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Outdoors report

Ice season winds down

March 10, 2012
The Daily News

Conditions turning slushy; anglers reminded of shanty deadlines

IRON MOUNTAIN - Not much fishing activity was reported by area bait shops during the past week.

Ice conditions varied with some anglers reporting a lot of slush.

"Some guys are starting to take their shacks off now," said Bob Kennard at Channing's Midtown Bait and Tackle.

Some steady bluegill action was reported on Gene's Pond, according to John Grier's Whispering Pines Outpost, along with some people going out spearing.

Slow action was mentioned in Iron County by Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River and Tom Bean at Crystal Bait.

Patti Teske at Florence Sport and Bait also had reports of some bluegill success, but little else was going on with Wisconsin's game fish seasons now closed.

Michigan anglers have until Thursday to target walleye and northern.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that shanties placed on Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters must be removed by midnight on March 15.

In the Upper Peninsula, shanties must be removed by midnight on March 31.

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

Keweenaw Bay: A couple coho were caught off Sand Point. A stretch of ice flowing past Sand Point towards the head of the Bay made it impossible to fish this popular site. Rainbow and brown trout were caught near the mouth of the Falls River.

Little Bay De Noc: Heavy snowfall limited angler access to most of the Bay. Poor ice conditions along the shore access areas and pressure cracks are creating some problems so those heading out need to use extreme caution at all times. Many have pulled their shanties or moved them to shore. Walleye were caught between Gladstone and the Escanaba River when jigging rapalas in 25 to 33 feet of water or along the Center Reef when jigging or using tip-ups in 18 to 30 feet of water. Perch fishing remained about the same although few anglers were out. Most were jigging wigglers or minnows in 5 to 23 feet of water near Kipling. Much warmer temperatures could present more problems with the ice so those that still have ice shanties out should take notice and be ready to move them if necessary.

Munising: Heavy snowfall and the resulting slush has made travel on the ice difficult. Anglers need to use caution as some of the holes are now snow covered and extremely hard to see. The eastern shoreline between the pier and the hospital seems to be where anglers are heading. The ice at Sand Point has moved in and out a couple times so be sure to use caution. Catch rates for whitefish and splake were poor and most of the fish were very small. Those lucky enough to catch something big enough to keep were using Swedish Pimples, soft-body baits or tip-ups with minnows. Few coho were reported but those jigging for them did catch a couple herring. No smelt to report.

Munuscong: Anglers were not having any luck with perch or walleye. Many have removed their ice shanties since the 18 inches of snow fell.

Cedarville and Hessel: Musky Bay and Hessel Bay have a lot of nice perch to offer. It takes time and a lot of moving around. Try 10 to 14 feet of water with wigglers or wax worms. This area has approximately 14 inches of snow. Slush and deteriorating ice conditions will be a concern with the warmer temperatures.



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