Cold snap puts brakes on hot fishing

IRON MOUNTAIN – Anglers did well last weekend before the arrival of Arctic weather on Monday quieted things down.

At Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township, John Grier reported a busy couple of days.

“Last weekend was awesome, bluegills were everywhere,” Grier said. “Anywhere people were fishing – whether it was a mine pond, or Peavey, or Gene’s Pond – they were catching fish like crazy.”

Grier said the panfish were biting mostly on wax worms.

At Florence Sport and Bait in Florence, Wis., Pattie Teske reported a successful weekend as well.

“We had somebody who caught a nice 45-inch northern,” Teske said. “They’ve been getting a couple of nice walleye on the Brule River too,” she added.

After the frigid weather came in on Monday, things slowed down quite a bit.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, some nice crappie, perch and bluegill have been caught, but action has been spotty in northern Wisconsin. The walleye bite has continued its erratic trend of the winter, and most anglers are seeing just enough action to keep them interested.

The Michigan DNR reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:

Lac Vieux Desert: Has good ice and excellent pike fishing with most fish averaging 16 to 24 inches and a few in the upper 20’s to low 30’s. Most are using golden shiners on tip-ups over submerged vegetation or along the edge of the weeds. A few walleye measuring 18 to 24 inches were caught at dusk and dawn. A good number of bluegills were caught in the bays when using wax worms in 6 to 10 feet of water. The fish were smaller at 6.5 to 7.5 inches. Crappie were caught but were still hard to find for the most part. Catch rates for perch were good but anglers are having a hard time getting fish over 8 inches. The better fishing was along the west shore and in Thunder Bay.

Groveland Mine Ponds: Island Lake was producing bluegills for those jigging or using tip-ups. West Lake had few anglers but those heading out did catch bluegill and sunfish when jigging wax worms. East Lake had a few anglers catching panfish but the bite was slow.

Lake Antoine: Is producing good numbers of small perch for those jigging wax worms or minnows near the City Park. Those fishing further out caught some nice bluegills, a few black crappie and a couple perch. The north end of the lake is where you will find those spearing or using tip-ups with large minnows for northern pike.

Lake Michigamme: Was producing 16 to 18 inch walleye on the north side.

Greenwood Reservoir: In Marquette County was producing a few walleye, pike and panfish however catch rates were mixed.

Little Bay De Noc: Ice conditions are improving and so are travel conditions with the added snow. Ice along the shoreline and the near the pressure cracks have water coming up due to the weight of the snow. Most anglers are still fishing from Gladstone to Garth Point. Some were venturing south but ice conditions were dangerous, caution was a must. Most walleye anglers were fishing in the evening with the better catches coming near Kipling in 17 to 30 feet of water. Fish were caught off Gladstone with minnows in 27 to 30 feet. Perch fishing has improved with fair to good catches reported between the Kipling Flats and Garth Point. Jumbo perch were caught in 18 to 22 feet of water. Those fishing in 8 to 14 feet had good catches but many were throw backs. Fishing is definitely getting better but anglers still need to use caution because ice thickness varies greatly.

Manistique Lakes: Have ice but catch rates were not good. Extremely cold temperatures and falling snow are responsible for fewer anglers heading out.

Munuscong Bay: Has a lot of snow on the ice which is preventing anglers from taking four-wheelers out. Walleye and perch fishing are fair for anglers trying to get out to 5 feet of water. The area east of Roach Point is dangerous because the ice deteriorated with the thaw and the new ice is still very thin. Avoid this area!