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Trophy Specialist

Charter Captain
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About Trophy Specialist

  • Rank
    Charter Captain
  • Birthday 05/11/1960

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  • Location
    Chelsea, MI
  • Interests
    Hunting, Hiking, Cross Country Skiing
  • Occupation
    Charter Captain, Taxidermist, Outdoor Writer

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  1. We had perfect fishing conditions today with light winds, sunny skies and very cooperative walleyes. My clients from Okalahoma, and Colorado had done some walleye fishing before, but today they got to experience true, world class walleye fishing at its finest. We fished a totally different area than we fished yesterday, but still stuck with the same program of spinner/crawler rigs. I did sharpen my hooks though, which I do about every other day. The early morning bite was especially good, but as the morning wore one, the catch per hour rate did drop some and oddly, the fish seemed to be moving around a lot as previous hot spots were void of fish on the next pass. Those hot runs though still predominated with a pretty beefy average size in the box. If you were looking for smaller walleyes today, then my boat would have sucked. We caught several walleyes that were about 24 inches long and a quite a few just shy of that size too and only a couple fish that I would consider perfect eating size. We also hooked into a couple steelhead, but both won their freedom. We caught all our fish on meat trolled at 1.4 to 1.5 mph. Some were taken near bottom, but most were caught suspended at various depths. The color did not seem to mater, but we did catch all of our fish trolling with the wind. Even when the wind was light, when I tried to troll north, we never caught a fish. Must have been some currents in that area affecting the feeding particulars. This is truly shaping up to be one of the best walleye fishing seasons I've ever seen. I still have some openings at the end of August, so give me a shout if you want to get in on this phenomenal fishing.
  2. I'm starting to sound like a broken record with limit catches taken again today. My clients from Fowlerville, MI have their own boat and only had limited success on the Bay on past outings. They booked a trip with me to learn some techniques and particulars on the Bay and they certainly did just that today. The early morning started out a bit slow with only a few walleyes in the box in the first hour of fishing. The wind had just switched though before we started fishing, so I elected to just stay in the same area to wait out a better bite. Eventually the bite did improve and by the time they put their 24th walleye in the box (limits) the bite was in the range of about 10 walleyes per hour. In fact, as we were pulling lines, I bumped the speed up to 2.8 mph just to keep fish off the lines, but we still latched onto three more walleyes even at those breakneck speeds. We trolled with spinner/crawler rigs exclusively. Today the color did not mater. Speed did not mater much either, although if m trolling speed dropped below 1.7 mph, sheephead started to dominate the catch more. What did mater was perseverance in a spot that I suspected held fish. When the wind shifts, the bite often slows down. When you set up in those conditions and catch still catch a fish or two, it often pays to stay in that spot and see what develops. Capt. Mike Veine http://www.trophyspecialists.com
  3. After a lot of wind over the past two days causing a cancellation yesterday and a curtailed trip due to sea sickness on Sunday, we headed out to a spot where the fishing had been good on Saturday, but since we couldn't fish that area since then, it was not a high percentage location. We started catching some walleyes there right away though, but the bite was light with as many lost fish as caught ones, and in two hours of fishing we only had six fish in the box. I had kids on the boat that had football practice this afternoon, so with a shortened trip to deal with, I decided to try another spot. As soon as we set lines in that spot we had fish on and the action continued non-stop until my clients from West Branch, MI had limited out on nice walleyes. We pulled mostly meat today, but I did run one crankbait up high, but did not catch any fish on it, although we did loose a nice one on the crank once. We also had a steelhead on for a jump or two, but that one got away too. We only caught a couple sheephead today and all the rest of the pile of fish we boated were walleyes with only one undersized one in the bunch. We trolled at 1.4 to 1.8 mph varying the speed and making lots of turns, which seemed to get more hits than a straight line trolling path. This was certainly a teaching trip today with the two kids (10 and 11 years old) setting lines, reeling in fish and doing all the netting too. They certainly made some mistakes that resulted in some lost fish, but by the end of the trip they were finely tuned fishing machines that were performing better than the vast majority of anglers I see on the Bay. It was a good day of fishing indeed. Capt. Mike Veine http://www.trophyspecialists.com
