Walleye Fishing on Saginaw River Michigan: Expert Tips and Techniques

Saginaw River Michigan PIC

Walleye fishing on Saginaw River in Michigan has become increasingly popular among anglers, both locals and visitors alike. The river, known for its healthy walleye population, provides an exciting and rewarding fishing experience. The Saginaw River flows through the heart of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, with its walleye-friendly waters offering a perfect destination for both experienced and beginner anglers.

Timing is crucial for a successful walleye fishing trip on the Saginaw River. The best time to fish for walleye in this area is during their spawning season when they travel through the river. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has even expanded the walleye fishing window to give anglers more opportunities to catch these fish. Having the right gear and equipment, as well as adhering to rules and regulations set by local authorities, is also essential for a successful and sustainable fishing experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Saginaw River in Michigan is an attractive destination for walleye fishing due to its abundant walleye population.
  • The best time to fish for walleye on the Saginaw River is during their spawning season, typically in early spring.
  • Anglers should be prepared with the appropriate gear, equipment, and knowledge of rules and regulations for a successful and responsible walleye fishing experience.

Best Time To Fish For Walleye

Seasonal Changes And How They Affect Walleye Behavior

Walleye fishing in Saginaw River, Michigan, experiences its peak during specific times of the year. The best walleye fishing occurs from the season opener (the last Saturday in April) until the middle of May, and again in late fall, starting in late October. These periods coincide with the walleye spawn and their increased activity in search of food.

Ice fishing can also be successful for walleye during the winter months. However, keep an eye on ice conditions and remember that the walleye season closes on March 15th.

Optimal Time Of Day For Walleye Fishing

Walleyes are known for their low-light feeding habits. Therefore, the optimal time of day for walleye fishing in Saginaw River is during the early morning and late afternoon hours. Focusing on these periods increases the chances of encountering active walleyes in search of food. However, it’s important to note that fishing can still be productive throughout the day, especially during overcast conditions.

Recommended Fishing Techniques For Saginaw River

A popular and effective technique for catching walleye in the Saginaw River is jig fishing. Using jigs allows anglers to target walleyes near the river bottom, where they’re often found. Jigs should be matched with natural bait such as minnows, nightcrawlers, or soft plastic lures imitating baitfish.

In addition to jigs, anglers can also use crankbaits and live-bait rigs for walleye fishing. It’s essential to experiment with different techniques and presentations to determine what works best in specific conditions and during various times of the year.

Top Spots For Walleye Fishing On Saginaw River

Overview Of Popular Fishing Locations On Saginaw River

The Saginaw River is an excellent destination for walleye fishing, attracting anglers from all over. The river flows through the Saginaw Bay Area and is fed by its main tributary, the Tittabawassee River. This combination provides a rich fishery ecosystem that supports healthy populations of walleye on the Saginaw River.

Some popular fishing locations along the Saginaw River include:

  • Saginaw Bay: The area where the Saginaw River meets the Saginaw Bay offers excellent opportunities for walleye fishing.
  • Tittabawassee River: The confluence of the Tittabawassee River with the Saginaw River is another prime spot for targeting walleye.
  • Downtown Saginaw: The stretch of the river in downtown Saginaw can be productive, particularly during the spring and fall migrations.
  • Mile Roads: Certain mile roads along the Tittabawassee River offer popular locations to fish, with multiple access points for anglers.

Tips For Finding The Best Spots For Walleye Fishing

Finding the best spots for walleye fishing on the Saginaw River largely depends on the time of year, water conditions, and walleye movements. A few tips to consider:

  • The best walleye fishing on the Saginaw River is from the season opener (the last Saturday in April) until the middle of May, and again in late fall, starting in late October.
  • Monitor local fish surveys and reports for updates on walleye populations and movement patterns.
  • Early spring fishing can be very productive when ice breaks up early, so pay attention to ice advisories.
  • Seek advice from local anglers and guides who are familiar with the Saginaw River’s fishing conditions and know the top spots.

Techniques For Fishing In Different Types Of Water Conditions

Successful walleye fishing on the Saginaw River depends on employing the right techniques for the prevailing water conditions. Here are some approaches:

  1. High and muddy water: In these conditions, try using bright and noisy lures like crankbaits or spinnerbaits to attract walleye’s attention. Make sure to move them slowly through the water to compensate for low visibility.
  2. Clear and calm water: When the water is clear and calm, opt for more natural-looking presentations like live bait or subtle soft plastic swimbaits. Walleyes are more likely to be cautious in such conditions, so avoid making a lot of noise while fishing.
  3. Swift current: During periods of high water flow, look for calmer pockets behind structures (such as rocks and fallen trees) where walleye may seek refuge and move slowly around them to pick up inactive fish.
  4. Ice fishing: Winter walleye fishing on the Saginaw River can offer a lot of success. Adapt your techniques, such as using smaller jigging spoons or ice jigs tipped with minnows or other baitfish.

By following these tips and techniques during the 2023 season, anglers can greatly enhance their chances of catching walleye on the Saginaw River, deepening their appreciation for the river’s unique fishery and its thriving walleye population.

Essential Gear And Equipment For Walleye Fishing

Overview Of Necessary Gear For Walleye Fishing On Saginaw River

When embarking on a Walleye fishing adventure on Michigan’s Saginaw River, it is essential for anglers to come prepared with the right gear and equipment. The appropriate gear can make a significant difference in the fishing experience and improve the chances of a successful catch. Essential components for Walleye fishing include a suitable fishing rod, reel, line, and a diverse selection of bait and lures.

