Trophy Specialist

Charter Captain
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About Trophy Specialist

  • Rank
    Charter Captain
  • Birthday 05/11/1960

Personal Information

  • Real Name
  • Location
    Chelsea, MI
  • Interests
    Hunting, Hiking, Cross Country Skiing
  • Occupation
    Charter Captain, Taxidermist, Outdoor Writer
  1. 8/21/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report I was hoping to see how the eclipse would impact the fish bite today, however my clients from Jackson, MI caught their 24 walleye limit well before the eclipse started at 1:00. We went back to the same big area we fished yesterday and did a long, trolling pass in one direction, going with the wind, for over four miles and we never stopped catching fish all along the way and had 21 fish in the box before we turned around to head back southwest. About that time though the wind really died down and the bite slowed up considerably. It took us almost two more hours to finish off their limits and also get some fresh fish me too. Anybody that got a late start today likely did not experience the success we did. We had consistent action both on the bottom and suspended today. The fish did run a bit smaller today compared to yesterday, however we did take some bigger ones this morning with our largest being a super fat, 25 incher. I tried to keep the trolling speed at 1.4 to 1.5 mph, but there were times when the wind sped up or slowed down where we caught fish slower or faster than that. It was another super awesome day on the Bay today with great weather and some fun folks that did a good job on the rods, which helped their catch a lot. Capt. Mike Veine
  2. 8/16/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report Today's fishing weather was absolutely beautiful with a gorgeous sunrise, plenty of sunshine and mostly blue skies for the morning on the Bay. We had light winds and a mild chop all morning too, which was nice. My clients from New Baltimore, MI and Capac, MI caught their limits of good eating sized walleyes without too much effort today. Our program consisted of red/chrome spinners fished on the bottom on the outside and middle boards along with the two flatlines. My inside boards rounded out the spread with two fire/tiger spinners fished suspended 15' down or about half way down in the water column. We did catch a lot of fish suspended today, but there were also a lot of fish biting on the bottom too. We trolled at 1.5 to 1.8 mph and caught scattered fish over a wide swath of water covering perhaps six miles on our trolling jury, never going over the same area twice. We were looking for a school of active, bigger fish, but never really found them, so we just kept searching and picking away at mostly smaller fish all morning with a few good sized ones mixed in. The walleyes seem to be still scattered all over the Bay with a lot of baitfish in the system too this summer. They are showing fast growth rates as a result of all the forage available this year, which is likely due to the mild winters the last two years and the high water levels. For what ever reason, the fishing is still great and we are not fishing very far from Au Gres either, which is a good thing too. Capt. Mike Viene
  3. 8/14/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report The walleye fishing has been good this week for sure. After a good catch on yesterday's charter, I decided to try another spot today where some bigger fish were taken yesterday by some friends. We ran out this morning in waves that were over three times higher than predicted and had some light showers pass by us, but we stayed dry, none-the-less. We even spotted a water spout on the east side of the Bay this morning. The walleyes seemed to l the bigger waves though as the action was pretty steady all morning, but when the wind died down, the bite slowed up considerably. When the bite slowed down, I decided to try some new Moonshine spinner/crawler rigs I got the last time I was in the U.P. and they did put several fish in the box including one of our biggest fish of the day. Those Moonshine spinner blades have the super glow paint found on their spoons. The best pattern today was a fire tiger blade with green beads. The hooks on those rigs held the fish well as we did not loose any of the ones hooked on them, and the bite was very light today, so that was impressive. My clients from Sage Lake, MI caught their limits today composed of fish of all sizes. We trolled in deeper water not too far from Au Gres and all the fish today were hugging the bottom pretty closely. We pulled bottom bouncers right on the lake bed at 1.4 to 1.5 mph going with the waves, so my setbacks were quite long. All in all it was another great day on the Bay and this great fishing will likely continue until the end of summer with the cool waters we have. Capt. Mike Veine
