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Michigan fishing charters for walleye and perch at Au Gres (AuGres) and Tawas City (or East Tawas) on Saginaw Bay along with king salmon (Chinook Salmon) at Manistee on Lake Michigan and walleye at Monroe or Detroit on Lake Erie. Our sportfishing charter boat targets the biggest, trophy sized, Great Lakes walleye and king salmon (Chinook salmon) that Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay have to offer.
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Michigan Under the Radar TV program with a segment at the end where Capt.
Mike Veine takes the crew on a very success walleye fishing trip aboard the
Trophy Specialist charter boat on Saginaw Bay towards the end of the show.
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Au Gres - Saginaw Bay Walleye Fishing Travel Guide
Sportfishing charter boat for trophy walleye, steelhead, salmon, lake trout and brown trout, perch too
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Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters does just what the name implies, specializes in sportfishing for the biggest, most prized fish (walleye, perch, king salmon, Atlantic salmon, steelhead, lake trout and Great Lakes brown trout) that Michigan has to offer. We accomplish this by sport fishing on the hottest waters at their peak trophy producing periods. Yes, tailoring a charter boat from port to port is expensive and a hassle, but quite frankly, it's the only way captains can consistently deliver peak sportfishing action throughout the season. By concentrating on the right places at the right times, Trophy Specialists insures a very high success rate and overall fun fishing experiences. You can kick back and let the captain worry about all the technicalities for catching walleye, salmon, steelhead and brown trout and just enjoy the expense.
Trophy Specialists is all about professionalism with a total commitment to quality customer service. We provide leading edge, tournament tested boats, gear, tactics and know how. You need not be an expert angler to land the big ones with us. Our services include expert coaching skills that gives even novice anglers a real chance to catch huge walleye, salmon, brown trout or steelhead. We also offer unique fishing trips like early spring trophy walleye charters on Lake Erie and charters at the best walleye fishery in the world - Saginaw Bay. Fishing with Trophy Specialists may in fact be your best chance at catching that trophy of a lifetime for the wall or the photo album. With over 30 years of hard-core fishing experience and a U.S. Coast Guard Masters License with commercial towing and other endorsements, Capt. Michael Veine is one of the most highly qualified charter boat captains operating on the Great Lakes including Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Saginaw Bay. In fact, Capt. Mike is licensed to pilot ships; now how many guides or charter captains can claim those kinds of credentials? Mike Veine is also a widely published outdoor writer and photographer, so your trophy tale and/or photos may even be featured in your favorite magazine (with your permission of course). Also, be sure to check out our fishing reports to see what's biting.
Gift certificates are available - Giving someone a fishing charter gift certificate makes an awesome present for Christmas, birthday, father's day, mother's day, anniversaries, graduations, bachelor party and other special occasions. Fishing charter gift certificates are also ideal for fund-raisers, charities, raffles, employee appreciation, business entertainment and many other purposes, and they can be customized just about any way you want. The recipient can choose the port, species and timeframe. Because Trophy Specialists fishes from many different ports targeting walleye, salmon, steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and other species, the recipient of the gift will certainly have plenty to choose from.
Charters for the Film Industry - Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters offers charter boat and marine services (lease and rental) for the film, television (TV), cinema and movie industry. We have on-the-water video production experience on the Great Lakes and other rivers and inland lakes of Michigan and Ohio. We are fully licensed and insured and can provide professional on the water support for your cinematography projects.
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Check out our fishing reports to find out if the
walleye, perch, king (Chinook) salmon, steelhead, brown trout, lake trout or Atlantic
salmon are biting where Trophy Specialist is running fishing charters.
These fishing reports will cover the ports of Au Gres (AuGres) on Saginaw
Bay, Rogers City on Lake Huron, Manistee on Lake Michigan and Monroe and
the Western Basin of Lake Erie. We will try to update the fishing
report regularly during the open water charter fishing season. For
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9/3/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I decided to add one more fishing report at the request of one of my clients today who had been reading my reports and was looking forward to seeing his report after their charter. This young man (in the photo) was not only an awesome fisherman, but he also helped me with the rods in the back of the boat all day too demonstrating some pretty impressive qualities for someone of any age. Our day started out very chilly with a stiff, westerly wind that was nearly twice as stiff as predicted by the marine forecast. Instead of the predicted one foot waves we had three footers for much of the day until the wind finally let up after noon. The bite started off fairly decent, but it was a light bite and we probably lost half our fish today as a result. The wind was fickle too, switching back and forth some and every time the wind shifted, the bite would slow down for a while. My clients from Brighton, MI and Cadillac, MI kept at it though and close to the end of the eight hour charter, they put the final fish in the box hitting their limits of eight walleyes per person. We caught fish of many different sizes today with the biggest walleyes being about 23 inches. We also caught some nice catfish too. We fished 5 to 6 miles from the Au Gres River mouth in waters ranging from 13 to 24 feet deep covering different water on every trolling pass looking for a hot spot with bigger fish. The walleyes seemed to be scattered all over though. The water there was pretty grungy from all the wind this week, but at least there were few floating weeds around, which has been a problem on other occasions. We pulled spinner/crawler rigs on or near bottom all day with speeds from 1.4 to 1.8 mph taking the fish. Color did not mater as natural colors and bright fluorescents all took about equal numbers of fish. The fishing this week has been very good for late season with all of my recent charters that were completed limiting out and the fishing is fairly close to port too, which is nice.
8/30/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a foggy start to our day today with visibility so tight, that I elected to try right out in front of the Au Gres River until the fog lifted some since a longer run would have taken forever at the slow speeds that safety dictated. Unfortunately, close in, out front, we only caught one small walleye, one catfish and one sheephead in about an hour of fishing before the fog began to lift, and we were able to pul lines and head south. It was dead calm with a major bug hatch occurring, so we were limited there on spots to fish, but my clients from Toccoa, GA and Boon, MI boxed 24 walleyes along with a bunch of perch, catfish and sheephead, some of which also found their way into the cooler to further expand the big pile of walleyes on ice. It was a very light bite all day with a lot of fish lost, perhaps even more than were caught. We trolled a mixture of different crawler harness patterns about 3 feet off bottom chugging along at 1.6 to 1.9 mph. This will be my last fishing report of the year as my season ends next week and I will be busy baiting bears and getting ready for the upcoming bear season, which I'm really looking forward to. I also just got an order in from McKenzie Taxidermy Supply, and need to get some fish mounted up before the fall hunting seasons arrive. All in all, it has been a very productive 2017 charter fishing season for me. We had a lot of weather cancelations, especially during the spring, but when the weather was decent, we did catch tons of walleyes indeed. In fact, the fishing this year was outstanding and with strong year classes of young walleyes in the Bay this year, next year should be off-the-charts awesome. I can't wait.
8/29/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a stormy day yesterday causing a cancelation, my clients from Scotts, MI and Toledo, OH joined me today with a forecast that was a bit iffy, but actually turned out to be a very nice day all around. The first spot we tried this morning had some fish there, and we caught some right away, but the bite was very light and for the amount of marks on the screen, the fish were pretty tight lipped. There was some wind before sunup, but when we started fishing, the wind had died down to near calm conditions and then it got even calmer as the morning wore on. Walleye prefer a chop on the water, so those conditions were not great, but we were still picking away at them. After a while I decided to pull lines and try another spot and there too we marked a ton of fish, but the bite was a slow pick for the rest of the morning there too. About noon though, the fish there turned as they finally got used to the calm conditions and the feeding began. From noon to 1:00 my clients had non-stop action and managed their 32 walleye limit and also took some bonus northern pike and catfish too, which I filleted out for them to boneless perfection. When the bite was slow, red-silver harnesses were the only thing the walleyes would bite. As the bite turned on though color did not make any difference. I tried to target suspended fish today, but never got one bite very far up off bottom. The best setup was putting the crawler about 3-5 feet off bottom to try to keep the white perch from steeling crawlers, which still showing those active bottom walleyes the lures and entice them up to grab on. Speeds of 1.5 to 1.8 mph caught our fish. There were a fair amount of floating and suspended weeds in both spots we fished today, which required cleaning lines periodically, but it was not nearly as bad as what we had over the weekend.
