Saginaw Bay had a lot of anglers from Erickson Road south to Linwood, with Linwood being the most popular access point. Walleyes were taken in 17 to 20 feet in the vicinity of the second pressure crack. Anglers need to use extreme caution near both pressure cracks as they are still active and changing all the time. Both people and machines have fallen through the ice near them. Walleye were caught in 14 feet off Parish Road. Perch anglers were getting some fish in five feet off Anderson Road and six feet off Linwood. Good catches including a couple limits came from the shipping channel near Spoils Island. A few were fishing in 10 feet off the trailer park near the river mouth. East of the Saginaw River mouth, success was slow at Finn Road and at Vanderbilt Park. Perch anglers in the lower Quanicassee River caught a few small ones. Slow perch fishing from Sebewaing to Bay Port. A few pike were speared or caught on hook and line and several perch anglers reported seeing pike down the holes. Perch fishing was a little better off Mud Creek in Wildfowl Bay. A few pike and walleye were taken incidental to perch in Wildfowl Bay. At Caseville, the thaw last week made the river and marina pretty murky and fishing slowed to a standstill. No fishing at Port Austin as the few shanties inside the harbor were pulled to shore.
- Saginaw River be careful of the ice in or near the channel. The thaw last week caused the current to pick up and it thinned out the ice. You might be standing on eight inches of ice in one spot off the current and two steps away there might only be two inches! The thaw caused the water to muddy up and fishing slowed. From Wickes Park in Saginaw north all the way to the Independence Bridge, catches were limited to a walleye here and there with a lot of sub-legal fish caught and released. A couple eater-size fish were taken between the Independence Bridge and the mouth. Those fishing out of the main current seemed to be doing a little better, and evenings were best. A few walleye and some perch were caught inside the Yacht Club basin. Again, these areas out of the main current seem to be where the fish have been holding.
- Au Gres Area fishing effort was concentrated in the back bay west of the river mouth where anglers were taking pike, a few walleye and some perch. Walleye anglers heading out from Hale Road, the Pine River access site, and Palmer Road were getting fish in 11 to 15 feet. Walleye anglers were also hitting the Catfish Hole off White’s Beach. Perch anglers north of the Pine River caught eight to 10 inch fish in four to eight feet.
- Tawas Area those spearing pike did well on the north end of the bay off Jerry’s Marina. Lake trout and walleye were caught around the artificial reef. A few anglers were walleye fishing out closer to the tip of Tawas Point in 20 to 22 feet.
Fishing Tip: Using a bass technique to target steelhead
Are you a bass angler? A standard technique you use may be perfect for catching steelhead in the winter.
Some experts suggest choosing medium-diving crankbaits (popular colors would include variations of gold or chrome) and be sure to use braided line, which will aid in navigating obstacles under the water. Cast across the current and retrieve just fast enough to get the lure under the water but not so fast that it will snag the bottom. During the retrieve, let the lure swing downstream.
Another successful approach may be to take position directly upstream of a deep hole and cast straight downstream. Retrieve the lure directly through the hole. Again, make sure to retrieve the lure fast enough to get in under the water but slow enough to keep it from snagging up on the bottom. Many times an angler can perform an extra slow retrieve and let the current do most of the wok for them.
Steelhead are one of Michigan’s most popular sport fish, don’t miss your opportunity to target them this winter! For more information, visit the steelhead page on the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them