Story by Justin Brouillard | Photos by Tanner & Travis Lyons
Bay City, MI. – Anglers launch on day one into cloudy skies with a 50% chance of rain on the day. Highs will reach the mid 70’s while winds are projected at 5 to 10 MPG from the East, switching to North/North-East by the early afternoon. With Saginaw Bay completely exposed to a North wind, and massive Lake Huron directly above, anglers chasing smallmouth will be dealing with extended run times to reach their fishing holes. Waves are projected at less than 2-feet but as seen during practice, the forecast isn’t always correct.
Like other stops along the 2022 NPFL trail, anglers once again have the choice to target both smallmouth and largemouth bass. With a healthy population of largemouth, anglers will need to weed through a lot more fish to land the quality to compete with smallmouth, but high winds and rough waters may even the playing field.
The smallmouth on Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron are known for their size, but getting to them and being able to fish are different stories. Largemouth can be caught as a backup plan if the wind blows but will it be enough to win the event over three days? We will see!
The bass on Saginaw Bay are reportedly in all phases of the spawn with the majority in the post spawn phase. There will be some bass caught on beds and a lot of fish will be caught roaming the shallow sandy flats. Lots of baits are in play and depending on the weather, and anglers’ ability to run, the event could be won close by the takeoff or several hours away to the North.
What is it going to take?
After speaking with some anglers before practice, it seems like the weights could be less than originally predicted and that largemouth may play more of a factor at the top of the leaderboard.
Here is what some guys are thinking:
Taylor Watkins: “Mix bag for the win! I’m thinking around 40-pounds to get paid and 58-pounds to take the win.”
Keith Carson: “I think the wind is definitely going to affect me this week. I should be good for day one but it looks like the final two days I may have to change some things up because of the wind. I thought cut weight would be around 16-pounds but now I think 13-pounds a day will get paid and 20-pounds a day to win.”
Buck Mallory: “The wind is definitely going to make things a little more interesting and I didn’t take much time to look for smallmouth because of it. It’s not ideal for me to target largemouth but I am going to try to get a solid limit and then expand offshore for some brown fish.”
Brandon Perkins: “Practice for me was not great and I have one smallmouth deal but its forever away. I am not even sure if I can/will go. I’m guessing 42-pounds will get paid while 60-pounds takes the win. Depending if they let us leave the river on day two, the winner might have 70-pounds.”
Gary Adkins: “I think 21-pounds a day will win unless someone braves the weather and makes a 90-mile run to colder water and bigger bed fish. If that’s the case, it may be 25-pounds a day to win.”
How to Watch
Tune in daily June 29th through July 1st to thenationalprofessionalfishingleague.com to watch daily action from Saginaw Bay, with Live Coverage beginning on Thursday.
Follow along and watch the daily LIVE Leaderboard, LIVE Blog, and on the water photo galleries and blogs of the anglers on Saginaw Bay!
Under the Go Live Tab, choose LIVE Broadcast with links to the real-time Weigh-Live Leaderboard with estimated weights entered by the anglers.
Check out the LIVE Weigh-ins, here!