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Bluegill, bass anglers finding success; free fishing in Wisconsin

Outdoors report

June 5, 2010
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Bluegill anglers reported another good week of fishing, and bass action seems to be picking up too.

"I'm getting reports of a lot of bluegills and lots of bass," said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township. "A few guys were picking up walleye and some northern. Fishing has been pretty good. We're selling lots of crawlers and leeches."

Bob Kennard at Midtown Bait and Tackle in Channing said good activity was reported on Sawyer Lake, Edy Lake and Lake Ellen this week.

"They're still getting a lot of crappie and bluegill," he said, indicating crappie minnows and leaf worms as the top baits. "Panfish are hitting good. Not much to report on walleye though."

Don Ciochetto at the Sport Shop in Iron River also said walleye was slow, but bluegill fishing remained strong.

"The bluegills are on the beds," he said. "Trout guys are still doing pretty fair. Not as many fish, but still some nice size brookies and browns. Guys have been getting bass too."

Dean Lindblom at Country Bait and Tackle in Iron Mountain reported some 20-inch walleye being caught in the area.

"Lake Antoine is hitting pretty good," he said. "Peavy has been producing walleye lately, and panfishing has been pretty good this week. Crappies are hitting a little, but not as good as bluegill and perch."

Lindblom said he's been selling mostly beavertails and crawlers, with some anglers starting on leeches now too.

This is Wisconsin's free fishing weekend. People of all ages can fish without a fishing license or trout stamp today and Sunday. All waters of the state are open and all fishing regulations including bag and size limits still apply.

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

Black River Harbor - Fishing was slow with most boats going out and trolling 20 to 50 feet down in waters 300 to 400 feet deep. Only a few lake trout were caught.

Ontonagon - Lake trout fishing was good 40 to 60 feet down in waters 150 feet deep. A few chinook salmon were also caught. Walleye fishing was good in the river for those trolling or jigging.

Lake Gogebic - Had a very good bass opener and walleye were also being caught. A good number of walleye caught were in the 14 inch range and will be good in the fall. Northern pike and yellow perch can be found along the weed beds.

Keweenaw Bay - The fish bite was slow so anglers had to put in their time to catch coho and lake trout. In Traverse Bay, a few lake trout were caught out from Gay Point. A few lake trout were caught near the South Portage Entry when fishing in 30 feet of water near the Farmers Reef. Some reported fish stacking up along the reefs in 30 to 40 feet of water.

Marquette - Had good lake trout action and a few coho were also caught in the Lower Harbor. Best action was near the white rocks and the Sand Hole. Fish in the 15 to 20 pound range were caught around Stannard Rock, where a large hatch of flying ants were reported and could be seen in the belly of lake trout.

Little Bay De Noc - Had a good bass opener with smallmouth hitting on tube baits, crank baits or worms in 3 to 8 feet of water off Garth Point and the east bank south of Hunters Point. Catch rates for walleye were slow except off Breezy Point where the south winds pushed a good number of fish into the area. Most were trolling crank baits or crawlers 8 to 20 feet down along the break. Night anglers did well at the head of the bay when trolling crank baits or drifting crawlers in 8 to 14 feet of water. Jumbo perch were caught in 20 to 25 feet of water near the Gladstone Beach.

Big Bay De Noc - Also had a good bass opener with fish caught in the head of the bay, near the Fish Dam Rivers, Ogontz and South River Bay. Fish were in the shallows and ready to spawn. Catch rates were down some but not from a lack of fish, but more so due to the number of anglers targeting them. Fish were caught in 3 to 8 feet of water when casting crank baits and tube baits or drifting with crawlers and leeches. Not much for walleye anglers except for those fishing the "Sand Pit" off the Nahma Golf Course. Trolling crank baits or crawler harnesses in 20 to 40 feet of water worked best.

Indian Lake - Walleye catches picked up as anglers were trolling crawler harnesses along the north shore. Some were even adding a leech to their harness. Smallmouth bass were caught in the weeds along the northwest shore. For pike, try the north end when trolling harnesses. Yellow perch were caught in Langes Bay however most of the fish were small. Lake herring were caught in the southern portion of the lake with crawlers and stick baits.

Au Train - Had good lake trout catches with fish averaging 3 to 10 pounds. Most are trolling spoons or crank baits in 70 to 200 feet of water off Laughing Whitefish Point or north of Au Train Island where surface water temperatures were near 45 degrees.

Munising - Salmon season has slowed with only a few chinook caught when trolling. Lake trout fishing around Grand Island continues to be good especially on the north side near Trout Point. Splake fishing was hit-or-miss, but those lucky enough to catch fish did well when casting spoons or still-fishing with eggs.

Grand Marais - Had good whitefish action for those fishing off the pier with a single egg or other natural baits. Early morning or evening was best. Boat anglers caught some lake trout in an area referred to as the shipping channel, which is 3 to 5 miles north of the bay in 150 feet of water. The fish were running small with an average of 2 to 4 pounds.

Munuscong Bay - Had good walleye and northern pike action for those trolling shallow diving crank baits. Chrome was a good color. Yellow perch were caught by those trolling crawler harnesses for walleye. Northern pike were caught on plugs or spoons trolled near the weed beds of Round Island. Walleye were also caught in Raber Bay in the shallows.

De Tour - Boats were trolling both sides of the shipping channel to the #3 can and lighthouse, and also to the two red cans on Drummond Island. Fish were caught in 5 to 45 feet of water with the lake trout found in deeper water. Atlantic salmon were slow and no steelhead were caught recently.



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