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Lunker walleyes caught; bluegills and bass biting

August 6, 2011
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN Some big walleye catches highlighted the past week of fishing.

"Fishing isn't too bad," said Pattie Teske at Florence Sport and Bait.

"Someone caught a nice walleye, 26 inches, out of Keyes Lake. They caught it late at night on a leech."

Panfishermen using worms were getting bluegill and a few crappies, and bass were biting good on spinner baits, Teske added.

John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost also mentioned a good bass bite with anglers reporting success with artificial baits.

"There's been a lot of bluegills being caught - nice ones too," he said. "A guy caught 30-inch walleye the other day and is getting it stuffed. Not much to report on northern this week."

Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River agreed bass fishing was good this summer.

"There's been a lot of out-of-towners coming in to fish bass," he said. "Walleye has been spotty all over. And the northern are doing good."

Bob Kennard at Midtown Bait and Tackle in Channing said leeches and crawlers continue as his top sellers.

"Way Dam was doing well," he said. "They were getting some perch at Squaw Lake too."

Country Bait & Tackle in Iron Mountain is sponsoring a fishing contest on Saturday, Aug. 13.

The contest will have a 100 percent payout, with adult and children's categories for bass, walleye, pike, perch, crappie and bluegill.

For more information, visit Country Bait & Tackle, 1601 North Stephenson Ave., Iron Mountain. Registrations are due by 5 p.m. Friday.

Michigan DNR reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:

Keweenaw Bay: A few lake trout and coho were picked up by those trolling 35 to 80 feet down in 40 to 90 feet of water from Sand Point north to the Red Rock Cliffs. Those jigging in 200 to 260 feet of water off Pequaming Point and the south end of Big Reef caught a few lake trout. Along the South Portage Entry, lake trout were caught 90 to 180 feet of water near Farmers Reef, Newton Reef, Big Reef and the Mud Banks. In Traverse Bay, anglers are doing well when trolling in 60 to 140 feet of water along Five and Seven Mile Reefs or 130 to 185 feet of water off Big Louie's Point and Gay Point.

Marquette: Surface water temperatures were in the lower 60's. Catch rates were scattered with a few limit catches reported north of the White Rocks, Granite Island and the Clay Banks. Those jigging for lake trout struggled near the White Rocks. The better lake trout action continues to be off Stannard Rock. Most of the fish are averaging 3 pounds but a few in the 15 to 20 pound range were also caught.

Menominee: Salmon anglers reported slow catch rates near Green and Chambers Island. Those heading north of Menominee and fishing in Michigan waters did find some salmon along with steelhead and brown trout.

Menominee River: Catch rates were slow as water levels were low. Those drifting crawlers did catch smallmouth bass, catfish, freshwater drum and rock bass.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers fishing Breezy Point are trolling or drifting crawlers in 10 to 16 feet of water. Catch rates were spotty but fish were caught. The most consistent areas were the "Narrows" in 20 to 30 feet of water, near the mouth of the Escanaba River and out near the Black Bottom in 12 to 20 feet of water. Most are jigging, trolling or drifting crawlers. Good perch fishing just north of the "Narrows" in 19 to 30 feet of water when still-fishing with crawlers. Lots of freshwater drum have been caught throughout the bay especially near the flats off Kipling. Salmon anglers marked fish in 70 to 80 feet of water just south of Aronson Island but no fish were caught.

Big Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers fishing primarily in the southern waters were catching fish. Very good smallmouth bass fishing off Ansell's Point and Porcupine Point for those casting tube baits or trolling crank baits in 12 to 17 feet of water. Perch were taken in Garden Bay when still-fishing with worms in 8 to 10 feet of water. Freshwater drum have also been caught. Salmon anglers off Fairport have started to catch fish when trolling spoons or artificial cut bait 60 to 75 feet down in 70 to 100 feet of water. Bait fish are still in the area.

Au Train: Catch rates increased with lake trout caught in 170 to 210 feet of water. The best areas were two to three miles northwest or east of Au Train Island. A few fish were caught over the flats near Shelter Bay in 100 feet of water. The fish averaged 3 pounds. Those jigging reported slow catch rates. Surface temperatures have increased to 60 degrees near shore and upper 50's near the shipping channel.

Manistique: Chinook and steelhead were caught by those going out a good 12 miles to waters 120 to 150 feet deep. Most are trolling spoons in different sizes and color along with flies in the evening or early morning.

Manistique River: Those willing to put in the time have caught pike, smallmouth bass and walleye. Lots of freshwater drum and carp also in the mix. Shore anglers are still-fishing with crawlers or leeches while boat anglers are trolling spoons, crank baits or rapalas. Early evening was best near the mouth.

St. Mary's River: Upstream at Munuscong Lake, walleye and pike are in the channel and hitting on orange or chartreuse crawler harnesses with bottom bouncers.

De Tour: Some are trolling the shipping channel to the #3 Green Can and the lighthouse or the Drummond Island side to the #2 Red Can while others are heading three miles south to get limits of lake trout. Spoon colors include white with colored stripes, blue with white scallops, and green with black dots. Good catches of perch were taken near the Yacht Haven Dock on Drummond Island. Most fish were in the 6 to 8 inch range.

Cedarville and Hessel: Northern pike and yellow perch fishing was excellent in Hessel Bay. Pike are hitting on chubs in 8 to 13 feet of water. Musky Bay and Government Bay were also good for pike in 10 to 15 feet of water. Good perch fishing off the marina dock, Haven Island and the first cut of Snows Channel. Try minnows or crawlers in 8 to 13 feet of water.

St. Ignace: Fishing pressure has increased as more head out for chinook, lake trout, and steelhead. One angler brought in a 27-pound chinook. Most are fishing from the Coast Guard area across the bay to old fuel tanks and the Northeast and southwest corners of Mackinac Island.



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