  4. My clients today from Flint and southern Michigan enjoyed a gorgeous day on the Bay complete with lots of walleye action as icing on the cake. It didn't start off to great though with the first three spots that I checked resulting in just a few walleyes in he box. The fourth spot though saw us put 10 walleyes in the box in less than an hour of fishing. Then the wind shifted a bit and that bite slowed down considerably. We made two more passes through there and only took three and then four more walleyes. We then made another move to spot number five and that spot was "game on" from the start and it didn't take long to fill up the box in that spot with my clients limiting out in short order there. I stuck with a meat/bottom-bouncer program with everything on the bottom. Trolling speeds of 1.7 mph were best, but it was hard to maintain in the ever fluctuating winds and surging waves. That wind though was a blessing since it provided a much cooler experience with the temperatures never getting hot until we ventured back to shore with a pile of fish to clean. Spinner color was unimportant today as they hit everything in the water about equally. My clients from today are already planning a return trip for next year to enjoy another day of world class walleye fishing on Saginaw Bay. Capt. Mike Veine http://www.trophyspecialists.com
  5. Like usual I had a plan of attack today where I was going to fish the same spot we did well at yesterday for a while and hopefully load up on a bunch of walleyes, and then before limits were reached, I was going to try a couple different spots that had been producing well in past days with some larger fish there on average. The weather conditions were ideal too with a light northerly wind and a perfect one to two foot "walleye" chop. My plans had to be modified though when one of my clients became sea sick early in the charter and that motion sickness would not abate. She toughed it out though and luckily they pulled quick limits so we could return to port where land cured her sea sickness. We never did try any other spots. We caught all our fish today trolling at 1.6 to 1.8 mph running meat behind bottom bouncers. Color did not mater since all lures got hit about equally. I mentioned a couple days ago how the moon affects the walleye bite and then forgot to discuss it in yesterdays report. Well a few days ago the moon phase resulted in the moon setting during the early morning hours. The period just before the moon sets is typically a great time to fish, but after it sets, you can often expect a lull in the action for hours, which was the case on Saturday and Sunday. On those days it would have been prudent to start fishing before sunup to maximize that good fishing window. As the moon phase shifts more to a late morning setting timeframe, like yesterday and today, the best action lasts longer into the late morning hours. When the moon phase involves an overhead moon during mid-day, then that is the best fishing period of the month. This next five days is that hot period, so expect some good fishing reports from me over the next week. Capt. Mike Veine
  6. We closed out July in style with easy limits for my clients from Midland, MI and Missouri. We fished a different area than we fished yesterday and found a lot of active fish there, although the bite was a bit sporadic. We made one, long trolling pass in one direction covering perhaps five miles of water. The bite started off very good, then died down some when the wind went dead calm, then they eventually started biting again, but it was more a a steady pick at that point. When a breeze finally did come up towards the end of our efforts, the bite also picked up steam with some bigger fish coming to the net then too. We did try cranks today, but only caught one fish on the one line I dedicated to that presentation all morning. Meat was working good though with no particular color shinning as everything in the water got hit periodically. Our trolling speed was about 1.7 mph today. We also caught one northern pike today and that sucker managed to sink his teeth into my thumb me to bleed profusely for 10 minutes. minutes. We are coming up on some of the best fishing of the season out of Au Gres during August and we still have plenty of open dates left if you want to enjoy this incredible fishing up close and personal. Capt. Mike Veine http://www.trophyspecialists.com
  7. Today's weather forecast was going to be a repeat of yesterday with the predicted winds going decently in the early morning, but then dieing down and switching around as the morning and day progressed. Yesterday we had a good bite early in the morning and we caught 10 walleyes per hour then, but when the winds died down, the spot we were fishing died out on walleye action then too. Yesterday's trip was a short one, so we stayed in that area thinking they would eventually turn back on, but they didn't and my clients came up a couple fish short of their limits. Today though we had a full day trip, so when the bite died in that first spot with the calming and switching winds, we pulled lines and moved to a plan B spot and were rewarded with more and bigger fish in that spot. My clients from Kalamazoo caught their 32 walleye limit and I even got to reel in tomorrow's dinner for my wife and I too. In the first spot we caught all the fish on or near the bottom, but in the second spot, which was over much deeper water, we caught about half the fish on the bottom and half suspended. Color did not mater in either spots with bright colored spinners and natural pattern all working about equally. In the second spot though, with depths in excess of 40 feet, we did troll slower. We did catch sheephead, catfish and white perch in both spots and it is obvious that those species are more abundant than normal this year as they probably had big year classes during the easy winter of 2015, and 2016 just like the walleye did. With tomorrow's forecast for more steady winds, I predict that the fishing will be even better. Tomorrow I will also discuss how the moon phases impact the fishing, which has also been a factor the last few days. Stay tuned. Capt. Mike Veine http://www.trophyspecialists.com
