IRON MOUNTAIN - Walleye and northern season closed this week in Michigan
With the record high temperatures, so, too, has the entire ice fishing season it would appear.
According to John Grier's Whispering Pines Outpost, there were a few boat anglers beginning to access river areas.
Patti Teske at Florence Sport and Bait also said boat anglers were taking to the Menominee River to target walleye, which is currently under a one-a-day limit.
Bob Kennard at Midtown Bait and Tackle in Channing said ice fishing was all but over in the northern part of the county, with ice conditions having deteriorated rapidly.
Leftover turkey tags, for those who didn't apply in advance, go on sale in Michigan beginning Monday. Wisconsin leftovers in the Florence area will be available Friday at 10 a.m.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said this week that with the extremely warm temperatures this week, ice is rapidly disappearing from lakes.
In northern Wisconsin lakes still have ice, but what ice remains is honeycombed and dangerous and there are areas of open water in many locations. Wardens are urging all people to stay off any remaining ice.
Michigan DNR reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:
Keweenaw Bay: Nothing to report off Sand Point. Rainbow trout were caught in the Falls River between the hot water discharge and the mouth. With the rain and warm weather this week, look for steelhead moving up into the rivers systems.
Little Bay De Noc: Ice season will end abruptly with warm temperatures and rain this week. Access was difficult as the edges fall apart and the pressure cracks open up. There is now open water near the mouth of the Whitefish River as well as the entire bay south of Escanaba. A few fish were caught between Garth Point and the Center Reef. A large pressure crack kept anglers from crossing over from the bank on the west side. Anglers were jigging or using tip-ups with sucker minnows in 12 to 23 feet of water. Several walleye in the 30 inch range were caught. A few bigger perch were reported but catch rates were slow. Off Kipling, the perch were small. If the ice holds, perch fishing should improve. A few whitefish were caught near Gladstone when jigging minnows in 26 to 33 feet of water and good numbers of pike were caught at the head of the Bay in 12 to 16 feet of water.
Munising: Had slow fishing effort due to rapidly deteriorating ice conditions. The fishable ice was limited to the eastern shoreline from the city pier northeast towards the hospital however this ice will not last long. Run-off near the mouth of the Anna River is quickly eroding the ice. Small boats may be able to launch at Sand Point in the next week as there is only a small amount of pack ice in the area. Anglers are focused almost exclusively on fishing coho. Catch rates were slow as only a few fish have come through. Anglers are using Swedish pimples tipped or not with cut bait or jigging rapalas. The fish are averaging 15 inches and one pound. A few splake are still in the mix but many were sub-legal. A few herring were caught.
Big Manistique Lake: Walleye action was spotty for those using tip-ups with minnows.
Munuscong: Fishing was not very productive. A few walleye and perch were caught east of Munuscong off Rocky Point in 10 to 15 feet of water however access was tricky. Ice shanties were pulled due to the warm weather and standing water.
Cedarville and Hessel: Still had ice however fishing opportunities will go quick and trying to access the water along the south shoreline will be a challenge.