two days, but none-the-less, the catch was still good. It's certainly a great when an 8 year old boy catches a walleye that is just shy of 12 pounds. We had fog this morning that slowed our run out and limited our spread for the first half of the trip, but when the fog cleared, we started taking fish. We caught our fish today mainly on the same Thundersticks as yesterday, but we did get some action on Rouges later too, which is typical as the water warms up to near 40 degrees. My customers today from Illinois ended up with 28 pounds of skinless, boneless filets after they were cleaned at the Lake Erie Party Shoppe, which is a pretty good haul.
4/2/15, Lake Erie, Bolles Harbor, Fishing Report
We had unstable weather today from the get-go with two fronts coming through as we fished. The fishing was good through the first front, but when the second front blasted us, the walleye bite slowed. It didn't matter though as my customers had limited out by about noon with a impressive catch of walleyes including two that were 10+ pounds. We did take a few smaller males today for the first time this year, but even those were all over 24". Our average weight today was still about 8 pounds. I set up this morning with four Gray Scale Thundersticks on the starboard side and four gold/black/orange/green Thundersticks to port and did not change any lures all morning taking about equal hits on each. The fish were biting lighter today compared to yesterday as we lost more for sure, including some hogs. This is when very sharp hooks will add fish to the catch. There was also a lot more woody debris floating out there today, so we had to keep a sharp watch out for hazards. The best trolling speed today was 1.0 to 1.2 mph. When the wind kicked up, I had to drop in drift socks to slow things down and keep the fishing productive. I have a fair amount of openings over the next two weeks for Lake Erie trips and this fishing should continue to be very good for trophy fish with the unseasonably cold water temperatures delaying the spawn a bit keeping those hogs out in the Lake longer than normal. The water temperature where we fished is still in the 30s.
4/1/15, Lake Erie, Bolles Harbor, Fishing Report
After a successful shakedown cruise yesterday evening, I ran my first charter of the season today, and it was a very good one indeed taking 6 walleyes over 10 pounds, many in the 7-10 pound range and a bunch of lesser walleyes to fill the box too. Our two biggest fish were 11 pounds on this gorgeous, sunny day on the water. Some taxidermist near Kalamazoo will be happy when he gets a batch of those dandies to mount up from my customers today. We trolled with minnow imitating body baits at 1.1 - 1.2 mph today with 3/8 oz, rubber core sinkers and setbacks targeting trolling depths of 8-12 feet down over varying depths of water. The fish were scattered all over today and I marked fish over a huge area and really never found a concentration of fish with no double headers all day. It was just a steady pick from 8:00 until we pulled lines at about 2:00. The best lures today were Gray/Scale Thundersticks early and later in the trip gold/black/orange/green Thundersticks turned red hot. We trolled with six lures off Church Tackle Walleye Boards, one flat line and the eighth line off a TX-7 Stern Planer 200 feet behind the boat. That Stern Planer was the hottest setup taking a lot of the biggest fish today. I ran a Thunderstick 50' behind that TX-7. The water conditions are excellent on Erie right now and I expect great fishing for days to follow.
8/22/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
This may be my last fishing report of the season. My wife is taking a vacation starting tomorrow for a week and we have all sorts of plans for much of the remainder of my charter season, so I don't expect that I'll have much free time to post fishing reports after my charters. Today, my customers were from Pennsylvania and New Jersey and they are vacationing and enjoying the Tawas area for a nice stint. Despite the prediction for storms this morning, we had a very nice day on the water with no weather issues at all and my customers caught their limits of walleyes without any problems. The wind was from the east all morning with a nice one to two foot chop on the water and the bite was steady all morning with no lulls in the action. We caught walleyes from 15 to 24 inches and also caught two channel catfish too as a bonus. For the first time in a couple years, we also caught two flathead catfish too, one of which weighed in excess of 20 pounds. The smaller one weighed about 15 pounds. Channel catfish are fairly common on the Bay, but flatheads are somewhat rare, so it was especially odd that we caught two in one day. We ran all red/silver harnesses fishing about 12 feet under the surface. Trolling speeds of 1.7 to 1.8 mph were best. This has been an especially awesome charter season for me this year with limit catches of walleyes taken on the vast majority of trips. I normally charter for salmon during this time of the year, but the spotty salmon fishing this year combined with the incredibly great walleye action on the Bay certainly convinced me that I made the right decision not to offer salmon charters this year and instead to focus on the ever world class walleye fishery out of Au Gres. At one time I ran far more salmon charters that walleye trips, but this year I ran all walleye charters and had the most successful year of consistent limit catches that I've had since I started running charters many years ago. I also had a lot of very happy customers this year too who enjoyed the super walleye fishing with me.
8/21/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers today came from Virginia and one of them brought along his brother from St. Helen MI to round out the group. With a fair weather forecast we headed out with a nice chop on the water and started off in the same spot where we left off yesterday with some fast action right away. Our first fish was a big northern pike that went over three feet long. That big fish was followed by a big channel catfish that weighed around eight pounds. After that though, we caught about a dozen keeper walleyes in less than two hours of fish, but when the wind died to dead calm, the bite also died completely. We stayed in the same area where we had good action for a while, then went to another spot and only picked up a couple jumbo perch, so we went back to original spot to wait out the fish as I figured it was just a mater of time before the predicted winds would pick up along with the bite. We had about four hours of relative inactivity until the wind did pick up and then the walleyes turned back on and my customers were able to finish off their limits of nice walleyes, but it took nearly the entire duration of the eight hour charter to succeed. I had to go deeper for those afternoon fish too. We started out taking fish about 10 feet under the surface, but in the afternoon, I had to put the lures down near bottom to get them to bite. I stuck with the same red/silver harnesses pulling them at varying speeds form 1.6 to 1.9 mph. I filleted out that pike removing all the bones for a prime set of filets that will make for some excellent eating. Saginaw Bay's northern pike do provide some excellent table fare and are very close to the quality of the walleyes if compared side by side. When you get a jumbo pike like the one caught today, it will provide pounds of prime eats that are hard to beat.
8/20/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The highly unstable weather pattern continues here in Michigan. We had a blow day yesterday with stiff winds all day with storms rolling though for good measure too. The forecast for today was ify too, but we just watched the radar and headed out with storms predicted after noon. The bite was red-hot for the first hour of the trip as we caught about 10 walleyes in no time, but then the wind switched and the bite slowed down to a slow pick. My customers from the Morley, MI area still managed to pull in their limits of walleye though before the storms popped up as predicted. They caught two jaw tagged walleyes today too. We have taken about a dozen tagged fish so far this year. The DNR has been conducting a tagging study for over 20 years where the DNR tags fish in the spring in the spawning areas. Angler report to the DNR the tagged fish caught including the size, location and date of catch. From those returns, the DNR has been studying the movement of the walleyes along with the growth rates and other vital fisheries management information. If you catch a jaw tagged fish, all you have to do is note the catch details and go to the DNR's website at http://www.michigandnr.com/taggedfish/ and fill out the form. The DNR will then mail you a report on the history of that fish. Our biggest fish of the day wore such lip Jewelry, so it will be interesting to see her history as the tag appeared old. The other tagged walleye was a 16 incher, so he will likely have been tagged this year on his first spawning run. We fished the same area as we did two days ago and ran the same program consisting of eight red/silver spinner crawler rigs trolled about 10 feet below the surface targeting suspended fish. The bite was very light today as we lost a lot of fish and not one fish was hooked deeper than the corner of the mouth. Except for one big catfish, all the rest of the fish we caught were walleyes with only a couple small fish in the lot. The weather for the next five days is predicted to stay unstable, so our fishing this week will likely remain challenging.
8/18/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I meet my customers every morning at H&H Bakery and Restaurant and tell them to follow me down to the launch and just park their vehicle where all the other trucks and trailer rigs are parked. This morning though, when I we got down to the DNR launch, the place was completely empty which was surprising considering it was a very nice day indeed. Needless to say, the fishing pressure at this time of the year is a lot lower than it is earlier in the season when the ramp is typically packed. The fishing is still excellent though as my customers from the Benton Harbor, MI area caught an impressive limit of walleyes today and also enjoyed a beautiful, sunny day on the Bay too. The fishing started off pretty slow though as we only caught four fish in the first four four hours of fishing. At mid-day though the walleyes turned on and it was non-stop action from 11:30 until limits were reached by about 1:00. We had trolled over that hot area earlier in the morning too, but the fish there then were not active, but we just kept after them until they went on the feed. We caught a lot of nice sized fish today too with most of the walleyes running 18 to 24 inches with only two under 17". We did the damage with red/silver spinner/crawler rigs trolled about 10' below the surface targeting suspended fish. A trolling speed of 1.7 to 1.8 mph was best. The floating weeds were not nearly as bad today as they were yesterday, so that was nice. I even got some fish today for my dinner too, which I will eat with a morel mushroom sauce and some fresh green beans with banana peppers that I picked from my garden yesterday evening. A meal doesn't get much better than that.
8/17/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
This highly unstable weather pattern we are in really hammered us the last few days. I had to cancel yesterday's trip due to high winds and storms and the high winds we had earlier this week really pounded the Bay. We fished today, but there were lots of floating weeds all over the Bay that were chopped up and blown around by all the wind and waves. I was cleaning weeds off the lures constantly, but we still managed 14 nice walleyes on a half day trip. The weather wasn't too bad today, but the winds were erratic and from the northeast, which didn't help the effort much. My customers today were from the Port Huron, Michigan area and it was their first charter fishing experience, and they indicated that they enjoyed the fishing a lot despite the tough conditions. We caught all our fish on silver/red harnesses fished about 10' down targeting suspended fish. I tried other harnesses, but they failed to produce and hits. The best speed was about 1.8 mph. My 2014 charter schedule is now completely booked through the end of this season. I did spend some time yesterday though putting the 2015 schedule on the website and we are actively booking trips for next year. Now is a good time to lock in a prime date for 2015.
8/14/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
At right is a a good depiction of the weatherman after he totally blew the last two day's in a row with his idiotic, completely inaccurate, and downright incompetent marine forecasts. Yesterday he predicted 15 knot winds and it blew in the upper 20s. I had to cancel that trip. Today he predicted winds of 12 to 14 knots, but it blew in the mid 20s. The wind was not too bad early, so we did fish today though and went out to the south of Au Gres and fished there until the wind kicked up to the point where we couldn't safely fish there anymore. We only had a few walleyes in the box up to that point. On the way back, just for kicks, I decided to drop lines right out in front of the Au Gres river and give it a try there where there was some protection form the gusty, northwest wind. We trolled for an hour there and only picked up one walleye, but then I narrowed down a decent area. Every time we went though the area, we picked up a walleye or two and after eight hours of fishing, my customers from Pennsylvania had pulled their limits of walleyes from the white capped waters of the Bay. I was actually shocked when they limited out today as the conditions were so terrible. Luckily, most of the fish we hooked were caught as there were not a lot of "extra" bites to be had today. I only ran one lure today: red/silver harnesses behind bottom bouncers. I ran them about 10' under the surface targeting suspended fish and there were lots of baitfish schools in that area suspended too, which is likely why they were up and feeding there. My speeds were at 1.6 to 1.9 mph and we only got hit when we were quartering with the wind today. Hopefully the wind will die down some tomorrow as it was indeed a tough, arduous day of fish today and it would be nice to get back to some easier fishing.
