Saginaw Bay Ice Fishing Report 12/19/2013

USCGC Macinaw

USCGC Macinaw

Notice – Saginaw River/Saginaw Bay 12/19/2014 : The Coast Guard brought an ice breaker up into the river to make way for a barge. Anglers should stay off the ice along the upper river and also in the bay near the mouth until it freezes back up.

Saginaw Bay: Ice is forming out in the bay and it seems the fish are scattered as those going out had not caught any fish.

Saginaw River: Ice is marginal but still forming. Anglers need to use extreme caution as a freighter came in just recently.

Outer Saginaw Bay:
Au Sable River: Has a good number of steelhead. As of this report, the ramps at Rea and Whirlpool were usable but those launching are encouraged to have 4-wheel drive and some rock salt or gravel just in case. The river near Oscoda is forming ice, so floating may be limited to the upper river below Foote Dam.

Weekly Fishing Tip: Relax while ice fishing by using tip-ups
Tip-ups are a perfect technique to use for the entire ice fishing season in Michigan. This method allows anglers to sit back and relax, yet still experience the thrill of the catch!



Early in the season stick by shallow structures where species like northern pike and walleye will congregate. Try a variety of depths to figure out where they’re targeting exactly. However, if you are walleye fishing, the minnow should be hung 12 to 15 inches off the bottom. For pike the minnow should be hung three to seven feet off the bottom or just above the top of any vertical aquatic plants. The minnows should be hung in these positions for walleye and pike regardless of the over water depth.

Tip-ups become even more productive later in the season as less-aggressive fish are drawn to your presentation.

For more information on fishing during Michigan’s winter, visit