Saginaw Bay has frozen back over for as far offshore as the eye can see, but no one should assume that the ice is safe to walk on! It’s barely thick enough to hold the little bit of snow that fell on Monday into Tuesday so STAY OFF THE ICE! The bitter cold weather really shut fishing down. The cuts and marina basins are freezing over again but the ice is not safe. Shore fishing is limited to wherever anglers can find open water. Many are going to the marinas and punching a hole in the (thin) ice with a spud. Not much to report along the west side but anglers might be able to fish for perch off the docks in the Linwood Beach Marina.
The perch are following the minnows right now but it is way too early for them to be spawning yet, so the near-shore fishing opportunities should continue into April. Minnows on perch rigs have been most effective. The rivers froze up and were hard to fish right now. There’s been some perch activity off the docks at the Sebewaing Marina through the ice but it was still hit-or-miss and anglers are doing a lot of sorting to get a few six to eight-inch perch. Mud Creek and the Pigeon River at Caseville froze up again.
- Saginaw River inland walleye fishing which includes the Saginaw River closed on March 15 and will not re-open until Saturday, April 29. Fishing was really slow through Bay City and quite slow from Zilwaukee up to the confluence. Anglers found a fish here and there however the big spawning run of walleye has not showed up yet.
- Tittabawassee River walleye fishing closed on March 15 and will not re-open until Saturday, April 29.
Au Gres Area anglers caught a few perch off the docks in Eagle Bay Marina after punching a hole in the ice.
- Au Gres River: At Whitney Drain, a couple of steelheads were taken by those drifting wax worms or spawn.
Outer Saginaw Bay:
Oscoda: No boats have been out but those fishing off the end of the pier were still taking some lake trout. Watch for ice on the pier.
- Au Sable River: Those braving the cold weather were still getting some steelhead between the mouth and Foote Dam.
Tawas Area: Pier anglers caught a couple pike on minnows.
- Tawas River: Suckers were biting to some extent in the lower river.
Fishing Tip: Storing your ice fishing equipment for next season
It’s about time to store your ice fishing equipment. The key is to doing it properly so you’ll be ready to hit the ice next winter! Here is a checklist of things to do:
- If you have an auger, check it for any damage and then dry all the blades before storing it. You may want to consult your power auger’s manual to know how to appropriately handle any leftover gas and how to protect the engine.
- Remove the batteries from any of your electronics to prevent any damage from leaking batteries.
- Make sure your portable shelter is completely clean and dry before storing. You may want to put some moth balls in it or hang it to keep pests at bay.
- Take a full inventory of your rods, reels and tackle to see what you might need/want to purchase next year. Also remove all bait or line from your hooks and lures for storage and make sure everything is dry.
By the time everything is properly stored you’ll be itching to get out on your favorite stream, river or lake for some spring fishing!