Saginaw Bay Area Weekly Fishing Report 08/03/2017

Sunset Walleye

Saginaw Bay #walleyefishing was still pretty good in 13 to 16 feet from Bay City State Park up to Linwood and in 30 feet northeast of the Charity Islands. Catches of 5 to 6 fish per boat per trip were the norm. Walleye were also caught in 17 feet outside the Pinconning Bar and in 10 feet off the Callahan Reef. A few went out for perch but it is still too early for the fall bite to be starting. Only a handful of perch were caught by those targeting them. On the east side from Quanicassee to Bay Port, walleye fishing continues to be pretty good about anywhere in the Slot but outside the islands was the best. The Bar and the Humps were also producing fish. Those trolling are starting to work harder for fish but still caught enough to keep them going out. The reefs between Caseville and Port Austin might be worth a try. Most were using a crawler harness, crank baits, and spoons. Hot colors were purple, green, silver, orange and gold.

  • Saginaw River shore anglers caught the usual freshwater drum, catfish and bass.
  • Tittabawassee River bass fishing was steady and a few small walleye were caught.

Au Gres Area walleye anglers continue to do well at a variety of locations, and several limit catches reported. Hot spots were 15 feet straight off the mouth of the river, the Bell Buoys, Charity Islands, the Slot, off Oak Point, south of Pointe Au Gres, and off the Saganing and Pinconning Bars.

  • Au Gres River was producing catfish for shore anglers. Try crawlers, bluegills, cut bait or large

Outer Saginaw Bay: 

Oscoda had good catches of lake trout in 110 to 180 feet. Most were hugging the bottom but some were suspended about halfway up. Atlantic salmon and steelhead were taken in the top 40 feet along with a couple coho and pink salmon. Try spoons, spin-glo’s or meat rigs. Walleye were found just off the bottom in 25 to 40 feet or suspending in deeper water and following baitfish. Pier anglers caught channel cats, freshwater drum, and smallmouth when still-fishing with crawlers and leeches.

  • Au Sable River anglers found a couple walleye in the evening when drifting crawlers through the holes in Oscoda and near the mouth but overall the bite was very slow. Good numbers of smallmouth bass were taken by those casting crank baits, spinners or when jigging. Rock bass and smallmouth were also taken with worms near the bottom.

Tawas Area those trolling for walleye had moderate success but those trolling in deeper water outside the bay did better with fish taken in 35 feet off Buoy #2, 60 feet off Alabaster, and 60 to 70 feet east of Tawas Point. Some were going across the bay and fishing near the Charity Islands or down in the Slot outside Heisterman and North Island. Inside Tawas Bay, a few boats fishing off Jerry’s Marina took a few walleye on Lindy Rigs. Salmon and trout were marked in 60 to 70 feet outside Tawas Point but anglers had trouble getting them to bite so all they caught were walleye and the odd steelhead. Pier fishing was slow.

  • Tawas River shore anglers caught smallmouth, catfish and lots of freshwater drum.

Fishing Tip: Fishing for bass is fun at night

With summer in full swing and temperatures frequently reaching their peaks, fish can become quite lethargic. No need to fret! For certain species, such as bass, you just might want to tweak the time of day you set out to target them.

Some of the best bass fishing this time of year occurs during the first hour or so after dark. Dusk and dawn can still produce fish but that first hour or two after dark can be exceptional.

After dark, bass tend to move shallow in search of an easy meal. Target them near the same areas you would during other times of the day while also casting and targeting the shallows.

You’ll definitely want to also change your technique. Since after dark you can’t see the weed line or other underwater structures, fishing subsurface lures is not recommended. It is time for surface presentations. After the cast, work them aggressively with a jerking motion making sure they pop and gurgle across the surface of the water during your retrieve. Pay close attention during the retrieve, watching and listening for the strike which can be explosive.

If you’re feeling adventurous, get on the water at 10:00 p.m. and fish the shallows for bass until midnight or 1:00 a.m. The results can be spectacular!

For more information on fishing for bass in Michigan, visit the DNR’s Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.