Saginaw Bay Area Fishing Report 11-08-2018

River Walleye

Saginaw Bay had no boat anglers due to the wind and rough conditions. No word on yellow perch in the cuts yet however anglers should start fishing for them as they will be in anytime now.

Saginaw River is starting to see quite a bit of walleye activity on the lower river from the Veterans’ Bridge downstream to the mouth. A good number of boats were out along with a fair number of shore anglers. DNR staff have reported a fair number of tag returns which suggests the walleyes are there.

Outer Saginaw Bay:
Oscoda Pier Anglers caught walleye when casting body baits and jigs.

Au Sable River had good numbers of Atlantic salmon are being observed and the bite picked up a bit for those using streamer flies, egg patterns, casting spoons or spinners, and bottom bouncing or floating spawn bags and beads. Most of the Atlantics are actively spawning. These fish have been picky and change day to day, so anglers should be willing to change their rig or move to find fish willing to bite. A couple steelhead were taken on spawn bags and beads. Most were small, but a few larger fish were caught. Those casting spoons or spinners caught a couple pike or the odd Chinook that was extremely dark and decaying. Walleye were caught down near the mouth when casting jigs.

Tawas Area those fishing the lower Tawas River caught walleye.

Fishing Tip: Will you be targeting steelhead this fall?

While many people are preparing to head into the woods for the next several weeks, others are taking advantage of another activity: fall steelhead fishing.

There are two great strategies to try when targeting steelhead this month, surf fishing the piers and beaches of the Great Lakes and/or river fishing.

If you choose to target the Great Lakes, consider using a slip sinker rig and live bait, such as spawn bags, night crawlers or shiners. You can also try casting small spoons, spinners or body baits with great success. Focus on depths of 12 feet or less as steelhead are hanging in the shallows looking for food.

If you choose to target the rivers, consider using wigglers, caddis or wax worms drifted under a slip bobber. The depth below the bobber should be set to present the bait just off the river bottom. Anglers can also be successful this time of year casting spinners and medium diving crank baits into holes or other holding water that provides steelhead with some depth for cover. The retrieve should be as slow as possible to get the lure down to the bottom without snagging up. Many anglers like a downstream cast for these techniques. For anglers looking for an added challenge, they can also use fly fishing techniques and see some great results!

For more information on fishing for steelhead in Michigan, visit the DNR’s website on Steelhead.