Saginaw Bay January thaw has ruined the ice in many places. Ice conditions off the end of Linwood Road were “iffy” at best. A couple anglers tried open-water fishing in the Hot Pond but had no success. The perch action at Vanderbilt Park near Quanicassee was slow and many were leery of getting stuck near the access point as ice conditions were questionable. Sebewaing, Geiger Road, Mud Creek and Caseville all had poor ice conditions. There was no fishable ice at Port Austin, Grindstone City or Harbor Beach.
- Saginaw River boat ramps along the river were almost opened up so boat anglers may be able to get out. The Rust Avenue ramp is open and the ramp at Zilwaukee should also be ice-free. There is no safe ice anywhere along the river. The middle of the river was open and had ice and debris including tree trunks moving downstream.
- Tittabawassee River was open at Gordonville Road where boats were launching. Shore anglers were also out but catch rates were slow. Further downstream there was a lot of floating ice that can hamper fishing. The rivers have been rising constantly for a week now, and other boat ramps should be free of ice.
- Au Gres perch fishing in Wigwam Bay has slowed due to muddy water coming out of both the Rifle and Pine Rivers. Ice conditions were questionable including the area near Palmer Road where some reported four-wheelers going through the ice.
- Au Gres River most of the river had little to no fishing activity due to poor ice conditions however surf anglers at the Singing Bridge were catching good numbers of steelhead.
Outer Saginaw Bay:
Tawas Area had light fishing pressure near Jerry’s Marina, but anglers were still getting out there. Those with cameras could see a variety of fish over the artificial reef but the fish would not bite. There are vast numbers of shiners and gizzard shad down there and it’s hard to compete with Mother Nature’s smorgasbord. Nevertheless, a few pike were speared and one whitefish was caught.
- Tawas River had open water but no anglers were seen.
Fishing Tip: Finding panfish through the ice
Have you been attempting to target panfish during your ice fishing trips this winter, but aren’t having much luck? Consider the following things.
Are the panfish sticking to shallow or deep depths? Are they hanging out in the weeds or on the rocks? Are they suspended or are they hugging the bottom? Panfish are likely to be in deeper water to find more oxygen. Keep that in mind when you look for them!
Also keep your presentation efforts in mind. A popular tactic includes putting a jig on the bottom and using a twitch-pause-twitch routine with it.
For more information on winter fishing in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/fishing.