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Outdoors report

Panfish are still biting,walleye action picks up

July 24, 2010
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Panfishing, in between the rain, was producing for local anglers, and it seems as if the walleye have begun to bite again.

"Peavy and the Michigamme Reservoir fishermen are doing OK on walleye," said Pat Carey at Midtown Bait and Tackle in Channing.

"Crappie and bluegill remain steady at Sawyer Lake; fishermen using nightcrawlers and beaver tails there."

Tom Bean at Crystal Bait also reported "some walleye" being caught.

"Gills are still going good, and guys are catching bass," he added.

John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost reported a 30- to 31-inch walleye caught in the area this week. "Guys are using crawlers and leeches for walleye," he said. "Still have a lot of guys catching bass, some nice ones too."

Don Ciochetto at the Sport Shop in Iron River also indicated increased walleye action. "They seem to be starting to bite," he said.

"Nothing real big, but some keepers anyway. In between the rain, the fishing has been pretty good this week. Panfishing is still good too."

Dean Lindblom at Country Bait Tackle mentioned good panfishing.

"Some guys are finding some real sweet spots," he said. "Pike and walleye was slow. We're selling a lot of crawlers, and leafworms. Some guys are still using minnows, fatheads mainly."

Lindblom also mentioned more anglers trout fishing this week, but results were mixed, and water levels are high.

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

Black River Harbor - Lake trout fishing has improved for those running downriggers in 100 to 140 feet of water. Run different depths as the fish seem to be scattered.

Ontonagon - Had good fishing with anglers taking lake trout and a few coho. Lake trout were a few feet off the bottom in waters 70 to 85 feet deep.

Keweenaw Bay - The bite is good in the early morning in 40 to 70 feet of water from Sand Point north to Carla's Restaurant. The South Portage Entry continues to be the hot spot for those trolling in shallow waters of the reefs and along the Mud Banks.

Little Bay De Noc - Fair to good walleye catches were reported between the Escanaba River and Breezy Point. Near the river, anglers are trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 18 to 23 feet of water while those near Breezy Point are trolling crank baits or drifting crawlers in 10 to 25 feet of water. Several limit catches were reported near the shipping docks at Escanaba when jigging crawlers in 20 to 25 feet of water. Shore anglers fishing off the new pier in Gladstone were taking fair to good catches of perch when still-fishing with crawlers. Salmon fishing was slow however fish were marked out by the Ford River buoy.

Big Bay De Noc - Garden Bay and Kates Bay are still producing very good smallmouth bass fishing when casting tube baits or crank baits in 12 to 18 feet of water. Good numbers of walleye were marked north of Round Island in 14 to 25 feet of water however few fish were caught. Small perch were caught near Ogontz when jigging crawlers in 10 to 14 feet of water. Fairport had good action for those trolling glow spoons or green with black 60 to 75 feet down in waters 80 to 110 feet deep.

Marquette - Is producing some coho and lake trout for those trolling the Upper Harbor and north to Granite Island. Coho were caught 60 to 80 feet down in waters 170 feet deep. Lake trout were caught around Stannard Rock. Spoons work best and the hot colors were orange, silver and gold.

Indian Lake - A few nice walleye were caught by those drifting or trolling crawler harnesses along the north or west shore. Yellow perch have also been caught by this method but those that anchored near the weedbeds caught bigger fish.

Au Train - Still had fair lake trout fishing with a few limit catches reported. Surface water temperatures averaged in the low 60's. Anglers can see scattered groups of baitfish so try fishing in 150 to 200 feet of water. No salmon to report.

Munising - Boat anglers report lake trout in the 3 to 5 pound range were caught around Grand Island and along the drop-offs between Miners and Grand Portal. Those shore fishing report slow catch rates for splake.

Grand Marais - Had fair to good lake trout action in the shipping channel. Fish caught weighed in at 1.5 to 5 pounds. A few coho have also been caught trolling in 50 to 70 feet of water just outside the bay. Shore and pier angling efforts have been very low. A few pike were caught off the walkway near the boat launch when casting artificial lures or baitfish.

St. Mary's River - Those fishing near Munuscong Lake are harvesting walleye and northern pike in the shallows and around the rock beds. Those fishing 16 to 20 feet of water are using bottom bouncers with crawler harnesses. Good colors were purple, lime, orange or pink.

De Tour - Herring and whitefish are starting to scatter. A few fish were still being caught near Big Trout Island, Butterfield Island, Long Island and Maple Island.



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