IRON MOUNTAIN - Steady fishing prevailed for area ice anglers during the past week.
"It was a really good week," reported John Grier's Whispering Pines Outpost. "They were catching lots of northerns, perch, crappie and bluegills."
Shiners, wax worms and suckers were top bait choices at the shop.
Patti Teske at Florence Sport and Bait said fishermen were landing crappie and bluegills.
"They were still getting a few northern yet, but walleye was slow," she added.
Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River said free fishing weekend was a success in Iron County.
"They got some nice messes of bluegills and crappie," he said, suggesting tear drops jigs with wax worms.
Bob Kennard at Channing's Midtown Bait and Tackle mentioned good bluegill action at Gene's Pond.
"They were getting a lot of sandwich-size ones," he said. "We sold a lot of walleye suckers this week, guys still going after the big ones."
Dean Lindblom at Country Bait and Tackle said pike were hitting pretty good with a 38-incher caught during the week. Last weekend's fishing contest brought in 23- and 22-inch walleyes out of Lake Antoine.
Crappie were hitting, and Lindblom said anglers were going to mainly wigglers for bluegill and suckers for the bigger fish.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said ice fishing success on northern lakes has continued its season-long slow trend, with all species showing very erratic action. Walleye have provided some fair action at times during the past week, but success has been confined to short periods during the day.
With the constantly changing weather, fishing for northern pike has also been variable. Panfish action continues to be on the slow side, with anglers really having move around and search for the active fish.
Michigan DNR reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:
Keweenaw Bay: Catch rates for salmon were hit-or-miss off Sand Point. Those casting or jigging from boats had little success for coho and lake trout. Rainbow trout were caught near the bridge that's just down from the hot water discharge on the Falls River.
Little Bay De Noc: Ice conditions remain about the same with very little or no snow. Vehicles are not crossing the pressure cracks. Most are fishing from the Terrace Bay Inn north to Garth Point. A few were out fishing to the south of this area however the ice is not safe. Catch rates for walleye and perch were down a bit even though anglers were marking good numbers of fish. Walleye were caught between the Narrows and the Black Bottom when using tip-ups with sucker minnows in 25 to 38 feet of water. Fish were caught on tip-ups or when jigging rapalas tipped with a minnow in 22 to 30 feet of water near the Second and Center Reefs or near Kipling. Most of the perch were small. Water clarity was very good so anglers could see bigger fish, but they would not bite. Try jigging minnows or wigglers in 5 to 23 feet of water. The better catches were in deeper water. Gladstone Beach is producing a few perch. Whitefish were caught out from the Terrace Bay Inn in 33 to 45 feet of water. Some are fishing by the Escanaba Lighthouse but the ice was questionable.
Munising: Ice conditions are not consistent so fishing has been limited. Most anglers were fishing the east shoreline between the City Pier and the hospital. Catch rates for whitefish and splake were slow and most of the fish were small. Try a single egg or wax worm on the bottom in 30 to 70 feet of water. A couple coho were also caught.
Big Manistique Lake: Is still producing some walleye along the east side. Try tip-ups with minnows in 7 to 10 feet of water. South Manistique Lake is producing a lot of northern pike as well as some walleye and yellow perch. Minnows worked best.