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Walleye opener good; trout still biting

May 19, 2012
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - While many anglers waited until this weekend to go walleye fishing, a decent opener was reported by area bait shops.

"The opener was pretty good," said Tom Bean at Crystal Bait in Crystal Falls. "Guys were catching a good number of legal fish."

Bean said anglers were mostly using sucker minnows, but some were having success with leeches and crawlers. Most fish were found in deeper water.

Bob Kennard at Channing's Midtown Bait and Tackle said suckers and leeches were the most popular choices this week among walleye anglers, saying some success was reported up the Michigamme River.

John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township and Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River both said trout season continues to go well.

"There have been some nice hatches for the fly fishermen now," Ciochetto mentioned.

Grier added that a few walleye were caught, and some fishermen were having luck with crappies when fishing deeper water. Northern action was picking up too, with some 30-inch plus fish taken.

Patti Teske at Florence Sport and Bait said walleye fishermen found success on the Paint River earlier in the week, using minnows.

"A lot of bass and northern were being caught too," she added.

Turkey permits are still available for the season which runs through the end of the month. Michigan hunters can also still apply for bear and elk tags.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:

Ontonagon: Mostly lake trout were caught in waters 25 to 40 feet deep. The fish were holding in the middle of the water column and hitting on green spoons. Average was four to six pounds and the best time to fish was in the morning.

Keweenaw Bay: Fishing is spotty but anglers are picking up a mix of chinook, coho and lake trout when trolling between the Baraga Marina and Carla's Restaurant or the L'Anse Marina and the Township Park. Try spoons in a variety of colors 40 to 60 feet down in 50 to 70 feet of water. For the South Portage Entry, anglers had some nice catches of lake trout in 110 to 170 feet of water off Farmers Reef and Newtons Reef. Those trolling straight out from the Traverse Bay Marina caught a few lake trout in 150 to 170 feet of water while those jigging out from Big Louie's Point found a few fish in 240 to 260 feet of water.

Marquette: Lake trout fishing was slow but fish were caught in less than 100 feet of water up near Shot Point. The "Sand Hole" was producing a few lake trout for those putting in their time. Salmon fishing was also slow. Water temperatures have warmed to the low 40's near the Chocolay River and the Carp River.

Lake Antoine: In Dickinson County is producing bluegill and crappie.

Menominee: Had a few boat anglers heading out from the Cedar River. Most were trolling spoons or stick baits north and south along the shoreline. Boats were also trolling around Stony Point but no fish were caught. Shore anglers in the Cedar River caught smallmouth bass, rock bass or suckers when casting plugs or stick baits.

Menominee River: Shore anglers and those wading between Stephenson Island and the Hattie Street Dam caught walleye in the early morning or late evening when casting different colored rapalas. Those targeting trout were drifting yarn on the Michigan side near the dam.

Au Train: Water temperatures were in the low 40's around the bay however out near the shipping lanes the temperature was still in the upper 30's.

Munising: Catch rates were slow for chinook, coho and splake in the bay. Those targeting lake trout near Grand Portal Point caught fish ranging two to six pounds in 100 to 200 feet of water. Pier and shore fishing were very slow.

Grand Marais: Pier anglers reported fair to good catch rates for whitefish and the occasional menominee. Some limit catches were reported. Trout and salmon are still hanging around the bay. Those fishing four to five miles north of the bay caught lake trout in 100 feet of water.

DeTour: Those trolling between the DeTour Lighthouse and the red buoy on the south end of Drummond Island have caught chinook, lake trout and Atlantic salmon when trolling orange spoons 35 feet down in waters 80 feet deep.



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