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Outdoors report

Trout season arrives for Michigan anglers

April 28, 2012
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Today marks the opening day of trout season on Michigan's Type 1 and Type 2 streams.

Anglers chasing trout on opening day should find their favorite streams in pretty good shape, but water temperatures may be low and a slower presentation might be necessary.

Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River said he expects a busy weekend of fishing and an increase in hunters out for turkey.

"The weather should be good," he said. "It should be pretty active all around."

John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost said trout anglers will most likely encounter cold water and low levels, depending on the stream.

He added that very little inland lake fishing was occurring, due to the windy and cold conditions. Some anglers were targeting crappie, but there were no reports of success.

Patti Teske at Florence Sport and Bait did mention a few fishermen having luck with crappie.

"They were out in the early morning," she said. "And a few guys got some bluegill this week."

Wisconsin's trout opener is a week from today.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, in its weekly report, said as a result of rain, snow, and wind, on almost a daily basis, fishing pressure has been light in northeast Wisconsin. Water temperatures are in the mid to upper 40s.

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

Ontonagon: Those trolling with stick baits in 10 to 14 feet of water have caught a mix of chinook, coho, brown trout and lake trout. The wind has picked up in the afternoon every day this past week making for short fishing days.

Black River Harbor: Boats trolling spoons and stick baits along the shoreline in 10 to 30 feet of water caught mostly coho with a few brown trout mixed in.

Keweenaw Bay: High winds have hampered fishing efforts. Those able to get out said catch rates for salmon were hit-or-miss. A mix of chinook, coho and lake trout were caught in 30 to 50 feet of water near the Jacobsville Lighthouse which is north of the Portage River. Those jigging for lake trout had fair to good success in 150 to 200 feet of water out from the Mud Banks, Farmers Reef and Newtons Reef. Those trolling the same areas in 60 to 120 feet of water caught lake trout.

Falls River: Had good steelhead fishing when the water levels were up. A few smelt have also been taken but for the most part it has been slow.

Marquette: Water temperatures remain in the upper 30's and waters near the mouth of the Carp River and the Chocolay River were turbid but did produce some brown trout, lake trout and coho in less than 30 feet of water. Lake trout were caught in 60 to 100 feet between the Lower Harbor and Shot Point. Chinook were found in 40 to 60 feet however some of the fish were suspended. Good lake trout action around Stannard Rock with fish averaging 4 pounds but up to 15 pounds.

Menominee: Boat anglers were trolling for walleye about a mile out from the marina. They were using rapalas or crawler harnesses. Even with the high winds, most boats caught between one and three fish in four hours of fishing. Those launching at the Cedar River were targeting trout when trolling spoons or stick baits to the north or south. A few brown trout and walleye were caught off Stony Point.

Menominee River: Walleye were caught by shore anglers and those wading from Stephenson Island upstream to the Hattie Street Dam in the early morning or late evening. Water levels were higher which made casting rapalas easier with less snags. Those drifting yarn on the Michigan side near the Hattie Street Dam caught a few trout but those anglers put in a lot of time for a couple fish.

Au Train: Was producing a mix of chinook, coho, steelhead and lake trout for those trolling spoons or stick baits in less than 30 feet of water just off the Au Train River and Shelter Bay. Strong winds caused turbid water near the mouth of the river. Some bigger lake trout were caught in waters 80 feet deep.

Munising: Cold and windy conditions have hampered fishing so most boats were fishing in Trout Bay and Murray Bay. Catch rates for coho were slow but a few splake were caught by those trolling or casting stick baits. Coho were averaging 15 inches. Pier and shore fishing had poor results.

Grand Marais: Had fair to good catch rates for pier anglers that caught whitefish, coho and menominee. A few limit catches of smaller whitefish were reported. Success for whitefish depends heavily on wind conditions as some anglers were leaving empty-handed on the wrong days. Boat anglers were limited by high winds this week but when conditions allow, coho were caught in the bay and heading east along the sand dunes while trolling stick baits. Several limit catches were reported. A couple steelhead was also caught. Shore anglers had no luck.

Drummond Island: Anglers are reminded that is unlawful to take or attempt to take any species during the closed season. Lake trout season does not open until May 1st. On that date, anglers might do well along the south end of Drummond Island in shallow waters 8 to 10 feet deep.



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