Anglers dodge showers to land bass, walleye

IRON MOUNTAIN – A slow fishing week was marked by the threat of inclement weather and fewer anglers on the water.

John Grier of Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township wasn’t sure why anglers were staying home.

“There’s not much going on. Very few people are out fishing right now,” he said. “I don’t know why, the weather’s not that bad.”

Pattie Teske of Florence Sport and Bait said that things were slow this week in Florence County as well.

Teske said she has heard from anglers who had some success with crappies, but fishing activity was relatively light.

In Iron County, anglers have reported decent catches of panfish and bass, and walleye are picking up, said Don Ciochetto of The Sport Shop in Iron River.

“It’s been a pretty good week for bass,” he said, “and it has been a little better for walleye this week.”

According to Bob Kennard of Midtown Bait and Tackle in Channing, walleye have been biting in the Michigamme Reservoir in Iron County.

Though he couldn’t speak for private lakes, Kennard said that lakes in the area have been doing well generally.

“The bass are still going crazy,” he added. “They haven’t slowed down.”

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), a light number of salmon moved into some rivers, but warmer temperatures will slow the movement of fish. Rain and windy conditions have again stirred up the Great Lakes and the inland lakes.

Walleye fishing on the Bay of Green Bay is starting to heat up, according to the Wisconsin DNR. There have been good numbers of walleye being caught out of Oconto and Marinette counties. Most anglers are having the best luck trolling crank baits on structure.

The Wisconsin DNR reminded the public that turkey hunting is right around the corner and leftover permits for the fall hunt will go on sale today at 10 a.m.

Permits will be issued on a one per-day basis. Remaining fall turkey permits may be purchased through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at all authorized license agents, at DNR Service Centers, or by calling toll-free 1-877-945-4236.

In addition, Wisconsin deer hunters have a number of new changes to pick up on before season takes off in a month, and the new regulations are now available at dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/regulations.html.

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

Keweenaw Bay: The salmon bite was slow. Those jigging for lake trout found fish in 180 to 260 feet off Jentoff’s Dock, Whirl-l-Gig, out from the pine tree on the north side of Pequaming and along Big Reef. In Traverse Bay, the lake trout bite slowed in 100 to 150 feet along the mile reefs and 120 to 165 feet off Big Louie’s, Gay Point and Hermits Cove. Try five feet off the bottom with spoons. The bite was slow for the South Portage Entry for those trolling for lake trout.

Lake Antoine: Is producing some nice smallmouth bass for those using top water crank baits. Those drifting crawlers or using minnows and a jig with a piece of crawler have done well. Many were small but some were good size.

Marquette: Catch rates were slow and most anglers caught lake trout averaging four pounds. Stannard Rock was good with a number of young fish caught. Catch rates were fair near Little Presque Isle, Clay Banks and Granite Island. Anglers had limited success near Shot Point. No salmon yet however a few anglers were starting to spot the occasional Chinook near the Carp River. Shore anglers using small spinners and spoons caught a few lake trout.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye catch rates were spotty. At the head of the Bay anglers are trolling crawler harnesses in six to 14 feet and switching to stick baits at night. Fish were also caught in 16 to 24 feet along the Second Reef, the Black Bottom and in 12 to 20 feet off the mouth of the Escanaba River. Use crawlers on harnesses. Those fishing off Breezy Point were marking fish in 10 to 14 feet but few were caught. Smallmouth bass fishing was fair to good for those casting plastics, crank baits or spinners in 10 to 12 feet near the mouth of the Ford River. Perch anglers reported fair catches off the mouth of the Day’s River in 12 to 18 feet and the Second Reef in 10 to 20 feet. No salmon reports this week.

Big Bay De Noc: Had no walleye catches recorded. Perch action in Garden Bay slowed. Anglers were fishing throughout the center of the Bay in nine to 14 feet with crawlers. Fair to good smallmouth bass fishing in six to 14 feet in Ogontz, eight to 12 feet near Indian Point and eight to 16 feet in Kate’s Bay. Most were using plastics or crank baits but some opted for crawlers. Salmon anglers had fair to good catches from the “Gap” and south past Poverty Island. Depths changed daily from 80 to 170 feet while 40 to 90 feet down. Overall this season has been slower than previous years.

Au Train: Fishing continues at a slow pace and there have been no salmon to report. Surface water temperatures near shore were close to 60 degrees and the offshore temperatures were in the upper 50’s. Catch rates for lake trout were spotty for those using spoons and cut bait in 120 to 180 feet northeast of Au Train Island near the flats and drop-offs. Try near the bottom along the edge of the reefs near Grump’s Hump, Millers and Wood Island.

Luce County: Those stream fishing for brook trout have done well.

Manistique Lake: Had good perch fishing.

St. Mary’s River: Had a few good fly hatches east of Lime Island, Macomb Island, and Maple Island. Bigger walleye were caught along the east side of Neebish Island when using crawler harnesses near the drop-off in 12 to 18 feet. A good number of Atlantic salmon have been caught at the power plant off Portage Street when drifting natural flies on the discharge side.

Detour: Was producing a good number of walleye off Swedes Pointe and Maude Bay but most of the fish were smaller.

Cedarville and Hessel: Pike fishing remains excellent for those still-fishing with chubs in Hessel Bay, Middle Entrance and along the north shore of Government Bay.

Evan Reid’s e-mail address is ereid@ironmountaindailynews.com.