8/21/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
I was hoping to see how the eclipse would impact the fish bite today, however my clients from Jackson, MI caught their 24 walleye limit well before the eclipse started at 1:00. We went back to the same big area we fished yesterday and did a long, trolling pass in one direction, going with the wind, for over four miles and we never stopped catching fish all along the way and had 21 fish in the box before we turned around to head back southwest. About that time though the wind really died down and the bite slowed up considerably. It took us almost two more hours to finish off their limits and also get some fresh fish me too. Anybody that got a late start today likely did not experience the success we did. We had consistent action both on the bottom and suspended today. The fish did run a bit smaller today compared to yesterday, however we did take some bigger ones this morning with our largest being a super fat, 25 incher. I tried to keep the trolling speed at 1.4 to 1.5 mph, but there were times when the wind sped up or slowed down where we caught fish slower or faster than that. It was another super awesome day on the Bay today with great weather and some fun folks that did a good job on the rods, which helped their catch a lot.
8/20/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a big blow on Thursday and Friday causing cancelations of both day's charters. Yesterday I had a scheduled day off to participate in the Michigan State Arm Wrestling Championships, which is the largest state event in the country. On the way home last night I phoned four friends of mine to get fishing reports from how they did yesterday and everybody struggled with dismal fishing. Those winds had riled the Bay up badly and had also chopped up a lot of weeds sending them all over the Bay to foul lines. We basically ran out to the area where we limited out on Wednesday and marked a lot of fish along the way there too. The water also didn't look too murky and must have cleared up some since yesterday. We had pretty choppy conditions with one to three foot waves all morning, so we set up for a down wind troll and started catching walleyes right away and really never stopped catching them either until my three clients form St. Johns, MI limited out with a nice catch indeed. We had fish of all sizes today with a quite a few bigger ones and lots of eaters too. Our biggest fish was a tad over 25 inches. We caught most of our fish off the bottom with crawlers, but we did take some suspended too, but I could only get one rod to produce those suspended fish despite replicating it elsewhere. Our trolling speed was erratic with the surging waves in the 1.2 to 1.7 range. Red/silver was hot today, but fire/tiger also produced fish, although I did not have many of those in the water. I was pleasantly surprised by the good fishing today after the big blow aftermath. There are lot of fish still in the Au Gres area now and it's looking like good fishing is in the forecast for the foreseeable future too. Even a big blow didn't screw things up.
8/16/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today's fishing weather was absolutely beautiful with a gorgeous sunrise, plenty of sunshine and mostly blue skies for the morning on the Bay. We had light winds and a mild chop all morning too, which was nice. My clients from New Baltimore, MI and Capac, MI caught their limits of good eating sized walleyes without too much effort today. Our program consisted of red/chrome spinners fished on the bottom on the outside and middle boards along with the two flatlines. My inside boards rounded out the spread with two fire/tiger spinners fished suspended 15' down or about half way down in the water column. We did catch a lot of fish suspended today, but there were also a lot of fish biting on the bottom too. We trolled at 1.5 to 1.8 mph and caught scattered fish over a wide swath of water covering perhaps six miles on our trolling jury, never going over the same area twice. We were looking for a school of active, bigger fish, but never really found them, so we just kept searching and picking away at mostly smaller fish all morning with a few good sized ones mixed in. The walleyes seem to be still scattered all over the Bay with a lot of baitfish in the system too this summer. They are showing fast growth rates as a result of all the forage available this year, which is likely due to the mild winters the last two years and the high water levels. For what ever reason, the fishing is still great and we are not fishing very far from Au Gres either, which is a good thing too.
8/15/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a weather delay this morning as a storm system came through the Bay area at about the time we were scheduled to head out fishing. When we went out at about 8:30, the wind had shifted from the west to the north. We only ran out four miles and set lines and began a long troll with the wind. Since the wind had just shifted, the bite was somewhat slow right away, but it was still fairly steady with fish hitting every 5 to 10 minutes or so. It was a light bite though, so we were loosing some fish. As the wind died down, the bite slowed up some more, but my clients from Plainwell, MI and Manistee, MI still managed to catch their limits of mostly nice, eating sized walleyes. The fish were pretty fussy today showing a preference for red/silver spinner/crawler rigs trolled right on bottom. I had to troll a bit faster today to get them to bit half way decent too. Speeds of 1.6 to 1.8 mph were best. The fish are still scattered pretty much all over the inner Bay and southern outer Bay, mostly on the west side. Today we really never did find enough of a concentration of fish to bother turning around for another pass through them. We just kept on trolling south for most of the trip. It did turn out to be a very beautiful day on the water today with blue skies, lots of sunshine and light winds.
8/14/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The walleye fishing has been good this week for sure. After a good catch on yesterday's charter, I decided to try another spot today where some bigger fish were taken yesterday by some friends. We ran out this morning in waves that were over three times higher than predicted and had some light showers pass by us, but we stayed dry, none-the-less. We even spotted a water spout on the east side of the Bay this morning. The walleyes seemed to l the bigger waves though as the action was pretty steady all morning, but when the wind died down, the bite slowed up considerably. When the bite slowed down, I decided to try some new Moonshine spinner/crawler rigs I got the last time I was in the U.P. and they did put several fish in the box including one of our biggest fish of the day. Those Moonshine spinner blades have the super glow paint found on their spoons. The best pattern today was a fire tiger blade with green beads. The hooks on those rigs held the fish well as we did not loose any of the ones hooked on them, and the bite was very light today, so that was impressive. My clients from Sage Lake, MI caught their limits today composed of fish of all sizes. We trolled in deeper water not too far from Au Gres and all the fish today were hugging the bottom pretty closely. We pulled bottom bouncers right on the lake bed at 1.4 to 1.5 mph going with the waves, so my setbacks were quite long. All in all it was another great day on the Bay.
8/11/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After taking a few days off to go to the U.P. and make preparations for bear season, we hit the water today with decent fishing reports from friends that fished yesterday. It took me a long time to draw a bear tag and besides the regular bear bait that consists of sweats, I also put out about 200 pounds of walleye waste from the fish I cleaned for clients over the preceding week. Fish guts tend to stink up nicely after a couple days and attract bears from a great distance. Anyway, today we started out in the same general area where we last fished on Monday, and also where a friend of mine did well yesterday, but even though we marked a lot of fish there in scattered schools, they did not bite very well, so we eventually moved to another spot. This spot was fantastic a few years ago during mid-August, but today we didn't even get a bite there. We then moved to yet another area and then another and didn't even mark much there. Then we ran to where we did well last year at this time of the year, and while we did catch some walleyes there, the bite there was slow too. We ended up with 15 walleyes and one jumbo perch today, which is not bad, but not great either. We stuck with all meat today and color did not seem to make much difference. We fished in waters from 11 to 35 feet deep and everything in between and put the lures on bottom and suspended as the spot dictated and no pattern really shinned. Our biggest walleye today was 26 inches. Anywhere else but Saginaw Bay our catch would have been considered good, but it was just a slow day on the Bay, but fun none-the-less.
8/7/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The walleyes remain scattered following the big winds we had late last week. Our first spot we hit had no fish as the water had changed there big time moving the walleyes out. Our second spot had some fish there, but the bite was fairly slow, and then it eventually shut down completely, so we picked up and moved once again. The third spot had lots of fish on the sonar including balls of baitfish and lots of bigger marks, but the action there was slow none-the-less. What fish did bite were hitting extremely light too as we lost more fish today than we caught. My clients though from Flint, MI did manage to pick away at them enough today to end up with a good catch consisting of 19 walleyes, two catfish and one nice yellow perch. Our biggest walleye was 25 inches. We caught all our fish today on spinner/crawler rigs with some on bottom and some suspended, though I would guess we caught slightly more suspended today. Lure color did not seem to make much difference. Our trolling speed was 1.4 to 1.6 mph in the fairly calm seas. There were a lot of floating weeds in every spot we fished today, which is a result of the pounding winds we had last week, which rips up the weeds and then scatters them all over the Bay. Then those weeds get caught on our lines and planer boards making it a royal pain to deal with. Despite the tough fishing today, it was still a great day on the Bay with decent weather, good company and enough nice fish to make it interesting.
