Saginaw Bay has some ice fishing opportunities. Anglers are going out from Whites Beach and Palmer Road but catch rates were slow (remember ice is never safe, be careful).
Au Sable River steelhead are still moving into the river in good numbers. Catch rates were good between the mouth and Foote Dam. Spawn, body baits, and wax worms seem to be the most popular. Fish the deeper holes along the river bends. This fishery seems to be getting better and better, so look for an increase in fish numbers throughout the winter. As water flow goes up and down, new snags are emerging throughout the river.
Weekly Fishing Tip: How to target popular fish species in the winter
Are you getting anxious for thick enough ice to head out fishing? Consider using the following tips when targeting four species popular with anglers in the winter.
Early-ice walleyes are known to be active and aggressive. Use tip-ups at varying depths around the lake (anywhere from 15 to 35 feet deep) to appeal to this species. Regardless of the depth, always set the live minnow under the tip-up to swim 12 to 15 inches off the bottom.
Consider using plastic bait, rather than live bait, when fishing for crappie. Focus on weed lines to find them. A lot of times crappie will hang out in the middle of the water column, half-way between the ice and bottom.
You’ll find these aggressive fish near off-shore structures and weed lines, so try these types of spots on your favorite pike lakes first.
Attract bigger perch by using tip-ups with minnows, that’s what they’re primarily eating this time of year. Sticking a minnow on an ice fishing rod is also very productive.
For more information on fishing during Michigan’s winter, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing