Saginaw Bay: Ice conditions are not safe. Anglers are being warned to stay off the Bay! The Coast Guard continues to rescue anglers from the ice flows. There is shore ice that extends about a mile out along the east side. Beyond that is open water. Strong west winds are churning up the waves where there is open water and this will weaken the shore ice. Anglers might want to stick to the inland lakes.
Saginaw River: Ice conditions continue to get worse and the water is muddy.
Tittabawassee River: Had some fishing activity up near the Dow Dam however conditions vary day to day depending on temperatures. Colder weather increases the amount of floating ice which makes fishing more difficult.
Outer Saginaw Bay
Au Sable River: Continues to produce good catches of steelhead. The Whirlpool and the Rea Road sties were accessible to most vehicles. Try spawn, wax worms, or small spoons. Fish making their way up into the river are fresh.
Tawas: The ice was holding but anglers were sorting through little perch all day long to come up with 10 to 12 keepers. The walleye bite and pike spearing were slow.
Weekly Fishing Tip: Looking for inland trout this winter? Try Crystal Lake!
Lake trout, one of Michigan’s native sport fish, can be a fun species to target, even in the winter months. One of the best inland spots to target this fish is Crystal Lake in Benzie County, where the DNR stocks 60,000 lake trout each spring.
Crystal Lake consists of more than 9,700 acres of great fishing, with lake trout primarily hanging out in the western two-thirds of the lake where deeper water is available. If you’re interested in paying a visit to this destination, try one of the following techniques for lake trout:
1. Jig with heavy spoons or jigs and outfit your lure with a strip of sucker meat, smelt (of which there is a population of on Crystal Lake) or the head of a minnow.
2. Use tip-ups with a live smelt or emerald shiners to capture the attention of lake trout.
Crystal Lake has a healthy population of rainbow trout, yellow perch and burbot as well, keep that in mind as you head out on the ice! We should also mention Crystal Lake has coho salmon and is one of only two inland lakes in Michigan with its own population of “landlocked” coho salmon (the other being Glen Lake in Leelanau County)!
Want to know more about fishing for lake trout on Crystal Lake? Check out the lake map of Crystal Lake to get you started!