IRON MOUNTAIN Fishing activity continues to decline, but fish are being caught by those still taking to the water.
"It's been slowing, but guys are still catching fish," said Dean Lindblom at Iron Mountain's Country Bait and Tackle, mentioning crawlers and bigger suckers as top bait choices among anglers.
"Fall fishermen are catching some pretty nice panfish," said Don Ciochetto at the Sport Shop in Iron River.
Elsewhere, not much fishing activity was reported.
"There haven't been many guys going out," Patti Teske at Florence Sport and Bait said. "We haven't sold much in the way of bait the past week."
"There's a few guys fishing, but not a lot," said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township.
Grier said hunters continue to have success. His shop has registered 53 bear so far, just four shy of last year's total count. Deer hunters are doing well too.
"We had two nice eight-pointers come through this week," he said. "One guy got his with a crossbow. Guys are still getting birds too. Seems to be a plentiful supply of them."
Ciochetto agreed that it's been a good year for bird hunters, saying they've been doing "very well."
Teske added that Wisconsin deer hunters did better last week. "They're getting more bucks now," she said. "Looks like the deer are moving a little more this week."
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:
Lake Gogebic - Was producing limits of 15 to 17 inch walleye.
Ontonagon - Not much to report. Boats have been put away for the season and the fish cleaning station will be closing this week.
Keweenaw Bay - Those trolling have caught a few coho, lake trout and steelhead and those casting off the rocks in L'Anse managed to pick up a few coho. The Falls River has low water levels and slow fishing. Traverse Bay is still producing the occasional lake trout southeast of Big Louie's Point in 100 to 130 feet of water while those jigging caught fish in 220 to 240 feet of water. Limits of lake trout came from the South Portage Entry in 80 to 130 feet of water when trolling east. Catch rates were slower for those jigging.
Marquette - Good catches of lake trout were reported north of the white rocks and near Granite Island when fishing just off the bottom in 140 to 180 feet of water. Gold and silver spoons were the ticket. Those jigging also did well. The occasional steelhead and coho were caught by those trolling just outside the Lower Harbor. Surface water temperatures were in the mid 40's.
Dead River - Had slow action with only a few coho taken.
Ellen Lake - In Iron County is producing some good catches of splake.
Indian Lake - Nice perch were in 8 to 10 feet of water along the south end of the lake and hitting on minnows. Pike anglers were on the north end of the lake with crawlers on large spinner baits. Smallmouth bass were caught on crawlers fished on the bottom. Walleye action was still slow with only a few smaller fish caught on crawler harnesses or leeches near the rock pile.
Munising - Coho season on the big lake is winding down and shore anglers say splake fishing has slowed. A few leftover coho have been caught from shore when casting spinners or spoons. Orange and silver were the hot colors. Fish averaged 3 or 4 pounds. Steelhead were caught by those casting or drifting spawn. Small boats heading out to 25 or 35 feet of water caught whitefish when jigging.
Grand Marais - Had slow fishing except for the occasional steelhead caught when trolling in 5 to 10 feet of water in the bay. Shore fishing was fair for those using spawn bags near the mouth of rivers and creeks. Early morning fishing is best.
St. Mary's River - Yellow perch were caught in the bay at Brimley when using minnows and small worms in the early morning. Good perch action in Bay Dewausi when using perch rigs and minnows in shallow waters.