Saginaw Bay Anglers are ice fishing but safety should always be an angler’s first concern. While the lakes and some rivers are iced over, anglers will still need to use caution on the deeper ones, where there are pressure cracks and where there is water flow under the ice. It is also a good idea to wear a flotation device; it could save your life!
Saginaw Bay Conservation Officers have reported some machines going through the ice. Anglers need to use caution as the ice was variable. A good number of walleye and a few perch were caught in 22 feet off Linwood. Caution: The ice was bad along the shore where people have parked and some vehicles did go through the ice.
A few pike were taken near the Hot Ponds but be careful out near Spoils Island because a truck went through the ice. A few perch were caught in six feet off Vanderbilt Park. Off Thomas Road, limits of walleye were caught about eight miles out. Sebewaing had little action and perch fishing off Geiger Road was poor. Lots of anglers perch fishing off Mud Creek but they had little success with maybe five to 10 fish per group of anglers. At Caseville, a big wide pressure crack off the end of the breakwall had opened up. It is very wide and heads south towards Sand Point. This is the area where anglers were targeting lake trout so those contemplating fishing at Caseville need to be extremely careful.
Saginaw River had a few dark spots in the ice so be careful. Walleye fishing was slow north and south of the Zilwaukee Bridge and off Wickes Park. Catch rates were fair near the Airport where a few keepers were reported. Those fishing near the Boys and Girls Club in Bay City caught a few when jigging rapalas. Hot colors were perch, fire-tiger or blue and silver. Bay City to the mouth was slow.
Au Gres Area walleye and whitefish were caught in 10 feet off Booth Road. Try spoons or jigging rapalas tipped with minnows. Those heading out from Pine River and Palmer Road caught some walleye in 18 feet however ice conditions are variable and anglers need to use caution especially around the pressure cracks. Some fishing in 10 feet for perch caught the occasional walleye in the early morning. Perch anglers are doing a lot of sorting.
Outer Saginaw Bay:
Port Austin has more ice shanties popping up around the marina.
Tawas Area had good walleye fishing in 18 to 20 feet. Evenings were best and some limit catches were reported. Perch were slower. Anglers were generally fishing in 15 feet and sorting out the small ones. No report on pike spearing.
Weekly Fishing Tip: Targeting walleye? Wait until the sun goes down!
While many anglers pack up their gear and head off the ice after dusk settles in, some anglers will stick it out – especially if they’ve got a lighted shelter. This can be an ideal time to target walleye and to see some angling success!
Many anglers adopt a simple presentation when targeting walleyes in the dark; they jig a spoon to catch the fish’s attention and then offer them a setline with a minnow nearby. Focus on baits that glow to appeal to the walleye’s senses and keep the minnows small to accommodate their slower appetites.
Want even more tips for targeting walleye? Check out their page on the Michigan Fish and How to Catch Them website.