IRON MOUNTAIN - Ice fishing season is done. Any remaining ice is not safe and most likely honeycombed.
As anglers await open water fishing, now is a good time to visit a favorite bait shop and renew a license or stock up on summer fishing gear.
There were a few reports of walleye being caught on open water in the Menominee River, but the wind has been high the past few days, making it a challenge to fish.
John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost mentioned a few walleye caught near the hydraulics. He also reminded hunters there are still plenty of spring turkey permits. U.P. turkey season begins April 18.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:
Lake Gogebic: Ice fishing is done. Anglers are advised to stay off any remaining ice due to the honeycomb effect. Some boats were fishing out of Silver City but no reports have come in yet.
Marquette: Catch rates improved for coho but only a light number of splake and brown trout were caught. Both harbors are ice free so anglers can use the boat ramps. Those trolling did better in 10 to 20 feet of water between the lower harbor and the Chocolay River. A few coho and splake were caught off the power plant breakwall. Shore anglers did best in the early morning using a single egg, crawlers or Cleo's. Water temperatures range from the upper 30's to 40 degrees near shore.
Menominee River: The bay still has ice so boat anglers are fishing the river between the mouth and the Hattie Street Dam. Try jigging minnows in the deeper holes. Those wading near the dam and Stephenson Island have caught light numbers of steelhead and brown trout. Walleye fishing was hit-or-miss. All the boat launches are open except for the one at the lighthouse.
Little Bay De Noc: Has open water. The rivers are flowing high with little or no ice. The Ford and Rapid River launches are usable but no docks are in yet.
Big Bay De Noc: Is pretty much open water except for the unstable ice in the bays. All the launches appear to be usable except for Fayette because of the ice. The only dock in was at Ogontz. The rivers are open, look for steelhead and smelt.
Au Train: Had good steelhead fishing along with the occasional coho. Try early morning off the mouth of the Rock River or the Au Train River with spawn. Steelhead averaged 20 to 30 inches while coho were a bit smaller at 15 inches. Ice has finally left the bay except for some areas along the shoreline. Docks were not in yet at the Brownstown launch.
Munising: The ice has since broken up and for the most part moved out of the bay. Flow ice remains in the east channel and around Grand Island. The docks at the city launch are in and the small craft launch at the mouth of the Anna River is also being used since water levels are up. The first of the boat anglers have only caught a couple steelhead. Coho action was slow. Shore anglers are seeing rainbow trout however most were on the small side.
Grand Marais: Ice has moved out of the bay. The launch has been dredged and should be ready for use as long as flow ice does not move back in. The snow and ice buildup on the pier should be gone soon. Some were surfcasting for steelhead and coho but catch rates were slow.
Manistique River: Steelhead fishing at the first dam has picked up. Anglers drifting peach colored yarn did well while those using spawn bags reported fair catch rates. Boat anglers trolling spoons were not having much luck.
DeTour: Steelhead anglers are fishing the rock pile near the mouth of Albany Creek. Try casting stick baits or floating spawn bags.
Cedarville and Hessel: Ice fishing for perch is done however boat anglers should continue to do well in 10 to 12 feet of water.
Nunn's Creek: Has started producing some smelt.
Carp River: Steelhead were starting to show up near the mouth. Smelt runs were underway with limit catches reported.