  4. 8/7/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report The walleyes remain scattered following the big winds we had late last week. Our first spot we hit had no fish as the water had changed there big time moving the walleyes out. Our second spot had some fish there, but the bite was fairly slow, and then it eventually shut down completely, so we picked up and moved once again. The third spot had lots of fish on the sonar including balls of baitfish and lots of bigger marks, but the action there was slow none-the-less. What fish did bite were hiting extremely light too as we lost more fish today than we caught. My clients though from Flint, MI did manage to pick away at them enough today to end up with a good catch consisting of 19 walleyes, two catfish and one nice yellow perch. Our biggest walleye was 25 inches. We caught all our fish today on spinner/crawler rigs with some on bottom and some suspended, though I would guess we caught slightly more suspended today. Lure color did not seem to make much difference. Our trolling speed was 1.4 to 1.6 mph in the fairly calm seas. There were a lot of floating weeds in every spot we fished today, which is a result of the pounding winds we had last week, which rips up the weeds and then scatters them all over the Bay. Then those weeds get caught on our lines and planer boards making it a royal pain to deal with. Despite the tough fishing today, it was still a great day on the Bay with decent weather, good company and enough nice fish to make it interesting. Capt. Mike Veine
  5. 8/5/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report After gale force winds forced a cancellation yesterday, we were greeted by very gusty winds this morning that were still pushing the 30 knot velocity. We had to delay out departure a couple hours this morning and even then, the wind was still breezy, to say the least. None-the-less, we got into a pretty good bite very close to port, which was good, because there was no other option for safe fishing anyway with the blustery, offshore wind, whipping up huge waves just a few miles off shore. We managed to pick up seven walleyes on our first short trolling pass, and then another six on the second. The third and four passes yielded about the same results too. During that period, the wind started out west, then switched to the northwest, but when it shifted back to the west and died down to perhaps 17 to 18 knots, the bite suddenly died. For two hours we tried several different spots and could not get any walleyes to bite at all. It was as if a light switch had been flipped off. Thankfully, my clients from Perry, MI had caught 26 nice walleyes before the fish had shut down and they had a very nice box of fish with the largest being 26 inches with many other nice, chunky walleyes in the pile too. We caught all our fish on spinner/crawler rigs fished mostly up off bottom for suspended fish. We did take some close to bottom too, but not many. The bite was pretty light today too with a lot of fish lost in the process. We trolled at varying speeds from 1.5 to over 2.0 mph depending on the wind gusts which at times were brutal. At some points I had to deploy two drift socks just to keep the speed productive. We are predicted to have much lighter winds tomorrow, which will open up a lot more fishing areas to our game plan, so I expect mush better fishing for the next few days indeed. Capt. Mike Veine
  6. 8/2/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report We had a somewhat iffy forecast today with storms predicted for the afternoon, so my plan was to run out to my best spot and fish until about 11:00 at the latest and then head back in closer to port and fish another spot if we hadn't limited out by then. Well, my clients from Melvin, MI made it happen fast this morning with non-stop action from the time I set lines until their limits hit the bottom of the cooler. We had good success on everything we trolled today including Hot N' Tots on the outside boards and a spread of spinner/crawler rigs towed behind bottom bouncers on the rest of the lines. We caught some nice sized fish today with plenty of walleyes over 20 inches and one Master Angler qualifying (21 inches) smallmouth bass that put on an aerial show that was quite impressive. We trolled at 1.8 to 2.0 mph going with the surging waves that were in the 1-3 foot range all morning. Lure color did not mater much. My Hot N' Tots were chrome/green, 1/4 oz. models trolled close to bottom with a rubber core sinker 5' in front of the lure. My spinners were an assortment of colors with everything in the water going about equally. I was using 3 oz. bottom bouncers. This is some red-hot fishing right now for sure. Capt. Mike Veine
  7. 7/30/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report

    Good to hear from you Frank. Saw you truck in the parking lot today. Hopefully you caught a lot of fish. We'll have to get together for a beer some time. It's been too long since we've talked.
