IRON MOUNTAIN - Ice anglers reported steady action throughout the area this week, with the exception of walleye which were being caught at a slower rate.
"They've been getting some walleye," said Tom Bean at Crystal Bait in Crystal Falls. "Perch, bluegill and crappie were also hitting, but things were slowing down a bit."
A man fishing on Lake Antoine this week saw an eagle attempt to swipe his freshly caught northern. After pulling the fish up, the angler left it on the ice as he went back into his shack to fetch some pliers. The eagle swooped down and grabbed the fish, still attached to the hook and line of a tip-up. Another fisherman managed to spook the eagle, and the bird dropped the fish.
"There's at least a foot of ice on Lake Antoine now," said Dean Lindblom at Iron Mountain's Country Bait and Tackle. "Perch in the 10-12 inch range have been caught. Guys are still getting northern as well."
Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River also mentioned good northern action.
"Panfish seem to be biting too," he said. "Not much on walleye though."
John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township said the top entry into his walleye contest stands at 22.5 inches.
"Guys are catching perch and bluegill," he said. "Still a lot of northern being caught too. We're selling a lot of wax worms."
Pattie Teske at Florence Sport and Bait said bluegill and crappie anglers had the best luck this week.
"They're getting bluegill on wax worms and crappies on crappie minnows," she said.
Tip-up Town takes place today on Sawyer Lake. It's a one-day event this year. Pike fest is under way in Amasa, and Country Bait and Tackle is planning a fishing contest this month. Anglers are encouraged to check in at the shop for details.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:
Green Bay - With improved ice conditions anglers were jigging inside the marina for yellow perch. Good numbers were caught however many were small. Trout were seen by those using tip-ups but the fish were not biting.
Menominee River - Anglers are targeting walleye and trout in open water near the Hattie Street Bridge on the Michigan side. A few brown trout were caught on blue and silver rapalas or plugs. The fish are mature and had nice color. Anglers are targeting walleye through the ice on the Wisconsin side of the dam. Late afternoon and evenings were best when jigging different colored rapalas with or without minnows.
Little Bay De Noc - Ice conditions improved slightly as temperatures dropped however many dangers still exist and caution must be used at all times. Pressure cracks have caused problems and ice thickness varies. Anglers are advised to stay north of the Terrace Bay Inn due to extremely dangerous conditions to the south. Catch rates for walleye and perch dropped over the last week due to changes in the weather and no snow cover. Those traveling by foot will want to use creepers. The better walleye catches were out from the Terrace Bay Inn when jigging rapalas with or without minnows in 25 to 35 feet of water. Smaller fish were caught in the Narrows when jigging rapalas or using tip-ups with minnows in 25 to 33 feet of water. Perch reports were mixed.