Fishing Report – Saginaw Bay July 13, 2017

Saginaw Bay: Good walleye fishing was reported in 16 feet off Linwood, 12 to 15 feet off the Bay City State Park, the Old Dumping Grounds, three miles northeast of the Red Spark Plug (Buoys 11 & 12), seven to 12 feet on the Callahan Reef and just about anywhere in the Slot and up on the Bar between Quanicassee and Sand Point. Try a gold and black crank bait. Spinner colors did not matter as the fish were hitting just about anything but fire-tiger and chartreuse are always good. Limit catches were common all over the bay. Catfish were caught in the Hot Ponds. Shore anglers fishing the Quanicassee River caught freshwater drum, catfish and a few bass. Those casting in the Sebewaing River caught a couple pike.

  • Saginaw River: Shore anglers caught freshwater drum, catfish and a few bass.
  • Au Gres Area of Saginaw Bay: Walleye anglers were doing well. Finding warmer water seemed to be the key to finding active schools of fish. Some boats were crossing the bay to fish the Steeples and clear over to the Slot while others went south of Point Au Gres to the end of the shipping channel. Crawler harnesses, crank baits and spoons worked well. A few nice perch were caught incidental to the walleye.

Outer Saginaw Bay:

Oscoda: Good catches of lake trout were found in 100 to 150 feet when trolling spoons and spin-glo’s near the bottom. Steelhead and pink salmon were found in the top 30 feet. Stomach contents show many of the steelhead were feeding on hatched and emerging insects. Anglers targeting walleye found a couple when still-fishing or drifting crawlers near the mouth of the river early or late. Channel catfish and freshwater drum were caught right off the bottom with crawlers and shrimp on a three way swivel or perch rigs.

  • Au Sable River: Water levels were high but anglers drifting crawlers through the holes between Oscoda and the railroad trestle found a couple walleye but most were too small. Anglers casting crank baits reported good catches of smallmouth up near Foote Dam and a few largemouth or pike in the marinas near the mouth. Freshwater drum and carp were caught when drifting crawlers.

Tawas Area: Boat anglers targeting walleye were getting fish on the northwest side of Big Charity Island in 10 to 45 feet. Trout and salmon anglers were taking steelhead and lake trout around Tawas Point in 70 to 75 feet. Pier fishing was summer-slow.

  • Tawas River: Shore anglers fishing the lower river caught the usual mix of catfish, carp, freshwater drum and bass

Fishing Tip: Fishing with crankbaits

Many anglers love to fish with crankbaits (also known as plugs), a type of hard-bodied fishing lure. Below are some criteria to think about when selecting a crankbait.

Body Shape

Fat-bodied crankbaits that are shorter will displace more water and create more vibration. Many anglers prefer this type of crankbait when fishing in dark water or at night.

Thin-profile crankbaits glide through the water with minimal resistance. This option is great when fishing clear water and targeting species that are sight feeders.


Crankbaits with less buoyancy are better suited for water with minimal cover and clean bottoms while those with more buoyancy are better for fishing around cover.

Crankbaits can be a great lure option when targeting walleyes, bass or muskellunge (among other species). Consider trying one out during your next fishing trip!