8/5/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After gale force winds forced a cancelation yesterday, we were greeted by very gusty winds this morning that were still pushing the 30 knot velocity. We had to delay out departure a couple hours this morning and even then, the wind was still breezy, to say the least. None-the-less, we got into a pretty good bite very close to port, which was good, because there was no other option for safe fishing anyway with the blustery, offshore wind, whipping up huge waves just a few miles off shore. We managed to pick up seven walleyes on our first short trolling pass, and then another six on the second. The third and four passes yielded about the same results too. During that period, the wind started out west, then switched to the northwest, but when it shifted back to the west and died down to perhaps 17 to 18 knots, the bite suddenly died. For two hours we tried several different spots and could not get any walleyes to bite at all. It was as if a light switch had been flipped off. Thankfully, my clients from Perry, MI had caught 26 nice walleyes before the fish had shut down and they had a very nice box of fish with the largest being 26 inches with many other nice, chunky walleyes in the pile too. We caught all our fish on spinner/crawler rigs fished mostly up off bottom for suspended fish. We did take some close to bottom too, but not many. The bite was pretty light today too with a lot of fish lost in the process. We trolled at varying speeds from 1.5 to over 2.0 mph depending on the wind gusts which at times were brutal. At some points I had to deploy two drift socks just to keep the speed productive. We are predicted to have much lighter winds tomorrow, which will open up a lot more fishing areas to our game plan, so I expect mush better fishing for the next few days indeed.
8/3/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
With a stiff, northeast wind blowing today, we had limited options for fishing, but with some decent fishing reports coming from close to Au Gres over the past few days, we gave it a try despite the fact that I haven't fished close to port in over one month. We set up for our first trolling pass in deep water and caught ten walleyes on that first pass, but then the winds cranked up, so we were forced to move closer to shore for our second pass, but there we found only sheephead and catfish. We then relocated to another spot and didn't catch much there at first, but eventually trolled into a good school of walleyes taking eight nice sized walleyes there before the bite petered out. That spot had a lot of suspended weeds and grass floating there though, so it was no picnic, but with mostly 19 to 24 inch walleyes there, we went around for a second pass anyway. The bite seemed to pick up steam on that run through the fish and my clients form Marshall, MI finished off their limits with a very nice box of walleyes and also got a couple northern pike for a bonus too. We caught all our walleyes on spinner/crawler rigs pulled behind bottom bouncers. Our hottest rigs by far were the two flat lines I ran right off the gunwales. Lure color did not mater. I tried to troll some crankbaits today and only caught one catfish and had a big pike bite one off, but they failed to produce any walleyes. We trolled at 1.6 to 1.8 mph today going with the surging waves, which at times topped four feet in height. We tried to stay out of the bigger waves, but as the day went on, the wind picked up more, and there was no hiding from them. It was a tough day of fishing today with the rough conditions and the pain in the ass weeds, but it was still very productive none-the-less.
8/2/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a somewhat iffy forecast today with storms predicted for the afternoon, so my plan was to run out to my best spot and fish until about 11:00 at the latest and then head back in closer to port and fish another spot if we hadn't limited out by then. Well, my clients from Melvin, MI made it happen fast this morning with non-stop action from the time I set lines until their limits hit the bottom of the cooler. We had good success on everything we trolled today including Hot N' Tots on the outside boards and a spread of spinner/crawler rigs towed behind bottom bouncers on the rest of the lines. We caught some nice sized fish today with plenty of walleyes over 20 inches and one Master Angler qualifying (21 inches) smallmouth bass that put on an aerial show that was quite impressive. We trolled at 1.8 to 2.0 mph going with the surging waves that were in the 1-3 foot range all morning. Lure color did not mater much. My Hot N' Tots were chrome/green, 1/4 oz. models trolled close to bottom with a rubber core sinker 5' in front of the lure. My spinners were an assortment of colors with everything in the water going about equally. I was using 3 oz. bottom bouncers. This is some red-hot fishing right now for sure.
8/1/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We got a late start today as my clients from Bay City had forgotten about their charter date and we didn't get underway until near 9:00. It didn't mater though because the walleyes were biting good and limits of 24 walleyes were caught without too much difficulty. They also caught a few perch and an a nice, 30 inch northern pike as a bonus too. Today spinner/crawler rigs trolled near bottom at 1.8 to 1.9 mph did most of the damage. We did catch a few fish on Hot N' Tots, including the northern, but the spinners seemed to do better. Last year August served up some of the best walleye fishing of the year for us, and so far this year, day-one of August started out great.
7/31/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We closed out July in style today taking limit catches of walleyes on a gorgeous on the water indeed. We had light westerly winds as we ran out and as soon as we started setting lines we had fish-on practically non-stop all morning. I ran a six rod spread today and that was enough to get the job done in short order. We trolled at 1.7 to 2.0 mph going with the two foot, surging waves, but by the time we limited out and pulled lines, the waves had died down considerably. We also caught a few nice perch today too and as a surprise, we hooked into something really big that pulled drag like a king salmon. It turned out to be a giant carp though, perhaps the largest one I have ever seen in my life weighing well over 20 pounds. We also caught some catfish and sheephead too to add to the action of the day. I ran all spinner/crawler rigs today and never got a chance to deploy my Hot N' Tots, which I'm sure would have produced some fish as well. Lure color made no difference at all today, so if you did not do well today, that was not likely the problem. As I'm writing this report in the afternoon, storms are rolling though the region, so I'm glad we got it done without delay this morning and with the same type of afternoon storms forecasted all week, hopefully this hot bite continues. As a mater of fact, all of my July charters were highly successful with one trip coming short of limits, but even on that charter, my clients caught 29 walleyes, which can hardly be called a bad fishing day in Michigan.
7/30/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a very nice weather day on the Bay today with my clients from Marysville, MI and Lapeer, MI taking home a limit catch of 32 walleyes. The bite today was a bit slow compared to most trips this month with about 5-6 keeper walleyes being caught per hour. The fish were scattered in pockets of fish where we would go a while with no fish and then catch several at one time. We also caught a lot of undersized walleyes today too and two nice northern pike. A lot of small walleyes bodes well for the future of the Bay's fishery. We caught fish today on spinner/crawler rigs and Hot N' Tots trolled at 1.8 to 1.9 mph close to bottom. Color did not seem to make any difference today with everything getting hit about the same. The water temperature was about 72 to 73 degrees where we fished today, which is still pretty cool for late July. It should start warming up though this week with the predicted stabile, warm, sunny, calm weather pattern. That will likely move the fish to the north some as long as we don't get another cold front blasting us with strong, north or east winds.
7/29/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After the big blow like yesterday and a cancelled trip, we ran out and found riled up water all over the place. We set up with a stiff, NE wind blowing behind us and trolled for six hours in one direction never turning around once. We covered over 10 miles of water in the process with varying depths and water temperatures along the way. My clients from various parts of Michigan picked away at them and limited out after an all day effort taking fish here and there all day. Besides limits of walleyes, they also caught one 32 inch northern pike and an assortment of perch, sheephead and catfish too. The action was the slowest we've seen this month, but it was still pretty good fishing none-the-less. With stabile weather predicted the next few days, the water should clear up and the fishing should improve a lot. We started out only taking fish on spinner/crawler rigs, but as the wind died down and the water began to clear up some, the fish started to his the Hot N' Tots I had in the water. We trolled at 2.0 mph when the wind was blowing hard, but did slow down a couple tens as the wind laid down. By days end, the wind had dropped to perhaps 5-6 knots, which was significantly better than the winds in the high teens that we bounced around in during the morning.
7/27/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The morning weather was a bit iffy today with some storm systems working though Michigan. It had rained all night at Au Gres, but by sunrise, most of the storms were south of the Bay, but there was still some light drizzle and sprinkles out over the Bay as we ran out. The wind was dead calm early in the morning and for the first hour of fishing the bite was rather lack-luster. When the breeze picked up though at about 8:00, the fishing improvised dramatically with the catch rate going from 5 walleyes per hour earlier to 15 per hour for the later portion of the trip. As the bite improved, the size of the walleyes increased too. My clients from Davison, MI, who are in Au Gres participating in the auto show, caught their limits with a box of 32 nice walleyes ranging in size up to about 24 inches. We didn't have much luck on the two Hot N' Tots I ran on the outside board until the wind picked up. After the chop kicked up, the Tots caught plenty of fish, and also the biggest ones of the day too. The six spinner/crawler rigs I ran also produced very well with fire tiger doing better early in the morning, but later, when the fish were biting good, they did not show a color preference. We trolled at around 1.7 to 1.9 mph today and trolling north, into the wind seemed to produce the best. When we turned around and trolled with the wind, the bite slowed up a bit.