  8. 7/30/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report We had a very nice weather day on the Bay today with my clients from Marysville, MI and Lapeer, MI taking home a limit catch of 32 walleyes. The bite today was a bit slow compared to most trips this month with about 5-6 keeper walleyes being caught per hour. The fish were scattered in pockets of fish where we would go a while with no fish and then catch several at one time. We also caught a lot of undersized walleyes today too and two nice northern pike. A lot of small walleyes bodes well for the future of the Bay's fishery. We fished a fairly small area today of perhaps a couple square miles staying there because when we talked to friends of mine fishing elsewhere, we were catching a lot more fish than they were. We caught fish today on spinner/crawler rigs and Hot N' Tots trolled at 1.8 to 1.9 mph close to bottom. Color did not seem to make any difference today with everything getting hit about the same. The water temperature was about 72 to 73 degrees where we fished today, which is still pretty cool for late July. It should start warming up though this week with the predicted stable, warm, sunny, calm weather pattern. That will likely move the fish to the north some as long as we don't get another cold front blasting us with strong, north or east winds. Capt. Mike Veine
  9. The morning weather was a bit iffy today with some storm systems working though Michigan. It had rained all night at Au Gres, but by sunrise, most of the storms were south of the Bay, but there was still some light drizzle and sprinkles out over the Bay as we ran out. The wind was dead calm early in the morning and for the first hour of fishing the bite was rather lack-luster. When the breeze picked up though at about 8:00, the fishing improvised dramatically with the catch rate going from 5 walleyes per hour earlier to 15 per hour for the later portion of the trip. As the bite improved, the size of the walleyes increased too. My clients from Davison, MI, who are in Au Gres participating in the auto show, caught their limits with a box of 32 nice walleyes ranging in size up to about 24 inches. We didn't have much luck on the two Hot N' Tots I ran on the outside board until the wind picked up. After the chop kicked up, the Tots caught plenty of fish, and also the biggest ones of the day too. The six spinner/crawler rigs I ran also produced very well with fire tiger doing better early in the morning, but later, when the fish were biting good, they did not show a color preference. We trolled at around 1.7 to 1.9 mph today and trolling north, into the wind seemed to produce the best. When we turned around and trolled with the wind, the bite slowed up a bit. Capt. Mike Viene
  10. 7/25/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report After a blow day yesterday, we headed back out to the same, general area where we fished on Sunday. There was a slight chop on the water as we ran out, but the wind had died completely by the time we got to the fishing area. With the water flat and the sun out and bright, I was not surprised when the bite was a bit slower than in past days, but my clients from Battle Creek, MI did managed to catch their 24 walleye limit along with a couple nice, 11", yellow perch too. We did far better on meat today compared to the two crankbaits I ran, which we only caught a couple fish on. Putting the crawlers right on the bottom the the ticket and we trolled at 1.8 to 1.9 mph. Early on fire/tiger spinners worked best, but later, after we found a concentration of fish, color did not seem to mater. Thankfully the big, northeast wind yesterday did not move the water around much and the fish were not moved out of the area we have been fishing for weeks. With a decent weather forecast for the next week, the fishing should continue to be great. Capt. Mike Veine
  11. 7/22/18, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report The weather forecast was totally blown by the weatherman who predicted light winds today. We had to delay our departure a couple hours due to heavy rain coming through the area. For the run to the fishing area, the winds were light, but right after we got there, the wind picked up a lot and we had 15 to 20 knot winds for the rest of the charter and the wind was ever changing all morning too starting out from the north, then changing to the NE, the east then southeast then back to the east. The bite today was actually the slowest we have had in weeks due to the weather, but my long time, repeat clients from Kalamazoo, MI still caught limits of 24 walleyes without too much trouble. We ran a mixed spread of Hot N' Tots on the outside boards and spinner/crawler rigs on the middle & inside boards and two flatlines. We trolled at 1.8 to 2.1 mph going with the ever changing winds. Lure color did not seem to mater. Most of our walleyes today were 14 to 20 inches with a few larger and a some smaller throwbacks too. They also caught a handful of channel catfish, one large yellow perch and a few sheepshead too. It was kind of a rainy day today with on and off drizzle all day long, but the fishing was still pretty good despite the conditions. You know the fishing is super good when a "slow day", with bad weather still results in about 8-10 walleyes caught per hour. Capt. Mike Veine
