Summer fishing in full swing

IRON MOUNTAIN – With the first full week of summer concluded, fishing continues to improve.

John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township said he’s heard plenty of good reports.

“You can always find someone to complain but I’m going through a lot of bait and people are happy,” Grier said. “A lot of guys come in telling me they’ve been doing very well on bluegill and crappie.”

Grier also said he has had some reports of good bass fishing this week.

At Midtown Bait and Tackle in Channing, Bob Kennard said things were going good, even with some heavy rain.

Kennard said Eddie Lake is good for crappie fishing, and Witch Lake and Squaw Lake in Marquette County are both hot, too.

At Witch Lake, Kennard said walleye are biting good. He had a customer in Wednesday who caught his limit.

At the Sport Shop in Iron River, Don Ciochetto said anglers are catching trout using nightcrawlers as the fly hatch continues to lag.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said heavy rains across much of the state in the last week have almost all major river systems and some lakes at very high levels.

Although this has disrupted fishing on many southern lakes and rivers, some very good panfish and musky action was reported in the north.

The bluegill spawn is in full swing, with bluegills sitting on their beds on many lakes.

Musky success has been very good at times in the last week, with some anglers reporting multiple catches in a three- to four-hour trip.

The mayfly hatch has begun on many lakes and this will disrupt the regular walleye bite for the next few weeks.

Bass action has been good, with some very nice catches of largemouth and smallmouth bass. Both largemouth and smallmouth are in their final stages of spawning on many lakes and look for action on larger fish to pick up in the next week or two.

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

Keweenaw Bay: Catch rates for salmon were fair for those trolling 25 to 100 feet down in 150 to 240 feet of water between Sand Point and Carla’s. Try spoons and flies. From the South Portage Entry, lake trout were caught by those jigging near Farmers Reef, Newton’s Reef and Big Reef. Chinook, lake trout and coho were caught when trolling south towards the Red Rocks and the Roadside Park. Try 30 to 45 feet down in 40 to 50 feet of water. Anglers did well for lake trout near Hermits Cove, the Gay Stacks, Big Louie’s Point and along Five and Six Mile Reefs. When trolling, target 130 to 160 feet or 130 to 220 feet when jigging cut bait.

Lake Gratiot: In Keweenaw County had good walleye fishing in the evening. Most of the fish caught were in the 15 inch range.

Craig Lake: In Baraga County was producing some large crappie off the State Park.

Marquette: Had good chinook and coho salmon action. No limits but anglers are picking up four or five coho and the occasional chinook weighing up to 14 pounds outside the Lower Harbor breakwall near the “Green Can” and near Shot Point in 50 to 70 feet of water. Lake trout action was good near the “White Rocks” and near Sand Hole. A couple coho were caught on high-lines about 20 feet down in 200 feet of water. Stannard Rock has been good for those jigging for lake trout. Areas near the Chocolay River and Shot Point had slightly warmer water temperatures.

Menominee River: Is producing walleye, smallmouth, rock bass, channel cats and freshwater drum. The walleye were smaller but some nice smallmouth bass have been caught by those trolling crank baits or crawler harnesses. Shore anglers are drifting crawlers and minnows or casting crank baits.

Cedar River: The smallmouth bass fishing has been phenomenal with fish 20 inches and bigger being caught by those casting rapalas or drifting crawler harnesses. A couple pike have also been caught.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers had fair catches with the hot spot near Breezy Point when trolling crawler harnesses in 10 to 18 feet of water along the drop-off. Fish were caught along the “Black Bottom” in 14 to 20 feet and along the Kipling Reef when trolling crawlers in 12 to 23 feet. Perch fishing was fair along the Kipling Flats and south of the “Narrow”. Try still-fishing with crawlers or minnows in 18 to 30 feet.

Big Bay De Noc: Had good walleye fishing for those trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 16 to 23 feet of water around the “Boot” and Ansell’s Point. Ogontz is still producing smallmouth bass when trolling or casting crank baits, plastics or minnows in 3 to 14 feet. A few perch were caught in Garden Bay when drifting or still-fishing crawlers in 8 to 12 feet of water. At Fairport, a few boats were starting to get some fish when trolling spoons in 45 to 110 feet of water.

Au Train: Success rates for lake trout were mixed with anywhere from no fish to five fish caught. Some were lucky enough to catch the occasional chinook or coho. Most were using spoons along the east shoreline near the Au Train River or Shelter Bay. Near shore water temperatures were in the low 50’s and the offshore waters were still averaging the mid 40’s.

Manistique Lake: Is producing some bluegill and a few pike.

St. Mary’s River: Is producing northern pike in Raber Bay and near Lime Island. Anglers are trolling crank baits in 5 to 7 feet of water. Fair to good walleye action near the mouth of the Gogomain River when trolling small crank baits or crawler harnesses in 3 to 4 feet. No word yet on lake herring. Boat anglers need to be careful and watch for rocks and sand bars along the river and near Drummond Island.

DeTour: Anglers are trolling from the city launch out to the #3 Green Can, around the lighthouse and over to the #2 Red Can near Drummond Island. Some boats are venturing three miles further to the south and fishing around the flats. Early morning was best for Atlantic salmon, chinook salmon and lake trout. Hot colors were orange, watermelon and green. Good walleye fishing around Swedes Point for those using minnows with slip bobbers.

Drummond Island: Walleye fishing was slow however rock bass and channel cats were caught on worms in 5 to 7 feet of water in Maxton Bay.

Cedarville and Hessel: Northern pike fishing is good in the Les Cheneaux Islands. Try minnows or chubs in 6 to 10 feet of water. Large and smallmouth bass have been caught in Hessel Bay, Musky Bay and Snows Channel when casting or trolling. A few more perch were caught in Hessel Bay and Cedarville Bay. The mayfly hatch is in full swing so catch rates tend to go up and down.

St. Ignace: A handful of anglers were out targeting chinook and lake trout on the backside of Mackinac Island, along the flats and between the old fuel tanks and the Coast Guard Station.