7/25/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a blow day yesterday, we headed back out to the same, general area where we fished on Sunday. There was a slight chop on the water as we ran out, but the wind had died completely by the time we got to the fishing area. With the water flat and the sun out and bright, I was not surprised when the bite was a bit slower than in past days, but my clients from Battle Creek, MI did managed to catch their 24 walleye limit along with a couple nice, 11", yellow perch too. We did far better on meat today compared to the two crankbaits I ran, which we only caught a couple fish on. Putting the crawlers right on the bottom the ticket and we trolled at 1.8 to 1.9 mph. Early on fire/tiger spinners worked best, but later, after we found a concentration of fish, color did not seem to mater. Thankfully the big, northeast wind yesterday did not move the water around much and the fish were not moved out of the area we have been fishing for weeks. With a decent weather forecast for the next week, the fishing should continue to be great.
7/23/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The conditions were very favorable to good fishing today with light winds and overcast skies. A rain system came though early this morning, but it missed us to the south. We ran back to the same general area where we have been fishing for the past week and started catching walleyes right away. My clients today from Ida and Monroe, MI caught their limits of nice walleyes today along with a few catfish and sheephead for added reeling in of fish. We caught five walleyes on chrome Hot N' Tots, the rest came on spinner/crawler rigs. All lures were trolled near the bottom at 1.8 to 2.1 mph. Like usual on the Bay, color did not seem to mater. I did pull the Hot N' Tots towards the end of the trip as we had enough action that I was having a hard time keeping up with an eight rod spread, so I scaled it back to six lines in the water. This has been some especially fantastic fishing during the whole month of July for us this year making it by far, the best fishing of the season so far.
7/22/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weather forecast was totally blown by the weatherman who predicted light winds today. We had to delay our departure a couple hours due to heavy rain coming through the area. For the run to the fishing area, the winds were light, but right after we got there, the wind picked up a lot and we had 15 to 20 knot winds for the rest of the charter and the wind was ever changing all morning too starting out from the north, then changing to the NE, the east then southeast then back to the east. The bite today was actually the slowest we have had in weeks due to the weather, but my long time, repeat clients from Kalamazoo, MI still caught limits of 24 walleyes without too much trouble. We ran a mixed spread of Hot N' Tots on the outside boards and spinner/crawler rigs on the middle & inside boards and two flatlines. We trolled at 1.8 to 2.1 mph going with the ever changing winds. Lure color did not seem to mater. Most of our walleyes today were 14 to 20 inches with a few larger and a some smaller throwbacks too. They also caught a handful of channel catfish, one large yellow perch and a few sheephead too. It was kind of a rainy day today with on and off drizzle all day long, but the fishing was still pretty good despite the conditions. You know the fishing is super good when a "slow day", with bad weather still results in about 8-10 walleyes caught per hour.
7/21/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today was a beautiful day of fishing on the Bay with light winds, calm conditions, sunny skies and lots of walleyes on the line. We started out a little slow though only taking a few fish in the first hour, but since I was marking a lot of fish in that area, we just stayed put and eventually they started biting like crazy. My clients from Edwardsburg, MI easily caught limits of 24 walleyes today, all great eating sized ones. Yesterday they took advantage of the Catch and Cook program where charter clients can take their freshly caught and cleaned fish to participating restaurants, which as H&H Bakery and Restaurant yesterday. H&H really knows how to cook up fish well and given fresh walleyes, my clients reported an outstanding meal. The pricing for this type of meal is a $10 plating fee, which means they will cook all the walleye you want and also provide a potato and salad bar for that price, which is a good deal. I had a fish fry yesterday too, but I had to cook my own. My sister from NM was visiting me and I promised her and her family a fish fry. I lightly batter the fish in a home-made coating and deep fried them until golden brown. With a homemade tarter sauce, the fish was scrumptious, but served with a casserole of fresh a colifour along with other fresh delicacies from my garden too. I will also be attending a fish-fry/birthday party for a friend of mine who is turning 65 today, so I'll be eating even more fresh fish, which is fine with me. This fishing report may be more about eating walleyes than catching them, but that is the great thing about fishing on Saginaw Bay, the eating is as good as the catching.
7/20/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had some storms come through the area this morning, but fortunately there were north and south. Despite the forecast for "likely storms", we never did see any near us. The wind was also miss-forecasted today being about twice as strong as predicted by the weatherman. We ran out early this morning to the same area where we limited out yesterday and set lines for a down wind troll, but the wind switched mid-way through that pass, so we had to keep changing the trolling direction to keep things running right. The lousy, strong, switching wind didn't seem to have any impact on the walleyes though as my clients from Edwardsburg, MI limited out in short order catching one walleye after another with no lulls in the action. They also caught four yellow perch today as a bonus. We ran the same program as yesterday with seven spinner/crawler rigs and one Hot N' Tot at 1.7 to 2.0 mph. The spinners got bit better that the Tot, but plastic did take a couple fish though today. Color did not make any difference today as everything in the water got hammered non-stop. I have the same crew tomorrow too, and with a better forecast, the fishing should be even more phenomenal than today was.
7/18/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After taking a few days off to participate in the National Arm Wrestling Championships and to take a day trip with my visiting sister to Alpena, we hit the water after three days off. There were some poor fishing reports from yesterday, but after some research, we ran out to a promising area and managed to box 64 walleyes on a two boat charter before noon, which is hardly poor at all. We also caught a pair of candy northern pike too along with a bunch of other assorted species of fish for a morning of intense fishing action. The weather today was perfect, with a steady, gentle southerly wind and clear, blue skies all day. We pulled a mixed spread of spinner/crawler rigs and Hot N' Tots and the fish were not picky at all today biting everything we pulled past them. We fished in one long trolling pass today too covering perhaps six miles of water and never stopped catching fish all along the way, so the fish are spread out pretty well now in the area we fished. We probably never went more than five minutes between fish and had a lot of multiple fish on too. We started catching a lot of "junk" fish early, but when I sped up to close to 2.0 mph, it thinned out the rate of trash to walleyes. We have the same large group of guys tomorrow, so hopefully the weather holds up and we can get a second day of awesome fishing in.
7/14/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a blow-day yesterday, we ventured out onto the Bay heading to the same area where we limited out on the 12th. The weatherman had predicted 10 knot winds, but they were nearly double that for the first half of the trip and they changed too from SW to NW as the day went on. The fish had moved some since Wed. due to the high, NE winds cooling the water down there. We eventually found them though in the warmer water nearby. Once we got into the fish, it was non-stop action with 32 walleyes hitting the box 15-20 sheephead also giving us plenty of fish-on. My clients today from Tawas and Bay City certainly had a lot of fun reeling in a pile of fish and now have the makings for many fish fries to come. The fish were more bunched up today and not spread over as big an area as they have been. We had to make two trolling passes through there to limit out. We caught fish on a Hot N' Tot and spinners. The Sheephead didn't bother the Tots, so they might have been better today. Lure color did not seem to make any difference today as they hit everything in the water. We trolled at speeds that were all over the place today going with the surging waves at 1.4 to 2.0 mph. I have a couple days off this weekend to participate in the National Arm Wrestling Championships being held in Battle Creek, MI. Hopefully I will do well there.
7/12/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
With a very iffy weather forecast today that was calling for storms all day, we relied on the weather radar, which showed us a wind of stormless weather up until about noon. We ran without delay speeding out to the same spot we limited out in yesterday in one to two foot waves. We set up for a down wind trolling pass though the big area and it was game-on as we started catching walleyes right off the bat. We had constant action for over one hour and in no time my clients from Phoenix, AZ caught their limits of nice walleyes. We ran the same mixed spread program that I've been running all week that combines Hot N' Tots with spinner/crawler rigs. Like usual, the crawlers out paced the Tots, but the cranks did take some fish though. Color did not make any difference once again today as they hit every color I had down there. Trolling speed was kept at 1.7 to 1.8 mph which helps to keep the sheephead, white perch and catfish off the lures. Walleyes have no problem chasing down those lures though at those speeds. I use small, Colorado blades that spin well at faster speeds. We are just using half crawlers, which will out produce whole ones on the Bay in most situations. We had a smooth ride back to the Au Gres River and managed to miss all the storms making it a fine day of fishing on the Bay. The only down side is that I broke off a lure and planer board on a big catfish today and lost the whole rig, which was a bummer, but happens from time to time.
