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Outdoors report — panfish, bass action in full swing

July 23, 2011
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - This week's heat wave has kept some anglers off the water, but panfish and bass fishing remains good.

"The ones going out have had a lot of luck," said Dean Lindblom at Country Bait & Tackle in Iron Mountain.

Minnows have been working "for anything and everything, even bluegills," Lindblom said. Crappie and northern pike catches have topped the list.

At The Sport Shop in Iron River, Don Ciochetto reported good success for bass fishermen.

"The walleye still are not very good," he said. The panfish bite is strong, and trout fishing has been "pretty good," mostly for browns.

"Bass are biting good," said Patti Teske at Florence Sport & Bait. Anglers using worms have landed perch and bluegill on Florence area lakes, and some northern have been caught, she added.

"There've been a few muskie hits on spinners on the Brule."

Teske also noted a "fluke report" from an angler coaxing walleyes to bite on wax worms.

"It's been so hot a lot of people didn't go out," said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township. Those who did were mostly using crawlers and leeches, he said.

Grier reminded hunters that antlerless deer applications are now on sale. As of Friday there were still a number of bear tags left unfilled for the Carney area.

In Wisconsin, people should be aware that waters of Green Bay and off the Lake Michigan shores of Door and Kewaunee counties will be teaming with activity this weekend as two major fishing tournaments will be under way. The Wisconsin stop of the national FLW Walleye Tour began Thursday and runs through the weekend out of Oconto, and the 29th Kewaunee-Door county salmon tournament also opened Thursday and runs through next week.

Wisconsin fisheries managers are urging musky anglers to use extreme care with catching and releasing fish, as surface temperatures are in the 80s on many waters, putting fish under a lot of stress.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported the following from across the Upper Peninsula:

Keweenaw Bay: Chinook and lake trout were picked up between Sand Point and Carla's Restaurant but overall the bite is slow. Anglers jigging for lake trout did well off Pequaming Point as well as Koski Flats and the south end of Big Reef. Those trolling the South Portage Entry caught some fish near Farmers and Newton Reef or the Mud Banks but the bite was hit-or-miss. In Traverse Bay, try Five and Seven Mile Reefs as well as between Big Louie's Point and Gay Point.

Marquette: Surface water temperatures are in the low 60's. Lake trout were scattered but fish were caught near Granite Island, Little Presque Isle, and the Sand Hole which is four to five miles east of the port. Try flies and spoons in 180 to 220 feet of water.

Menominee River: Is producing walleye, smallmouth bass, rock bass, catfish, and freshwater drum throughout the entire river.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye catches were typically slow this month. For more fish try the southern waters when drifting crawler harnesses in 8 to 14 feet of water near Breezy Point and 12 to 20 feet of water near the "Fingers." Good numbers of perch were caught around Butler Island when using worms or crawlers in 10 to 12 feet of water but many small ones were released. The bigger perch can be found just north of the Narrows when still-fishing with crawlers in 18 to 23 feet of water. Lots of freshwater drum have been caught around the Second and Third Reefs. Chinook were starting to show up in the channel off Aronson Island. Try 40 to 60 feet down in 80 to 90 feet of water.

Big Bay De Noc: Continues to have good smallmouth action in Kate's Bay and off Garden Bluff when casting crank baits or tube baits in 12 to 20 feet of water. Perch were caught in Garden Bay when still-fishing with worms about 150 yards west of the launch in 8 to 12 feet of water. Off Fairport, chinook were caught in the Gap and off Point Detour when trolling 60 to 80 feet down in 80 to 120 feet of water.

Au Train: Warm air has pushed the surface water temperatures into the low 60's. A few lake trout were caught north of Au Train Island in 180 to 220 feet of water when using flies and spoons. No large schools of bait fish were reported. Few fish were caught near the shipping channel.

Munising: Catch rates were extremely slow. Those willing to put in a great deal of time did manage to catch a few lake trout 70 to 170 feet down near Wood Island when trolling spoons, dipsies and flies. Pier and dock anglers said the splake action was slow with only a few legal size fish caught.

Grand Marais: A few boats are still heading out for lake trout and fishing the shipping channel, five to seven miles north of the bay in a variety of depths from 40 to 300 feet deep. The fish are running on the small side and fewer limits have been caught by those trolling meat rigs and assorted lures. Even the pike action was slow around the boat launch.

Manistique: Chinook and steelhead were caught four to five miles out when trolling east and west. Surface temperatures were 58 to 61 degrees. Catch rates were slow but most of the fish caught were steelhead hitting on spoons and flies.

Manistique River: A couple walleye and smallmouth bass were caught off the pier when using crawlers or casting rapalas.



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