  12. 7/20/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report We had some storms come through the area this morning, but fortunately there were north and south. Despite the forecast for "likely storms", we never did see any near us. The wind was also miss-forecasted today being about twice as strong as predicted by the weatherman. We ran out early this morning to the same ara where we limited out yesterday and set lines for a down wind troll, but the wind switched mid-way through that pass, so we had to keep changing the trolling direction to keep things running right. The lousy, strong, switching wind didn't seem to have any impact on the walleyes though as my clients from Edwardsburg, MI limited out in short order catching one walleye after another with no lulls in the action. They also caught four yellow perch today as a bonus. We ran the same program as yesterday with seven spinner/crawler rigs and one Hot N' Tot at 1.7 to 2.0 mph. The spinners got bit better that the Tot, but plastic did take a couple fish though today. Color did not make any difference today as everything in the water got hammered non-stop. I have the same crew tomorrow too, and with a better forecast, the fishing should be even more phenomenal than today was. Capt. Mike Veine
  13. 7/18/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report After taking a few days off to participate in the National Arm Wrestling Championships and to take a day trip with my visiting sister to Alpena, we hit the water after three days off. There were some poor fishing reports from yesterday, but after some research, we ran out to a promising area and managed to box 64 walleyes on a two boat charter before noon, which is hardly poor at all. We also caught a pair of candy northern pike too along with a bunch of other assorted species of fish for a morning of intense fishing action. The weather today was perfect, with a steady, gentle southerly wind and clear, blue skies all day. We pulled a mixed spread of spinner/crawler rigs and Hot N' Tots and the fish were not picky at all today biting everything we pulled past them. We fished in one long trolling pass today too covering perhaps six miles of water and never stopped catching fish all along the way, so the fish are spread out pretty well now in the area we fished. We probably never went more than five minutes between fish and had a lot of multiple fish on too. We started catching a lot of "junk" fish early, but when I sped up to close to 2.0 mph, it thinned out the rate of trash to walleyes. We have the same large group of guys tomorrow, so hopefully the weather holds up and we can get a second day of awesome fishing in. Capt. Mike Veine
  14. 7/15/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report After a blow-day yesterday, we ventured out onto the Bay heading to the same area where we limited out on the 12th. The weatherman had predicted 10 knot winds, but they were nearly double that for the first half of the trip and they changed too from SW to NW as the day went on. The fish had moved some since Wed. due to the high, NE winds cooling the water down there. We eventually found them though in the warmer water nearby. Once we got into the fish, it was non-stop action with 32 walleyes hitting the box 15-20 sheephead also giving us plenty of fish-on. My clients today from Tawas and Bay City certainly had a lot of fun reeling in a pile of fish and now have the makings for many fish fries to come. Their biggest fish were 23 inchers. The fish were more bunched up today and not spread over as big an area as they have been. We had to make two trolling passes through there to limit out. We caught fish on a Hot N' Tot and spinners. The Sheephead didn't bother the Tots, so they might have been better today. Lure color did not seem to make any difference today as they hit everything in the water. We trolled at speeds that were all over the place today going with the surging waves at 1.4 to 2.0 mph. I have a couple days off this weekend to participate in the National Arm Wrestling Championships being held in Battle Creek, MI. Hopefully I will do well there. Capt. Mike Veine
  15. 7/12/17, Saginaw Bay, Au Gres, Fishing Report With a very iffy weather forecast today that was calling for storms all day, we relied on the weather radar, which showed us a wind of stormless weather up until about noon. We ran without delay speeding out to the same same spot we limited out in yesterday in one to two foot waves. We set up for a down wind trolling pass though the big area and it was game-on as we started catching walleyes right off the bat. We had constant action for over one hour and in no time my clients from Pheonix, AZ caught their limits of nice walleyes. We ran the same mixed spread program that I've been running all week that combines Hot N' Tots with spinner/crawler rigs. Like usual, the crawlers out paced the Tots, but the cranks did take some fish though. Color did not make any difference once again today as they hit every color I had down there. Trolling speed was kept at 1.7 to 1.8 mph which helps to keep the sheephead, white perch and catfish off the lures. Walleyes have no problem chasing down those lures though at those speeds. I use small, Colorado blades that spin well at faster speeds. We are just using half crawlers, which will out produce whole ones on the Bay in most situations. We had a smooth ride back to the Au Gres River and managed to miss all the storms making it a fine day of fishing on the Bay. The only down side is that I broke off a lure and planer board on a big catfish today and lost the whole rig, which was a bummer, but happens from time to time. Capt. Mike Viene