8/12/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today's weather continued to suck. We still managed to get the trip in and had great success, but the conditions were tough to say the least. First we had a weather delay this morning as we waited to see what some storms on radar were doing. We eventually headed out with a stiff, west wind throwing three footers at us. That wind shifted to the southwest, and then it went northwest, but despite all those rotten wind changes, which usually kill the fishing, we still managed to catch fish. The bite was sporadic but surprisingly steady and we took our limits of nice walleyes in just a few hours of fish. There were a lot of floating weeds all over the Bay today thanks to the high winds that knocked them loose. We had some big storms yesterday evening and all last nigh with over four inches of rain falling on the Au Gres area. The Au Gres River was running high and will likely be even higher tomorrow when the flooding peaks. The wind remained high all day today too. We had a tough time maintaining a good trolling speed and I had to put drift socks in many times to fine tune the speed. I was trying to keep the speed at 1.7 to 1.8 mph. I used the same red/silver harnesses that I've been using all week and they were the ticket today too. We were fishing them about 10' down targeting suspended fish with a short, 20 foot setback. We had several bigger fish pull the boards completely under the water with those short setbacks. We did take some big walleyes today, but we also caught a bunch of eating sized fish too for the perfect mix. Even though the weather was far less than perfect, we still had a great day of fishing on the Bay.
8/11/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had an iffy weather forecast today with storms predicted in the morning, but thanks to modern radar, we were able to determine that the bad weather was not comming twards Au Gres, so we hit the Bay. We had eight customers from all over Michigan and we even had some in the group form Texas and California too. This was a two-boat charter and I partnered with Capt. Bill Carter on this trip. With the bad forecast, we met about an hour earlier than normal and it's a good thing too, because our best fishing was early as we pulled about 10 walleyes in the first hour of fishing. Then the wind shifted from southeast to northeast and the bite slowed down a lot. We still took 40 keeper walleyes though for our 8 customers and managed that impressive haul before noon, well before the bad weather finally got here by about 4:00. Both boats primarily ran the same program of silver/red harnesses pulled about 10' under the surface targeting suspended fish at about 1.7 to 1.8 mph. We caught fish representing many age classes today ranging from 15 to about 25 inches long. Most of our fish today were around 20 inchers. The bite was pretty good today with few fish lost as we had some good fishermen on the rods, which also helped a lot on the good hookup to catch rate. This is some awesome fishing right now and this hot walleye bite is likely to last for the rest of the season with the cool water temperatures. We fished in about 72 degrees (surface temp) today and with the cold front coming though, it will likely cool down further keeping the walleyes in our area. This cool water though, with all the walleyes still here, will keep the perch out of the area and we will not likely have much good perch fishing this year as a result. In the Au Gres area during August, we either have good walleye fishing or good perch fishing. This year it will be all walleyes which is great in my book.
8/10/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing report
My customers from southeast Michigan today certainly caught a pile of walleyes. We had tough fishing conditions again today with constantly switching winds and waves from different directions all morning too, which is always difficult for trolling. We fished the same general area as we fished the last couple days, but for some reason we caught a lot more bigger walleyes today with some real dandies in the mix too. We also caught a couple nice smallmouth bass, which I have never seen taken from that part of the Bay before. I left the same silver/red spinner/crawler rigs that we finished the day with yesterday and never changed them all day as we had steady action from the start of the charter until my customers had caught their limits of 20 nice walleyes. I ran an eight rod spread of those same rigs fishing them all about 10' below the surface targeting suspended fish. These are bottom fishing rigs with heavy bottom bouncers and harnesses designed for bottom fishing too, but they are working so well on those high, suspended fish, that I don't want to change anything. And besides, if that suspended bite were to die, I would be back to targeting bottom dwelling fish with no delay. Trolling speeds of 1.7 to 1.8 seemed most productive today. We trolled in several different directions and caught fish about equally, so the direction we trolled did not mater. The bite was fairly light as most of the fish were barely hooked and we lost a lot of fish as a result. A cold front is predicted to come through Michigan tomorrow, so that might change things up for us, but there are tons of shiners up high in that area, so this hot bite just might continue there despite a big change in the weather.
8/9/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had another beautiful day on Saginaw Bay again today with light winds, blue skies and lots of walleyes on the lines. We went out to an area today close to where we caught them good yesterday and set lines with the same rigs set 20 feet behind the boards targeting suspended fish. We weren't disappointed either as we had stead action all morning and took a four man limit of nice walleyes in about five hours of fishing. The bite was not quite as fast and furious as it was at the end of yesterday's charter, but it was good fishing none-the-less. Today the fish were pickier about what they would bite. I could only get hits on harnesses with silver blades and the trolling speed was best at about 1.7 mph. Tomorrow is also predicted to be a very nice weather day and if that prediction comes true, then the bite should remain consistent and good. I only have a couple open dates left on my 2014 charter calendar, so if you want to get in on this hot action, booking soon would certainly be advised as we will likely be booked up completely soon.
8/8/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a gorgeous day today on Saginaw Bay. The wind stayed easterly all day, but it was light and the waves were about one foot, which was about perfect for trolling. We first went out to the area where we had limited out yesterday, but the bite there was slow and we only took four keepers in the first three hours of fishing. We then pulled lines and headed to another spot and set lines, but the fish were up higher there, so I just set the same bottom/bouncer rigs with spinner/crawlers just 18 feet behind the boards and went to town with some fast and furious action until my customers from both southern and northern Michigan caught a nice limit of walleyes. The fish ranged in size from 15 to 23 inches and they hit every pattern I had in the water as long as it was about 10' under the surface. I trolled at about 1.8 to 1.9 mph and the bite was hard enough where we didn't loose many fish too, which was nice. My customers had a blast today as they had never seen this type of quality walleye fishing before on the Bay. I have not fished for suspended walleyes much this year, but this fishing area had them up off bottom feeding on shiners. Normally, spoons, crankbaits or harnesses with inline weights would have worked better in that situation, but I honestly did not have time to change anything up as the action was non-stop once I figured out the depth they were at, so I just kept the same bottom rigs on there and they worked just fine even up high.
8/7/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a slow day of fishing yesterday, we decided to try a new area about 10 miles from where we had been fishing all week. My customers from Shelby, Michigan had never fished on the Bay before, so they were happy to see the nice weather this morning. The winds though were once again problematic and ever changing, which walleyes usually don't like. First we had northwest winds, then it shifted to the north and then it picked up significantly and went northeast with building waves that topped four feet on the way in. The weatherman had predicted one-foot waves so he was so wrong once again. We set up in deep water trolling with the wind and caught eight fish on the first pass with slow but steady action. We made another pass with the wind in another direction over some new water and continued the slow pick taking my customer's limits along with a couple bonus yellow perch too. I also caught a couple walleyes for dinner for myself and just finished a blackened walleye supper that was fit for a king and I plan on eating a sandwich from the leftovers too which should be awesome too. We trolled with spinner/crawler rigs all morning pulling them close to the bottom. They wanted the trolling speed at 1.4 to 1.5 mph today and the bite was light. Red/silver harnesses were best early, then fire/tiger was better on the second trolling pass. We marked a lot of fish in the area fished today, so if the winds are consistent tomorrow, it should be a good day of walleye fishing there in the morning.
8/5/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a great day of fishing on Saginaw Bay today, but let me set up this awesome day with all the details. I woke up this Moring at 4:00 waking from thunder and lightning with heavy rains pelting down. I couldn't get back to sleep after that and at 6:00, my normal wake-up time, I got up and the first thing I did was look at the radar on my phone. Storms were making their way around the state, but it looked like things were breaking up to the west, so I went through my morning routine of eating a bowl of cereal and then prepping the boat inside the barn while it still rained. I met my customers at H&H at 7:00 and by then it was clearing out nicely with storms moving away from the Bay. We Hit the water by 7:30 and, with a northeast wind, I pointed my boat north of where we had found fish yesterday for a down wind troll about two miles north of where we found the most fish yesterday. It didn't take long before we started to hook up with walleyes and in the first hour we landed a dozen keepers, but then the wind switched to the east and then shifted to the southeast, which temporarily slowed the walleye bite. Eventually though we trolled into some more active fish and limited out with a nice box of walleyes for my customers from St. Helen, MI and Texas who are camping for the week at Point Au Gres. The best part is that I even got in on the action and caught some fish for myself too, which didn't take too long for me to take my limit too. It was like night and day comparing today's bite to the past few days. My customers had limited out in just a couple hours of fishing today mainly because the wind never died down completely like has done for many straight days. We used the same spinner/crawler rigs as yesterday at the same 1.8 to 2.0 mph speeds with no real spinner pattern preference noted. The best part of the day though was my supper that I just finished. First I picked some fresh green beans from my garden and started them boiling letting them cook for 15 minutes. Then I drained the water and added some butter, minced onions and some Montréal Steak Seasoning and let it set. I took two of the fillets off the smaller fish and washed and dried them on paper towels. Then I beat an egg and put some Italian bread crumbs on a plate. I fired up a frying pan with 1/4" of corn oil in it until is was smoking hot and put the egg washed, bread crumb coated fillets into the hot oil for a few minutes on each side and sprinkled them after flipping them with a little of that same Montreal Steak Seasoning. After draining the fillets in paper towels, I platted a fillet next to a pile of green beans. I also made some home-made tarter sauce by mixing Ranch dressing, Miracle Whip, dill relish and Dijon mustard. If there is any food better than what I had today, I have not eaten it. Washing the meal down with an ice-cold beer didn't hurt either. Tomorrow, I plan to have blackened walleye, so stay tuned for that one as it is also one of my favorites too.
8/4/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I can thank the "Pure Michigan" ad campaign for today's charter. My customers were from Buffalo, NY and they saw one of those TV ads, went to the Pure Michigan website and with a fishing interest ended up linking up with the trophyspecialists.com website and planned their vacation around a fishing trip with me today. I listed my business on that Pure Michigan site many years ago and have gotten a quite a few bookings as a result. Renting a cottage on a scenic, sandy beach overlooking the Charity Islands and the Gravely Shoal lighthouse is certainly a nice backdrop for a fun, relaxing vacation. We actually ended up fishing near those islands too and my customers enjoyed some fine walleye fishing catching all the fish they wanted on a beautiful day on the Bay indeed. I've had some fun folks fishing me all year, but today my NY customers seemed to be on "fun overdrive." I don't think that I saw anything but smiles on their faces all day. Even during the fish cleaning process, those happy faces beamed on. We pulled meat at a clip of about 1.8 to 2.0 mph. Fire/tiger and red/silver got lots of hits today. The conditions today were actually pretty tough with a south wind shifting west, then north/west, then it went dead calm. Eventually an east breeze came up about the time we headed in. To add insult to injury, the sun kept popping in and out of the clouds and the bite was predictably sporadic and light with lots of fish lost all day. We just kept picking away at them tough until we had put 18 walleyes in the box and then my customers decided to head in even though we had a couple more hours left with the charter even though we had plenty of time left on the charter to have certainly limited out had we persisted for a short time longer. It's all about having an enjoyable time on the bay with my charters and today it was mission accomplished.
