Saginaw Bay Area Fishing Report by Captain Dan

Hey everybody.
I know my last report has been up for a while and everybody is wondering what’s going on in the Bay. It’s not as if I’m being quiet for any reason or hoarding all the walleyes for myself. I’ve probably been walleye fishing a dozen times since my last report, including trolling trips on the Bay and a night trip I took last night on the river 11-02-10. And I have not caught a single keeper walleye in all those trips out. Plenty of 6 to 8 inch walleyes in the system, but a repeat of last years fall Bonanza has yet to materialize.
The problem of course this year for us here on the inner Saginaw Bay, was the walleye bite went totally dead about the third week into July. There was and still is many explanations and theories about the what’s and why’s of this prolonged slump. But I think it’s an assortment of variables that when combined, shut the bite down like trolling behind a Navy Destroyer dropping depth charges. It was IMV a combination of both many good and bad things that both sent us into, and has kept us into what is now a prolonged walleye fishing slump. The water temps did indeed get a tad high on the inner bay this past summer and probably did push those colder water baitfish species farther out into the outer bay and lake Huron. Those particular species that include both Shiners and Smelt according to our DNRE are up this year and most likely drew a lot of the resident inner bay walleye out into Lake Huron with them, when they themselves migrated North to cooler more confortable waters.
This consensus makes solid sense to me, as a lot of successful and plentiful walleyes catches with bigger fish were being both seen and caught in places well North of their usual haunts, virtually all summer long. Add to this equation the inner Bay’s massive forage base of Gobies, shad and small perch, who’s population are also way up, this (I’m sure) keeps the walleyes that stayed in the inner bay quit fat and happy right where they are, without having to do much foraging work for any length of time to stay in that happy condition. This abundant baitfish fact stretching both North and South of the inner Bays imaginary line, tends to shorten a walleyes feeding window and can often isolate or drastically reduce the chances of finding these active feeding and roaming walleyes schools. Even though just assumptions, many were proven to me this summer, when my fish finder would show both baitfish balls and predators stacked both above and below them for mile after mile on it’s screen, yet few if any biters. So in a way and overall, this non-scientific information all bodes well for our future walleye population, but leaves on wondering just how to catch them. Lots of walleyes but plenty of baitfish to keep them fed, (believe it or not) makes the fishing and catching parts harder. But is also bad for our local economies and Charter Fishing Business’s especially, when you can only catch fish in 3 of the 6 month season. 
The questions and answers to this walleye fishing/catching slump and the reasons for it may solve itself at some point. Rest assured that when it does I’ll be posting both pictures and particulars for your information. In the meantime I’ll keep trying whenever I can. Until then, stay safe, fish smart and tight lines.