Bass, panfish, walleye biting; streams running relatively high

IRON MOUNTAIN – Fishing action is steady as summer stays relatively cool.

At Midtown Bait & Tackle in Channing, Bob Kennard said Eddie Lake and Lake Ellen are producing panfish while Way Dam has been good for perch and walleye.

“We’re selling leeches and sucker minnows,” he added, mentioning Witch Lake as a good spot for bass.

Panfish action remains good in Iron County, but trout fishing is spotty, said Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River.

“There’s a lot of bass being caught pretty much all over,” said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township. One angler got his limit of walleye at an undisclosed location, he said.

Walleye are biting on leeches in deeper water off of weed beds, said Walter Roberts at Florence Sport & Bait in Florence, Wis. “The predator fish – muskie and pike – are hitting spinner baits,” he said.

Periodic rain and thunderstorms have continued to keep streams and rivers relatively high, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Most lakes and flowages in the Northwoods are a few inches above normal.

Perch action has finally started to pick up on Green Bay. Smallmouth bass fishing has begun to slow but decent action continued to be reported. Charters out of Sturgeon Bay were bringing in good numbers of walleye.

Fawns are now following does almost everywhere and some of the adult bucks are getting nice velvet racks. Early turkey broods are now old enough to fly into trees to avoid predators. Blueberries are reported to be growing nicely in northern Wisconsin and should be ripening within days.

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

Keweenaw Bay: Catch rates were still up and down. Those trolling 15 to 90 feet down in 20 to 120 feet did harvest some splake and lake trout from the head of the Bay north to Carla’s Restaurant. Trolling speeds were 1.9 and 2.5 mph. Those launching from Traverse Bay Marina were trolling five feet off the bottom in 100 to 150 feet at the 5, 6 and 7 Mile Reefs. Lake trout were also caught in 120 to 165 feet off Big Louie’s, Gay Point and Hermits Cove when using spoons in a variety of colors. Some were jigging in 140 to 260 feet off Big Louie’s and the 6 and 7 Mile Reefs.

Lake Antoine: Was still producing good numbers of panfish for those drifting, jigging or still-fishing with crawlers. Anglers caught yellow perch, bluegills, pumpkinseed and rock bass. Many were on the small side. Those targeting bass had fair to good catches of smallmouth when trolling crawlers or casting crank baits.

Marquette: Those targeting lake trout had fair results catching between two and four fish near the “Sand-Hole” and north of Granite Island towards Little Presque Isle when trolling spoons on dipseys or downriggers. Surface water temperatures near shore were warmest near the mouth of the Chocolay and Sand River. Those trying for salmon caught very few fish. Those jigging near Stannard Rock caught lake trout up to ten pounds when fishing along the edge in 100 feet of water.

Little Bay De Noc: Is still producing good catches of walleye in the southern bay between Breezy Point and No-See-Um Creek. At Breezy Point, anglers are trolling crawler harnesses in 10 to 12 feet or straight out from the Ford River near the “Fingers” in 16 to 22 feet with crank baits and crawler harnesses. Down by No-See-Um Creek, they are trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in four to 10 feet and several limit catches were reported. Fair catches near the Escanaba River and the “Black Bottom” in 10 to 20 feet. The head of the Bay was quiet with low participation. Some perch were caught in Kipling and Gladstone when using crawlers in 10 to 25 feet. Northern pike were active in Kipling near the Power Plant in 10 to 12 feet. Try spinners or crank baits. Several nice pike were reported in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor by those trolling spoons or crank baits along the channel. Salmon anglers have started to catch Chinook out near the Ford River Buoy when trolling 70 to 80 feet down in 120 feet with spoons. Steelhead were also caught.

Big Bay De Noc: Had very low angler participation and no walleye reports. Smallmouth bass anglers reported fair to good catches using plastics, crank baits or crawlers in Kate’s Bay. Most were trolling or casting in eight to 14 feet. Fairport was pretty much the same as last week with fair catches reported by those trolling spoons or meat rigs 60 to 80 feet down in 120 feet. Anglers reported schools of alewife so the action should only get better.

Au Train: Anglers reported mixed results and were mainly targeting lake trout. Surface water temperatures near shore were in the low 50’s and offshore waters were in the mid to upper 40’s. Anglers did best with spoons or fly’s tipped with cut bait off the Shelter Bay Flats and towards Laughing Whitefish Point when fishing along the edge in 160 to 180 feet or with downriggers east of Au Train Island and Wood Island Reef. No salmon to report.

Munising: The number of boat anglers dropped because catch rates were very slow. The few heading out were fishing in the bay and around Grand Island. Surface water temperatures were 45 to 52 degrees but few anglers were targeting lake trout. Pier fishing was slow and catch rates were poor for those targeting splake.

Grand Marais: Had increased angler activity leading into the annual lake trout tournament. Evenings were more productive but most of the fish caught were less than 12 inches and no limit catches were reported. Catch rates were much better three to six miles out in the shipping channel and near Sable Point. Most of the fish were two to four pounds but a few up to 13 pounds were taken in waters between 70 and 200 feet deep. Shore anglers fishing near the marina had poor results.

St. Mary’s River: Is producing a few Atlantic salmon on the discharge side of the Clover Land Power Plant. Try casting spoons, small yellow and white crank baits or medium size minnows. Walleye were caught by those still-fishing minnow in eight to 12 feet on the discharge side of the Power Plant. Whitefish were also caught by those using small black fly type baits. A few rainbow trout and whitefish were caught off the Canal Bridge upstream from the Power Plant when drifting small spawn bags for whitefish or maroon back flat fish with a chrome belly for rainbows.

Cedarville and Hessel: Report good pike fishing in Hessel Bay, Musky Bay, Snows Channel, Cedarville Bay, Government Bay and Moscoe Channel. Anglers are casting or still-fishing with chubs.

St. Ignace: Chinook and lake trout are still being caught behind Mackinac Island, at Round Island and around Bois Blanc Island.