8/3/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had a group of brothers from the Brighton and Grass Lake area who were given a father's day gift of a fishing charter by their spouses. We had some tough fishing conditions today, but still managed a good catch of walleyes. I went to my plan A spot and it was dead calm there a big bug hatch going on, so we never even wet a line there. We then headed for my plan B spot, but heavy fog came up and it took us almost an hour to reach that spot as we could only run slowly to be safe. Unfortunately, we trolled in that spot for about 30 minutes without a bite, so we pulled lines and ran to my plan C spot. We started catching walleyes right away there and had one hour of steady action until the sun popped out and the bite slowed up. We plugged away at it and caught 16 walleyes and threw back five at that spot in about two hours of fishing. We quite early at my customers request because they had caught what they felt was enough fish, especially since they came on motorcycles and couldn't carry allot of fish home. We pulled meat today behind bottom bouncers with trolling speeds of 1.7-1.8 mph being best. Spinner pattern didn't seem to mater much as they hit everything about equally. Our fish today were all 15 to 22 inches which are perfect eating sized walleyes. We had one northern pike on, but it managed to bite off the harness.
8/2/2104, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had the day off today so I could attend a Veine family reunion at Manistee. We did fish yesterday though and my customers from western Ohio and eastern Pennsylvania caught their limits of nice walleyes with trophy size fish in the catch for good measure. We fished the same general area where we have been fishing all week and the bite was tough as it took almost seven hours to complete their limit catch. We were marking a lot of fish on the bottom in that area, and we had to troll slow and put spinner/crawler rigs right in their faces to get the job done. A lot of the hits were barley perceptible as the fish just latched on and didn't pull at all until they started reeling them in. Plenty of fish were lost too due to the light bite. Red/silver and fire/tiger spinners were best. Our trolling speed had to at 1.3 for best results.
7/31/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My charter customers today came all the way form China and are vacationing in the beautiful Au Gres area for the week. The weather today was predicted to be cloudy with a light wind, but reality served up mostly clear skies with a stiff southwest wind. When we first ran out, the wind was fairly light, and before I could even get all my lines in the water, we had three fish on and landed them all. Shortly thereafter though, the wind cranked up and the bite died down quickly. Then we had a couple hours of extremely slow action, but eventually, the walleyes got used to the abrupt wind change and started hitting again. I had two young kids on the boat today that had a ball reeling in some dandy walleyes, but eventually they got wore out and it was time to call it a day, but not before we had amassed a nice box of walleyes. These customers have never had walleye before, so they are in for a real treat as the Bay's walleyes are in my opinion, the best eating fish I've ever eaten. We caught the finicky fish trolling very slow again today with spinner/crawler rigs and bottom bouncers. Speeds of 1.2 to 1.4 mph were best. Harness pattern was not an issue though as they hit everything I had in the water, but the bite was very light and we lost our share of fish as a result. All in all though, everyone had a good time and it was another great day on the Bay.
7/30/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a tough bite on the Bay today. There was a Northwest wind when we first headed out, but that wind died down completely and the bite was slow all day. My customers from Chicago, IL and Grand Rapids MI never gave up though and picked away at them with the end result being their limits of 20 nice walleyes to take with them and eat for the rest of their vacation in Tawas where they are staying for the week. The bite was incredibly light today as we likely lost more fish than we caught. They would barely pick up the lure and would spit it out over and over. To get the totally lethargic fish to bite, I had to troll with speeds under 1.5 mph being necessary today to get any bites at all. When you troll that slow though, it usually means that you will loose more fish though due to poor hookups, which we certainly experienced. It took nearly the whole duration of the eight hour trip to limit out, and much of the action was in the later half of the trip, so today the eight hour option really paid off. We trolled with spinner/crawler rigs behind bottom bouncers and color did not seem to make much difference today as they hit a variety of colors about equally. It's frustrating fishing like today when you mark tons of fish every where you go and can't seem to get a good bite going, but thankfully it was a beautiful day to be on the water, so it was still a very enjoyable trip indeed.
7/29/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My long time, repeat customers from Missouri today had booked two days, yesterday and today, but the high winds on Monday forced a cancelation leaving them only one day on the water. The big blow over the last couple days likely caused the fish to move from the area I had been fishing the last two weeds, so we headed to another area, about 12 miles from the other spot. This area of the Bay is usually good one for post cold front fishing where the winds tend to pile up warmer water that attracts both baitfish and walleyes. We set lines though with a bit of apprehension, but the many marks on my fish finder was certainly reassuring. That apprehension was quickly erased as we caught 14 walleyes, all keepers, on the first trolling pass through the area in about 1.5 hours of fishing. When we ran back up for another pass though, the sun popped out and the wind died down a lot, and the fish shut down abruptly. After that it was a slow pick, but we did manage to limit out with a nice box of walleyes of all sizes. We never caught any undersized walleyes today, so all our fish were good sized. We caught all of our fish on meat today putting everything in their faces near bottom where most of the fish marks were located. A trolling speed of 1.5 to 1.7 mph was best and fire/tiger harnesses produced best. I only have a few open dates left for the rest of the season and they are going fast, so if you want to get in on this action, it would be wise to call now.
7/27/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers today were from the Grand Rapids area. These were the same folks that fished with me two weeks ago on the only charter of the year where we did not limit out. They caught 15 fish on that trip in very tough conditions which was not too bad. They were a bit apprehensive today as the weather was certainly not ideal for walleye fishing. We had storms going though Michigan all day today, but thanks to modern radar, we had a gap in the bad weather this morning where we had five or so hour to fish, so we went after those walleyes with a vengeance. Unfortunately it started out a little slow at first, but eventually the wind picked up a little and the fish turned on and my customers then quickly caught their limits of nice walleyes with one bonus jumbo perch too, having a blast in the process. Our limit catch was especially satisfying due to the tough conditions. I stuck with the same tough-bite presentation that works so constantly on the Bay: Spinner/crawler rigs rolled behind bottom bouncers. We had to keep the speed up close to 2.0 mph this morning to keep the sheephead, catfish and white perch from pestering us. Faster trolling speeds during late July and August are normal for that reason. We had some huge storms roll though the area this afternoon with winds over 50 mph and lots of lightning. The wind is predicted to blow pretty hard tomorrow as small-craft warnings have already been posted by the National Weather Service for the whole day. I'll likely have the day off the water tomorrow, which will give me a chance to complete an article that is due this week.
7/26/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers from Vicksburg, Michigan today were tested to the max but eventually, they were rewarded with limit catches of nice walleyes. We had a long weather delay this moring as a couple storms came though and it looked like the day was lost, but eventually the storms dissipated or passed by and we were able to head out for an afternoon of fishing. As we ran out the wind was blowing pretty good from the south, but when we got out to the fishing area it died down to dead calm. Walleyes don't like wind changes like that, so the bite was very slow for the first few hours of the trip. Eventually though the fish turned on and we had one hour of fast paced action, but then the wind kicked up again and the bite suddenly died. We stuck with it though and eventually picked away at them and filled limits, but it took nearly eight hour of fishing to succeed today with the tough bite. We got back late in the evening just in time to miss another storm that was brewing. We pulled meat behind bottom bouncers exclusively because in those tough conditions, it was the best bet. Trolling speeds of 1.8 to 1.9 mph were best. Any slower or any faster and the bites dried up completely. When the weather, and especially the wind is stabile and steady, the walleye fishing is best, but we didn't have those conditions at all today, but my customers still managed to have a blast catching a cooler full of walleyes along with a couple nice channel cats as a bonus.
7/25/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had some interesting folks out on the Bay today indeed. A career Army retiree who served in both Korea and Vietnam was our senior fisherman. He hailed form Texas, but his family that joined him and set the trip up was from the Perry, MI area. We had fairly calm conditions early this morning, so the ride out was a quick one. Once we got set up though , the wind switched from a light south breeze to a 15 knots wind from the southwest. Then the wind died down some and then it switched to the west and picked up steam hitting the upper teens. All those wind changes kept the bite on the moderate side despite the fact that we had a lot of walleyes in the area. We still managed to pull limits of nice walleyes though in about five hours on the water. With the finicky bite, I stuck with an all spinner/crawler rig program pulling the meat at 1.7 to 2.0 mph. Color did not seem to mater much today as all patterns in the water were hit about equally. When my customers today told me about he horror story their experienced on their last Saginaw Bay charter with another captain, it was nice to hear that they wanted to come back with me next year.
7/24/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
It's a good thing my customers booked an 8-hour charter today because the first five hour of the trip were extremely slow, but the last couple hours saw Saginaw Bay cough up over 20 nice walleyes. My customers were from Chelsea, Michigan today. In fact, some of them live less than a few miles from me, yet I had never met them before. The Chelsea crew brought along a fourth person from Ohio too. The morning started off with a lot more wind than was predicted. In fact, the wind really blew all day yesterday and last night too from the northeast. Right about the time we launched the wind shifted though to the northwest. We ran out in rollers from the NE with the wind blowing at about 15 knots from the NW. as we got out into the bay further though, the wind shifted more to the north. When I got to where I wanted to fish, the water temperature had dropped five degrees since Tuesday, so I motored south about a mile and the temp started to creep up, so we set lines there and started a long trolling pass heading south. We caught a couple walleyes right away, but then the action died right when the wind died down to almost dead calm. We then trolled for hours only taking a couple more walleyes. We did catch two jumbo smallmouth bass though. I measured the first one and it was 22" and likely weighed close to five-pounds. The second one might have been slightly smaller, but it too was a trophy class bass. Eventually, at about noon, the walleyes turned on and we had non-stop action until we filled a five man limit. The Hot N' Tots that produced so well on Tuesday did not take one walleye today, so I put out a spread of all spinner/crawler rigs fished near bottom using bottom bouncers to counteract the tough bite. The best color early was fire/tiger, but later they really went after silver spinners big time. Trolling speeds of 1.8 to 1.9 mph did most of the damage and the fish seemed to bite best when I was making turns on both the port and starboard sides. They are predicting a light southerly wind for tomorrow, so if that prediction comes true, the fishing should be outstanding.
7/22/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today was a lot like yesterday: I had the same group today as yesterday, we went to the same area, set lines in about the same spot, fished the same line and limited out pulling lines in about the same spot as yesterday too. The only differences was that we caught bigger fish today, I ran some Hot N' Tots which took some of our biggest fish, and we also had a lot more wind today too. We had bumpy rides out and back and basically had three-footers all morning to deal with. We fished the Hot N' Tots up high on the outer boards and the spinner/crawler/bottom-bouncer rigs down low on the inside boards and two flat lines. We trolled with the stiff wind and rolling seas surging with the waves at 1.5 to 2.2 mph. The wind was up to about 20 knots early, but then it did die down to about 15 knots towards the end of the trip. Our best spinner color today was fire-tiger and I ran my home painted Tots that are well chewed on and are chrome and green color with a red eyes. With all the wind, the Tots did produce better than the crawlers today.
