Saginaw Bay Area Weekly Fishing Report 07/20/2017

Saginaw Bay continues to have very good to excellent walleye fishing over most of the bay but the best fishing continues to be in the southern end and up the east side and around the tip of the Thumb. Good areas were 16 to 20 feet off Linwood, the Spark Plug (Buoys 11 & 12), 8 to 12 feet off the mouth of the Kawkawlin River, 2 to 3 miles northeast of Spoils Island, 10 to 12 feet on the Callahan Reef and in 12 to 18 feet in the Slot between Quanicassee and the tip of Sand Point. Most were trolling crawler harnesses with orange and chartreuse spinners but those trolling crank baits or spoons also did well. Fish are staying within the inner bay for the most part but the bigger fish are moving to the tip of the Thumb and outside it. Those trolling outside the Thumb have done well for lake trout. Caseville was slow and had very light fishing pressure.

  • Saginaw River walleye were caught just a couple miles up from the mouth in the lower river. This is a good place to try if it is too windy on the bay. Shore anglers at Smith Park caught catfish, freshwater drum and bass.
  • Tittabawassee River anglers caught some bass, pike and freshwater drum.

Au Gres Area #walleyefishing anglers were crossing over to the Charity Islands or heading south of Pointe Au Gres and fishing in 20 to 30 feet around the “Humps” northeast of the end of the shipping channel in the warmer water.

Outer Saginaw Bay:

Oscoda still had good lake trout action when trolling spoons or spin-glo’s near the bottom in 90 to 140 feet straight out from the river and around the “humps.” A couple steelhead and pink salmon were caught in the top 30 feet. Pier anglers caught walleye, channel cats, carp and freshwater drum with leeches and crawlers near the bottom.

  • Au Sable River walleye were caught by those trolling harnesses with bottom bouncers or drifting crawlers and leeches through the deeper holes between Oscoda and the Whirlpool access. Legal sized fish were few and far between. Some rock bass and freshwater drum when taken by those drifting or floating crawlers. A few smallmouth bass were caught on crawlers or crank baits.

Tawas Area most of those trolling for walleye were heading over near the Charity Islands. The key is to find the warmer water and that’s where the fish will be. Everyone was getting fish including some limit catches. Those not wanting to head out that far were fishing the weed beds off Jerry’s Marina where they caught walleye and pike when trolling above the weeds or casting into the holes in the weed beds.

  • Tawas River shore anglers caught a mix of catfish, freshwater drum and bass.

Fishing Tip: the basics of using downriggers

Are you familiar with using downriggers? This tool is ideal when fishing the Great Lakes as it allows for controlled-depth fishing and targeting species suspended in the water column. Here are three things to keep in mind if you’re considering using a downrigger in the future.

  • Manual vs. Electric: Making a choice between manual and electric depends on how much you want to spend, how often you fish, and how big your boat is. Manual downriggers are less expensive than electric but require more work on the part of the angler.
  • Cannonballs: This is the weight lowered by the downrigger that is attached to your lure. These weights usually range from four to 14 pounds, make your selection based on how deep you intend to fish (the deeper you go the more weight you need).
  • Leads: This is the amount of line between your cannonball and your lure. It also determines how your lure acts in the water. The deeper you fish the shorter the lead needs to be.