Saginaw Bay: Had excellent walleye fishing off the mouth of the Saginaw River. Walleye were hitting pretty much anything thrown at them including jigs and minnows. Some channel cats were caught in the Hot Ponds. Perch fishing near the Pigeon River has not yet started because the water is colder north of Sand Point (recent area heavy rain will impact fishing).
Au Gres: A couple boats trolling off the mouth of the river caught a few walleye.
Au Gres River: Had very good steelhead fishing near the Singing Bridge and about a half mile upstream. Most are drifting fresh spawn. Steelhead can be found as far up as M-55. Surfcasting at the Singing Bridge was not as good as the river fishing.
Kawkawlin River: Perch fishing was good off the bridge at State Park Drive.
Pine River: Near Standish had excellent perch fishing with limit catches of fish ranging seven to 10 inches for those that put in the time. Anglers were fishing upstream from the boat ramp. The launch was not usable due to an ice jam.
Rifle River: Steelhead have been caught from Selkirk Road downstream to Greenwood Road. Many were float fishing in canoes or wading near access points. The sucker run is finally underway at Omer for both hook and line anglers and those with dip nets.
Saginaw River: Had good perch fishing between the mouth and Essexville. Fish ranging 10 and 11 inches were caught on minnows.
Sebewaing River: Also had good perch fishing but has tapered off.
Quanicassee River: Had good perch fishing but the action has tapered off as it appears the season may have already peaked. Rain may bring in some fresh fish, but don’t wait too long to get out there.
Outer Saginaw Bay
Au Sable River: Steelhead were caught from the mouth to the dam. Skid piers at the mouth were still on shore so unloading and loading will be difficult. Access sites upstream are open with ample parking. Spawn, flies and wax worms are best for those drifting and those casting are using small spoons, body baits or spinners. Most of the fish caught seem to be fresh and the signs are good for a long consistent run.
Port Austin: Pier anglers caught steelhead off the gas dock when casting small spoons. Late afternoon and early evening were best.
Tawas: Pier anglers casting along the outside of the harbor have caught lake trout, steelhead, brown trout and the occasional whitefish. Those wading off the mouth of the river caught a few walleye on rapalas. Ice inside the harbor is finally breaking up.
Weekly Fishing Tip: Where to find smallmouth bass this spring
With the catch-and-immediate-release season for smallmouth bass for the Lower Peninsula arriving at the end of this month, many anglers are gearing up to target this species.
There are plenty of locations throughout the state that offer exceptional smallmouth bass fishing, but check out the list below if you’re interested in finding trophy-sized fish.
- Lake St. Clair: cover lots of ground if you visit this water body and cast to the edges of weed patches.
- Lake Erie: the shallow areas of this lake are good places to start, after the water warms up head to deeper water.
- Saginaw Bay: target around the Charity Islands which separate Lake Huron’s deep water from Saginaw Bay’s shallow depths.
- Grand Traverse Bays: Look for structure such as drop-offs, sand points, rocks or weed beds at this spot.
Don’t forget the catch-and-immediate-release seasons for largemouth and smallmouth bass on Lower Peninsula waters don’t open until April 27! For more information, check out page 17 of the 2013 Michigan Fishing Guide.