Saginaw Bay had slow but steady perch fishing in 10 to 15 feet along the Saganing and Pinconning Bars. A few walleye were taken on a crawler harness in 15 to 20 feet. A few perch were caught at the Sailboat Buoys, the Crib, and near the Spark Plug. The fish were running nine to 12 inches and the average was 10 to 15 per boat. Walleye fishing along the inner bay was slow but a few were taken off the Coryeon Reef and straight out of Caseville when using a crawler harness. Au Gres Area perch and walleye fishing were slow.
Outer Saginaw Bay
Oscoda lake trout, suspending walleye, and a few smaller Chinook were caught by those trolling spoons at the drop in 85 to 110 feet. The Chinook were 60 to 80 feet down. Walleye were scattered throughout the water column. A couple Chinook were caught when trolling just off the mouth of the river. Pier anglers reported a couple Chinook, pike or walleye taken when casting spoons and crank baits either early or late. Smallmouth bass, channel cats and freshwater drum were caught on crawlers.
- Au Sable River those still-fishing with crawlers caught smallmouth bass, pike and panfish. A few Chinook were caught between the mouth and Foote Dam. The lower river is still quite warm in the low 70’s.
Tawas Area Chinook salmon were seen around the breakwall and off the mouth of the river in the early morning, but none were caught. Walleye were taken off the breakwall at night. Small perch were caught in Tawas Bay.
- Tawas River look for the occasional salmon down near the mouth.
Fishing Tip: Catching panfish in the fall
Fall can be an ideal time to target panfish as cooler temperatures arrive and aquatic vegetation starts to decline. As a result, these species can be found in much shallower water than usual and will be perfect for targeting.
When choosing your bait for fall panfish don’t be afraid to go with something a little more substantial, such as small plugs and spinners. And of course, the standard hook and worm never hurts!
Be sure to target panfish in their favorite fall locations as well, including by deep weedbeds or near drop-off points.
Want even more information on targeting Michigan panfish this fall? Check out this page on the DNR’s website.