  8. We had a pretty nice weather forecast today for a change, but when we got out into the Bay, the winds were a bit more than predicted with two foot waves. We set up where we did well at the end of the last charter, but the water had changed there clearing up and the walleyes had moved. I made an educated guess where they moved to and low and behold I was right as we got into a good bite in that area. When the winds died down though, the bite slowed up from 10 walleyes per hour to two per hour. That lull in the action was short lived though because they eventually started biting again and the intensity of the action was probably more than 15 walleyes per hour and then even better at the end of the trip. After my clients from Iowa had limited out, I decided to catch some walleyes for dinner and it only took about 15 minutes to put my eight in the box. I ran all meat behind bottom bouncers today and trolled at 1.6 to 1.8 mph. Color did not mater much since everything in the water got hit about equally. We also caught one yellow perch today and a few sheephead, but other than that it was all walleyes. I still have an opening in my schedule for tomorrow from a cancellation if anybody is interested in sampling this world class fishing. Capt. Mike Veine
  9. I felt kind of guilty today after team Michigan dealt team Ohio a resounding defeat in the team competition at the National Arm wrestling Championships this past weekend, so today I had two boat charter of clients from Ohio and we maxed them out on nice walleye with limit catches on both boats. We basically fished the same area that I found at the end of yesterday's charter, but with a stiff northwest wind, that spot was a lot tougher fish. Both boat had to make short trolling passes over a break where the walleyes were holding in mass. It took several short passes of perhaps one hour catching about 10 walleyes per pass to get the job done. It was fairly rough today with three footers all day long and when the wind switched form the NNW to the West, the bite slowed up a bit. Yesterday plastic was best, but today, spinner/crawler rigs were the ticket, but color did not seem to mater. We put the spinner close to bottom and the walleyes latched on. My boat lost very few fish, but my companion boat lost a lot. I had the senior members of the family, while the other boat had the younger generation. Perhaps older, wiser, slower and steadier was superior today. Capt. Mike Veine http://www.trophyspecialists.com
  10. I decided to try some different spots today right from the start of the trip. The first location produced a couple quick walleyes but then nothing more, so we moved to spot #2. There we caught a couple more walleyes, but nothing steady, so we moved to spot #3, which turned out to be full of walleyes. We had non-stop action for a two mile stretch, but unfortunately, my clients had only booked a 5 hour trip and they ran out of time before they had limited out. With four clients aboard, catching 32 walleyes takes very steady action right from the start, which certainly isn't always going to be the case with the way walleyes move around in the Bay. It often takes checked several spot before finding a concentration of active fish. They did end up with 25 walleyes today though with the biggest being about 26 inches. They also caught some catfish and sheephead along with a white bass, white perch and a yellow perch too. We had a big pike on, but it bit through the line taking the lure with him. We pulled meat on the bottom today with every lure in the water catching their share of fish. It was fairly windy and rough at times today, so the trolling speed varied a lot in the surging waves from 1.4 to 2.0 mph. We had some issues with seasickness yesterday and today too even though it was really not all that rough out. In both cases, taking a good seasickness preventative would likely have cured the motion sickness. If you are planning a fishing trip on big water and motion sickness is possible, then consult your doctor about Transderm Scop, which is a prescription medication that is applied through a patch worn below the ear. In every case I've seen where this product is used it has blocked all sea sickness including some hard cases that were especially prone to motion sickness. Over the counter remedies like Dramamine may be fine for those that get light sea sickness occasionally, but Transder Scop is a much surer bet. Capt. Mike Veine
  11. I often wonder how the folks at the National Weather Service can keep their jobs when they are wrong more than they are right. Trump should fire them for incompetence. They had predicted 12 knot winds today, but when we launched it was 15 knots and by the time we arrived at the fishing area, it had increased to 20+ knots with building waves. We toughed it out though, but it was pretty tough fishing in three to four foot waves even though we were trolling with the wind. The wind eventually died down some though and the bite picked up and my clients from Grayling, MI managed to catch their limits of walleyes. At first today the fish were tight to bottom, but when the wind subsided slightly, they moved up and we did better with suspended presentations. The walleyes were also moving around a lot. We would make a pass through a area and get lots of action, then we'd make another run through the spot and it was empty. Fire tiger harnesses worked best suspended, but red/silver/glow worked best on bottom. Speed varied a lot in the surging waves with a range of 1.2 to 1.6 mph producing. With a nicer forecast predicted tomorrow, it sure would be if the NWS was actually right for once. We'll see. Capt. Mike Veine http://www.trophyspecialists.com
