IRON MOUNTAIN - Generally good fishing was reported in most areas this week.
"There's lots of guys going out," John Grier's Whispering Pines Outpost reported. "They're still catching northern and a lots of panfish. Suckers, shiners and wigglers were selling this week."
A 10-inch perch won the $2,500 prize at last Saturday's Jig-it tournament on Lake Antoine. On Sunday, an angler hauled in a 37-inch northern on a jigging pole using a crappie minnow.
"There's a lot of perch being caught on Lake Antoine," said Dean Lindblom at Country Bait and Tackle. "Crappie, bluegill are also being caught. Fishing has been pretty good all over."
Success was reported near the Phelan's Landing area of the Michigamme Reservoir, according to Bob Kennard at Channing's Midtown Bait and Tackle.
"Sawyer Lake, Gene's Pond and Lake Ellen have also been hot," added Kennard. "Things are picking up."
Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River also mentioned action picking up.
"Some nice panfish and pretty good northern being caught," he said. "Walleye has been slow."
Spring turkey applications are still available through Feb. 1.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said several waves of snowfall covered most of the state with new snow. Areas of the north received 8 to 10 inches. Snowmobile trails are listed as excellent to fair in about a dozen of the most northern tier of counties.
Colder weather in the last week has continued to build up ice on lakes. Anglers on northern Wisconsin lakes are reporting a foot or more of ice. Panfish have been providing the best action with a few fair catches perch, bluegill and crappie being reported, along with some northern pike.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone the annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 18, and Sunday, Feb. 19. On that weekend, everyone - residents and non-residents alike - can fish without a license, though all other fishing regulations still apply.
Michigan DNR reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:
Lake Gogebic: Fishing has picked up for walleye and yellow perch.
Keweenaw Bay: Has no ice as of this report.
Teal Lake: Near Neguanee, is producing some perch.
Manistique Lakes: Had slow action with only a few walleye and northern pike caught. Tip-ups with minnows caught the most fish. There was some snow cover on the ice. Be sure to check the ice ahead of you and use caution.
Munuscong: Anglers are fishing perch in 3 feet of water towards Grassy Island. Catch rates were slow but a few nice fish were caught when jigging or using tip-ups with minnows. Those targeting walleye were in the bay or out in waters 25 feet deep.
Cedarville and Hessel: The action in Musky Bay has slowed however some perch were still caught on wigglers in 10 to 12 feet of water. Little Joe Island is also producing some perch. Ice shanties were out in Hessel Bay, which provides good northern pike spearing opportunities this time of year.