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Outdoors report

Rivers low for trout opener; good crappie catches reported

April 24, 2010
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Today marks the opening day of trout season on the Type 1 and Type 2 streams.

Dry conditions around the state may very well impact some trout streams as water temperatures will be warm and levels will be lower compared to most openers. Anglers are advised to try streams that are more resistant to low water levels.

Panfishermen were seeing increased activity in the way of crappie this week.

"Crappie is about ready to bust open," said Tom Bean at Crystal Bait.

"We got some reports on crappie starting to bite," said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost. "Guys were catching splake in Lake Ellen and walleye was picking up for the river anglers."

Crappie minnows were reported to be a safe bet for attracting crappie. Pat Carey at Midtown Bait and Tackle in Channing said fishermen were also having luck with nightcrawlers and leeches.

"Panfishing is picking up in the area," he added.

Florence Sport and Bait suggested crappie minnows on tube jigs for the best success with crappies. They also reported perch starting to hit on leeches and crawlers, and walleye anglers were having luck with bigger minnows.

Don Ciochetto at the Sport Shop in Iron River reported a lot of anglers gearing up for the trout opener, but low water levels were a concern.

Dean Lindblom at Country Bait and Tackle in Iron Mountain mentioned plenty of action on the Menominee River this week.

"There was a 38-inch northern, a 16-inch perch and lots of nice crappies," he said. "Guys are catching fish now, and there are a lot of people fishing."

Turkey season is under way. Ciochetto said the season has been slow with birds "pretty scattered." Grier has seen a few successful hunters come through his shop so far.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:

Black River Harbor - Fishing is still good however the fish are now scattered. Good numbers of coho are showing up however the key is to find them. Trolling in 14 to 20 feet of water with stick baits was productive. Purple and pink were good colors.

Ontonagon - Still has good fishing with nice catches of trout and salmon. This time of year is great because those with smaller boats can go out and fish in shallow waters. Most are trolling body baits in 12 to 16 feet of water.

Keweenaw Bay - Those able to get out did well when trolling for salmon 35 to 65 feet down in waters 40 to 135 feet deep from Baraga south to the head of the bay and north to Old Mission. Slow trolling around two miles per hour worked best for coho and chinook. Try spoons, body baits or dodgers and flies in green, gold, orange or blue. A few coho were also caught off the dock near the L'Anse Marina.

Fall's River - A few smelt have been taken but no big numbers to report.

Marquette - Coho fishing was fair however catch rates for steelhead have increased near the Carp River when using copper spinners with a single egg. Coho were caught by those trolling between the lower harbor breakwall, the Carp River and the mouth of the Chocolay River. Lake trout were caught in 40 to 100 feet of water.

Little Bay De Noc - All the docks are in at the launch ramps. A few perch were caught along the west side of the "Narrows" by those using minnows or worms in 6 to 18 feet of water. Fish were also caught in Nelsons Bay when still-fishing with worms in 4 to 11 feet of water.

Days River - Steelhead anglers were out however not many fish were caught.

Big Bay De Noc - Had excellent perch fishing in Garden Bay when still-fishing worms or minnows in 8 feet of water. No smelt to report.

Sturgeon River - Anglers have hit the river for steelhead however no reports yet.

Au Train - Had good coho fishing for those trolling or casting from Shelter Bay to the mouth of the Au Train River. Try jigs tipped with crawlers, spoons or crank baits in 15 to 30 feet of water.

Rock River - Is producing some steelhead.

Munising - Is producing fair catches of coho. Pier and dock anglers had poor fishing across the board. Catch rates for pier and dock anglers were not good.



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