Saginaw Bay: Ice conditions were not good to start with and after the rain, they are even worse. So much water on the ice will make it very slippery and will make it much harder to tell where the thin ice is. Anglers will need to use extreme caution. A handful of seven to nine-inch perch were taken off White’s Beach out near the first crack. No anglers were going out beyond the first crack for fear of being caught on an ice floe. Perch were taken off Sunny Cove which is at the end of Knickerbocker Road in six to seven feet and off Newman Road in four to five feet. The perch bite off Linwood was hit-or-miss. Be sure to watch for soft spots in the ice out there. The best perch fishing was off Vanderbilt Park near Quanicassee. Anglers fishing up the east side toward Hidden Harbor (Tietz Drain) reported limit catches of perch 10 to 15 inches taken in five to eight feet. A few panfish were taken in Sunset Bay Marina. The Coast Guard had to go out and get a group of guys out in the Slot so the pressure crack out there must be active. Fishing from Sebewaing to Caseville was light and scattered and catch rates were hit-or-miss. Those getting perch were sorting through the small ones. There are four large areas of open water off Mud Creek and they seem to be getting bigger so extreme caution must be used. Some nice lake trout were caught through the ice near the break wall at Caseville when jigging spoons tipped with minnows.
- Saginaw River: A few perch were caught on the ice inside the Yacht Club at the mouth. Most of the boat ramps along the river had frozen up again, limiting angler access. There’s no ice to fish on, so it’s boats or shore fishing only. Some were launching small boats under the I-675 Bridge in Saginaw. They caught a lot of under size walleye but were still getting a few keepers. Try pink jig-heads with minnows. The rivers will be running high, fast and muddy after all the rain.
- Tittabawassee River: Had a lot of floating ice which hindered fishing. There was some open water up by Gordonville Road and Mapleton, but fishing was pretty slow with only an occasional walleye taken. The Gordonville ramp was iced in and not usable.
Au Gres: Some perch were caught in the Northport Marina.
- Au Gres River: Fishing in the river and the adjacent bayou was slow. In the East Branch, steelhead fishing slowed in the lower river near the Singing Bridge and for those surf casting.
Outer Saginaw Bay:
Tawas: Not much effort was reported over the last week. A couple pike were speared, and a couple menominee and some small perch were caught. No walleye have been recorded so far this winter.
Fishing Tip: Tip-ups, a no brainer while ice fishing
Tip-ups have been a popular ice fishing method for ages and over time this equipment has gotten more and more effective. As a result, many anglers swear by them while targeting certain species during the winter.
While older versions of tip-ups were wooden, new versions are plastic and often have helpful features, including a line guide and a tripping mechanism.
Tip-ups are often used to target northern pike, brown and rainbow trout, walleye and even larger perch. Anglers will often use heavy, braided line that’s black with their tip-ups, which withstands freezing temperatures, tangling and getting lost when it’s pooled on the ice.
Consider using a tip-up when you make your next trip on the ice. Want to know more about ice fishing in Michigan, perhaps with tip-ups? Check out our ice fishing article online!