7/10/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a blow day yesterday, we headed out today with iffy weather conditions. A storm system passed by just to the south of us early in the morning just before we hit the water. Another system was predicted to pass to the south of Bay City later in the morning, but as we were fishing, a check of radar showed that it likely would hit the area where we were fishing on the Bay. It's a good thing that the fish were biting like crazy this morning though as my clients from Wayland and Battle Creek caught their limits of walleyes well before the storm hit, so we never did get wet. We had non-stop action from the time we set lines until the cooler was maxed out. We only made one trolling pass through the same area where we fished two days ago and it was obviously still full of fish. Early on in the fishing we hooked a giant catfish that took out a bunch of line on a planer board. Since the cat was well out of the way of the fishing action, and I didn't want to waste time fighting a fish we were not going to keep, we just ignored that fish and continued to focus on the super hot walleye action. An hour later, with limits in hand, we finally pulled in that catfish that had been dragging along some 100 yards behind the boat. The channel catfish weighted about 12 pounds and thankfully was pretty tired out by the time we hauled him in. I did run one Hot N' Tot today of my starboard, outside planer board and it did take a few walleyes, but the spinner/crawler harnesses seemed to get whacked better. Basically, if a harness did not get hooked up with a fish within a couple minutes, then the night crawler had likely been stolen. Color did not mater today at all since everything in the water was getting hammered. We had about two foot waves for much of the morning, and we were trolling with the waves at about 1.7 to 1.8 mph. The wind did kick up a bit when we headed back in, and we hit some three footers on the way back to port. All in all though it was a fantastic morning of walleye fishing on Saginaw Bay.
7/8/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a lot of wind early this morning and when I was waiting for my clients to show up at H&H I spoke to another local charter captain who had decided to delay his departure due to the high winds. I was debating doing that myself, but after talking it over with my clients, we decided to head out as scheduled. It was a fairly bumpy ride out to the fishing area, which was where we finished yesterday's charter a good distance from Au Gres. We had mostly three foot waves there as I set lines and it didn't take long before we started hooking up with walleyes, and lots of them. In fact, in the first hour of fishing we boxed 20 walleyes, which is incredible action by anyone's standards. After the first trolling pass we had 23 walleyes in the box, but when we headed back for a second pass through the same productive waters, the wind died down a lot and the bite slowed up noticeably. We went from having multiple fish on constantly to picking up about 10 walleyes per hour, but after an hour of that slower action. When the bite was hotter, we were catching more larger walleyes compared to the smaller average size when the bite slowed down. This is all pretty typical when the wind dies down. We did catch a lot of 18 to 20 inch eyes today and some bigger ones too, with a 24 incher being the biggest of the day. My clients form Lansing and Caro, MI also caught some catfish, which they kept and perhaps 10 sheephead too on their way to their limits of walleyes. We only caught a small number of dink walleyes today. This was truly outstanding fishing today. At one point one client had to take a dump, so we had to pause the action. In just the few minutes it took for him to do his business, we hooked up with eight walleyes and then it was back to work catching one fish after another. I ran mostly spinner/crawler rigs putting them right on the bottom. I also ran one Hot N' Tot all day and that lure did catch a few walleyes, but was not as productive as the harnesses. We trolled fairly fast on that first pass with the gusting winds pushing us at 1.6 to 2.0 mph. On the second pass with the winds dying down, I had to gas the kicker more and more to keep the speed up to where they wanted it. By the time we were limited out, the wind and waves were nice, so it was a fairly pleasant ride back to Au Gres, which was nice. That lull in the wind did not last long though as it kicked back up while I was cleaning fish, so our timing was perfect today for sure.
7/7/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
With a bunch of severe storms raging though the area last night and early this morning and a rather stiff wind greeting us as we left the Au Gres River, I was debating on where to fish. The forecast was calling for lighter winds than reality, and it was also calling for it to really lay down to calm conditions as the morning went on, so I decided to make the run out to where we fished yesterday even though the winds were not great for that spot. I set up for our first trolling pass with three foot waves pushing us, but I set up about one mile upwind from where we did extremely well yesterday. We started out catching some walleyes there, but eventually when we got to where we caught 24 walleyes in 1.5 hours yesterday, the bite petered out. The wind had just shifted abruptly though from the southwest to the west, which can slow a walleye bite considerably. We then made a short run to another area and set up for our second pass with the wind significantly lighter. We started hammering them pretty steady right away there and had 20 walleyes and some nice perch in the box in short order. Then we pulled lines, ran further back up wind, which had switched back to the southwest again, and really got into a great bite taking some bigger walleyes there for good measure. My Michigan made clients today from Stanton, Greenville and Morley all caught their limits of walleyes today and by the time we were heading back in the wind had died down to a mild chop and it was a very pleasant ride back to Au Gres. We ran mostly spinner/crawler rigs with bottom bouncers, but I did run a Hot N' Tot for a short period at the end of the trip after a big catfish broke off a harness. We did hook up with one walleye right away on the Tot, but lost it on the way to the boat. Our best trolling speed today was 1.6 to 1.7 mph. Lure color did not seem to make any difference. It was certainly another great day on the Bay today indeed.
7/6/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had overcast conditions early in today's trip, but that changed to clear skies as the morning went on. The moderate southwest wind did make it a bit choppy today, but the fish seemed to like it just fine though as my clients caught their limits of walleyes in short order. Actually though the first spot we hit was void of fish, so we didn't stay there long and ran to my plan B spot which was about three miles away from there. As soon as I started setting lines there we hooked up with fish and that action continued non-stop though a mile long school of walleyes that seemed to be fin to fin fish. We had multiple fish on at all times as every line that I set would hook up with a fish within one minute after being deployed. At times we had over six fish on at one time. It was very intense action to say the least. I ran all meat today putting everything right on the bottom with a trolling speed of 1.6 to 1.8 working best. Lure color did not make one bit of difference today. In fact I believe you could have run just about any walleye size lure though there and caught fish today, since they were so tightly packed in there and very hungry. Half the fish swallowed the lures deeply which is a sign of aggressive fish that are hungry. My clients had a great time today and vowed to come back again for more walleye fun on Saginaw Bay.
7/5/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today we had ideal conditions for fishing for the first part of the charter with blue skies, a light south/west wind and a mild chop on the water. We ran out to the area where we finished up the charter yesterday and got into consistent action right away and lots of it. My clients today from Au Gres, MI and Port Washington, WI had no trouble catching their limits in short order and it was nice to finish up the trip with some bigger fish too with the last few being nice chunker walleye. They also caught some beautiful yellow perch too for a bonus meal. Besides the 24 keeper walleyes caught, they also got at least 24 more undersized walleyes, mostly ones that were just under the legal size limit from that monster 2015 year class and those fish will all be 16 to 18 inchers next year making the future look awfully good for years to come. We did not catch any sheephead or catfish today. We caught most of our fish today on the bottom using spinner/crawler rigs taken down with 3 ounce bottom bouncers. We did catch a few suspended fish, but not many, so I eventually dropped all the lures down to the bottom. Color did not mater much today. Trolling speeds of 1.4 to 1.6 mph were best. We have a continued good weather forecast for the next couple days so this world class fishing should continue.
7/3/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had an absolutely beautiful day on the Bay today with blue skies, light winds and fish that were very hungry. My clients today from Chesterfield, MI caught fish non-stop from the time I set lines until limits were reach in about two hours of fishing. I'm talking about catching more than 15 keeper walleyes per hour plus some undersized ones, catfish, perch, sheephead and even one trophy class smallmouth bass that was about 20 inches long that put on quite a show jumping clear out off the water many times. That's a lot of fish catching in anybody's book. Today the walleyes were biting on Hot N' Tots just about as well as they were spinner/crawler rigs. As long as the lure was down near bottom, then it got bit a lot. We trolled pretty fast today with the aggressive bite. Speeds of 1.7 to 1.8 mph were best. Our fish today came in all sizes from dinky little throw-backs to several 24 inchers with everything in-between. There were a lot of walleyes over 20 inches caught today as the cooler was very heavy by the end of the trip. This was probably the best fishing day of the season today and one that I'm sure my clients will remember for a very long time.