7/21/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had about perfect walleye fishing conditions today. A 5-10 mph southerly wind put a nice walleye chop on the water and the warm, sunny conditions with the cool breeze made for a pleasant morning all around with lots of walleye action. My charter party today was from Martinsville, Indiana. They had fished for salmon with me many times before, but had never tried for walleyes on my boat before, so this was their first time on the Bay. We ran to where we left off yesterday, but that hot spot had cooled down a bit so we just continued to fish northward trolling with the wind all the way. Eventually we started to take more hits and we limited out on nice walleyes in a few hours of fishing. Silver/red spinner/crawler rigs did a lot of damage to the walleyes today and trolling at 1.8 to 2.0 mph going with the waves was the hot ticket. We only caught a few small walleyes today and all the rest were those prime eating sized ones that make for fine meals. The last time I checked, walleye filets are selling for about $20 per pound at the supermarket and those filets come with the skin on them which should be removed by prudent cooks. When we fill the box up with walleyes like we usually do, the high value of the walleye filets can really offset the cost of the charter. In fact, H&H Bakery and Restaurant in Au Gres will cook up your fresh charter fishing catch along with side dishes for a very reasonable price and H&H really knows how to cook up walleye too. Many of my customers have taken advantage of this "Catch and Cook program and everybody that has done so at H&H has have rave reviews. I have the same party fishing with me tomorrow and the weather forecast is also very similar to today, so they should get to experience two world class days of walleye fishing on Saginaw Bay.
7/20/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had another gorgeous day of the Bay today for my customers hailing form Pennsylvania. It was the first time they had fished on Saginaw Bay, but I doubt that it will be their last. We started out heading back to the same location where we fished the last few trips and started catching fish right away, but then the wind died down and the sun popped out of the clouds and the bite slowed to a snail's pace. Eventually though a friend of mine that I share fishing information with a lot called me on the cell phone telling me that he had trolled into some active fish, so we pulled lines and ran towards that location. We set down about one mile form him and we were the only boats in sight in that area. We immediately started to hook up with walleyes with four on at one time to start things off there. It only took us about a half hour there to fill out our limit of 20 walleyes. A close-to-bottom presentation of spinner/crawler rigs was the hot ticket today again. Crank baits were not working nearly as well. The color of the harness was immaterial as they hit all of the patterns I ran, but a trolling speed in the 1.7 to 1.9 mph range was definitely preferred. This nice weather pattern is predicted to last for another couple days, with a bit more wind tomorrow, so the bite on Monday and Tuesday should be phenomenal as walleyes sure do like a nice "walleye chop".
7/19/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had some customers today from Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was their first time fishing on Saginaw Bay and it will be a day they remember for a long, long time to come. We had mostly clear skies this morning with a light east wind, but for the most part it was pretty calm. We ran out to the spot were we fished yesterday and set up in the same location as yesterday and trolled along the same line. We started catching walleyes right off the bat and it was non-stop action until we limited out on good eating sized walleyes that ranged from 15 to 21 inches. We never did turn the boat all morning while we were fishing. I just set the autopilot in one direction and trolled for about four miles in one direction never running out of fish. They also caught a nice catfish too, but that was the only non-walleye taken this morning. We ran the same program as yesterday with spinner crawler rigs trolled near bottom at 1.8 -1.9 mph. The faster speeds keep the non-target fish off the lines, but the walleyes are now willing to chase down a faster meal. Like yesterday, when we reached our limits, I still had a couple lines left in the water, so I bumped the speed up to 3.5 mph to keep more fish from hitting, but a walleye still grabbed one of the lures even at that scorching speed. Silver/red and chartreuse/orange harnesses were both working wonders today. The next days to come will likely serve up similar, world class walleye fishing as the stable weather pattern usually keeps the bite going big time.
7/18/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The walleye fishing on Saginaw Bay continues to be red-hot as limit catches were taken on my last two trips. With the first really nice, long range weather forecast so far this summer, this next week or two should serve up some of the best fishing of the year as walleyes bite best during stabile weather patterns. Today we ventured onto the Bay with clear, blue skies and light westerly winds. A perfect fishing day indeed. We motored out at a good clip and got to our fishing spot in short order under the power of my new Mercury FourStroke motor which has been running flawlessly since it was installed this spring. We set a light spread of just six rods and had non-stop action all morning until we maxed out with our limits of beautiful walleyes. The walleyes seemed to want a faster trolling speed today as we caught our fish buzzing along at 1.8 to 1.9 mph. After we limited out, I bumped the speed up to 3.5 mph so we could pull the remaining lines without hooking any more fish. It didn't work though as even at that scorching speed we still managed to hook yet another walleye, but that fish was lucky as it was quickly released. We ran all spinner/crawler rigs and no particular pattern was preferred as they hit everything about equally. The best action came off the Church Tackle planer boards though and the outside boards were hit more than the inner boards today for some reason (likely due to bright sunshine on calm water). I only have one more open date during July (7/23) and my August dates are also going fast too with only a handful of openings left for the season. If you want to fish with me this year, it is advisable to book your trip soon before all my available dates are snapped up. Even if you can't go this year, keep in mind that next year will likely serve up even better fishing on Saginaw Bay as we have seen evidence that the fishery still has not peaked out.
7/14/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
It's not unusual for the weatherman to be wrong, and he certainly was today, but for Monday the forecast had predicted stormy weather when I looked at it yesterday, but instead it turned out beautiful. It started out a little rough for the ride out, but the winds died down by 9:00 and after that it was absolutely gorgeous with lots of sunshine, a nice gentle breeze and plenty of walleyes biting on our lures. We went back to the same area where we left off yesterday, but had to troll in nearly the opposite direction due to the southeast winds today (west yesterday), so we set up south of the area where we had our best luck yesterday so we could troll downwind into the fish. We started taking some sporadic action though right off the bat though with four fish on at the same time to start things off, however three of them got off and the one landed was undersized. That's the way it went for the first hour of fishing: We would troll into a school of fish, hook multiples and loose most of them. When the wind died down though, the bite improved and we started landing more walleyes than were lost and my customers from Canton, MI had a blast limiting out on a nice mess of walleyes and also one, big catfish too. I tried to run some Hot N' Tots today, but had no takers on them, so all our fish were caught on spinner/crawler rigs trolled near bottom at trolling speeds of 1.7 to 1.9 mph. Our best rod was a flatline (no planer board) fished right off the port gunnel. For some reason that one rod caught probably half of our fish today even though I had three other identical silver/red harnesses fishing at the same depth. Sometimes walleyes can be finicky as they were today and sometimes when the weatherman is wrong, it isn't so bad after all.
7/13/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today was a perfect example of why booking eight-hour charters is often the difference between success and failure. In the first half of the trip, only one walleye was caught, while 14 more were caught in the later half of the trip. We first went out to the same area where we had good success yesterday morning, but the fish had moved out of that area. We then tried another spot a few miles away from there and no fish were found there either. We then picked up once again and tried another spot yet another spot with no luck. We finally found some active fish in the fifth spot we fished five hours into the trip. The bite there was red hot for the hour, but then the shifted and picked up a lot and the bite shut down abruptly. This unstable weather we are experiencing makes for very tough fishing conditions. Combine that with the Bay's walleyes tendency to migrate a lot during July and August and it often takes a lot of time and patents to find active fish every day. Anglers that book eight-hour trips really up their odds for success at this time of the year. The way I look at it, charter customers that book eight-hour charters with me are serious about putting fish in the boat, whereas half-day charter customers are more interested in just having some fun fishing without too much concern for how many fish they catch. Today we caught all our fish on spinner/crawler rigs trolled within two feet of bottom. No pattern was best as we caught fish about equally on the two consistently good patterns that I ran all day. Faster trolling speeds of 1.7 to 1.9 mph were best today.
7/12/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I'm really sounding like a broken record, but my customers from Clarkston, MI enjoyed a beautiful day of walleye fishing on the Bay today and not only caught their limits of nice walleyes, but they also caught more fish today than they ever caught before. On about every charter my customers ask how the fishing has been and I reply that we have limited out on every charter so far this year and then I ask them if they can please keep my streak going and they always are optimistic then. This has been the best fishing I've ever experience this year. Taking limits on every charter when you fish just about every day is off-the-charts, fantastic fishing. We started out with some red-hot action this morning catching five quick walleyes, then heavy fishing pressure in that spot shut the bite down quickly. We then pulled lines and ran to another area where no other boats were fishing and really got into a hot bite until limits were caught. A lot of fishermen are of the mentality that you must fish where others are fishing becaue others "must be catching fish", but with this light bite and finicky, spooky fish right not, that is a poor strategy. Right now, fishing where there are few boats is the ticket. Most of the other anglers out of Au Gres today did not even come close to limiting out, we we did so I guess my strategy worked well. About all the fish I marked today were very close to the bottom, so we put the lures right in their faces and slowly trolled crawler harnesses by enough fish and picked up the stupid ones. Again, Fire-Tiger harnesses were best and a trolling speed of 1.4 mph seemed to put the most fish on the line. We only did good trolling from south to north today as any other direction did not produce nearly as well. The walleyes were especially fussy today. Most of out walleyes today were in the 18 to 20 inch range but we did take a few bigger ones and some smaller eyes too although only a few were under 17 inches. For the second time this year I was told by someone that I smelled like fish. The first time was by a female attendant at the convenience store and it was a true insult. Today though another fisherman told me I smelled like fish and wanted to know all the details of my trip, so in that case it was a complement. It just goes to show you that smelling like fish means different things to different people. My dog likes me better though when I smell like fish. After showering, I have now returned to a clean smell that probably won't draw any comments at all and my dog turned his nose up at me.
7/11/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers from Dearborn, MI experienced a beautiful weather day today with blue skies and light winds. The problem was that the winds blew pretty hard all night long and died down abruptly right at about 7:00 a.m. when he hit the water. The wind then shifted from west to south. When the winds die and charge directions like that, it often slows the bite down and it did just that. Anyplace else but Saginaw Bay and the bite would have been considered fantastic, but for Saginaw Bay standards, it was a somewhat slow day. It took my customers almost all of of their half-day charter to limit out and I even got some fresh fish for dinner today too from my limit. We headed to where we fished yesterday, and the extremely slow bite there prompted me to pull lines and check a couple close by spots that ended up being void of fish. I passed over those spots and just used my sonar to evaluate the fish numbers. Seeing few fish, we motored on without wasting time setting lines. Our first spot had lots of fish there as shown by my sonar, but they just wouldn't bite accept for occasionally. We headed back to a fourth spot where we briefly fished yesterday and didn't have any luck. As luck would have it, the fish were biting at that spot, and we hauled up about 10 fish in about a half-hour and then that bite suddenly died. A bunch of other boats evidently spotted us catching fish there and moved in on us like locusts likely disrupting the bite. Once we were forced to leave that spot, the bite just stayed slow. This is why I just won't post any fishing locations any more this year as a lot of people have no respect for other anglers space. All our fish today came on bottom bouncers pulling crawler harnesses. Fire-tiger was best. The best speed seemed to be somewhat fast at 1.6 to 1.7 mph. I tried to target higher fish, but had no takers at all today. On the bright side, I had another delicious meal today featuring pan friend walleyes smothered in morel mushroom sauce. I dipped the filets though an egg wash, then coated them with bread crumbs and than fried them until golden brown. The sauce consisted of rehydrated morels sautéed with garlic and onions in butter and then thickened with flour along with adding the rehydration sauce and some milk. The sauce was poured over the filets and served with a side of steamed broccoli and washed down with a Labatt beer. I had some smoked salmon as an appetizer too so I'm certainly eating well these days.
