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Outdoors report

July 2, 2011
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - It should be a good holiday weekend for fishing, as warm weather takes hold.

Area bait shops report good fishing this past week.

"Bass are biting good right now," said Pattie Teske at Florence Sport and Bait. "They're getting northern and some perch too.

"Some guys have been catching bluegills with spawn in them yet, near shoreline areas. Walleye seems to be slow. Mainly bass, panfish and a few crappie."

Dean Lindblom's Country Bait and Tackle reports perch biting on minnows and other panfish hitting on crawlers. There wasn't much to mention on northern or walleye.

Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River also said walleye fishing hasn't been good.

"Trout remains pretty fair, although the bugs are just terrible right now," he said. "Panfishing is still good."

John Grier's Whispering Pines Outpost also had positive trout fishing reports, with anglers catching fish in the 11- 12-inch range. Other action was said to be steady. Fatheads and leeches continue to be hot sellers.

Tom Bean Crystal Bait said guys were catching come nice bluegills this week.

"It should be a good weekend," he said.

Crappie minnows, fatheads and wax worms for bluegills were his top bait requests.

Bob Kennard at Midtown Bait and Tackle has been selling leeches and leaf worms.

"They're still doing pretty good on Sawyer," he said. "Michigamme has picked up again. And Gene's Pond has been good. Haven't heard much from southern Marquette County this week."

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

Copper Harbor: There has been a spike in splake activity this past week. The early morning bite has been good between 5 and 7a.m. There has also been a few fish caught in the middle of the day but fishing then is very spotty. Night crawlers have produced some nice catches as well as cut bait. There is a small mayfly hatch going on in the harbor right now so fly fishing could be very productive.

Traverse Bay: The fish bite here was slow, but some anglers had a good day last Saturday and brought in a nice catch of lake trout. They were trolling in 90 to 130 feet of water on 7 Mile Reef which lies to the southeast of the Big Traverse Marina. Some anglers jigging for lake trout off of Big Louie's Point picked up a few in 245 feet of water.

Keweenaw Bay: Due to the bad weather the fish bite was slow during the past week. A few coho, chinook and lake trout were picked up from Sand Point northward to Carla's Restaurant in 40 to 90 feet of water. Anglers jigging for lake trout out from the pine tree on Pequaming Point had some good success in 165 to 260 feet of water.

Gratiot Lake: The walleye bite has been good in the evening after dark and in the early morning. Try fishing in 17 to 25 feet of water slow trolling minnows, leaches, or night crawlers 1 to 4 feet from bottom.

Marquette: Anglers in this area reported scattered catches of lake trout. Anglers reported huge schools of baitfish north of the White Rocks, 80 to 100 feet down in water depths of 160 to 180 feet. Fish were hitting short, however. Shot Point is reporting slightly better success this past week with a few limits of lake trout and a few chinook salmon. Stannard Rock reports good catches with fish averaging 3 to 10 pounds. Surface water temperatures at Stannard Rock are around 40 degrees.

Menominee: Boats are concentrating in the deep holes trolling mainly crawler harnesses targeting Walleye, but it was slow with only a few reported or seen. The weather was a contributing factor with the amount of effort with it being rainy with high winds.

Menominee River: Those still-fishing with crawlers, minnows and leaches, were getting many freshwater drum, some smaller yellow perch, catfish, smallmouth bass and an occasional walleye. The gates at the dam were open most of the week which made fishing very difficult in that area, but there were some big catfish and drums caught near the dam which were caught on crawlers.

Little Bay De Noc: Weather conditions are still a major factor in angler participation and catch reports. Temperatures have warmed up by this weeks' end and hopefully here to stay. Fair walleye catches reported throughout the Bay. Second to third reef anglers reported large numbers of sub-legal walleye with a few legal fish trolling and drifting crawlers with harnesses in 18 to 30 feet of water. Gladstone beach area reported several walleye trolling and drifting crawlers with harnesses in 12 to 33 feet of water. Best catches were at the mouth of the Escanaba River drifting and trolling crawlers in 10 to 20 feet of water and south by the Ford River, with most trolling crawlers or stick baits in 12 to 16 feet of water. Good numbers of perch in shallow water all through the Kipling area and off the Gladstone pier. Many shore anglers took advantage of this opportunity still fishing crawler pieces in this area.

Big Bay De Noc: High winds were harsh in this area through most of the week. Walleye anglers began catching a few fish out by the "Boot" and down the reef heading south. Most trolled crawlers with harnesses in 15 to 23 feet of water. Still good smallmouth bass catches despite the lousy weather. Ogontz, Porcupine Point and Garden Bluff all producing good catches of large fish casting cranks and tubes in 6 to 15 feet of water. Several nice perch catches reported by shore anglers in Fayette State Park still-fishing worms in the harbor. Fairport waters were still quite cold in this area but it looks to be a warmer week coming up. Several chinook catches reported out past the "Gap" in 140 to 120 feet of water and 130 feet down.

Au Train: Very few anglers fished in the area this past week. Those that did reported lake trout catches were scattered with best depths at 200 to 220 feet of water north of Au Train Island. Surface water temperatures remain cool averaging in the upper 40's. A few anglers were out bobbing with fair reports of lake trout averaging 3 to 5 lbs. No reports on salmon for the week.

Manistique: Salmon are starting to be caught in the Bay at 60 to 65 feet of water traveling roughly 4 miles from the mouth of the River. These anglers are trolling different colored spoons. Most were heading out late afternoon to early evening. The river fishery had low effort this past week which was probably due to high winds. Those that did try were mainly using crawlers or leaches on the fishing pier and fishing docks. There was very little caught.

Cedarville and Hessel: The Hessel pier is producing some throw back pike, but not much for perch yet. Hessel Bay, Cedarville Bay and Musky Bay are also producing throw back pike and the occasional yellow perch.



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