Another splendid day walleye fishing on the Saginaw Bay waters off the port of AuGres. It was essentially a repeat of yesterday, only with BIGGER fish. Again, crawler harnesses and in-line weights ruled the program, run anywhere from 30 to 45 feet back behind the small, Offshore Planer Boards. There had to be over a 100 boats within a three or four mile stretch and all were catching fish. Best trolling speed was 1.5 mph going upwind and 1.8 going downwind. Thirty-one to 32feet of water seemed to be the magic depth with the fish suspended between 12 and 20 feet below the surface.
The “Tattle-tail Flags” on Offshore’s In-Line Boards are worth spending the extra money on, as the bite is still light, and these flags will indicate the slightest take by walleye. A nine-inch walleye can trip the flag! Without such an indicator, anglers could be pulling small fish for hours and never know it. We also had several nice fish in the three-pound class trip the flags but never move the boards, merely swimming along with the bait in their mouths. The boards/flags have to be watched closely.
Finally, stay away from the “packs” of boats. I’ve found over years of experience just inside the flotillas or outside of them is far more productive than getting amongst them. Another tactic is to go back an hour or so later and work the areas where fish had previously shut down because of too much boat traffic. Once the boats move out and the fish settle down a bit, the bite normally starts right back up again.
And a reminder: the USCG and DNR are checking boats for life jackets and other safety equipment.
Capt. Terry R. Walsh