Recommended Bait And Lures For Catching Walleye

Using the right bait and lures is crucial for attracting Walleye. Here are some common choices for Saginaw River Walleye fishing:

  • Live Bait: Minnows, nightcrawlers, and leeches are top choices for live bait when targeting Walleye. These attract the fish with their natural scent and movement, making them highly effective.
  • Jigs: Jigging can be an excellent method for catching Walleye in the Saginaw River. Various types of jigs, such as jigging spoons, bucktail jigs, and plastic grubs, can be utilized to mimic the motion of small fish, enticing the Walleye to bite.
  • Crankbaits: Crankbaits work well for simulating the swimming patterns of prey fish. Choose models that dive to various depths, allowing for flexible use in different fishing conditions.

Tips For Selecting The Right Fishing Rod, Reel, And Line

The choice of fishing rod, reel, and line can significantly impact an angler’s ability to catch Walleye on the Saginaw River. Here are some tips for selecting the right equipment:

  • Fishing Rod: A versatile and flexible choice is a medium-light or medium power spinning rod, generally between 6 to 7 feet in length. This type of rod offers the needed sensitivity to detect subtle bites, while still providing enough strength for a successful hookset.
  • Reel: Spinning or spin-casting reels are often favored for Walleye fishing due to their ease of use and adaptability to various fishing techniques. Look for a reel with a smooth and reliable drag system to handle the powerful runs of a hooked Walleye.
  • Line: The choice of fishing line should match the chosen rod and reel, as well as the angler’s preferences and techniques. Monofilament is suitable for its versatility, while fluorocarbon offers greater sensitivity and low visibility. Braided lines work well for casting long distances and provide increased strength for handling larger fish.

Rules And Regulations For Walleye Fishing On Saginaw River

Overview Of Michigan Fishing Regulations

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulates fishing activities in the state to ensure a sustainable and well-managed fishery. One of the key requirements for fishing in Michigan, including on the Saginaw River, is to obtain a fishing license. Licenses are available for purchase online or at various retail locations.

Bag Limits And Size Restrictions For Walleye Fishing On Saginaw River

Starting from January 1, 2023, the possession season for walleye is open year-round on the lower Saginaw River in Bay and Saginaw counties, from the mouth of the river, upstream to West Center Street (Douglas G. Schenk) Bridge (source).

The daily possession limit for walleye is set at 8. It’s essential to be aware of the size restrictions, as the size limit for walleye is 13 inches. Any walleye caught below this size should be released back into the water to help maintain a sustainable and healthy fishery.

Tips For Ethical And Sustainable Fishing Practices

To maintain the walleye population and preserve the ecosystem, follow these tips for ethical and sustainable fishing practices:

  • Proper handling: When catching and releasing fish, including undersized walleye, handle them with wet hands or use a rubberized net to minimize harm.
  • Gear: Choose the appropriate gear for walleye fishing. Use spinning or spin-casting gear, which works best for most anglers (source).
  • Properly dispose of waste: Dispose of fishing line, bait containers, and other waste appropriately to keep the environment clean and healthy.
  • Follow all regulations: Adhere to the Michigan DNR’s regulations on fishing, including bag limits, size restrictions, and license requirements to support a sustainable fishery.

By abiding by these practices and the regulations set forth by the Michigan DNR, anglers can enjoy a thriving walleye fishery on the Saginaw River now and in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some good walleye hotspots in the area?

Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron is a prime location for walleye fishing, spanning 60 miles long and 30 miles wide. The spring spawning runs in April and May are considered the best time to go jigging for walleye in the bay. Apart from the bay, Saginaw River itself offers excellent opportunities for walleye jigging, especially during the month of March when walleyes pour into the river in large numbers.

What is the current walleye limit?

The daily limit for walleye on the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay is eight fish, with a minimum size limit of 13 inches. This is currently the most generous walleye limit in the Great Lakes. Furthermore, the daily possession limit cannot include more than one walleye that is 23 inches or greater.

Which fish species can be found in the Saginaw River?

While walleye is a popular species in the Saginaw River, other fish species share this habitat as well. Fishing enthusiasts can expect to find a variety of species including smallmouth bass, channel catfish, white bass, and yellow perch.

Are there any popular fishing tournaments?

Yes, there are several fishing tournaments held throughout the year in the Saginaw River region. Most of these tournaments focus on walleye fishing. These events provide anglers with the opportunity to showcase their skills and compete for prizes.

When is the best time to fish for walleye?

The best time to fish for walleye in the Saginaw River area is during the spring spawning runs in April and May. However, anglers can also have success in catching walleye throughout the year, even during winter. It is particularly rewarding to fish in March, when walleye enter the river in large numbers.

Where can I find a detailed fishing map for the location?

Local bait and tackle shops in the area typically carry detailed maps of the Saginaw River and surrounding areas for fishing enthusiasts. These maps provide useful up-to-date information about the best fishing spots, river depths, and access points. It’s always a good idea to consult with local experts for the most current advice on fishing in the area.


Hi, I’m Kurt and I’m the author of walleyemania. I’ve been fishing for Walleye since I was a kid and I love sharing my tips, tricks, and stories with other anglers. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find something useful and entertaining on my site. I cover everything from the best gear, baits, and techniques to the best spots, seasons, and recipes for Walleye fishing. Join me on my journey to catch more and bigger Walleye!

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