Saginaw Bay walleye were caught out near Buoys 1 & 2 in 30 feet, the Dumping Grounds in 16 to 18 feet and the Spark Plug in 20 to 23 feet when trolling crawlers. Fish were also caught south of the Black Hole in 20 feet with spoons and crank baits. Good walleye fishing along the east side of the bay in 16 to 19 feet from the bottom of the Slot all the way up to North Island. Fish were also found shallower in 12 to 14 feet or suspended off the bottom out deeper in the shipping channel. Anglers had to find them but did well once they did with a crawler harness, spoons or a variety of body baits. Color did not matter. Pike, channel cats, white bass, freshwater drum and a couple yellow perch were also caught. Slow fishing at Caseville with only a couple walleye caught.
- Saginaw River shore anglers at Essexville were casting crank baits for smallmouth bass at Smith Park. A couple yellow perch were caught on worms.
- Flint River had fair to good bass fishing in the Holloway Reservoir. Try crawlers, leeches or tube baits. Bluegills, crappie and even a few walleye were caught.
Au Gres Area limit catches of walleye were taken in 30 to 45 feet with a crawler harness or body bait. A few were caught out near the Charity Islands as well. Good numbers of smallmouth bass were taken on tube jigs near the islands. Largemouth bass were caught in the Pine River. Walleye along with the incidental perch, catfish, freshwater drum or white bass were caught out from Eagle Bay Marina in 15 to 30 feet.
- Au Gres River continues to produce catfish for those using crawlers.
Outer Saginaw Bay
Grindstone City lake trout and a couple pink salmon were caught with spoons and lead core in 90 to 120 feet.
Oscoda Area trolling spoons and spin-glo’s in 50 to 90 feet between 3 Mile Beach and Au Sable Point caught most lake trout near the bottom. The odd steelhead was caught on copper and lead core. Pier anglers caught smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, rock bass, a few channel cats and walleye when still fishing or drifting crawlers. Smallmouth bass and walleye were also taken on deep diving body baits.
- Au Sable River walleye were caught drifting crawlers in the holes below Foote Dam and at the mouth. Smallmouth bass, channel cats, white suckers and freshwater drum have also been caught. Between Grayling and Alcona, brown trout should be keying in on the brown drake and mayfly hatches. A few pike were caught when trolling body baits in the channel and the main basin of Mio Pond. Smallmouth bass were caught when casting crank baits or jigs in shallow waters of Cooke Pond. NOTE: Dredging operations are currently ongoing below US-23.
Port Austin did not have much boat activity. Smallmouth bass were caught from the docks and breakwalls with lures or crawlers.
Tawas Area a few Chinook salmon, lake trout and steelhead were caught on spoons out past Tawas Point in 30 to 50 feet or more. Walleye anglers were heading to Au Gres, but a few fish were caught off Alabaster in 25 to 35 feet with crawlers and body baits. Pier fishing was slow with only a couple smallmouth taken on tube jigs or body baits.
- Tawas River those using crawlers or casting tube jigs caught lots of smallmouth bass. Catfish and a few perch were caught on crawlers.
Fishing Tip: What to do when walleye fishing picks up
Courtesy of Tim Cwalinski, a DNR fisheries biologist out of Gaylord.
Walleye fishing is picking up steadily in the large inland lakes in northern Michigan. Some of these lakes include Burt, Mullett, Black, Long, Grand and Hubbard.
Many anglers who fish these lakes over the years are learning that by this time of the year, it is best to troll for walleye with lines that are elevated in the water column. Many think of walleye as a benthic, or bottom, species. While this is true at times, this species will come a long way up in the water column to hit your presentation. More so, they will often suspend in the water column based on forage.
If the mayfly hatch has begun on these lakes, expect to find these fish anywhere from five to 15 feet off the bottom, focusing your crankbaits or crawler harnesses in that region, instead of along the bottom. You might be surprised how well you can do.