7/2/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
Today my clients from Gulliver, MI, Flint, MI and Freesoil, MI experienced a great day of fishing on the Bay. We had fairly calm conditions for the run out to the fishing area, but the wind quickly picked up and then shifted from the predicted SW to the West. The blustery, fickle winds though did not deter the walleyes though, as they pretty much bit good all morning with only one lull in the action, but that was only for about five minutes or so. Other than that, we had non-stop action catching one walleye after another with many doubles, triples, quadruples and even one quintuple header. The walleyes ran fairly large today to with lots of fish in the 20-25 inch range. We also caught six channel catfish, of which some were kept and other released. They also caught a 12.5 inch yellow perch too, which is considered a jumbo. We pulled meat today at 1.5 to 1.8 mph with color not making one bit of difference as everything near bottom got hammered relentlessly. My clients actually pulled their limits by about 10:30, so the fishing is top notch right now out of Au Gres for sure.
7/1/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We ushered in July today with a banner day of walleye fishing on the Bay with my clients from Greenville, MI catching their limits of 32 nice walleyes in short order. We fished a totally new area today some ten miles from the zone we had been fishing for the past week. I suspected that based on the winds we had experienced the past week and the resulting water temperature shifts in the Bay, that this new spot would be full of walleyes and sure enough it certainly was chuck full of fish. From the time I set lines until we pulled lines we had non-stop action with doubles, triples, quadruples and even one time when we had five on at one time. Also, we only made one trolling pass and never had to turn around once as we never got out of that massive school of walleyes, which likely stretched for five or more miles. The walleyes we caught today were of all sizes too with a lot of fish under 20" for some ultra tasty eating and also a bunch of fish over 20" that put up some scrappy battles that even earned some of them their freedom (lost fish). We pulled the same spinner/crawler rigs that have occupied my rods since early May. Some are natural colored and some are bright fluorescents and all of them worked equally with no preference shown. We had a south wind to start out the morning, but it shifted to the west a while into the trip, but the fish continued to keep hammering those spinners. Our trolling speed was 1.4 to 1.7 mph in the surging waves. We only caught 4 or 5 undersized walleyes today, but we also caught three catfish, one of which was a 10 pound giant channel cat. We also caught a few sheephead and one nice yellow perch too. On the way back in we came across of big flock of cormorants actively feeding and when we got closer they tried to take off, but some were so full of fish that they could not fly. Some even barfed up their stomach contents and one of the fish they left floating was an 18" walleye; another was a similar sized sucker. I was surprised that they could swallow such a big walleye, but obviously they can I'm sure that they do so regularly consuming a lot of our valuable walleye and perch resources. I hate those non-indigenous cormorants and at the very least their populations should be controlled and the DNR and Fish and Wildlife Service agree, but one federal judge that has likely never even seen a cormorant stopped all control measures in the Great Lakes region and that is a giant travesty of justice since she went against the recommendations of the biologist that manage our natural resources.
6/30/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a blow day yesterday, we headed back out to where we loaded up on walleyes on Wednesday and marked plenty of fish there. We set up using the same spinner/crawler rig program was the last trip and started taking walleyes right away and had steady action all morning until my clients from Rochester Hills caught their limits of walleyes. They also caught two nice northern pike in the 28-30 inch range and one 12", jumbo, yellow perch too for bonuses. The fish steadily moved south all day today though so it was tough keeping on them. And that area is showing signs of Petering out, depending on the weather, we will likely fish an entirely different area tomorrow.
6/27/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had stronger winds that predicted once again today with three foot waves greeting us, which quickly built up a to threes and fours. The strong winds did not deter the fish or my clients though, who happen to hail from my home, stomping grounds of Manistee. We started catching walleye right off the bat and that action never did let up as we limited out on a box of mostly above average sized walleyes in short order. The winds eventually did die down later in the morning and it shifted then from the WSW to the WNW but that did not even slow the bite perceptibly. We fished the same area where we tried to fish yesterday and it was full of fish. Our second trolling pass covered about three miles in one direction and we never stopped catching fish. We also managed to catch five walleyes that were over 24 inches and a bunch over 20". My spread today consisted of eight rods with six off Church Tackle Walleye Boards and two flatlines right off the gunwales. All were rigged with spinner/crawler harnesses trailed behind bottom bouncers. The outside board sets were set to tick right on bottom. The middle board rigs were tracking about five feet off bottom and the inside boards had a setback that tracked the lures about 10 feet off bottom. All rigs in all colors got hit about equally trolled at a speed of 1.4 to 1.7 mph surging with the waves. While I was cleaning fish I was approached by yet another Manistee area angler who had also been fishing out of Au Gres today. It was like a reunion of Manistee people for sure.
6/26/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After a blow day yesterday, we tried to get back out to where we were fishing on the last trip where we limited out in short order. The wind this morning was stronger than predicted early on though, so the waves built up fast. We did have excellent action for a couple hours though and put 14 nice walleyes up to 25 inches in the box along with one yellow perch. We also caught and released some walleyes too. Eventually we had to call it a day though curtailing the trip due to big waves. We caught fish both on bottom and suspended (10' up from bottom) today with no color of harness being preferred. There are few fish within close proximity to Au Gres now since these strong winds have brought cold water into Au Gres Bay. It was only 56 degrees in spots this morning there and the walleyes have either moved south or east as a result. I had to deploy two drift socks today just to get my trolling speed down to 1.5 to 1.7 mph, but that speed was very productive. Hopefully the winds will die down as I'm getting tired of crappy weather to deal with.
6/21/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After the big blow yesterday afternoon, the water temperature really cooled down where we had limited out yesterday morning and the fish had moved from that area. We then ran further out until I found warmer water and we set up on some pretty good looking fish marks. We had non-stop action right away for the first hour, but then the wind died down and the bite slowed. A while later and they did start to bite better, but when the wind shifted to the south the bite slowed down once again. It took us a while, but my clients from Indianapolis, IN managed to catch their limit of walleyes and also took four nice yellow perch. One of the perch was a foot long too. During the early morning the fish were hitting spinners on bottom, but later, when the wind calmed down, the fish moved up and we took a lot of them just 12' down over deep water. I had to keep the speed under 1.6 mph to get decent action today. No color preference was noticed. My client today had fished with me a long time ago, so it was nice seeing them again on such a nice, bluebird day on the Bay.
6/19/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
After blow days the last two days on Sat. and Sun. we hit the water and ran out to the general area where we limited out on Friday. We had some fast paced action for the first few hours of the charter getting to 20 walleyes in the box on the first trolling pass. After that though, some clouds moved in and the bite slowed up considerably. We ended up with 29 walleyes today as we had to curtail the trip when some storms popped up on radar, which showed they were heading in our direction. It was a good call coming in early too as the winds cranked up after we got back to the dock and the storms did come through the area later too. I set a mixed spread of spinner/crawler rigs today fishing some high and some down on bottom. Early on the fish hit everything high or low, but later when the bite slowed down, only the lures close to bottom got bit. Color did not mater much, but the speed was pretty critical. I had to troll no faster than 1.5 mph or they would not bite. We also caught a lot of undersized walleyes today, so the action at times this morning was very fast and furious. Interestingly, we did not catch any other species besides walleyes today, which is unusual for Saginaw Bay this time of year. Even though we had to come in early, it was still a very good day on the Bay.
6/15/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
For a rare change of pace, the weather today was actually much better than the weatherman had predicted. We had light winds and cloud cover giving way to mostly sunny skies with no storms or anything else to bum us out. In fact my clients today from various parts of Michigan caught their limit of 32 walleyes in fairly short order with fish of all sizes from 25" down. They also caught some nice catfish too along with the occasional sheephead for a action packed morning on the water indeed. We trolled a bit faster today at 1.6 mph and made one long trolling pass over four miles of water and never quit catching fish. It seemed like fire/tiger crawler harnesses were best today, but we did manage to catch walleyes on every pattern I had in the water. We caught fish suspended and we also caught them off the bottom. There was a fly hatch going on for the first couple hours of the morning and we marked a lot of fish up high that must have been feeding on the emerging bugs. Every one on board had a great time today hauling in lots and lots of spunky fish.
