Saginaw Bay: Word has it walleye are still being caught between Linwood and Pinconning. This is the time for shore anglers to target perch before ice-up. Good spots to try are the marinas at Linwood Beach, Sunset Bay and Bayshore. The better fishing is usually in the morning.
Kawkawlin River: Is producing some perch in the lower river.
Saginaw River: Perch (image above) can usually be found in the lower river between the Independence Bridge and the mouth. Look for walleye near the bridge as well.
Outer Saginaw Bay
Au Gres River: Was producing some nice perch for those using minnows near the launch site at the mouth. Those fishing the channels have caught bluegills.
Au Sable River: Steelhead are moving in and out of the river. Most of the fish caught were taken at Foot Dam and the mouth. Not many anglers have been fishing the holes between the dam and the mouth so it is hard to judge the number of fish in the river. Spawn seems to be working the best, but wax worms and body baits have also done well. The whitefish have slowed but those targeting them think they will still be coming in over the next few weeks.
Oscoda: Is producing steelhead and some whitefish for pier anglers.
Tawas: Is still producing some whitefish and the occasional perch.
Weekly Fishing Tip: Targeting Northern Pike at First Ice
Many anglers will agree that the first ice of the winter season often produces some of the best northern pike fishing you can find.
There could be a couple of reasons why this is so, perhaps it’s because there are plenty of baitfish for them to target thanks to a decrease in weed cover…or perhaps it’s because first ice is often clear and allows the sight-feeding fish to target their prey more easily because of the penetration of sunlight. Regardless, the coming weeks (weather permitting) are a great time to target this species.
You’ll want to use a tip-up for this type of fishing, with a minnow or small panfish on the end of your line. Keep in mind you can catch small panfish in the lake you’re fishing and legally use them as bait in the same water body.
Target similar areas that you may have fished for northern pike when there was still open water and you might see some success!