Saginaw Bay Bass Fishing

Saginaw Bay holds both Smallmouth and Largemouth bass.  On average the Smallmouths run in the 2-4lb range, fish with fish up to 6lbs possible.  The Largemouths run in the 2-3lb range with fish in the 5lb range possible.  Most tournaments on Saginaw Bay are won on Smallmouth Bass generally with a 5 fish limit of around 20-23lbs.  The Bass population on Saginaw Bay is generally unpressured and makes for some of the best Bass fishing in the state.        


Sometime in late April early May the Smallmouths begin their annual spring migration to the rocky shallows of Saginaw Bay.  The Smallmouths can be very active at this time so reaction baits such as jerk baits, spinner baits, and rattle traps are a good choice.  The Smallmouths will generally be schooled up on the first break line near spawning flats.  The fish can be difficult to locate but once you find them you can experience some of the best fishing of the year.

At the same time the Largemouths of Saginaw Bay become active in the many canals that surround Saginaw Bay.  These fish hold along seawalls and canal intersections until they are ready to spawn.  Texas rigged plastics are always a good choice when fishing the canals for large mouths.  The canals in early spring produce large numbers of fish but size can be difficult to come by.

As May progresses towards June the Smallmouths begin to spawn in protected shallows from 5-8ft.  These fish are very aggressive and easy to catch with tubes and flukes being the best choices.  Calm sunny days are the best days to target spawning bass, good days can produce over 50 fish.    


As June turns into July the Smallmouths begin to transition to their deep summer areas such as reefs, break lines and rock piles.  This movement however is largely dictated by bait fish migrations from Lake Huron, and can vary drastically from year to year.  These fish generally remain deep through the end of August in most years.   Drop shots and tubes are productive this time of year good electronics are very helpful when fishing deep offshore structure.      

During the summer some Largemouths remain in the canals and some scatter on the shallow weed flats of the inner bay.  Texas rigged plastics continue to be productive as well as shallow crank baits to locate the fish.


 At the end of August comes the fall which can be some of the best fishing of the year for big fish.  Both Largemouths and Smallmouths leave their summer haunts and head shallow again to feed.  During the fall the fish feed aggressively in the shallows and generally hold more weight than the rest of the year.  The smallmouths action picks up drastically when the leaves begin to turn.  Fishing shallow with fast moving baits such as spinner baits and jerk baits are best at this time of year.                


 Into December through the close of the bass season Smallmouths move deep and school along steep break lines.   Again good electronics are critical in locating these deep fish.  Fishing can be difficult at this time of year and slow presentations are required.  Small jigs and blade baits can be effective this time of year.