7/10/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers had an enjoyable trip today taking their limits of some real nice walleyes. We had blue skies, and a moderate breeze putting a nice "walleye" chop on the water. We had slow action for the first hour of the trip, but after that it was game on as we had steady action with lots of multiple fish on at the same time. Because of the slow start, it took us a bit longer than normal this year to fill up the cooler with fish, but no body was complaining. My party today consisted of a active duty Army officer with his two middle-school aged sons. They are originally from Michigan and are in the process of moving from Alaska to Pennsylvania. They were accompanied by their Grandfather from the Lansing area. They had a gentleman's competition on who would catch the biggest walleye. At first the grandkids each caught some nice sized fish and were winning, but then the father caught an even bigger one, but eventually their grandfather topped them all with a lunker of a walleye (see photo). I even got in on the action today and took my limit too and just got done with a scrumptious gilled walleye dinner with moral mushrooms over rice on the side all washed down with Labatt beer. It doesn't get much better than that. All our fish today came on spinner/crawler rigs pulled behind bottom bouncers down near bottom. Fire-tiger patterns seemed to work best today. I did mark some smaller fish up higher today, and tried to target them for a while, but all I got was dinky walleyes up high. Trolling speeds of 1.4 to 1.6 seemed to work best today. The walleyes today were not biting very good early on. I was marking a ton of fish early, but they just wouldn't bite. We were patient though and just stayed over them until they turned on. We concentrated on deeper water today and were rewarded bit time.
7/9/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After three days off the water due to high winds and stormy weather, we tackled Saginaw Bay today unsure of what to expect. When we motored out past the Au Gres Jetties, the water temperature read just 62 degrees. The water temperature there had plummeted 10 degrees since my last charter. Walleyes on the Bay will migrate to warmer water in those conditions, so we headed south around Pt. Au Gres and continued in that directions in shallow water inside the many trap nets in that area. We crossed several harsh temperature breaks along the way, but eventually, when the water hit close to 70 degrees I started marking fish on the bottom, so I cut the big motor, fired up my Mercury 9.9 Pro Kicker and readied things for some trolling activity. Unfortunately, the wind was howling pretty stiff from the west at over 15 knots, so with those winds, the only option was to troll with the wind. I pointed the boat eastward and started trolling with a eight rod spread of spinner/crawlers rigs. We trolled in that direction from under 20 feet of water to over 30 feet of water, weaving through the nets and covering about five miles of water in one direction without ever turning around and we never went more than five minutes without hooking up with walleyes along that whole route. The action was extremely steady, but not overwhelming as we never hooked more than two fish at one time. The walleyes were scattered but 99 percent of them were near the bottom. The bite was fairly light too with lots of fish lost due to the lethargic mood of those post cold front walleyes. None-the-less, my customers from Atlanta and Waterford, MI had a ball catching their limits of nice walleyes. The walleyes ranged in size from three inches to about 24 inches long with many year classes of fish well represented. We also caught one large yellow perch too. Since I missed much of the moral mushroom season this spring, my long time customers today was nice enough to bring me a bag of dried morals, which was awesome. For dinner today I rehydrated the mushrooms and sautéed them in butter with some onions. I made gravy by adding the rehydration sauce and flour to the mushrooms/onions/butter and put that over hash browns and steamed broccoli. Served next to a juicy venison burger, it made a meal fit for a king and I had smoked salmon for desert too.
7/5/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had beautiful days on Saginaw Bay the last two days and we maintained my 100% success rate for customers limiting out on every completed charter this year as both trips maxed out. I had four man charters both of the last two days, so we certainly caught a lot of walleyes over the Fourth. Yesterday we fished on the west side of the Bay, but today we ventured over to the east side and found about equal fishing at both vast locations where we covered many square miles of water each day. The fish are still scattered and numerous holding in deep water near the bottom during the daylight hours. We caught all our fish on bottom-bouncer/spinner/crawler rigs fished down and dirty near the bottom. Trolling speeds under 1.6 mph were best as anything more than that resulted in boring trolling with few bites. We caught fish of all sizes the last two days too, with year classes from one to five+ being well represented. We also caught one catfish each of the last two days: Today's catfish weight well over 10 pounds. We also caught one yellow perch each trip too. We are still pulling the same varied spinner patterns and they are not showing any preference on color much that I can tell. The key is to put in in their faces at the correct speed for success.
7/3/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a few days off the water we nicely got back into the fish again today fishing a new spot. Evidently the commercial fishermen have moved or removed a bunch of their trap nets, so we set up in about 24 feet of water in the area where just a couple weeks ago was littered with nets. It was raining off and on for the first couple hours of the charter and the fishing was fairly slow as we only took about five keeper walleyes per hour then. In the last hour of the trip though the bite picked up and my customers limited on with walleyes mostly in the 19 to 21 inch range. They also caught some nice yellow perch too which were about 9-10 inches long. Most of the fish were tight to the bottom today so we stuck with the bottom-bouncer/spinner/crawler trolling program that we have been using a lot this year. I marked a few fish up higher in the water column today, but I'd estimate that only 1/10, of one percent of the fish were up off the bottom more than two feet today. I did not see any color preference today as all of my harnesses got hit about equally. I'm using natural silvers to bright florescent colors all with #3 Colorado blades and no more than a three inch crawler (half of a big crawler or a full smaller crawler with the tail thrown away). Trolling speed was also not real critical today as we caught fish at 1.0 to 1.8 mph as the variable and swirling winds causes my speed to fluctuate a lot. I also trolled both with and into the wind with good success both ways. My customers today were from the Atlanta, MI area. He brought something on the boat that I had never had before, smoked venison tenderloin (filet menyon). It was seriously delicious. It had been about 15 years since they fished with me before on Saginaw Bay. With this outstanding fishing we have here now, I doubt it will be that before his return trip. In fact, with the nice perch he saw today, he is considering a late summer perch trip this year.
6/30/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We closed out the month of June maintaining my 100% success rate on limit catches for my customers for the year. I had a group of repeat customers today that are some pretty good fishermen. We ran way south this morning and trolled back towards Au Gres in one, long trolling pass going with the wind over about five miles of water. The winds varied from 15 to 20+ knots this morning, so we had mostly three footers on the Bay, so trolling with the wind was the only, practical option. Right after I set lines, we got into a good bite taking a dozen good keeper walleyes in the first hour of fishing. After that though, the wind shifted to the south and the bite slowed to a catch rate of about five keepers per hour and when the bite slowed, we started to loose more fish too, which is norma, but no big deal on the Bay as a lost fish is quickly replaced with another fish. All the fish I saw on my sonar were tight to the bottom, so we trolled with the only logical choice in those conditions; all meat presented near bottom. I ran my typical spread with six Church Tackle Walleye Boards and also two flat lines right off the gunnels. No color preference was shown today as the walleyes bit all my harnesses about equally. My harness patterns ranged from natural silver blades to bright chartreuse and florescent orange patterns. Slow trolling speeds at 1.3 to 1.5 mph were best. We marked fish along a six mile stretch of water today, so the walleyes are very wide spread and super abundant in many year classes. We caught walleyes from four inches up to 20+ inches. There are a dozen year classes of walleyes that are showing up in the catch daily, which bodes well for the fishery. Taking limit catches on every single completed charter this year certainly demonstrates the world class walleye fishery Saginaw Bay is now serving up. This has been the best walleye fishing I've ever experienced, bar none.
6/29/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weatherman had his head up his butt once again today as their predicted nine knot winds and storms in the afternoon were completely and utterly wrong. The winds were strong and steady all morning in the 18+ knot range and we had storms sweeping through the area from 7:00 through 8:00 a.m. and then again not long after noon. We had to fish in two to three foot waves today, which is certainly not ideal. Thankfully the morning storms missed us so we quickly set up for a troll short close to port just to play it safe in case one of the storms changed course. We only took a few walleyes in that first hour, so when the skies cleared up some, we picked up and moved to a different, more distant spot where we had good success a few days ago. We marked a lot of fish on the bottom seemingly everywhere we went, but the walleyes today were not biting good at all. We picked away at them steadily though and right when we decided to pull lines and call it a day, we hooked up with a triple header which limited out my customers. We also caught one nice yellow perch as a bonus too. The walleyes ran on the smaller side today with only one good sized fish all morning with the rest being just good eating size. It's typical when the fish aren't biting good that the catch will often be dominated by smaller fish. We caught all our fish today trolling spinner/crawler rigs near bottom with a slow trolling speed under 1.5 mph being best. The fish were very lethargic today with light bites and lots of lost fish as a result. This was likely the slowest bite we've had on over a month, but on Saginaw Bay these days, even a slow day here is better than an awesome day of walleye fishing elsewhere.
6/28/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had the heaviest fishing pressure I've seen in years today out of Au Gres. I ended up running to a spot I hadn't fished a while in an attempt to avoid the "crowds.". Unfortunately even at this distant spot, there were still a bunch of other boats in that area too. We started a bit earlier than normal today to avoid the tournament crowd at the launch, however the tournament organizers changed the start time at the last minute so we still ended up waiting in line at the ramp which sucked. The first hour or so of fishing was a bit slow as I am firmly of the opinion that walleyes do not bite real good early in the morning on the Bay. Eventually though, the walleyes started hitting better and better as the morning wore on and my customers from Martinsville, Indiana pulled in an impressive, four man limit catch of walleyes with several fish in the 26 inches range, but they also caught a some smaller eating sized fish too for a good mix. The fish were still holding tight to bottom, so we ran an eight rod spread of all spinner/crawler rigs with bottom bouncers. That spread consisted of six lines run off to the sides of the boat using Church Tackle Walleye Boards. We also ran two flat lines right off the gunnels too and those rigs caught a quite a few fish too.
6/27/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had another gorgeous weather day today with nearly ideal conditions for fishing. Unfortunately, I will not be able to provide any location or depth information any more on my fishing reports since I was followed out today by several people that fished right on top of us and others came in and set up discourteously close to us as well making fishing much more stressful than it should have been. It's a big body of water out there with millions of walleyes in many different locations, so there is no need to squeeze in so close to another boat. That being said, we still enjoyed some fantastic fishing anyway as we took fish consistently all morning until everyone on board had caught their legal limits of nice walleyes. I had a family from Wyandot, MI fish with me today and it was their first trip on Saginaw Bay and they will likely want to return. In addition to a mess of walleyes, they also caught two massive channel catfish that weighed over 10 pounds each along with a jumbo yellow perch too. We marked all our fish today tight to the bottom, so we stuck with the bottom bouncers and spinner/crawler rigs that are extremely productive in that situation. My trolling speeds were 1.3 to 1.5 mph. The weather tomorrow is predicted to be nice too and with the scheduled walleye tournament launching out of Au Gres tomorrow and a busy recreational fishing, Saturday crowd expected, this will certainly be the most crowded day this year at our port. We will likely hit a brand new spot tomorrow to escape the masses and we will also have to launch early too. After this weekend, the fishing pressure drops off a lot, but the quality of the fishing actually gets better as we head into July. July has been my most consistently successful month for several years in a row.
6/26/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We certainly had an aggressive walleye bite this morning. After having a couple days off the water, we headed out today and were greeted by calm wind and flat water and partly sunny skies. It was a beautiful morning on the Bay indeed. We set down just a few miles out and began marking a lot of fish while I set lines. The action was fast an furious from the start and picked up in intensity as the morning went on. I had to trim down my trolling spread to just a few rods as any more was not necessary. The fish were biting good with many swallowing the lures completely and very few fish were lost too with the aggressive bite. We limited out with a nice catch of eating sized walleyes very quickly. All our fish came on bottom bouncers trailing crawler harnesses fished near bottom in 31-32 feet of water. No spinner pattern was preferred as they hit everything I put near their mouths. I trolled at about 1.3 - 1.5 mph in one, short trolling run heading south. I know of good fishing from one end of the Bay to the other right now. The fish are so numerous here now that it is likely the best fishing we have ever had on Saginaw Bay with widespread, easy limits from hundreds, if not thousands of locations. The good-old-days are now on the Bay. Also, I just got a cancelation on July 6 which is a rare weekend opening during prime time.
