Hot weather slows fishing; deer applications available

IRON MOUNTAIN – Extreme heat has kept some anglers off the water and reports from those who made it out are somewhat mixed.

At The Sport Shop in Iron River, Don Ciochetto said trout fishing is still sluggish.

“It’s been rather slow with the hot weather,” Ciochetto said. “Really, most fishing has not been all that active.”

John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township said he’s seen less action this week as well.

“The number of people going out is down because of the heat, but guys going out seem to still be doing good.” Grier said.

Grier said he has been getting good reports on northern, bass, crappie and bluegill.

Antlerless deer license applications are now available in Michigan. Hunters may apply through Aug. 15.

Young hunters, ages 9 to 16, may purchase one junior antlerless deer license over-the-counter during this period.Both Whispering Pines and The Sport Shop reported sales this week.

In the Upper Peninsula, 18,800 private-land licenses, down from 21,250 last year, will be available. The quota for public-land licenses has been cut from 5,900 to 4,500.

“An overall decrease in antlerless licenses was recommended in many deer management units (DMUs) in anticipation of increased adult deer mortality and low fawn recruitment due to the prolonged winter,” said DNR deer and elk program leader Brent Rudolph.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said minimal rain in the last week has water levels continuing to drop. Most flowages and natural lakes in the Northwoods have near normal water levels for this time of year.

Fishing pressure has been up in the north. Bass continue to provide the best action, with both largemouth and smallmouth bass now well settled into their typical summer patterns.

Musky activity has stayed pretty good in the last week and most anglers have been reporting some consistent action along weed edges and amongst the less dense weed beds.

Walleye continue to be hard to find, and panfish activity has dropped.

Fishermen on the Menominee River have been catching some walleye mainly in the evenings using either a crawler harness or stick bait. Shore fishermen on the Menominee River have been catching a few walleye and sheepshead using live bait fished on bottom.

The extreme heat is causing some natural fish kills, according to the Michigan DNR. On inland lakes, the fish should be in deeper waters anywhere from 10 to 20 feet down depending on the lake.

Those fishing the warm water rivers in Michigan may find the fish a bit sluggish and not very cooperative. The rivers do not thermally stratify like the lakes so the temperature stays the same from top to bottom.

Out on the Great Lakes, walleye and other game fish are moving out deeper to find cooler water temperatures.

The Michigan DNR reported the following fishing conditions across the U.P.:

Keweenaw Bay: Those salmon fishing caught some when trolling 25 to 100 feet down in 150 to 240 feet of water between Sand Point and Carla’s. They are using flies and spoons in a variety of colors. Lake trout action was good in 200 feet off Point Abby. Lake trout were caught near the South Portage Entry when trolling along the reefs. Chinook, coho and lake trout were taken between the entry and the red rocks near the park in 150 to 170 feet or along the white breakwall in 25 feet in the early morning. For Traverse Bay, those trolling and jigging did well for lake trout near Hermits Cove, the Gay Stacks and Big Louie’s Point in 120 to 180 feet. Try spoons and trolling speeds between 1.9 and 2.4 mph.

Marquette: Fishing improved as surface water temperatures near shore have warmed into the low 60’s and offshore in the mid 50’s. Water temperatures north of Granite Island remain in the low to mid 50’s. Lake trout anglers have done well catching a mixed bag of trout and salmon. Lake trout were caught along the drop offs near the Sand Hole in 160 to 220 feet. Those fishing near the white rocks caught lake trout on spoons and coho on high-lines. Shot Point was also producing a few lake trout. Some were having better luck with flies and cut bait especially with the mayfly hatch and the flying ants. Anglers are reminded to watch for tagged lake trout. Most of the tags are a fluorescent green and can be found near the dorsal fin.

Menominee: Anglers trolling near Green Island were marking some big fish but getting them to bite was the problem, maybe because of all the alewife. A few walleye were caught near the Red Arrow Park in 50 to 70 feet of water. Most were trolling crawler harnesses or rapalas. A few Chinook salmon were caught in Wisconsin water near Washington Island. Try about halfway down in 90 to 120 feet with dipsey divers, spoons and flashers. Many reported dead alewife on the surface.

Menominee River: Was producing some walleye however most of the fish caught were on the small side. Smallmouth bass, rock bass, pike and freshwater drum were also caught by those drifting crawlers and minnows.

Cedar River: Those drifting crawlers or casting crank baits caught some nice smallmouth bass and the occasional pike.

Little Bay De Noc: Low angler participation and fewer catches were reported as the dog days of summer set in. Walleye reports were spotty with only a few fish taken near Round Island when trolling stick baits at night in eight to 10 feet of water or off the mouth of the Escanaba River, Gladstone Beach and the Kipling Flats when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 14 to 30 feet. Several perch were caught on crawlers in eight to 23 feet near Kipling. Good smallmouth action in and around the mouth of the Ford River. Try casting spinners, crank baits or plastics near the shoreline.

Big Bay De Noc: No walleye anglers as most were after smallmouth bass near Ogontz, Nahma and Garden Bay. Try 12 to 18 feet when trolling, drifting or casting plastics, crank baits or crawlers. Perch were caught by those using crawlers in 10 to 16 feet in the Fayette Harbor. Off Fairport, anglers reported fair to good catches of large Chinook salmon. They are fishing the southern end of the “Gap” between the islands and using natural cut baits with dipsey’s 30 to 65 feet down in 60 to 120 feet of water.

Au Train: Surface water temperatures have climbed to the low 60’s near shore and the middle 50’s out deeper. Boat anglers targeting salmon and lake trout reported fair catches. Those fishing in 60 to 100 feet near the east shoreline caught a mix of trout and salmon when using high-lines with spoons and flies.

Munising: Those heading out early did manage to catch a couple salmon and lake trout in waters less than 100 feet deep. The salmon were less than 20 inches and the lake trout were about two pounds. Those fishing the Big Reef had to work harder while fishing in deeper waters. Pier fishing was light with some still-fishing spawn for splake.

Grand Marais: Pier anglers caught whitefish in the early morning but many were small. Most are still-fishing with a single egg. Assorted insects found inside the lake trout indicates some of the fish are staying shallow to feed on the hatches. Fish have also been caught five to seven miles north in 150 to 250 feet along the shipping channel. Those running high-lines have also caught the occasional coho. Pike fishing was slow for shore anglers.

DeTour: Anglers continue to troll from the city launch out to the #3 green can, around the lighthouse and over to the #2 red can near Drummond Island. They have caught Atlantic salmon, Chinook salmon and lake trout. Early morning was best with green and white flashers and flies. For spoons, try white with orange dots, green and gold or blue and silver.