Saginaw Bay hot weather is driving the walleyes to deep water and toward the tip of the Thumb but anglers are still getting a few. Limit catches are no longer common and those trolling are working hard for their fish. They are fishing in 20 feet off Linwood, early morning off the Kawkawlin River, the Dumping Grounds and off Finn Road and the Callahan Reef in six to eight feet. Most are using crawler harnesses but a few are running crank baits or spoons. Catfish anglers are doing well in the Hot Pond with crawlers and shrimp. On the east side, fishing was spotty and ranged from poor to good. The better action out of Caseville was northeast of Big Charity Island, around the Steeples, off Oak Point and further to the northeast to the Hat Point Reef. Harnesses are still the predominant bait, with chartreuse, pink, purple, brass and orange spinners. Fishing in the Slot was hit-or-miss. Lake trout fishing is very good in deep water.
- Saginaw River shore anglers fishing the lower river at Smith Park are catching catfish, freshwater drum and the occasional smallmouth bass.
- Sanford Lake fishing slowed but crappie anglers were still taking fish on pinkie jigs with a white twin twister-tail, minnows and wax worms. Bluegills were also caught. Some walleye were taken on a variety of artificial baits and a couple muskie were also taken. Bass anglers have done well.
Au Gres Area fishing pressure slowed but there are boats fishing north of Big Charity Island and between Point Lookout and Pointe Au Gres in 35 to 45 feet. They’re still getting fish out there, but they are working to get them.
- Au Gres River remains slow with shore anglers getting a few catfish, freshwater drum, rock bass, smallmouth bass and lots of gobies.
Outer Saginaw Bay:
Grindstone City had excellent walleye fishing with limit catches reported. Walleye were taken in good numbers in 20 to 45 feet or 20 feet in the evening with crawler harnesses, crank baits and spoons. Those trolling off Burnt Cabin Point reported very good catches of lake trout in 100 to 155 feet.
Oscoda pier fishing has finally picked up with anglers catching mainly channel cats, smallmouth bass and few walleye. Late evening, throughout the night and early morning were best. The bass and catfish were hitting on crawlers and minnows. Walleye were hitting on body baits off the end of the pier. Boat anglers caught lake trout in 150 to 200 feet with spoons, wobble glows, and body baits.
Port Austin had excellent walleye fishing. Anglers are heading west to Hat Point and Flat Rock Reefs or east and fishing Eagle Bay. Some walleye and a good number of smallmouth bass were caught around the Port Austin Light. Try 20 to 45 feet or 20 feet in the evening with spoons, crank baits or crawler harnesses. Pier anglers fishing along the rocks at night caught walleye on fire-tiger rapalas.
Tawas Area had a lot of fishing activity but many of those trolling are crossing the bay and fishing northeast of Big Charity Island in 25 to 45 feet. Boats fishing deeper waters outside of Tawas Point are picking up a few lake trout and the odd steelhead or Chinook. Pier and river fishing continue in the slow summer mode with only the odd bass, freshwater drum or catfish.
Weekly 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.
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).
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.