6/23/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The water is remaining on the cool side out of Au Gres with a water temp of 67 degrees at the surface today when we headed in. It is unusual to see water temps this cold two days into summer. We had unstable conditions again this morning with storms passing to the north and south of us causing shifts in the winds and a slow bite. My customers from Roseville, MI still managed to pull a four man limit today in about five hours of fishing. They also got a bonus, 14 inch, jumbo, yellow perch and a big channel catfish too. This was the first time they had fished on Saginaw Bay and it is always nice to show off our fishery to first-timers. We are still forced to troll with meat near the bottom as the fish are holding deep and are relatively inactive with this crazy weather pattern we are stuck in. Harness pattern did not mater today as they hit a variety of spinners about equally. With this light bite, where the fish often just nibble a lot, using half crawlers really ups the catch as they get hooked more often and steel the bait much less too. We fished the same general area as yesterday and marked tons of fish there, but the walleyes were not active, so we just picked away at them until we had limited out. A slow trolling speed of about 1.4 mph was best. The water should start to warm up some in the next week, so that should get the bite going better to the point of non-stop action once again.
6/22/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The fishing continues to be red hot out of Au Gres. Even with winds switching several times this morning, my customers, from Cadillac, MI, still caught a fairly quick limit of nice walleyes and also a foot long perch too as a bonus fish. The wind started out from the northeast with two-foot waves rolling southwest as we headed out. Then the wind switched to the east, then 45 minutes later is switched to the southeast, then it went south and by the time we pulled lines, it was coming from the northeast once again. It was sloppy with waves coming from several different directions at the same time, which makes for tough, precision trolling. With a normal walleye fishery, switching winds like that will shut the fish off completely, however, thankfully, Saginaw Bay is not a normal fishery at all these days. With millions of walleyes in the Bay, there are always at least some fish that didn't get the memo to quite biting. The bite was a bit light this morning, but they still kept biting steadily regardless of the tough conditions. I marked tons of fish right on the bottom today, so we stuck with the same spinner/crawler/bottom/bouncer rigs I used yesterday. Slow trolling speeds were best in the 1.3 to 1.5 range. Spinner color did not mater as long as the lure was in their faces. We fished deeper water today as those deep holding fish typically don't shut down as much as shallow water fish do in changing winds like we had today. We spent most of the morning in 30 to 35 feet of water. For some reason today we caught more larger fish with only five fish under 20 inches and several real dandies too with the biggest being over 26 inches. We have still limited out on every completed charter so far this year, so this fishery is certainly world class.
6/21/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We certainly experienced a beautiful day on the Bay today. We had light northeast winds and cloudy skies quickly giving way to lots of sunshine as the morning went on. With the NE winds, we set up a few miles out and just trolled with the waves heading southwest and my customers were able to take their limit of walleyes on one, long troll in that direction. We started catching fish right away too and the action kept up all morning until we had boated a five man limit of walleyes with one bonus, jumbo perch too. I didn't see any suspended fish in that deep water area, so we kept the spinner/crawler rigs close to bottom where we were marking fish constantly on the graph. The water temp was still in the mid-60s on the surface and likely in the 50s on the bottom, so a slow trolling speed of 1.4 mph did the trick. Early this morning, red and silver colors were best, but when the bite got more intense, color didn't seem to mater much. This group I had today from the Webberville area had scheduled a charter with me a while back, but the wind kicked up that day and we only got to fish an hour or so before we had to head in due to huge waves. They took advantage of a cancelation that I had today though and rescheduled their curtailed trip and were rewarded with a memorable fishing experience on Saginaw Bay as a result.
6/20/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
June 20 on my schedule was booked once, then that party canceled, then it was rebooked by someone else who also cancelled, then it was booked again by the party I took out today. This folks, from Taylor, MI and I headed out onto the Bay this morning with two to three foot waves being pushed by fairly stiff, northeast wind. There was also the threat of rain and possibly thunderstorms later in the morning, so we opted to stay close to port and actually fished the same area as yesterday trolling about one mile out from Pt. Lookout to Pt. Au Gres in 20 to 30 feet of water. We made one long, trolling pass across Au Gres Bay and my customers took their limits in that single pass. I decided that I wanted some fish for myself and wanted to scout out deeper water, so with the wind dyeing down and the storm clouds breaking up on radar, we ventured out into deeper water and made a short trolling pass in 33 feet of water and picked up my limit too. Our walleyes today ranged in size form 15 to 26 inches with lots of different age classes represented nicely. Saginaw Bay has had unprecedented, natural, walleye reproduction for the past 11 years in a row and really has lots of diversity in walleye age structure from young fish right up to millions of older, bigger fish too. This fishery really has a promising future. With the stalled front settled upon Michigan, the walleyes are still in a somewhat negative mood, and are staying tight to bottom. We trolled with all meat today down near bottom with no real spinner pattern shinning as they hit everything I trolled about equally today. Trolling speeds were on the slow side as I tried to speed it up a few times, but they seemed to prefer it in the 1.3 to 1.4 mph range best. The walleye fishing out of Au Gres is perhaps some of the best I've ever seen right now. There are dozens of different spots now within striking range of Au Gres where easy limits can be taken, so the fish are wide spread and very numerous. There are probably 100 square miles of water near Au Gres teaming with walleyes now. In conclusion, good luck to all the competitors participating in the West Michigan Walleye Club tournament out of Au Gres tomorrow. Earlier this year I did a seminar at one of their monthly meetings so it was good to see a few familiar faces from there yesterday and this morning. With a decent weather day predicted tomorrow, the club event participants should all load up on lots of walleyes for a very fun day.
6/19/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The national weather service was certainly incompetent at best today. They predicted 15 knot winds, but reality was northeast winds at closer to 25 knots. When the wind is blowing like that, we can sometimes catch fish close to shore right in Au Gres Bay no more than one or two miles from port, so that's what we did. I hadn't fished that area for a while, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised to get some hook-ups with some nice walleyes right away. With the gusty winds though hooking the fish was the easy part: Catching them was the tough part. We even had some impressive tangles today too, all thanks to the windy conditions. We persevered though and by the end of the five-hour charter my customers from the Dansville area managed to take a limit of some nice walleyes. Most of the fish were over 20 inches with only a few keepers less than that mark. All the fish I saw on my sonar were tight to bottom, so we trolled with all spinner/crawler rigs right on the bottom. I didn't really notice any color preference today as they hit the different spinner patterns I ran about equally. Trolling speeds were all over the place as we trolled with the surging waves at speeds from 1 to 2.2 mph. The fish seemed to bite best though at slower speeds today. It was a chilly day on the Bay with that wind coming off the main Lake. I had to wear a heavy jacket all morning. Here's a photo of the biggest fish of the day caught by an 18 year old who is planning to join the Marines.
6/18/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had to cancel my scheduled charter yesterday due three thunderstorms that rolled through the area during the day. One of them even produced a couple confirmed tornados, one of which touched down in Hale, which is only about 20 miles from here. I had the same group of anglers for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and it was nice having some folks that came from the same town I grew up in. Today, the weather started out real shaky too with thunderstorms rumbling though during the morning from 7:00 through 10:00. We waited them out though and hit the water at about 11:00 and headed out to the area where we left off on Monday. We started taking walleye right away and had steady action for the first hour hours, but then the winds calmed down and then shifted, which slowed the bite. Eventually though we trolled into an active school of walleyes and hooked five at the same time. We circled around on that spot and picked up the last of my customers limits and just as we were pulling in that last fish, I heard a distant rumble of thunder from the west. We hustled it back to shore and got back just in time avoiding the storm on the water. I had been watching the storm on radar, and thought it would pass to the south of us, but it took a directional change and just clipped Au Gres. We caught most of our walleyes today on red and silver spinner/crawler rigs fished near bottom. We marked tons of fish in a vast area today, but the bite was a bit off due to the stalled front we have in this region that is wrecking havoc with the barometric pressure and typically results in lethargic, inactive fish that hang out tight to bottom. In conditions like these, a slow trolling presentation that puts the lures right in front of the walleyes' noses is usually best. I did run a couple Hot N' Tots today, but only took one walleye on them.
6/16/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
It was an absolutely beautiful day on the Bay today with blue skies, warm temperatures and light winds. With near perfect fishing conditions today, I decided to try a spot that I hadn't yet fished this year. I fished this area with the party I had today when they chartered with me last year and they had great fishing then, so they were happy to try that spot again today. We set up in 15 feet of water running a mixture of Hot N' Tots and spinner/crawler rigs trolling at about 1.7 mph. We got into some good action right away and took eight quick walleyes, then the wind died down and switched directions and the bite slowed up considerable and the ones that did bite mostly got off with the bite aggressiveness decreasing. This area also had a lot of floating weeds too, which made trolling difficult at best, so we pulled up and moved to deep water in another nearby area where I had yet to fish this year too. We had no boats around us at all when we set lines in 27 foot of water. We trolled out to 32 feet deep and then turned back shallower trolling in one long troll never turning around so we covered all new water all day. The action there was nothing short of fantastic everywhere we went with consistent walleye action in all depths running the same mixed trolling spread, but at 1.5 to 1.6 mph in that deeper water. I had to increase the weight on the lures to take them near bottom though. We ended up catching 25 keeper walleyes and everyone on board had a blast in the process with sunburn being the only downside to the day.
6/15/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had a charter group from the Port Huron, MI area today. Some of the guys had fished with me before on both Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay, while others were first timers. We had blue skies, cool temperatures and an east wind at about 10 to 15 knots this morning. The two foot waves slowed us down in reaching the fishing area, but once we got there, we had steady action all morning until my four customers had caught their limits of nice walleyes. Right now, there are likely more walleyes in Saginaw Bay than in decades. The DNR really has no real idea how many walleyes call Saginaw Bay home, but there are many year classes represented with millions of walleyes from one years olds all the way to old timers with tens of millions of walleyes in between. These are in fact "the good old days" right now as far as walleye fishing on the Bay is concerned. There is no other walleye fishery in the world that can match the consistent success Saginaw Bay provides year especially during the spring and summer. I fish both Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay and even Lake Erie does not even come close to Saginaw Bay these days. We have limited out on every walleye charter this year on Saginaw Bay and I bet there are few other captains that can advertise those kinds of success rates anywhere.
6/14/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weatherman missed the mark again today as the predicted calm winds were more like 18 to 20 knots out of the northwest. The heavy, offshore wind kept us close to shore for the first few hours of the trip, and the bite there was somewhat slow as we only caught nine keeper walleyes there. When the wind died down though, we moved to another spot out in the middle of the Bay and got into some hot and heavy action there right away and filled a five man limit quickly with non-stop action. We had good success on fire/tiger and silver/red spinner/crawler rigs pulled near the bottom at 1.4 to 1.5 mph. My party today was from the Hastings area and they had never fished Saginaw Bay before, so they got a good taste of the caliber of fishing available on the Bay and they will also get a good taste of a lot of scrumptious walleye dinners too.
