Saginaw Bay walleye action was better at dusk or early morning. Anglers were fishing four to five miles out from White’s Beach, in 17 to 20 ft of water off Linwood, 12 to 17 ft off the Bay City State Park, 16 feet northeast of Spoils Island, seven miles north off the end of Callahan Road or Finn Road, and the middle of the Slot off Thomas Road or Sunset Bay Marina. Fishing was slow in the Hot Pond. Bluegills and some big crappie were caught in the marina at Sebewaing. At Mud Creek, perch fishing was hit-or-miss.
Saginaw River anglers are reminded that walleye season on the river will close at midnight this Saturday, March 15th. There has been a lot of fishing pressure all over the river. Anglers might want to avoid the crowds and try fishing the areas between the main access points. Those fishing near the Zilwaukee Bridge caught walleye but many were small. The river ice should hold for the last day of walleye season.
Au Gres, a few walleye anglers were fishing off Booth Road. Perch anglers caught a few nice fish in seven feet of water off the mouth of the Rifle River and in six feet of water straight off Palmer Road. Most fish were seven to 10 inches. Walleye were caught in seven to 15 feet mostly in the evening.
Outer Saginaw Bay:
Oscoda: Au Sable River anglers have caught steelhead but the action was quite slow at times. Most are using wax worms or spawn. The ramp on Rea Road is useable but 4-wheel drive is needed. There is still quite a bit of ice between the Whirlpool and the pier. With the ongoing changes in weather, anglers should anticipate flow variations below Foote Dam. Extreme cold has caused difficulties in operating the spill gates at the Foote Hydroelectric Project which in turn cause unexpected flow changes when they are opened or closed. There is the potential for rapid flow changes due to the breakup of ice cover which causes ice dams and the temporary impounding of water followed by rapid flow when these blockages release water. Those steelhead fishing on the lower river should check the USGS website for current flow conditions. waterdata.usgs.gov/mi/nwis/rt
Tawas perch were caught inside the harbor. Keepers were running six to eight inches but some caught a few bigger fish. A couple pike were speared or taken on tip-ups off Jerry’s Marina.
Fishing Tip: Targeting walleye at the end of ice season
Walleye are a popular target for many ice anglers, particularly as the season wears on. Pursuing these aggressive fish can be a great adventure, especially if you follow some of these tactics.
Focus on using jigs with spoons or minnows or tip-ups with live bait to see the most success. You might want to use a few tip-ups and then jig around that same area.
Think about the depth of water as well as the time of day. Walleye fishing through the ice usually begins and ends in shallow water areas with deep water more productive during the heart of the winter.