Saginaw Bay: Mother Nature is making ice! With the cold weather, the prospects for ice fishing should improve this week. Ice is forming off White’s Beach, Pinconning and Newman Road. The only spot on the west side producing fish the last few days was inside the Linwood Marina where they caught a few perch. Action near the Hot Pond, mouth of the Saginaw River and off Quanicassee should pick back-up soon. Ice is forming along the east side of the bay however extreme caution needs to be because once again, this is first ice. A few fishing in the marina basin at Sebewaing caught a couple bluegills and the odd crappie. No activity at Bay Port. In Wildfowl Bay, strong winds blew over several pike spearing shacks.
Saginaw River: A couple boats launching at Zilwaukee did manage to catch a walleye up near the beanery. Freezing temperatures will most likely put an end to boat fishing as ice has started to form. In Bay City, all the launches were unusable due to shore ice. Anglers will have to wait until there is enough for ice fishing.
Tittabawassee River: Floating ice, slush and high flow made the river unfishable.
Au Gres River: Is in the process of freezing over.
Outer Saginaw Bay
Au Sable River: Boat ramps will be icy and there may be too much ice for floating by the end of the week. Rea Road to Whirlpool may still be good for boat anglers looking to float however ice buildup on the ramps may cause problems. With the lack of snow the river bank is clear for foot travel. Steelhead are in the river in good numbers and anglers had good success from the mouth to Foote Dam. Most catches are coming on spawn and wax worms. Bottom bouncing and floating bait from a bobber is working well. A few brown trout have also been caught. The most active sites have been right at the mouth and from the Rea Road Bridge to the dam.
Tawas River: Had no report. Floating ice has made fishing very difficult.
Weekly Fishing Tip: What you need to know to catch walleyes this winter
Many anglers love to target walleyes during open water fishing, but they’re leery to target them once ice arrives. But fishing for walleyes in the winter can be just as fun, if you follow some of the tips below!
Where to fish
When ice is new plant yourself on top of shallow shelves that have sharp drop-off points. Then, as the ice thickens, head to deeper water but still stick close to those drop-off locations. You might also want to find places with structure that appeal to schools of bait fish.
When to fish
Since walleyes are fairly photosensitive, the best time to target them is during periods of low-light. That means cloudy days will probably be perfect for an all-day trip, or sunrise and sunset work great as well.
How to fish
Consider jigging for this species very close to the bottom with a good lure or a nice minnow or two.
Want even more information on fishing for walleyes? Check out their page on the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.