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Outdoors report

Anglers score on walleye; Michigan bass opener today

May 28, 2011
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN Good walleye fishing is being reported by a number of fishermen.

"Some did very well on walleye this week," said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost. "One group caught 25 and 15 were keepers, including one measuring 21 inches."

Grier said fatheads minnows were being used to lure walleye.

"Crappie are still hitting too," he added. "There's been a few out after bluegill now."

Bob Kennard at Midtown Bait and Tackle in Channing said southern Marquette County waters were producing fish.

"We're selling a lot of walleye suckers, crawlers and leeches," he said. "Bluegill were hitting on Sawyer and Gene's Pond."

Pattie Teske at Florence Sport and Bait mentioned a good panfish bite as well.

"Bluegill and crappie," she said. "Getting good reports on those. A few northern were caught. River fishermen are getting walleye with crankbaits."

Dean Lindblom at Country Bait and Tackle said bluegill were biting at Lake Antoine.

"It's been a little bit of everything this week," he said. "People were limiting out on walleye in certain places."

Tom Bean at Crystal Bait also said walleye action was good.

"Walleye is still hot," he said. "Guys are using walleye suckers. A few jumbo perch were caught too."

Today is the opening day of bass season in Michigan. The early catch and release season has been very good so the opener should be strong as well.

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

Eagle Bay: Shore anglers have caught a few splake, coho and whitefish. Try smelt, crawlers, minnows, or cut bait just off the bottom.

Copper Harbor: Fishing was slow but water levels were up with a good current so don't rule out splake. Try drifting cut bait or minnows.

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers have started to pick up a few lake trout jigging in 245 feet of water near Farmers Reef while those trolling in 140 to 180 feet of water near the Mud Banks caught fish.

Gratiot Lake: Had fair walleye fishing for those trolling or casting crank baits in 8 to 10 feet of water near the rocks. Pike action was fair when still-fishing dead smelt or large sucker minnows in 10 to 12 feet of water.

Marquette: Those fishing towards Shot Point and near the Sand River managed to catch a mix of lake trout, chinook and coho on stick baits, flies or spoons. Try jigging north of the White Rocks in 180 to 220 feet of water. Stannard Rock gave up lake trout in the 10 to 15 pound range. Surface water temperatures near the Carp and Chocolay Rivers was 51 to 54 degrees.

Menominee River: Walleye fishing was slow. Anglers were jigging minnows, trolling crawler harnesses or rapalas. Trout anglers drifting yarn near the rocks on the Michigan side near the first dam have caught the occasional steelhead. Bluegill, sunfish, perch and bullhead were caught behind Kmart.

Little Bay De Noc: Had good walleye fishing from the Narrows north to Garth Point but the better fishing was in the flats near Kipling and south to the Vagabond area when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 26 to 30 feet of water. Those fishing at night reported limit catches. Large walleye were caught from the Terrace Bay Inn to the Black Bottom when trolling crawlers or stick baits in 14 to 25 feet of water. Large perch were caught near Kipling when jigging or drifting crawlers in 23 to 30 feet of water. Pre-season bass fishing was good near Garth Point and Gladstone.

Big Bay De Noc: Walleye were caught off Stony Point and Sand Point when trolling crawlers in 20 to 25 feet of water. Some nice perch were taken off the Fishery in Garden Bay when still-fishing crawlers in 6 to 8 feet of water. Smallmouth bass were hitting in Ogontz Bay, Martin Bay and South River Bay. Big Bay De Noc is probably one of the better smallmouth fisheries in the state.

Au Train: Had good lake trout action towards Wood Island, Laughing Whitefish Point, and east of Au Train Island. Depths vary with most fish being taken right off the bottom in 170 to 230 feet of water. Those jigging had fair success. Most of the lake trout are feeding on schools of sticklebacks. Early morning was the best time to fish. Chinook and coho were caught this week when trolling a combination of spoons and rapalas near Shelter Bay. Surface waters range from 46 to 52 degrees.

Munising: Boat anglers managed to catch a few chinook, coho and splake when trolling rapalas or thundersticks. Hot colors were chartreuse or fire-tiger. Pier and dock anglers caught splake using spawn bags or lures. Lake trout were in 50 to 170 feet of water around Grand Island and Pictured Rocks.

Grand Marais: Whitefish were caught on a single egg or wax worm in the early morning. Catch rates for menominee slowed. Those trolling along the banks caught some coho. Pier anglers caught coho and whitefish.

Manistique River: Walleye fishing was fair to good for those trolling upstream from the Municipal launch with crawler harnesses and rapalas. Pier anglers fishing after dark also caught walleye. Those floating yarn near the first dam caught a couple steelhead. Suckers are also up near the dam.

De Tour: Walleye were caught around Drummond Island in Scott Bay and between Paw Pointe and Peck Island in shallow waters 4 to 6 feet deep. Most are drifting crawler harnesses but planer boards and stick baits also caught fish. Smallmouth bass are spawning so the opener should be good. The State Rustic Campground is hoping to have the new boat launch open by the weekend. Albany Creek had some nice brook trout hitting on worms.

Carp River: Anglers are targeting steelhead between the campground bridge and McDonald Rapids.

St. Ignace: Boats heading out from the city launch have caught chinook and Atlantic salmon in 75 feet of water between the Coast Guard Station, the flats and the old fuel tanks.



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