Saginaw Bay: Ice fishing is on once again. Perch fishing was slow at Palmer Road because the water was muddy. Walleye anglers heading out to the Catfish Hole managed to catch a few. Anglers need to use caution along the west side of the bay because of all the pressure cracks including a large one that may be as much as 50 feet wide. Some are going way out and driving across the pressure cracks with little regard for the consequences of what could happen. Heading out after dark is not recommended. Walleye anglers going four to five miles off White’s Beach caught fish. Walleye were caught off Erickson Road in 18 to 20 feet of water but the trip was not easy because anglers will have to head north almost to Pinconning to get around the big pressure crack. Walleye were caught out near the Spark Plug which is at Buoys 11 and 12 however this location is a long ways out! Ice near the mouth of the Saginaw River was marginal at best as the current remains strong. Both the river and the south end of the bay are very muddy.
Walleye anglers are going out from Callahan Road and fishing between Essexville and Quanicassee. Perch fishing at Quanicassee was slow due to the muddy water. Walleye anglers have done well eight to ten miles off Thomas Road however there are some soft spots between the shoreline and the fishing holes so anglers need to use caution. A couple machines have gone through the ice near the soft spots. The creeks and the marinas have extremely muddy water.
Saginaw River: Was iced over from Zilwaukee to the mouth however the ICE IS NOT SAFE at this time as it is composed of re-frozen ice flows and slush. Some great ice sculptures can be found as large sheets of ice have been thrust upward at all angles and frozen into place.
Tittabawassee River: Fishing was still impossible.
Au Gres River: Just re-froze. On the East Branch, not much was going on near the Singing Bridge. Water levels were high, fast and muddy.
Pine River: At the access site, the river has a good current and an ice jam at the mouth. No one is going out.
Outer Saginaw Bay
Au Sable River: Those who brave the cold weather have caught steelhead which can be found in all areas of the river between the mouth and Foote Dam. A couple brown trout were caught up near the Rea Road launch and below the dam. Most are using spawn, wax worms, small spoons or body baits. Perch were caught in the impoundments.
Tawas: Had lots of anglers fishing in Tawas Bay. They caught some nice perch in 15 to 20 feet of water. The better fishing was between dawn and 11:00 a.m. Some walleye were caught at dawn and dusk and a few brown trout were caught incidental to perch and walleye. Those spearing have taken some pike.
Tawas River: Had no reports.
Weekly Fishing Tip: Thinking about late winter crappie fishing
It might seem difficult to imagine late winter ice fishing at this point – with snow steadily coming down – but before you know it last stage ice will be here and with it new crappie fishing opportunities.
Right before ice disappears, crappie tend to launch into a feeding frenzy; stemming from more light penetrating the surface and causing the food chain to pick up, increased oxygen levels, and more daylight available. Planning a trip with these conditions in mind can prove to be very successful.
Also remember that crappie are often one of the first fish to spawn after the ice, so you may find schools of them congregated near weed edges or near structure at the first signs of spring.
Keep these two periods of time in mind throughout the coming weeks and/or months. And if you want even more information on fishing for crappie in Michigan, check out their page on the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.