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Shanty season ends, ice is unpredictable

March 26, 2011
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Ice anglers are reminded that ice conditions vary considerably throughout the area, so the utmost caution should be used if heading onto any lake.

Very little fishing activity was reported during the past week. All permanent shanties have been removed for the season.

John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost said there were a couple of fisherman having luck with nice-size perch.

Another angler mentioned that ice conditions on Badwater were holding up well. But ice conditions can change quickly this time of year.

As a reminder, Michigan's 2010 fishing licenses expire March 30. Also, leftover spring turkey licenses are still available as well.

Wildman Whitewater Ranch of Athlestane will be opening the whitewater rafting season on the Peshtigo River on Saturday, April 2, with the Ice Breaker Special.

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

Lake Gogebic: Ice conditions are changing fast. Anglers should avoid areas near the inlets and outlets. Perch were caught up to 5 feet off the bottom in waters 20 to 27 feet deep however many are putting in a lot of time and coming up empty handed.

Keweenaw Bay: Good catches of smelt were taken northeast of the Baraga Marina. Whitefish were spotty. Coho were caught between Linden Creek and Perch Corner.

Falls River: Is producing some rainbow trout.

Marquette: Fishing was slow except for a few coho taken near the shallow bubbler in the Upper Harbor in 25 feet of water. Try a jig tipped with a twister tail or cut bait. Ice has moved out near the coal docks so anglers were taking a few coho and menominee when using a single egg. Ice has moved out of the Upper Harbor with partial ice in the Lower Harbor. Anglers are still launching boats off the beach by the bubblers. Strong east winds have been blowing the ice into shore.

Carp River: Is slightly higher with spring runoff, but no steelhead to report.

Little Bay De Noc: Ice conditions were deteriorating fast. Not many anglers and those heading out were traveling by foot only. Extreme caution needs to be used as ice conditions are changing daily this time of year. Most were perch fishing near Kipling in 22 to 30 feet of water when jigging wigglers or minnows. Those removing ice shanties and putting them at the Kipling boat launch are reminded that they can only store their shanty for 24 hours.

Escanaba River: A few shore anglers were looking for brown trout.

Au Train: This may be the last week of ice fishing as conditions were deteriorating. The Rock River is slowly opening up with water running over the spillway and there is open water near the mouth of the Au Train River. Catch reports were spotty for coho and menominee in Au Train Bay. The better action was in the early morning straight out from the Rock River and near the mouth of the Au Train River.

Munising: Catch rates were slow as angler numbers decline. Recent weather patterns have made ice conditions unpredictable on a daily basis so bring cleats and use caution on the ice. Most anglers are fishing for coho but rates were spotty. Try jigging rapalas and Swedish pimples 10 to 20 feet down in 40 to 60 feet of water. The fish average 15 inches. Only a few whitefish were taken in 50 to 80 feet of water when bouncing wax worms or a single egg just off the bottom. Schools of smelt are still being marked on a regular basis however catch rates were hit-or-miss. Try hali-jigs with natural bait. The occasional splake was caught by those using minnows or a single egg with an artificial lure.

Indian Lake: Angler activity has slowed with the closing of walleye and pike season. Those seeking yellow perch were fishing on the north end and also in Lange's Bay. Try minnows with a jig or Swedish pimple in 7 to 9 feet of water. Many are small but a few in the 12 inch range were caught.

Munuscong Bay: Catch rates were poor to fair throughout the bay including the north end and Fowlers Bay. Ice is still present and perch numbers are expected to increase in the next 7 to 10 days.

Cedarville and Hessel: Some perch were caught along the east side of Hessel Bay in shallow waters 6 to 8 feet deep however Musky Bay was a little more productive. Fish were caught in 10 to 12 feet of water off Duck Bay as well as out in the middle. Try wax worms, wigglers or minnows.



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