The Saginaw Bay walleye bite right now is as good as it gets! Today we fished the 8-11 foot depths off the islands on the eastern side of the bay. Pulling crawler harnesses behind one ounce weights 23-27 feet back at 1.5-1.6 mph, we averaged an easy 10 fish and hour on fish that averaged 16-22 inches. A half dozen fish pushed the scales to four pounds. The action was non-stop from the time we sat down until we limited out. It has been that way since the end of June!
Too much cold water has slowed the fishing in much of the deeper waters of the bay, so the key is to find water as close to 70 degrees as possible. We found 71-72 degree water and a very strong bite essentially all along the islands once inside the 15-foot contour. Deeper than that the water dropped to 69 degrees and the fish disappeared.
There are countless reefs around the islands where the unsuspecting angler can suddenly find himself in three to five feet of water, so it’s critical to map out a trolling route on the chart plotter and set the shallow water alarm to no more than five feet. With fishing as good as it is, it’s very easy to damage a prop or rudder by not paying attention!
Some anglers found warmer water on the west side of the bay out from Eagles Landing Marina. The further south in the bay, warmer water could be found in the 24-26 foot depths, and anglers were doing well on “plastic” (Hot ‘N Tots, Flicker Shads, and Little Rippers). Captains out of Linwood reported good catches on spoons (small Silver Streaks, Warrior Spoons, and Stingers).
Today’s tip: savvy anglers always troll with the wind, as it’s far easier to maintain boat control and consistent speed as well as the desired depth.
Capt. Terry R.Walsh