In spite of a two-day cold front, the walleye bite on Saginaw Bay seemed to be pretty good to excellent for most anglers. Crawlers and harnesses again were pretty much the bait of choice, although some trollers were using Hot ‘N Tots or trolling small spoons with some success. “Use the larger spoons,” one angler told me “or you’ll be catching a lot of undersize fish.”
Again today, the action seemed to be pretty consistent all around the Bay until about 12:30 p.m. when the wind really died down. We started out with as many as FIVE pretty decent walleye on at a time, which was a good thing, because it got down to catching five walleye to get ONE legal fish shortly after noon. Also, color didn’t seem to be all that critical. We run 10 rods, and everyone one of them caught fish today. Anything with a touch of purple, now that I think of it, and a color called “Cedar Point” (would like to know the story behind the naming of that color!) were VERY consistent.
Trolling speed wasn’t critical to begin with (1.6 to 1.7 mph), but when the waves died it had to be UNDER 1.5 mph to entice a strike. Also, we troll with the small Offshore in-line Boards and use the “Tattle tale Flags, but at times the bite was so light that unless one was paying strick attention to what the board was doing it was easy to miss the take of a walleye. The board might slide back ever-so-slightly from formation of boards (so keep your duckies in a row) or the stern of one board would suddenly be lower in the water than on the other boards. These subtle changes generally always spell fish and if going unnoticed, the walleye will spit the crawler or just hang on to the back of it until it breaks off. My first mate is uncanny at decting anything out of the ordinary with the boards’ action, and will pick up the suspect rod and nine out of ten times, tease the fish into a more aggressive take. With so many small fish in the bay this summer, too, it’s always a good idea to check your baits if you go more than 10 minutes without a strike in an area where you’ve been having pretty good action. We’ve caught a number of nine-inch walleye this summer!
This is an absolutely GREAT time to be fishing Saginaw Bay walleye. Take the time to go fishing. It’s a tremendous “stress reliever.”
Today’s tip: if someone falls overboard, don’t jump right in after them! STOP THE BOAT IMMEDIATELY AND THROW A LIFE RING! If you must get in the water, tell someone to watch the person in the water while you quickly get into a life jacket BEFORE starting the rescue. All to often, the wouldbe rescuer becomes a casuality, too.
Capt. Terry R. Walsh