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Outdoors report

June 25, 2011
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN Cool, wet weather kept many from enjoying fishing during the past week, but conditions look more favorable this weekend.

"It seems to be picking up," said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost. "Those that went out during the week did well. There just wasn't that many going out."

Grier said leeches and minnows remain top sellers.

Dean Lindblom's Country Bait and Tackle said panfishing remains hot.

They report good sales of worms, crappie minnows and fatheads.

"Bass have been biting well," reported Pattie Teske at Florence Sport and Bait. "It was slow during the week with the lousy weather, though. Last weekend there were some real big bluegill caught. Perch were hitting on the Spread Eagle chain with crappie minnows."

She also mentioned a few walleye on the Brule, caught with crankbaits.

"Fishing has been pretty good overall," she said.

Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River said all the rain has resulted in a lot of high water in area streams and rivers, making trout fishing and fly fishing tough right now.

"Guys are still doing well with panfish, getting some nice ones, too," he said.

Bob Kennard at Midtown Bait and Tackle suggested Squaw Lake and Way Dam.

"We're going through leeches like you wouldn't believe," he noted. "Northern and some walleye were hitting at Way Dam."

Michigan fall turkey hunters can begin applying for licenses as of July 1. While there were some 8,000 licenses available last fall and for the spring hunt, the availability is 1,500 for this year's fall hunt.

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

Copper Harbor: The weather has been poor this past week. A few nice splake have been caught near the entrance to the harbor trolling 20 to 30 feet down on spoons. Shore fishing has been slow as well.

Keweenaw Bay: The fish bite has slowed some during the past week but anglers are still picking up a few coho, chinook and lake trout. Anglers are picking these fish up trolling from the Head of the Bay northward to Carla's Restaurant in 40 to 70 feet of water, 35 to 65 feet down using spoons and body baits. Best trolling speeds are between 2.1 and 2.6 MPH. Some anglers have had up and down success on yellow perch at the Baraga and Bucks Marina using slip bobbers and crawlers. The fish bite is slow in Traverse Bay but anglers here are picking up some lake trout off of the Gay Point, Big Louie's Point and Traverse Island trolling in 90 to 170 feet of water with spoons.

Gratiot Lake: Walleye fishing on Gratiot was fair this past week. Slow trolling with night crawlers in 14 to 17 feet of water produced some nice catches. Smallmouth bass fishing was good with most sight fishing and pitching tube jigs near the beds.

Marquette: Trout fisherman in the area reported varied results with most anglers harvesting 2 to 5 lake trout. Most lake trout were found in deeper waters ranging from 180 to 230 feet down with most fish within a few feet of the bottom. Anglers used a combination of spoons and flies. Areas that have produced this past week were north of the White Rocks and towards Shot Point. Chinook and coho action were slow this past week with best areas trolling in 40 to 60 feet off Hwy 28 east of the Chocolay River. Stannard Rock reports slow results with smaller fish less than 15 pounds. Most trips averaging 15 to 25 fish. Surface temperatures at Stannard Rock are ranging 37 to 39 degrees. Surface water temperatures in the Marquette area are averaging in the mid to upper 40's.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers reported best catches off the Gladstone Beach area and south to the Terrace Bay Inn trolling or jigging crawlers in 18 to 33 feet of water. Fair catches also reported near 2nd reef trolling or drifting crawlers with harnesses in 20 to 30 feet of water. Good perch catches reported off Saunders Point still fishing with crawlers in 25 to 30 feet of water. Still good smallmouth bass catches reported in and around the mouth of the Ford River casting cranks and tubes from shore or in boats.

Big Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers reported several catches between the Boot and Ansell's Point trolling crawlers with harnesses in and around 20 feet of water. Good smallmouth bass catches are still being reported throughout the Bay. Most fished in 3 to 15 feet of water around the Garden Bluff area casting cranks or plastics. Fairport has water temperatures still a bit on the cold side, around 50 degrees. Anglers who fished out past the "Gap" reported a few catches trolling spoons in 140 feet of water and 125 to 130 feet down.

Au Train: Fishermen have reported poor lake trout fishing. Most lake trout were caught at varying depths from 60 to 200 feet of water. Average size harvested ranged from 3 to 6 pounds. Best areas were just north of Au Train Island and Wood's Island using spoons and flies with cut bait.



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