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Small game season opens Wednesday in Michigan

Outdoors report

September 11, 2010
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Like last week, there wasn't much to report on the fishing front, as attention continues to shift toward hunting season.

Don Ciochetto at the Sport Shop in Iron River mentioned good panfishing, but all other shops reported little to no activity. No doubt the winds of the past week kept many anglers off the water as well.

Northern and walleye were hitting in some spots, but size was small.

Sales of leftover antlerless licenses, which began Friday morning, were brisk throughout the area.

A number of hunting seasons open in Michigan next week, including rabbits, squirrels, ruffed grouse and turkey on Sept. 15.

Bear opened Friday for those who acquired tags. Early goose season ended Friday with the regular season opening Sept. 16.

Woodcock season opens Saturday, Sept. 25. Hunters who plan to pursue woodcock are reminded that they must have a federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) endorsement on their small game licenses. The endorsement, which is free of charge, will say "Migratory Bird Hunter - Yes" and appear printed on the license. Hunters who purchase a waterfowl license are automatically enrolled.

Grouse season runs through Nov. 14 and reopens Dec. 1 - Jan. 1. The daily bag limit is five in the northern two-thirds of the state, three in southern Michigan.

Rabbit and hare season runs through March 31. The daily bag limit is five.

Squirrel season runs through March 1. The daily bag limit is five.

Wisconsin's small game opener is Saturday, Sept. 18

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

Ontonagon - Strong winds have pushed cooler water into the river. Look for fishing to improve in 40 to 70 feet of water.

Keweenaw Bay - Those trolling in the bay have picked up some nice coho along with a few walleye. No salmon to report in the Falls River yet. A few lake trout were caught in Traverse Bay between Gay Point and Hermits Cove. Those running from Traverse Bay to the Huron Islands have caught limits of lake trout.

Marquette - There are reports of a few coho and steelhead near the Chocolay River and coho were scattered near the Dead River.

Little Bay De Noc - Catch rates for walleye were fair when trolling crawler harnesses off the break and out from the Terrace Bay Inn in 25 to 40 feet of water. Fish were caught shallow before daylight. Those fishing from the southern Black Bottom to the lighthouse were drifting and trolling crawlers in 20 to 40 feet of water. The north end of the bay was also producing fish however many were sub-legal. Jumbo perch were reported north of the Ore Docks in Escanaba. Try still-fishing with crawlers in 25 to 35 feet of water. No salmon in the rivers yet.

Big Bay De Noc - Had good smallmouth fishing from Snake Island to Garden Bluff while drifting minnows 15 to 30 feet down just off the break. No perch or walleye reports this week.

Au Train - Few anglers were able to get out. Surface water temperatures have cooled and are averaging 58 to 60 degrees.

Munising - Few boats were out but those able to reach the Big Reef caught lake trout on jigs and cut bait. Shore anglers had some success for splake when using natural baits such as spawn bags. Menominee whitefish were caught on crawlers.

Indian Lake - Walleye anglers did best when drifting or trolling along the weeds around the shoreline. More fish were caught along the west shore but the fish were small. Try crawler harnesses or surface raps. A few keeper size perch were also caught this way however most of the perch anglers were fishing the north or south shore while drifting or still-fishing with crawlers.

St. Mary's River - Near Sault Ste. Marie, a few pink salmon were caught when casting pink spoons at the fishing pier on the east end of Cloverland Power Plant. Chinook and Atlantic salmon are just beginning to make their run up to the rapids however water temperatures are still warm and the fishing was slow. The walleye bite was good in Raber Bay. Those fishing in the evening were trolling crawler harnesses and smiley blades in 8 to 12 feet of water near Antelope Point. Bass were caught on the east side of Lime Island and around Hart Island. Try jigging tube baits.

De Tour - Is a great spot for pink salmon with Atlantic, chinook, coho and steelhead mixed in. Anglers are trolling from Frying Pan Island to the number 3 green can with small pink or lime colored spoons with dots. Try fishing 3 to 35 feet down. Some boats are fishing near the lighthouse and three miles south.

Cedarville and Hessel - Anglers continue to target perch off the Hessel Marina pier, in the east end of Hessel Bay, along the south shoreline, and the north side of Haven Island and Snows Channel. Use crawlers in 6 to 12 feet of water.



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