Big smallmouths, northern caught

IRON MOUNTAIN – Fishing success continues to be good, with reports of anglers catching bass, a few pike and walleye, and even some trout.

Bob Kennard at Midtown Bait and Tackle in Channing said Lake Ellen and Witch Lake are producing bass. Witch Lake is also producing some nice walleye, according to Kennard, and a few bigger northern have been taken at Sawyer Lake. Anglers are using mostly leeches and walleye suckers, Kennard said.

John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township said this week has been great for anglers.

“I had a guy in with a 32-inch northern,” Grier said. “I had a guy in this morning said he got his limit of trout, nice brookies, too.”

Grier also reported two big smallmouths were caught in the area, one 19 inches and the other 23 inches.

At the Sport Shop in Iron River, Don Ciochetto said walleye fishing has been a little better this week. Trout fishing has been average, Ciochetto said.

“With the weather, trout fishing has really been mostly mediocre,” Ciochetto said. “But guys who are putting the time in are getting nice brook trout.”

Applications for fall turkey hunting licenses are available through Aug. 1 for Michigan’s Sept. 15-Nov. 14 season. Drawing results will be posted Aug. 15.

Antlerless deer license applications will also be available starting July 15.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said fishing success has been generally good in the state. Largemouth and smallmouth bass have provided the most consistent action, with largemouth getting well settled-in to their typical summer patterns. Musky action has been continually improving, with some mid 40-inch fish being reported in the last week.

Walleye success continues to be erratic, but a few nice catches have come along weed edges or deeper rock bars.

Panfish action has been generally good, with crappie and bluegill found along deep weed edges and suspended near mid-depth cover.

Some large fish were caught in a salmon derby last weekend in Manitowoc, Wis., with a 28-pound chinook taking the prize in its division.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:

Keweenaw Bay: Salmon have been caught by those trolling 25 to 100 feet down in 150 to 240 feet of water between Sand Point and Carla’s. Try flies and spoons. Those fishing the South Portage Entry caught a few lake trout when trolling or jigging near Farmers Reef, Newton’s Reef or the Big Reef. A couple coho, chinook and lake trout were caught from the Entry south to the Red Rocks near the Roadside Park or the white breakwall in the early morning. Salmon were caught 30 to 140 feet down in 150 to 170 feet of water near the lighthouse. Those jigging for lake trout in Traverse Bay did well near Hermits Cove, the Gay Stacks, Big Louie’s Point and the reefs when trolling spoons in 130 to 160 feet or using jigs with cut bait in 130 to 220 feet.

Marquette: Those targeting lake trout had success in waters less than 100 feet deep near Shot Point. Fish were also caught near the “White Rocks, Granite Island and the “Sand Hole” in 180 feet. A few salmon were caught but catch rates were down. Near shore surface water temperatures were in the low 60’s and the offshore waters were in the mid to upper 50’s.

Menominee: Those fishing Green Bay have marked baitfish along with some bigger fish but catch rates were very slow. Off the Cedar River, boat anglers are targeting trout, salmon or walleye but catch rates were not good.

Menominee River: Had fair catches of walleye, smallmouth bass, rock bass, channel cats and freshwater drum. Anglers are jigging with crawlers and minnows or trolling crawler harnesses and rapalas.

Cedar River: Had fair to good smallmouth bass fishing and fair northern pike action. A lot of fish were small however some bigger ones were caught by those drifting crawlers or casting crank baits.

Little Bay De Noc: Angler participation was low due to the alewife and mayfly hatch contributing to the food supply. Walleye reports were spotty at best with a few catches reported off the Second Reef when jigging or drifting crawlers in 18 to 25 feet. Walleye and some perch were caught off Gladstone Beach in 14 to 23 feet. Catch rates were spotty between the mouth of the Escanaba River and the “Black Bottom” in 8 to 25 feet. South winds produced some walleye around Breezy Point for those trolling or drifting crawlers in 10 to 16 feet. Lots of freshwater drum have been caught. Some are heading out for salmon but few fish have been caught. Fair catches of smallmouth bass off Hunters Point, the west side of Gladstone Bay and south of the Ford River. All are trolling or casting crank baits or plastics in 10 to 12 feet of water.

Big Bay De Noc: Walleye catches slowed however the best area to fish was Sand Bay off Nahma when trolling crawler harnesses in 14 to 20 feet. Smallmouth bass fishing slowed in Garden Bay and Kate’s Bay. Several northern pike were caught near Ansell’s Point. Try trolling crank baits in 15 to 20 feet. Salmon off Fairport is still slow. Surface temperatures out deeper were as low as 41 degrees.

Au Train: Most anglers are targeting lake trout or using high-lines for salmon outside Au Train Island and along the east shoreline near Au Train Point. Catch rates were slow. Surface water temperatures are now in the low 60’s.

St. Mary’s River: Walleye fishing was good near Raber Point when trolling planer boards and crawler harnesses just off the weed beds in 4 to 6 feet of water and near the mouth of the Gogomain River when trolling or jigging crank baits and twister tails in 3 to 4 feet. Closer to Barbeau, a few musky were caught near Teacup Island when trolling large crank baits in 8 to 10 feet. Atlantic salmon and herring are showing up in Sault Ste. Marie.

DeTour: Early morning is the best time for trout and salmon when trolling spoons. Hot colors were green, orange, watermelon and gold. Fish are being caught between the launch and the #3 green can, around the lighthouse and over near the #2 red can by Drummond Island.

Drummond Island: Catch rates for lake herring were very slow. Good smallmouth action around Harbor Island for those using crawlers or jigging dark green and brown tube baits.

Cedarville and Hessel: Hessel Bay is very good for northern pike. Try still-fishing with chubs along the south shore, the east end of Hessel Bay or the south shore of Musky Bay. Perch fishing was slow in Musky Bay, the Middle Entrance and Cedarville Bay. Prentice Bay is usually the hot spot for lake herring however no fish were reported.