  12. My clients celebrated the fourth of July in style today with limit catches of walleyes. This was their second day in a row fishing with me and they brought home 64 walleyes in their two day fishing spree. The also caught a dandy northern pike today, which I filleted out boneless and they are nearly as good eating as the walleyes, so a nice bonus. We fished the same area as yesterday and had a good morning bite, but when the wind died down to dead calm, the bite slowed up a lot. When a slight breeze came in though, the walleyes turned back on and my clients were able to fill their limits. These four guys were all very good on the rods though, so that helped a lot in this light bite situation we had today. I tried to run a crankbait today, but after a couple hours and no hits on the on them, I went to all meat, which was working well. The only down side is that we caught a lot of sheephead today. We also caught a rock bass, yellow perch, white perch, catfish and the pike I mentioned before. Lots of variety indeed. We also threw back at least a dozen walleyes too, so lots of action on the boat today by all standards. No color preference was shown today as everything near bottom got hammered. I even got to bring fish too and had a walleye dinner fit for a king. I put the walleye on tin foil, squirted lemon juice on it, then salted and pepper it a bit. The fleets were covered in Vidalia onions, sealed up and put on the grill until done. Delicious. Capt. Mike Veine http://www.trophyspecialists.com
  13. We had a hot, calm day on the Bay today, which is usually not good fishing condition, but we checked out several new areas today and spot number three was a winner. My clients from Sault St. Marie and Holly Michigan caught their 32 walleye limit, but it did take most of the day to accomplish that with a light bite and lots of missed fish. We also caught a lot of sheephead today to, which also slowed down our walleye efforts at times. We caught all our fish today on spinner/crawler rigs, however I may mix in some crankbaits tomorrow if we fish the same area. Trolling speeds of 1.5 to 1.7 mph were best today. We caught walleye on all colors, but fire/tiger was probably best. I have the same clients tomorrow, so I'm sure they will be pumped up for another fun day on the water once again. Capt. mike Veine http://www.trophyspecialists.com
  14. The heat wave this weekend has really slowed the fishing. The water temperature jumped up about 10 degrees. My clients caught 19 walleyes and one northern pike today fishing for eight hours with a lot of fish lost. We had similar results yesterday too. Anywhere else and that would be considered "good fishing" but on Saginaw Bay it is sub par. We have been fishing a lot of different places trying to seek out active fish, but haven't been able to find anything fantastic. The fish are likely just a bit shocked by the sudden warm up and will start biting like crazy again once this warm spell passes and they get used to the water temps. We fished deep, medium and shallow water today looking for fish. We caught fish in most of the places we checked but didn't stay long since the action was not great in any one place. We stuck with spinner/crawler rigs today which are going to be the best choice in tough conditions when we are fishing a lot of varying depths. Color has not mattered much the past couple days with everything I've had in the water getting bite once in a while. When the fishing is tough a lot of people start changing lures to try something different with hopes of better results. I opt to just stick with the highest odds lures that work day in a day out all summer and only start changing lures when the bite is good. Using low odds lures in a tough bite just lowers your chances for success that much more. Capt. Mike Veine http://www.trophyspecialists.com
  15. It was a picture perfect day for fishing on the Bay today with light winds that were fairly steady, blue skies, comfortable temperatures and very cooperative fish too. In fact the only complain I heard today was that various body parts were getting sore form reeling in too many big walleyes. My clients today from St. Helen, MI, Texas and Las Vegas, NV caught their limits of walleyes in short order with most of them being over 20" long. The biggest was just under 28 inches and was hauled in by a lady who had never even seen a walleye before today, but she did awesome on the rods catching several of the biggest fish of the day and a jumbo perch too. We had a blow day yesterday with stiff, northeast winds and rain all day long, so I wasn't really sure where to go since hadn't fished for a couple days. I ended up going to the spot where we finished up Tuesday's charter, which had lots of fish marks there, but was a bit slow on bites due to the crappy weather. The fish really bit a lot better today with the nice conditions. We pulled spinner/crawler rigs on the bottom with bottom bouncers trolling at 1.3 to 1.5 mph. The downwind troll was more productive than upwind. The best lure today was a red/silver/glow harness that I have been using all spring and summer with good success consistently. I did an article for In Fishermen last month featuring this harness and another super productive one and the article includes tons of details on the presentation that we use day in and day out on the Bay. I was told it is supposed to come out this fall some time. The weatherman has predicted a similar, beautiful weather day for tomorrow, so I expect great things then too. Capt. Mike Veine