6/13/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had four great guys from the Clio, Michigan area fishing with me today and it was a good thing they booked an eight-hour charter instead of a five-hour trip because we needed the extra time for them to limit out with today's tough bite. The weatherman had predicted sunny skies and winds from the northwest at 15 to 18 knots. What we got was mostly cloudy conditions with west winds howling at 20 to 25 knots and air temperatures that didn't even reach 60 degrees for a high. It was a good thing that we were fishing at Au Gres where deep water is close to shore and it was also a good thing that there are good numbers of walleyes close to shore there too. We ran out less than one mile, set lines and trolled out until we were about three miles from shore, then we had to pull lines, run back closer to shore and repeat that trolling pass four times today to max out on fish. We caught eight walleyes on the first pass, but after that, the wind increased and the clouds moved in and the bite slowed considerably. We then slowly picked away at them though until limits were caught. We caught about a half dozen nice sized walleyes, but the rest were smaller eating sized fish. We also caught at least a dozen undersized walleyes today too, most of which were just barely under 15 inches. We trolled at 1.4 to 1.7 mph today and had to use drift socks on and off to slow the boat enough to hit those productive speeds as the gusting winds were really pushing us along at times. We caught all our fish on spinner/crawler rigs with fire/tiger and silver/red being best. All the fish we caught and marked on sonar were tight to the bottom, so we used bottom bouncers to target those low-down fish. This was the toughest day of fishing I've experienced since my first charter this year, but even on a tough weather day Saginaw Bay's world class walleye population still produced limits. In fact, we have caught limits on every charter so far this year. It doesn't get much better than that.
6/12/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Fog greeted us this morning, however it quickly lifted on the Bay and we were able to depart on time and on flat waters too. We motored out to the deep water area where we fished on Tuesday and had no action at all for the first half-hour, but then we finally trolled into some fish a bit shallower and had to switch things up a bit shortening the setbacks and then it was game on. Once we found them, it was non-stop action and my party from Texas got to enjoy their third, straight limit catch of dandy walleyes. Today's fish ran on the chunky side as most of them were above the ideal eating size. Our biggest fish was about 25 inches. We did take some smaller fish too though to round out the catch and we even caught some sub-legal sized walleyes, which bodes well for the future of this fantastic fishery. We trolled in one direction until we found a concentration of walleyes and then we circled around on them and really loaded up and finished up tossing back some nice fish too since we had five on at one time at the end of the trip when we only needed two more for our limits. I varied my trolling speed a lot today as the winds were variable. We caught fish at 1.3 to 1.8 mph. We used varied harnesses patterns featuring red, silver, chartreuse, orange and glow and all took hits, so there was no color preference that I could tell. The fish are still tight to the bottom feeding on emerging bugs, so the presentation had to be very close to the bottom to take fish in that area.
6/11/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a weather delay this morning as we waited out a storm system. When it stopped raining, we headed out, but unfortunately, it did sprinkle on us one and off for the first hour or so, but the rain didn't seem to bother the walleyes much as they bit good all day. Since everyone on board had rain suits, it didn't bother us much either. With iffy weather today, we fished close to port setting up near Point Lookout and trolling southwest towards Point Au Gres in deep water. Our trolling spread of the same variety of spinner/crawler rigs that I've been using for weeks took consistent action and we picked up nine keeper walleyes on that first long trolling pass. Unfortunately, the fish were biting very light, so we lost a lot of walleyes in the process. We then motored to a new area close by and did one trolling pass through that area and finished off my customers limits with a nice box of walleyes. The action was a lot faster paced in the second spot, but the fish there were light biting too and we continued to loose more fish than we caught. It was kind of rough today and the surging waves also impacted our bite to catch ratio as a lot of fish just pulled off when the boat surged on waves. It was still a fun day of fishing with lots of smiles throughout the trip.
6/10/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I have a family from Texas fishing with me Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday who had never fished Saginaw Bay before until today. We set lines with a two foot chop, which build into twos and threes pretty fast as the weatherman missed the mark on the wind forecast once again. The predicted 8-10 knot winds ended up blowing at about 15 knots. Never-the-less, the walleyes didn't seem to mind as they started hitting right away and never stopped attacking our lures until we pulled lines. We did one, long trolling pass, in one direction (southwest) this morning. That pass covered several miles of water and we caught fish all along that route which took us over varying depths. We trolled at 1.3 to 1.7 mph in the surging waves. Harness pattern did not matter as they hit everything about equally well. We caught fish today of all sizes from small ones to some dandy chunkers. At the end of the trip, when we only needed a couple fish, every line in the water hooked up with six fish on at once. It was a fitting end to a excellent day of fishing. The weather is iffy for tomorrow with predicted storms and strong Northeast winds, so we may not get out again until Thursday, but you never know with the weather.
6/8/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I had a group from the Columbus, Ohio area fish with me today and besides having a great time on a vacation here in the Au Gres area, they also got to experience world class walleye fishing today too. The weather was a little iffy this morning with a rain storm making its way across Michigan, but by tracking the storm on my radar, it became apparent that the storm would miss us to the south. We ran back to the spot where we ended yesterday's charter. When I saw on the sonar that the bottom there was still covered with fish, we set lines and immediately got into some walleyes. From then on we caught fish practically non-stop taking an impressive limit catch of chunky walleyes in very short order. Only a few of the fish were under 20 inches with most of them being in the 20 to 22 inch range which are excellent eating size, but still big enough to put up a good fight for some fun fishing indeed. We caught them on the same spinner/crawler rigs I've been using for about two weeks. These rigs are a variety of colors like fire-tiger, silver, red, pearl and glow and they all got hit today with no color preference shown by the walleyes. We put the harnesses right on the bottom with a long setback for the bottom bouncers. The trolling speed today was about 1.5 mph. When the wind kicked up, I had to put a drift sock in to slow the trolling speed. We are still fishing a massive school of walleyes on the east side of the shipping channel. This school stretches from Buoys 1 and 2 all the way to Sand Point in deep water and I'm sure there are a lot of fish further east in shallower water in that area too, but I haven't fished it yet. This fishing now is some of the best I've seen on the Bay and my customers today are already planning a return trip to experience it once again.
6/7/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
This is probably starting to sound like a broken record, but we again had phenomenal walleye fishing on the Bay. We took quick limits of dandy walleyes with the biggest being 25 inches, but we lost a couple that were bigger, much bigger. Most of our fish were over 20 inches today. We had non-stop action from the time I started setting lines until we boxed out in just 60 minutes of fishing. In fact, I never sat down once in one hour of fast paced fishing action where I was either setting lines or netting fish and my customers were reeling in one chunky walleye after another. Trolling speed was not much of a factor today as we took fish at 1.3 to 2.4 mph. We mostly trolled at 1.5 to 1.6 mph, but at the end of the trip, after we had taken our limits, I still had a couple lines left in the water so I bumped the speed up to 2.4 mph to try to stop any more walleyes from grabbing on, but within seconds both of those last two lines hooked up with 20+ inchers anyway which we caught and promptly released. We fished with the same spinner/crawler rigs that I've been using for over a week, and they hit every color I put down to them, so spinner pattern was not a factor. This is truly world class walleye fishing out of Au Gres right now and the best part is that it will likely continue through August.
6/6/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We experienced a beautiful, productive morning on the water today. I had a party from the Dowagiac, MI area today who had never fishing Saginaw Bay before. They were certainly impressed and are already planning a return trip. We took quick limits of some impressive walleyes fishing a new area for most of the trip that was literally fin to fin walleyes. We caught fish of all sizes with some chunky specimens up to 25 inches and a lot of quality fish in the 20 to 23 inch range too. We trolled with the same harnesses that I've had on my rods for over a week straight consisting of some brightly colored chartreuse and orange ones and also some more natural colors too, but it really didn't mater what type of spinner was used as they hit everything I put near bottom. They were even hitting some chewed up, pieces of crawlers. I use half crawlers most of the time as that seems to reduce short strikes and the walleyes seem to really like those stubby offerings even better than whole crawlers. I can usually catch several fish on the same half crawler, which saves rebating time. I only went through 10 night crawlers today and had around 30 fish on including the ones that got away. I tried to run an eight rod trolling spread, but only got all eight rods out once at the beginning of the charter: after that we had fish on non-stop. A trolling speed of 1.4 to 1.5 mph was best. When I sped up once, we took no hits. Any slower and they didn't like that either. The water temp was about 64 degrees when we headed in, so it is warming up, but slowly. Normally the water temp would be in the low 70s by now, but due to the cold winter, things are a little colder than normal still. The fish are more lethargic than normal for this time of year, so going slow is a key to success still.
6/5/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today was one of the "Pure Michigan" commercial kind of days with clear, blue skies and a nice breeze to put a nice "walleye chop" on the water. We set the same hot program as the previous day in the same general location and the walleyes hit practically non-stop until we had caught our limits very quickly. This is a massive school of fish we are fishing that likely encompasses over 20 square miles of water and ranges from shallow water to depths over 35 feet. Today we did a three mile trolling pass and never ran out of fish. The fish ran bigger today with most of our walleyes measuring over 20 inches. In fact only a few were under 20". We lost some dandy fish too but when you are hooking fish constantly, it really doesn't mater in the end. We were trolling with the same variety of spinner/crawler rigs that I've had on my poles all week and the fish showed no color preference today as they hit everything we put in the water. I only ran six rods today and that was more than enough to get the job done. Our trolling speed varied a lot as we were trolling with the wind in two foot waves and our speed was in the 1.3 to 1.7 mph range. The weather is predicted to be very nice for the next few days, so this world class walleye fishing should keep going for the foreseeable future.
6/4/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a big blow yesterday, the wind died down completely by this morning as we motored out onto Saginaw Bay in dead calm conditions. There was a major May Fly hatch last night and also a big midge hatch this morning. Those types of events tend to shut down the walleye bite on Lake Erie, but that is not the case at all on Saginaw Bay. We started taking hits before I got all my lines set and that hot action continued until we limited out in just a couple hours of fishing. In fact, today we ran a two multiple charter with a large party divided among two boats and everyone caught their limits in short order. We again took fish of all sizes (small, medium and chunky) for a nice mix. The walleyes are feeding heavily on bugs right now, but there are so many walleyes in the Bay now that even though they have an abundance of food available, they still are easy to catch providing one knows what they are doing. All our fish on both boats were taken in deep water trolling with spinner/crawler rigs near the bottom. Trolling speeds of 1.4 to 1.5 were best today. There was no color preference as they hit a variety of spinners patterns as long as they were presented right in their faces. Saginaw Bay is serving up perhaps the best walleye fishing I've ever seen this spring as my customers have taken limit catches on every charter and this fishing will only get better as we head into the best fishing month, which is July.
6/2/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
It was a little breezy this morning with a southerly wind putting a nice "walleye chop" on the water. We ran a bit south from where we took our limits yesterday and trolled with the wind at 1.2 to 1.7 mph rolling with the waves. We had consistent action all morning and my four customers took their limits of some nice walleyes before noon, despite a late start. Most of the fish were 19 to 21 inches but we did take a few bigger ones for good measure too. The fish came mostly in doubles and triples today as they were clustered in pods all over our fishing area. The walleyes have been feeding on shiners as I had about 50 shiners left in my live well that they had barfed up. The shiners were two to three inches long. We caught all our fish today on a variety of spinner/crawler rigs trolled near the bottom. I didn't mark any suspended fish all morning so having lures up higher would have been a waste of time. No particular spinner pattern shined today as they hit everything I threw at them. I have a scheduled day off tomorrow, and it's a good thing too, because the weather is predicted to be very windy and stormy Tuesday anyway. I'll be hitting the water again on Wednesday with a three boat charter, which should be fun. After that, I have every day booked until June 21, which opened up after we got a cancelation. My July charters are starting to book up more and more. July has been the most consistently excellent fishing month for me on Saginaw Bay for several years in a row with limit catches on every trip.
