Saginaw Bay walleye and perch catch rates are slow and hanging on a bit longer than normal this year, most likely due to the bitter cold temperatures. Underwater cameras are showing walleye and perch but the bite is not there. Some were lucky enough to catch a few perch in 10 feet of water off White’s Beach and walleye in 15 feet before the first pressure crack off the State Park, and out near Spoils Island. Perch fishing off Vanderbilt Park was non-existent. Walleye anglers going off Thomas Road found a few fish in the middle of the Slot. They did better than the guys crossing the Bar and going to the Slot. Bluegill, crappie and the odd pike were caught out from the marina at Sebewaing.
Saginaw River catch rates were slow but some caught the occasional walleye on a blue and silver jigging rapala with a treble hook and minnow head. A couple perch were caught off the cement plant at Essexville. Anglers are seeing a lot of fish on their cameras but the fish are ignoring the bait. Water clarity was back to normal.
Tittabawassee River had a little bit of open water up near Gordonville Road where anglers were casting for walleye. None were caught. With the return of cold air, there is too much shore ice again.
Au Gres also had slow fishing with only a couple anglers sighted off Booth Road. At Palmer Road, walleye anglers had mixed results at the Catfish Hole. Perch fishing there was very slow.
Outer Saginaw Bay:
Tawas fishing overall was slow. A few small perch were caught inside the harbor and off Jerry’s Marina. Few pike have been speared and walleye fishing near the tip of Tawas Point was slow.
Weekly Fishing Tip: Tips to stay safe when ice fishing in early spring
Spring will be upon us soon, and so will numerous opportunities in different parts of the state to get out on the ice. But remember, there are a few important safety precautions to take if you plan to do so:
1. Towards the end of the season, ice becomes rotten and soft. Although ice may still be more than a foot thick, it might not be strong enough to hold someone safely.
2. Don’t forget to still carry the appropriate safety items, such as ice picks and a throw rope. And remember to wear a personal flotation device when heading out.
3. Continue to use the buddy system and have someone with you to help if you fall through the ice.
4. Carry a fully charged cell phone in a waterproof plastic bag. Make sure it is easily accessible in case of an emergency.
5. Pay attention to the weather. If it hasn’t been consistently cold or if there has been a lot of wind you can’t guarantee there will be solid ice to head out on.
For more information on ice fishing, check out the Ice Fishing – The Coolest Sport Around article available online.