Saginaw Bay ice fishing was still going strong but ice near the shoreline was getting bad. It is not a good idea to be drive or park on the ice. Spring run-off was starting to stain the water. The days of ice fishing are numbered but walleye are now moving closer. Those heading off White’s Beach for walleye need to be careful near the pressure crack. Some perch were caught off the end of Newman Road and Townline Road. At Linwood, walleye were in 15 feet of water but the shoreline ice is getting bad. Walleye were caught in three to nine feet off the Bay City State Park. Those venturing out from Sunset Bay Marina caught a few walleye from the Slot in 13 feet. Sebewaing was slow due to muddy water. No activity at Caseville. Warning
Saginaw River had no reports but suckers should be available in the tributaries including the Shiawassee, Cass and Flint rivers. Be sure to consult the Fishing Guide for gear restrictions on these rivers during the period when walleye, pike and muskie season is closed.
Rifle River sucker dippers are setting up near Omer, but they may have a hard time until the ice flows move downstream. Suckers are in the river and are hitting on crawlers. Just find some open water.
Outer Saginaw Bay:
Au Sable River is finally open from the Dam to the mouth. The Rea Road access and the Whirlpool are open for launching. A 4-wheel drive is still needed but a few more days of warmer weather will make it easier to launch. Steelhead have been caught in the deep holes along the bends. Spawn, wax worms, spinner baits and small spoons have been working well. Keep an eye on the flow as it continues to pick up with rain and melt off. Anglers should avoid the ice shelves as they are not stable. The parking lot at the mouth is open but the skid piers are not in.
Tawas ice anglers inside the state harbor are catching small perch. Off Jerry’s Marina, a few walleye were caught near Buoy #4 and off the mouth of the river during the evening hours.
Tawas River is open. Steelhead and suckers have been caught in the lower river.
Weekly Fishing Tip: Let’s Catch Some Crappie’s
Crappie are among the most difficult pan fish to pattern, because of their tendency to suspend in the water column, except in the spring. During this time, crappie move to shallow water — sometimes in water only a couple feet deep — to spawn, so there is not a lot of water column to suspend in.
Crappies are suckers for both minnows and jigs. The easiest way to fish for them is to suspend the bait (either a minnow or a jig) under a bobber halfway between the surface and the bottom, around any sort of cover – weeds, brush, dock pilings…whatever.
Anglers who prefer a more active approach can cast with jigs and swim them back or fly fish with minnow-imitating streamers. Just think shallow in spring.