6/1/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weatherman really screwed up once again today. They had predicted calm to light wind conditions, but when we got to the Bay, the wind was southeast at 15 to 20 knots kicking up three footers, which was a real drag pounding through on the way out, but we just went slow with the trim tabs down to mitigate the bumps. Thankfully the wind died down fairly quickly once we started fishing and by the end of the trip, is was downright nice out. We made one long trolling pass over deep water this morning and experienced fast paced action all the way for three miles. It only took us about two hours of fishing to put 25 nice walleyes in the box which certainly put smiles on my customers face big time. Last year this group went out with me, but the weather came up and we had to curtail the trip due to high winds. This year though they hit the jackpot and took home bags of prime walleye filets which will make many fine meals indeed. I even got some fish for myself today and am planning a grilled walleye dinner this evening which I'm sure will be scrumptious. We caught all our fish on the same program as we've been using all week - trolling spinner/crawler rigs behind bottom bouncers at 1.3 to 1.5 mph. The harness pattern did not mater today as they hit everything I put down there about equally. The ride back to port was drastically different than the ride out: It was calm running for the trip back, so that was a nice way to finish off the charter.
5/31/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had another very productive day of walleye fishing on the Bay this morning closing out the month of May with a limit catch of nice walleyes. We headed back to the same area where we have been fishing for the last week and got into some hot action right away. I never actually got all eight lines in the water at the same time on the first trolling pass as we hooked up non-stop for better than one hour straight. That trolling pass covered about two miles of water and went over varying depths to 34'. We took about 15 walleyes on that first pass, but then the wind shifted to the ENE and it took us a full hour to land the last five fish on the second pass over the same waters, so that wind shift certainly slowed the bite some. It was still an awesome day as we were back to the launch by about 11:00. We caught walleyes of all sizes today for a nice mix taking everything off the bottom on crawler harnesses/bottom bouncers trolled at 1.3 to 1.4 mph. Harness color was not a factor today as they showed no real preference taking everything I put in the water about equally. We only trolled with the wind/waves today as the two foot chop was a bit too harsh to troll into those waves at the required slow trolling speeds that the walleyes wanted. The water temps are still in the low 60s at the surface and much colder on the bottom, so the fish are a bit lethargic still. Sharp hooks and a smart fish fighting strategy are needed in conditions like these for optimal success.
5/29/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After two days off the water due to rotten weather, we headed out today with light winds and clear skies predominating We went to the area where we had limited out on Monday, but with a southeast wind today, we set up about one mile southeast of that location to troll towards that area. When I stopped the boat there, I immediately noticed a lot of fish on the fish finder and they were all located tight to bottom. I set lines with a spread of spinner/crawler rigs taken to the bottom with heavy bottom/bouncers. We hadn't even gotten half the lines out when we hooked up with our first fish and that's the way the rest of the morning went as we had steady action until we had taken a limit in no time at all. We caught fish of all sizes today too for a perfect mix of small walleyes, medium ones and also some lunkers too. The fish were not fussy this morning as they took a variety of spinner patterns showing no real preference. We caught fish in waters 27 to 34 feet deep with 27-29 being best. The trolling speed was pretty critical this morning as they bit best at 1.4 mph. One tenth of a mph more or less and they would not bite. Sharp hooks are a must at those slow trolling speeds in deep water and even then, we probably lost as many fish as we caught. I just had two rare June days open up from an otherwise completely booked month. Give me a call if you want to fish on June 20 or 21 as those are prime dates and won't last long.
5/26/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
It was an absolutely beautiful this morning on the water today with a light, warm, south wind and clear skies predominating. We headed out at a bit past 7:00 and tried a spot where we marked a lot of fish on the way back to port yesterday. We caught one dandy walleye right away, but after about an hour, we had no other takers, so we pulled lines and moved to a new spot about one mile from where we limited out yesterday. Right away we had some good action, but the bite was light as we were loosing way more fish than we were catching. We were getting about 25 hits per hour, but landing about 10 walleyes out of 25. It was non-stop action though and in no time we had limited out taking mostly nice eating sized walleyes with a few bigger ones too. For the time being, the walleyes have moved out of the Au Gres area, so to find fish, a longer run is necessary now. The fish are very lethargic now too as all our fish were caught near the bottom with a slow trolling speed of 1.3 mph. Fire-tiger spinner/crawler rigs trolled behind bottom bouncers has been best two days in a row. If you want to see what that harness looks like, there's a good photo of it hanging out of a walleyes mouth with my article in the June issue of Woods N' Water News. They also have that photo on WWNs Facebook page too.
5/25/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My streak continues as we have limited out on all my fishing trips so far this year. Today, we went out and tried a few spots with no action, so we kept moving to new areas until we finally found some active fish. Then it was just a mater of fine tuning the trolling spread to their preferred presentation, which was a fire-tiger spinner/crawler rig fished at 1.3 mph near the bottom in deep water. Once we put a lot of those rigs in their faces, we had very steady action and limited out in less than two hours of fishing. We caught a pile of nice walleyes today with the biggest being about five pounds and only one undersized fish. I even got to eat some grilled, fresh walleye for dinner which was awesome.
5/5/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My customers were a bit late this morning as we didn't hit the water until about 8:00 a.m. It didn't mater though as the nearly ideal conditions with a slight chop and overcast skies produced non-stop action as we took a four-man limit in about two hours of fishing. Most of the fish were 18 to 24 inches today with a couple bigger and a couple smaller for a nice mix of walleyes. We trolled spinner/crawler rigs with bottom bouncers between the points in varied depths taking fish where ever we went. Spinner pattern did not mater today as they hit various stuff with no preference. We trolled at about 1.4 mph today, but at times, we sped up and slowed down and still took hits, so speed was not much of a factor today. I talked to the DNR creel checker and he said that most anglers were taking limits over the last few days and the fish were coming all over. Most people are still fishing with stick baits, but the crawler bite is definitely on big-time too. This is perhaps the best spring fishing I've seen out of Au Gres this year despite the late spring and bad predominantly bad weather. We have limited out on every charter so far this year and there are a lot of nice sized fish this year too. The best is yet to come too.
5/4/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
More challenging conditions met us today on Saginaw Bay with switching winds, cold temps and even some squalls moving though with rain once again. The weatherman had predicted sunny conditions, but he was very wrong. Fortunately, the world-class walleye fishery on Saginaw Bay came though regardless and gave up a quick limit catch of some nice fish for my customers. We caught everything on spinner/crawler rigs today trolling in shallower water at slow speeds. Our 20+ walleyes on my boat bit very lightly today and it took perhaps 60 hits to catch our fish for a 2:1 bite to catch ratio. Even with super sharp hooks and good fishing techniques you are going to loose a lot of fish in these conditions. This was a two-boat charter today with customers that had never fishing for walleyes on the Bay before, but they did just fine and will be eating lots of walleyes for their efforts. Au Gres is an awesome place for a fishing trip. There is even a house rental in town that will sleep up to six people comfortably right on the river for only $100 per night. There are also lots of motels and cottages available for too with plenty of excellent eateries in Au Gres too making it a perfect spot for a getaway.
5/3/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
There are a lot of walleyes offshore from Au Gres right now. We
again had challenging fishing conditions today with some muddy water and
weather that basically sucked. We had winds from all directions
today with this prolonged low pressure system spinning around Michigan
and plaguing us with tough fishing conditions for the last six days in a
row. We still managed to take 20 nice walleyes today though for a
limit catch for my customers. We were delayed going out today with
heavy rains in the early morning. After a great breakfast at H&H
Bakery and Restaurant, we headed for the Bay. We also had another
delay this morning too, so we really didn't start fishing until about
11:00. We ran north and tried to troll stick baits along the
shorelines north of Pt. Lookout past Whitestone Point and only had a
couple fish in the box from those efforts. We then relocated to
the same spot, in deep water, where we had good action yesterday and
limited out. I changed over to a crawler/bottom bouncer program as
the fish on the fish finder were showing that they were tight to bottom.
A slow trolling speed of 1.2 to 1.3 mph got the job done. Color of
harness pattern did not mater as I ran a bunch of varied spinners and
they all about took equal hits. When this weather finally
stabilizes, the fishing here is going to be off the charts good.
The weather this week has been pretty miserable, but we did get out fishing today with some success even though the conditions were less than ideal. The charter limited out on walleyes and also caught a nice king salmon as a bonus fish too. We tried a half dozen spots today trying to find good numbers of fish. While we caught some walleyes just about everywhere we went, we found better fishing in deeper water pulling the lethargic fish off the bottom using bottom bouncers and crawlers. We did catch some fish earlier, in shallow water on stick baits, but never really found a good concentration of fish there. In the deeper water, we lost three fish for every fish caught as the walleyes there were biting very lightly and we had to troll extremely slow to get them to bite at all. We did mark a lot of fish in deeper water though, so that fishery will really take off when the weather improves and the fish there get more aggressive in their feeding. There really was no hot harness today as they hit everything I put down to the bottom, as long as the speed was kept slow. With the gusty, shifting winds, I had to use drift socks on and off to get the trolling speed right. On a side note, I did install a new Mercury Vengeance, stainless steel prop today on my new Mercury 150 HP Four Stroke motor. This prop is 14.5" in diameter and has a 17 pitch. It popped my 22 foot Lund Baron right out of the hole and the RPM range was perfect for the motor as I was able to get up to 38 mph top end very quickly without even trimming the motor up very far. I'm sure it will go faster in calmer conditions. The Vengeance prop is designed to achieve good performance, but it is really supposed to maximize fuel economy, which is very important in this day and age of expensive gas prices.
4/24/2014, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The fishing was excellent at Au Gres today serving up a limit catch of nice walleyes in short order trolling with smelt imitating, stick baits in fairly shallow water. All the walleyes caught today were on the big side. The smallest fish was 24" and the biggest was 28". Water temps today were in the low 40s. Trolling speeds of about 1.3 mph were best. All fish were caught on shallow diving, Smithwick, Limited Rouges set 60' behind the Walleye Boards with a 3/8 ounce rubber core sinker about 5' ahead of the lure. I did pull some Husky Jerks and had a couple hits on them, but they didn't stay on. I marked a lot of smelt in the area and lots of big fish too. The water was clear and I could see at least 10' down, so running the boards way out away from the boat produced the best in those calm, clear water conditions. My new Mercury motors are running great. I put a different prop on the 150 Four Stroke and it put the RPMs at 5,200 at full throttle doing 37.8 mph for top end with the 19 pitch, aluminum prop. It cruised very smoothly at 30 mph turning about 3,800 RPMs. My 9.9 Pro Kicker ran perfectly trolling down to less than 1 mph in calm conditions, which is great. At 1.3 mph, which was the best trolling speed today, it purred very quietly and ran as smooth as silk.
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.