2014 MCOA Ice Fishing Championship 2/15/2014
Saginaw Bay walleye were caught in 16 to 20 feet off Linwood and the Bay City State Park. On the east side of the bay, walleye anglers are fishing from Sunset Bay and off Thomas Road are heading out eight to 11 miles. Perch anglers fishing in five to six feet off Vanderbilt Park near Quanicassee have caught some nice fish during the first half hour of daylight but then the bite quits after the sun come up. Only a few pike and small perch were taken at Sebewaing. Some are accessing the bay at Rose Island and Geiger Road and fishing out in the Slot for walleye. Fishing at Caseville, Port Austin and Grindstone City was slow.
Saginaw River pressure was generally light from Wickes Park and Rust Avenue north through downtown Saginaw. Anglers picked up the occasional keeper when using green jig-heads baited with a minnow in nine to 15 feet. Walleye were caught near the Zilwaukee Bridge and downstream of the Veteran’s Bridge on the east side. A few perch were also caught. Fishing around the Independence Bridge was generally slow but a few anglers did well when using silver and blue jigging rapalas. Further down at Smith Park, the Cement Plant and the mouth, catch rates were slow and spotty.
Au Gres most of the fishing activity is off the end of Booth Road in 15 feet of water where they’re picking up some walleyes and perch. Catch rates were fair. Off Palmer Road, walleye anglers were going out four to four and half miles and fishing in 16 to 18 feet. Perch anglers closer to shore are seeing fish but few were caught.
Outer Saginaw Bay:
Oscoda, Au Sable River the few anglers making their way onto the river had good success because of the good number of steelhead in the river. Most are fishing the dam, Rea Road Launch, the Gas Line and the Whirlpool. Other areas of the river may be holding fish, but may not be accessible. Foote Dam and Whirlpool are open to 4-wheel drives. Wax worms, small spinners or spawn were best.
Tawas area most fishing activity is now outside the harbor rather than inside. Perch fishing was fair to good in 15 feet of water off Jerry’s Marina. Anglers are seeing a lot of perch down the holes but they do not want to bite. Further out near the ice that has broken up and re-froze, walleye were caught in 20 feet and a few pike were speared including one 20 pounder.
Weekly Fishing Tip: Factors to think about when fishing for walleye in winter
Walleye are a popular target of ice anglers with many jigging for this aggressive species. But did you know weather can play an important role in your opportunity to catch them?
While you might not be able to notice the wind whipping outside your shanty, walleye under the ice notice it. When the wind shifts it impacts things under the water, including the current and silt. This might mean you’ll need to change locations on the ice to find what you’re looking for.
Fish are very sensitive to air pressure and when it’s consistent you’ll find the fish can be very active. But if the pressure drops you’ll also see a decline in bites.
Along with pressure you’ll see changes in activity thanks to temperature. Many anglers gravitate to their favorite spots on warmer days, only to find not much activity under the ice. Temperature drops affect the air pressure which turns many species off.