Saginaw Bay: Was wet, slippery, sloppy and miserable. Conditions should improve by the weekend as much colder temperatures return. Before the drastic change in weather, perch fishing at Palmer Road was slow. Before the warm up, walleye anglers heading out a couple miles were getting fish. There was a lot of walleye activity about three miles off Erickson Road and near the Spark Plug off Linwood. Anglers need to use extreme caution as there are several pressure cracks between the shore and the fishing spots. There was a lot of perch activity at Quanicassee off Vanderbilt Park but catch rates were spotty. Those after walleye caught fish out near the Slot and beyond. From Sebewaing to Bay Port, anglers were after perch and pike just off the Mud Creek access site in Wildfowl Bay. Anglers need to watch where they are going because there were some spots with open water. Pike spearing was just getting started. Those fishing in the harbor and marina at Caseville caught some perch on live minnows. At Port Austin, some were pike spearing inside the harbor.
Saginaw River: Record high temperatures this week will make for dangerous fishing especially with a big push of water from the rain and snowmelt coming down. Walleye fishing was good before the front moved in. Ice anglers were out in force with more than 250 shanties between Saginaw and Bay City. After sorting out the small ones, anglers were still going home with at least a couple walleye. A few bigger perch caught near the mouth.
Tittabawassee River: Had no activity. There was too much ice to launch a boat and not enough to walk on.
Au Gres River: Anglers were catching sublegal walleye and a few perch.
Outer Saginaw Bay
Au Sable River: Steelhead are in the river and catch rates were good. Anglers are using spawn, wax worms, small spoons and body baits. Most are fishing the mouth or from Rea Road to the dam. Not much activity was seen in the deeper holes. Those targeting steelhead have caught a couple brown trout near the dam.
Tawas: Was producing good numbers of decent size perch in 12 to 15 feet of water in the bay. Perch were also caught inside the State Harbor. Walleye were a little deeper in 15 to 20 feet of water and hitting at dawn or dusk. Those spearing have taken a few pike.
Weekly Fishing Tip: Targeting panfish when there’s lots of ice
Fishing for panfish can become quite difficult at certain points during the winter, particularly when ice and snow are at their thickest. Thick ice and snow hinder fish habitat as a result of decaying vegetation and low oxygen levels which result in changes to the food cycle.
There are a few things you can do to overcome these obstacles:
- Look for areas on your chosen water body that have new ice, allowing for more light to penetrate.
- Search for areas where the wind has blown the snow off, as opposed to heavily snowed areas.
- Consider finding a new water body to fish, particularly one that is larger and deeper and likely to have frozen later than other lakes.
Just focusing on the location you chose to fish can help your panfish outing be that much better!