Saginaw Bay Area Fishing Report 03/16/2018

Ducks on ice floe drifting on the river.

Saginaw Bay, It’s possible to get a boat out of Pinconning, but there was no fishing activity there. From Pinconning to the Saginaw River mouth, floating ice has prevented anglers from launching boats. At the mouth of the Saginaw River, boats could not go out any further than the range lights due to floating ice jams. It was not possible to get out to Spoils Island. Moving east, the Finn Road cut was iced over. Fishing in the lower Quanicassee River was very slow. All of the cuts up the east side of the Bay from the Thomas Cut northeast to Bird Creek at Port Austin re-froze and had skim ice which made shore fishing next to impossible. One highlight on the east side was the very good lake trout fishing off the pier at Caseville when using either live minnows or casting with cleo’s and other spoons. Walleye fishing on Saginaw Bay remains open year round.

  • Saginaw River #walleyefishing hotspot was in the lower river from the mouth upstream through Bay City and as far as James Clements Airport with limit catches (eight fish per angler) common. Most were taken when vertical jigging from boats, either anchored or drifting, with heavy jig heads and stinger hooks baited with minnows. Moving upstream between Bay City and through Saginaw to the confluence, fishing slowed quite a bit which indicates the run is just now entering the lower river from Saginaw Bay. Anglers were getting walleye throughout this reach but they had to work harder for them. Anglers are reminded that the inland walleye season, which includes the Saginaw River will close at midnight on Thursday, March 15 and will re-open on Saturday, April 28.
  • Tittabawassee River both boat and shore anglers caught some walleye along the entire length of the river. Heavy jigs baited with minnows or plastic twister-tails fished right along the bottom were the ticket. The inland walleye season which includes the Tittabawassee River will close at midnight on Thursday, March 15 and will re-open on Saturday, April 28.
  • Shiawassee River was producing some walleye.
  • Flint River was also producing some walleye.

Au Gres Area a few boats were trolling not too far offshore between Point Lookout and Point Au Gres but angler success varied.

  • Au Gres River shore fishing on the lower river was slow. Fishing pressure at the Singing Bridge was light as anglers were not having much luck.
  • Pine River anglers were trying to shore fish on the lower river near Standish but catch rates for perch were poor as the fish are not in the river yet.
  • Rifle River steelhead were caught in the lower river.

 Outer Saginaw Bay

Oscoda Area

  • Au Sable River was producing some steelhead.

Tawas Area  boats launching into Tawas Bay and trolling south of the bay off the “Crib” which is about a mile straight out from Alabaster were getting lake trout in 10 to 20 feet.

  • Tawas River fishing was generally slow with just a couple walleye, pike and steelhead picked up.

Fishing Tip: Fishing Michigan’s piers & breakwalls

Michigan’s numerous piers and breakwalls offer great fishing opportunities throughout the year. Anglers often participate in this activity to target a variety of species, with trout and salmon being two of the most popular.

If you decide to partake in this type of fishing you’ll need a high-quality rod and reel. Technique-wise you’ll want to vary the depth and speed of your retrieves and consider fan-casting as opposed to casting perpendicular to the pier/breakwall.

There are lots of bait options to consider, including spawn bags with steelhead, trout or salmon eggs; live alewives; or night crawlers. You’ll also want a long-handled net to aid in landing your catch!

As always, take plenty of safety precautions when fishing piers and breakwalls.