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Outdoors report

Anglers make last effort for walleye

March 12, 2011
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Fishing slowed for many during the past week, but the outlook for the week ahead is better with warmer weather slated to arrive.

Anglers in Michigan have a few more days to catch walleye and pike.

Wisconsin's game fish season is closed.

Patti Teske at Florence Sport and Bait said anglers were getting panfish this week. "They seem to be biting pretty good," she said.

Bob Kennard at Midtown Bait and Tackle said fishermen were loading up on walleye suckers, crappie minnows and fatheads.

"Guys are headed out for a last ditch effort on walleye," he said.

"Small panfish were reported at Gene's Pond. Sawyer seemed to be slowing some."

John Grier's Whispering Pines Outpost reported a quiet week. But one angler mentioned doing well on perch for several days, and some nice bluegill were caught as well.

Slow fishing was reported last weekend during Dean Lindblom's Country Bait and Tackle's ice fishing derby.

"We had good turnout, but fishing was a little bit tough," he said.

"We've had some reports of bluegill. Perch were being caught too, but they were on the small side."

Lindblom added that ice is still measuring around 18 inches thick.

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

Lake Gogebic: Had good walleye fishing with tip-ups in 6 to 14 feet of water. Most of the fish were caught between 5-8pm and measured 15 to 17 inches. A few pike were taken on tip-ups but perch fishing was slow.

Keweenaw Bay: Shoreline ice has broken up near Sand Point, Jentoft's Dock, the Pump House, Perch Corner and the L'Anse Marina. Smelt were caught near the Baraga Marina at night, and a mix of smelt and perch were taken in the early morning. Whitefish and lake trout were caught east of the Baraga Marina in the whitefish hole. Lake trout were also caught off Jentoft's Dock in 190 to 230 feet of water. Those fishing out from the Falls River caught a mix of whitefish, coho, rainbow and lake trout in 8 to 15 feet of water.

Marquette: East winds blew shelf ice up near the shoreline. Boat and shore anglers fishing from the "bubblers" before the ice moved in caught coho and lake herring when using jigs and crawlers. There were reports of a few anglers catching menominee in the lower harbor when using a single egg.

Carp River: Had no action to report because of ice along the shoreline.

Little Bay De Noc: Ice conditions have changed and extreme caution needs to be used. The shipping channel has been opened around Escanaba, which means the area from the docks to the south is considered to be very dangerous. The Narrows in Gladstone has open water from the Power Plant discharge. Several vehicles went through the ice off the northern tip of Butler Island. This area is always bad and should be avoided. Pressure cracks and the edge of the ice were beginning to show signs of weakness. Walleye catches were still slow with most anglers fishing south of the Narrows or around the Day's River. Evenings were best with tip-ups in 22 to 30 feet of water near the Day's River. Perch fishing was best near Kipling and the Second Reef, but a good number of small fish were caught in the shallows around Butler Island. Whitefish were caught off Sand Point when jigging minnows or spawn in 70 to 90 feet of water.

Au Train: Had little activity due to shelf ice that was blown into the bay.

Au Train River: Is partially frozen with difficult access due to large sections of ice along the shoreline.

Munising: Fishing was a bit slow. A lack of snow is still causing a slippery commute for those heading out, cleats would be a good idea. Anglers are now turning their attention to fishing shallow waters for coho, splake and smelt. Whitefish action was slow. For coho, try jigging rapalas or Swedish pimples. Average size was 15 inches. Some were fishing on flow ice in Trout Bay however extreme caution needs to be used. Schools of smelt are being marked on a regular basis but catch rates were slow. Try hali-jigs with natural bait. Those spearing lake herring have taken a few fish in the early morning. Splake action was slow. Anglers reported mixed results for perch over the weed beds in 30 feet of water.

Munuscong Bay: Catch rates for perch slowed over the last week. A few were caught in water up to 4 feet deep around Grassy Island or Fowlers Bay. Not much to report on walleye.



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