6/9/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We fished the deepest water of the year on today's charter. We tried some suspended rigs, but all our hits kept coming off the spinner/crawlers close to bottom. We had to troll slow today too with speeds of 1.2 mph being best. The first area we fished this morning was pretty good for the first few hours, but then it really slowed down so we picked up and ran out a couple miles further out and set up on some promising fish marks on the sonar there. We then had good action for the last part of the charter and ended up keeping 31 nice walleyes up to 24 inches and also eight yellow perch in the 9-10 inch size range as a bonus catch. Lure color did not mater today with everything getting hit about equally. The weather today was a bit iffy with a 40% chance of rain and T-storms, but it ended up being a very pleasant day with light winds and even some sunshine too with near perfect temperatures too. Everyone on board certainly had a good time fishing today and they went home with enough fish filets to last a long time too.
6/7/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We finally had a very nice fishing day on the Bay today with sunny skies and light winds. My clients from Indianapolis, IN caught their limits of walleyes today with a on and off bite that would come in spurts. Every time the wind would shift, which it did on many occasions, the bite would take a pause. We had a very light bite today with over a dozen fish that were pulled close to the boat still getting off the hooks, which did not mater in the end since everyone still caught their max of fish. They also caught a lot of bigger fish today too with several in the 5+ pound range and most in the upper range of being considered good eaters. We caught everything on meat/bottom bouncers trolled at about 1.3 to 1.5 mph. Color did not mater as we took about equal numbers of hits on natural colors and also bright, fluorescent harnesses too. The water is a bit stirred up from all the winds, but there are a lot of fish near Au Gres, so it was still pretty easy pickings today. With a good forecast for tomorrow we should have another very productive day and my clients for today were smart enough to book two days with me, so they will likely fill up the cooler tomorrow too.
6/3/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weatherman messed up today with his forecast predicting calm winds, but it turned out to blow fairly stiff from the northeast with waves to about three feet. Non-the-less, my clients from Macomb, MI caught their limits of walleyes. The first spot we went to was where we ended up at the end of yesterday's charter, but the bite there was fairly slow with us only catching seven keeper walleyes and one catfish in a couple hours. We made a short move to another spot and as soon as we set up we hooked up with a quadruple header landing all of them. I thought we had really found a good areas, but after that first burst of action, it slowed down there to a slow pick. We eventually pulled lines and headed back past where we had done best for another pass, but this time we had all lines set when we trolled over that "hot spot" and it was none-stop action all the way through the 1/4 miles wide spot and shortly after that we netted our 24th, and final walleye for the day and that last fish was our biggest one today too, which was nice. We trolled with all meat today with a speed of 1.4 mph doing best in the still chilly, 60 degree water. Color did not mater today and we took most of our fish on or near bottom, but a few did come on suspended sets.
5/31/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We closed out May in style today with my clients from the Grand Rapids area taking limit catches of nice walleye while fishing in tough conditions on a half day charter. The winds blew hard again today for the third day in a row with 20+ knot, south westerly winds forcing us to fish close to port. Thankfully we have decent numbers of fish close by since going any distance in those rough conditions would be nearly impossible. We certainly caught a lot of walleyes today with a lot of them being undersized fish, but we catch a fair number of larger fish today too keeping things interesting. Fishing in high winds and trying to keep the trolling speed slow, which was necessary in water temps in the 50s like we have now, means a lot of tangles and lost fish too with the light bite. Keeping hooks super sharp and using good fish fighting techniques is ultra important to minimize the hassles and maximize the catch rate. We caught all our fish today on spinner/crawler rigs fished right on bottom in deep water using long set backs to keep lures in the strike zone. I did mark a few suspended fish today, but they would not bite. A trolling speed of less than 1.5 mph was needed to get bites. Lure color did not mater today, which is normal for this type of fishing. I have an article out in the current issue of Woods N' Water News that details the spinner/crawler fishing we were doing today and also the rigs we used. Give it a read for 2,000 words of solid information.
5/28/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
My clients today from Greenbush, MI and Harrison, MI experienced an interesting day fishing on the Bay today full of ups and downs. We started out running to a spot where we caught fish yesterday, but after an hour with no action there, we pulled lines and headed to my plan-B spot. We started out there with some fairly slow action, but eventually it picked up there to a 10 walleye per hour catch rate with some nice sized fish hooking up too. After a good bite though, the wind died down completely and the sun came out slowing down the bite to a crawl. It took them about two hours to land the last four fish to fill out their limit. We caught walleyes of all sizes today from undersized fish to nice ones up to about 26". We were fishing in deep water trolling at 1.3 to 1.4 mph putting the spinner/crawler rigs right in their faces on bottom. There were a few other boats in the area we were fishing that were trolling much slower, and they were not catching nearly the number of fish we were. Color did not mater today, so speed and depth of presentation were keys.
5/26/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We ushered in the Memorial Day weekend nicely today with my clients from the Grand Rapids area catching their limits of nice walleyes. With a fairly stiff NW wind this morning, we fished all kinds of depths from 12 to over 25' deep and caught walleyes in all depths too indicating that the fish are widely scattered, likely form the big, two day, NE blow over the past two days. All our fish were pulled right off the bottom today with meat. I checked the stomachs of a few fish today and they were all eating leaches and bugs, so it's no wonder our bottom program produced better than anything else I heard of today. Colors did not make any difference today as everything got hit about equally. Our trolling speed was kept close to 1.5 mph. We caught a lot of undersized walleyes today too; perhaps over a dozen, so we had lots of action indeed. Those small walleyes bode well for the future of the fishery too.
5/23/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The weather was kind of gloomy today with heavy overcast skies and on and off drizzle, but the fish didn't seem to mind as they bit pretty good. If fact the fishing was outstanding as my clients caught a box full of fish in short order. We had a steady bite all morning from the time we set lines until we pulled out of the fishing spot with limits at about 11:00. We fished a large area today covering about three miles of water that had scattered fish all over it. We didn't find any tight concentrations of fish, but we also didn't go for more than five minutes without a fish on. All the fish we caught today were walleyes with most being nice sized eaters. We did catch a few undersized walleyes which are always nice to see for the future of the fishery. We caught all our fish today on spinner/crawler rigs fished near bottom trolled at about 1.5 mph. Color did not seem to mater. The water temperature had dropped to 54 degrees since my last charter from all the high winds. They are forecasting high, northeast winds for tomorrow, so I have already cancelled my Wed. charter. Hopefully I'll get back at them again on Thursday.
5/12/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We had a good charter on Monday, but then I took a few days off to work on my U.P. property. With a charter scheduled for Saturday, I came home a day early and with my wife, we went out scouting for fishing locations today. We put 50 miles on the boat and fished at seven different spots finding fish in all but one location. One spot was especially promising as we caught 12 walleyes there in about 90 minutes of fishing with a nice, average size there too. The walleye action on the Bay will be ramping up with the warming weather and typically peaks during the late spring and summer months. We only have two open dates left for May (5/24 and 5/25). June is completely booked up for 2017 and July is filling fast. We still have a lot of openings left for August, which provided good fishing all through the month last year. We caught all our fish today on spinner/crawler rigs fished on or near bottom in waters ranging from 12 to 30 feet deep. Slower speeds of 1.2 were best in deep water, but faster speeds of 1.5 to 1.6 worked better in shallower water. Spinner color did not seem to mater today. We ended up with enough walleye today to have one heck of a good fish fry for friends and family.
4/17/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
The unstable weather patterns persist. Some days we can get out fishing and others we can't. We are taking some nice sized walleyes and also some trout out of that cold water too, which is in the mid-40s. We are still trolling the shallow, near shore waters using smelt imitating stick baits (Rouges, Husky Jerks, Flicker Minnows). I have been hearing of limit catches of smelt all week too witch is the best smelt action we've had in years. When we were out yesterday morning, the smelt were thick and the walleyes were right up on the surface chasing them. You could see a lot of big walleyes porpoising all over in a feeding frenzy. Within minutes of setting lines we had two big fish on at the same time and both of them were 30" walleyes. We only experience big fish like this during the early spring.
