Outdoors focus turns to trapping, hunting

IRON MOUNTAIN – Cooler weather has slowed fishing activity, as many people focus on the fall sports coming up.

Trapping season opened Tuesday in Michigan and that’s where most the action was this week, according to John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township,

“Nothing this week. No bear, nobody is really fishing and we haven’t heard much about archery deer success yet,” Grier said. “We are selling a ton of trapping supplies though. Everyone is out trying to get their furs this week I guess.”

As salmon fishing winds down anglers are turning their attention to the fall steelhead run in Michigan, said the Department of Natural Resources.

Few anglers are fishing the inland lakes, although this is a great time of year to target panfish, bass and pike. Fall is when these fish go on a feeding frenzy before the really cold weather moves in.

The Wisconsin DNR said this coming weekend will bring several hunting season openers in Wisconsin. The pheasant and bobwhite quail season will be opening statewide at noon today. Many state properties are going to be stocked of pheasant for the opener. Statewide raccoon and fox seasons will also be opening today, along with several trapping seasons.

Wisconsin’s second wolf season kicked of Tuesday morning, with a few successful hunts being confirmed in northern Wisconsin and also one in Columbia County.

Wardens and biologists from across Wisconsin are reporting that classic signs of the pre-rut are starting to show, with many rubs and scrapes beginning to cover Wisconsin’s landscape. Smaller bucks are reported to be chasing doe, and there have been many large bucks harvested. In Sauk County, a buck harvested by bow and arrow was unofficially scored at 196. Look for cooler temperatures and the harvesting of crops to create more deer movement.

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

Marquette: Boat anglers caught chinook, coho, steelhead and lake trout just outside the lower harbor breakwall in 40 to 50 fee or up near the mouth of the rivers with spoons, stick baits or crank baits. Pier anglers caught coho and lake trout.

Dead River: Fishing pressure decreased as catch rates slowed.

Carp River: Shore anglers reported fair catches of coho. A couple steelhead were caught. Most are casting spoons and crank baits or floating spawn.

Chocolay River: Is still producing some coho in certain sections of the river. Anglers are using spinners or stick baits. Those using spawn bags had no luck.

Menominee: Walleye were caught off the Cedar River when trolling crawler harnesses or rapalas. Channel cats, pike and smallmouth bass were caught. A few were salmon fishing near the rapids in the river but none were caught.

Menominee River: Those targeting trout and salmon are fishing off Stephenson Island and up near the Hattie Street Dam. Some are drifting spawn and yarn while others are casting spoons. Shore anglers downstream of Stephenson Island caught channel cats, smallmouth bass and yellow perch when drifting crawlers. Those trolling after dark caught some walleye on crawler harnesses or stick baits.

Little Bay De Noc: Those pre-fishing for the walleye tournament caught fish but they would not say where. Perch fishing was fair near Kipling in 10 to 23 feet, and off Brach’s Cabins in 14 to 17 feet. Try crawlers and minnows. Good smallmouth action off the Farmer’s Dock in 18 to 35 feet with minnows, tube baits, or spinners.

Escanaba River: Shore anglers caught salmon near the 1st Dam. A good number of fish are making their way up into the river. Most are casting spoons, spinners or crank baits. Rock bass were also caught.

Big Bay De Noc: No walleye to report but smallmouth bass fishing was fair to good off Garden Bluff. Anglers are drifting minnows 15 to 30 feet down along the drop-off.

Munising: Boat anglers targeting coho reported fair catch rates. Some were able to get one or two fish but some returned empty-handed. Pier anglers caught coho, splake and the occasional steelhead. Splake were hitting primarily on spawn.

Grand Marais: Pier fishing was light and unproductive. Those trolling near the mouth of the Sucker River caught the occasional coho or steelhead. Shore anglers fishing the mouth of the Sucker River report low catch rates.

St. Mary’s River: Had fair perch fishing. Extra water being released from the power plant in Sault Ste. Marie is forcing perch away from the main channel and into the bays off the shipping channel.