4/11/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report
We've had a lot of wind and rain systems so far this spring which has made the fishing impossible on most days but we are catching a mixed bag of fish now. Today we caught a brown trout and lake trout in addition to the walleyes. We caught fish today on Deep Husky Jerk Baits, Rouges and Flicker Minnows with bright pink and/or purple colors working best in the dirty water that predominates the Bay right now. I did hear of some smelt being taken near Au Gres over the weekend and we are marking a lot of suspended baitfish, which I suspect are mostly smelt and possibly some shad too. We will continue to fish with stick baits until the smelt move out, which is when we change over to crawlers, typically in late April, still a ways off. The water temperature is in the low 40s, so a somewhat slow trolling speed of 1.2 to 1.3 mph was best today.
News on the 2018 Charter Season
Michigan's fisheries continue to evolve in a seemingly never ending state of change: Some for the better and others for the worse. A combination of invasive species, modern farming practices and fisheries management decisions made by he DNR are causing some significant changes to our sport fish populations. Select Great Lakes fisheries will provide world class fishing during 2018 and Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters will again offer fishing trips taking our boat to the right places at the right times to put customers on those hot bites. Our charter fishing rates for eight hour charters are unchanged from last year and are among the most competitive in the industry. When you consider that Michigan has some of the lowest lodging and eatery rates in the country, a fishing trip to Michigan on our boat is one of the best vacation bargains out there. When you factor in the quality of the fisheries, the value on our boat and all the other fun things to see and do in Michigan, you just can't go wrong. Here is a rundown of the fisheries Trophy Specialists Fishing Charters will focus on during 2018:
Saginaw Bay is the official, undisputed, reining "Walleye Capital of the World" and Au Gres is the top port for years running on Saginaw Bay. 2017 proved to be a near record setting year with walleye catch rates at super high levels. In fact the Bay's walleye catch rates were the highest in Michigan last year. We will be expanding our charter offerings once again on Saginaw Bay by offering more early spring options there. That early spring fishing offers the best shot at catching trophy class walleyes. For years we have been able to take limit catches consisting of a mixture of eaters and lunkers on most of our charters for the best possible mix of fishing fun. Saginaw Bay has been blessed with 15 straight, huge walleye year classes, of naturally reproduced fish. When those massive numbers are added to an already strong older, adult walleye population from past years, the shear numbers and quality of walleyes in the system now simply boggles the mind. There are now so many walleyes in Saginaw Bay that easy limit catches are the rule. The fishing on Saginaw Bay is pure, unadulterated fun and you can expect non-stop action on most of our charter trips there. The only down side to the fishery is that the word has definitely gotten out and the demand for fishing charters there has skyrocketed in recent years. So, as a result I'm increasing my charter schedule once again out of Au Gres (AuGres) and Tawas to take advantage of the demand. Au Gres (AuGres) is the best of the best among Saginaw Bay's ports with the highest walleye catch rate anywhere in Michigan. With a state of the art DNR launching facility, it is also the best port for accessing the Bay during periods of low or high water levels. We'll be fishing there from ice-out in March through early-September. We also may run walleye charters at the north end of Saginaw Bay out of Tawas City or East Tawas during August and September. Tawas is only 20 miles north of Au Gres. During late summer the walleyes often migrate to the deeper, cooler waters of the northern fringe of Saginaw Bay off Tawas. We take full advantage by running our charters then out from Tawas, which is very close to that hot fishing area. We will also be offering some perch fishing charters out of Au Gres during late summer. With the DNR moving a lot of the commercial perch fishing activity out of Saginaw Bay and converting those operations to whitefish, and also a cormorant kill by the Feds last year, perch numbers are responding quickly with a strong come-back on Saginaw Bay and the fishing at times can be phenomenal. If perch are not biting, then we can always target the super abundant walleyes. Please keep in mind though that I filled most of my available charter openings on Saginaw Bay last season and with the somewhat low gas prices and a stronger economy, we will likely be even busier this year, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Lake Erie Is having some problems lately and it is negatively impacting the fishing there especially during the early spring period when we like to fish there. Last year I had to cancel all my scheduled charters out of Monroe due to not only bad weather, but also due to bad water conditions. The previous two years before that were not much better either. By bad water conditions, I referring to muddy water. In recent years, we are seeing a lot more muddy water conditions there and it is having an impact on the fishery and also makes fishing difficult if not impossible most of the time during the spring. It didn't used to be like that: We used to be able to get in over half of my spring Lake Erie charters, but now we are not even close to that and like I said, we had no good fishing conditions at all last year during the early spring. The reason is man made too: Modern farming practices where farmers perform deep tilling in the fall and also often fertilize then too are causing unprecedented, silt laden, and nutrient rich runoff to enter the rivers during the fall, winter and spring. Even when it rains just a little bit, the water runs off the fields and with no vegetation to block it, the soils wash away into ditches and then runs into streams and eventually finds it's way into Lake Erie. This agricultural runoff problem has been in the news a lot lately mainly because it has also caused toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie that have forced cities to turn off municipal water supplies that draw from the Lake. Those blooms have also caused dead zones in the Lake where no fish can survive and massive fish die offs. Walleye spawning success has been poor for Lake Erie in most of the last 10-15 years causing a troubling and sporadic walleye population. Agricultural interests have been very resistant to correct the problem so it is getting worse and worse every year. With these problems persisting on Lake Erie and with Saginaw Bay's walleye fishery booming, I have decided to forgo scheduling any Lake Erie fishing charters this spring and instead just offer more charters on Saginaw Bay instead. This was a hard decision because I have been fishing on Erie for three decades and really love that fishery during the spring, but for now anyway, it is just not feasible to fish there. If they clean things up and the walleye population rebounds, then we will go back there, but until then we will be focusing our walleye fishing efforts entirely on Saginaw Bay where walleye populations are super high, big fish are common during the spring and where water conditions are rarely muddy near Au Gres.
Lake Michigan and Lake Huron Salmon fishing was a little better in 2017, but still just a shadow of what it used to be. The average size of king salmon was up a little bit, and the number of fish available in the lake was slightly higher, but that fishery is still not nearly good enough for me to offer charters there with a reasonable chance for good success and decent customer satisfaction. The decline in salmon numbers in Lake Michigan (and Lake Huron) is actually part of the DNR's plan to increase baitfish numbers in those lakes. Lake Michigan's and Lake Huron's water clarity has improved so much in recent years that certain baitfish species that salmon depend on have declined drastically in numbers. As a result, the DNR decided to reduce salmon numbers mainly through stocking cutbacks. A massive stocking reduction seven years ago combined with another huge stocking reduction three years ago has reduced salmon numbers to an alarmingly low level. They also are made another huge salmon stocking cutback last year, which will certainly lower salmon numbers in upcoming years. In fact, many believe that the DNR went way too far with their cutbacks. The DNR has no interest in increasing salmon stocking any time soon, so the currently depressed salmon numbers will likely get worse in the future as the full impact of the stocking cutbacks are felt in the next three years to come. I've been fishing salmon at Manistee since the first year they were stocked there in the 1960s, but because of the pitifully bad state of the Lake Michigan salmon fishery, I decided to not offer any salmon charters once again for 2017, which turned out to be a smart move on my part with things as bad as they are. Instead of late summer salmon charters, I just focused more on Saginaw Bay's abundant walleyes and we had phenomenal success there all through the spring and summer. Last years walleye fishing during July, August and even early September was phenomenal with limit catches all the way through. I was very busy then too booking every open day then, so a lot of my clients are taking advantage of that hot fishery then. I will not be offering any salmon charters on either Lake Michigan or Lake Huron this year. If the DNR rebuilds the salmon fishery on Lake Michigan (or Lake Huron) then I will once again offer salmon fishing charters. At this point though, I'm going to focus my fishing efforts on the world class walleye fishing Michigan has to offer on Saginaw Bay.
Michigan Fishing Charters Saginaw Bay Walleye Lake Erie Walleye Lake Michigan King Salmon Fishing Great Lakes Charter Boat Sportfishing
Michigan fishing charters at Au Gres (AuGres) and Tawas City (or East Tawas) for walleye and perch on Saginaw Bay along with Manistee on Lake Michigan for king salmon (Chinook Salmon) and Monroe or Detroit on Lake Erie for walleye. Our sportfishing charter boat targets the biggest, trophy sized, Great Lakes walleye, perch and king salmon (Chinook salmon) that Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay have to offer.
Fishing in the right place at the right time!
Michigan Fishing Information
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Capt. Michael Veine
511 S. Detroit St.
Au Gres, MI 48703
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