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Free fishing today, Sunday in Michigan

Outdoors report

June 9, 2012
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Free fishing weekend is under way in Michigan.

Residents and non-residents alike may fish without a license today and Sunday. All other fishing regulations still apply.

Anglers taking advantage of the free fishing will find their best luck by targeting bluegills, as reports indicate the fish are in full spawn mode.

"Bluegills are on their beds and guys are doing really well the last few days," said Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River.

Along with bluegills, bass have been very active, said Tom Bean at Crystal Bait in Crystal Falls.

Bob Kennard at Channing's Midtown Bait and Tackle said bluegill anglers are doing well on area lakes.

"I'm getting good reports from Peavy Falls and Michigamme, too," he said.

John Grier's Whispering Pines Outpost reported good fishing as well. Spinner baits have been a hot seller for bass anglers.

Patti Teske at Florence Sport and Bait, along with good bluegill reports, mentioned hearing more about perch success this spring.

"Leeches and worms have been working for perch," she said. "Northern are bitting good, too, right now."

Brook trout fishing was strong in Iron County, according Ciochetto. Teske added that some trout were being caught on spinners this week.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said this week that white-tailed deer fawns are continuing to be seen around Wisconsin in good numbers and many calls came in this week of abandoned fawns. Fawns are rarely abandoned. They are intentionally left alone by their mothers. Fawns have no scent and leaving them hidden alone helps protect them from predators. The doe is nearby but out of sight and returns once or twice a day to care for the fawn. If you see a fawn leave it alone and its mother will take care of it. You do not need to report it as abandoned.

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

Black River Harbor: The morning bite was good for those fishing the top one third of waters 120 feet deep. Green or blue flies with dodgers worked best.

Ontonagon: Was producing some nice catches of lake trout in 40 to 60 feet of water. Target the middle of the water column with green spoons.

Ontonagon River: Fishing was slow and most of the walleye were sub-legal. Keweenaw Bay: Is producing a few lake trout and salmon for those trolling from Sand Point north to the Red Rocks at the road side park. Try a variety of spoons 40 to 75 feet down in 50 to 80 feet of water. Trolling speed was between 2.1 and 2.8 mph. Those jigging caught lake trout in 240 to 280 feet of water off Pequaming and the south end of Big Reef. Some were starting to catch yellow perch off the Baraga Marina when using worms. Near the South Portage Entry, a few salmon were caught on crawler harnesses near the South Lighthouse.

Marquette: Lake trout averaging three to four pounds were caught just outside the Lower Harbor breakwall towards Shot Point and the "Sand Hole" when fishing 20 feet off the bottom in 180 to 200 feet of water with silver or copper spoons.

Menominee: Chinook and brown trout were caught in 40 to 50 feet of water near Chambers Island when using black and white spoons. No walleye were caught near the mouth of river or south in Wisconsin waters. A few boats were trolling crawler harnesses off the Cedar River in eight to 12 feet of water for walleye.

Menominee River: Water levels near the dam were still low. Shore anglers near the Mystery Ship caught smallmouth bass, pike, freshwater drum, rock bass and the occasional walleye when bouncing crawlers on the bottom.

Cedar River: Bass anglers are fishing between the mouth and the first rapids. Catch rates were slow with smaller fish hitting on green tube baits.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye catches were fair to good and some pike were caught along the head of the bay and south along the reefs when trolling or drifting crawlers in 10 to 28 feet of water. The night bite was good for those trolling crank baits in eight to 14 feet of water. Fair catches were reported along the beach at Gladstone in 18 to 30 feet of water and off the mouth of the Escanaba River when trolling or drifting crawlers in 10 to 20 feet of water along the weed line. Fish were caught along the "Shelf" in eight to 16 feet of water but some were deeper in 30 feet of water. Good smallmouth action off Garth Point, Squaw Point and the mouth of the Ford River when casting crank baits or plastics along the weed lines or rocks. Perch fishing was fair out from the Vagabond Resort in 14 feet of water. Most were still-fishing with crawlers. Perch were also caught near Gladstone Beach when using crawlers in 18 to 25 feet of water.

Escanaba River: Has good bass fishing for shore anglers.

Big Bay De Noc: Had fair to good smallmouth bass fishing after the storms. Fish were caught all around the head of the bay with Kate's Bay, Porcupine Point, Stony Point and Ogontz the best. Most were casting crank baits or plastics in 10 to 12 feet of water while others were jigging or drifting crawlers. Walleye action was fair to good for those drifting crawlers in 10 to 20 feet of water between Porcupine Point and Poplar Point or Kate's Bay when trolling or drifting in 20 feet of water. Fairport had good fishing with salmon caught 65 to 100 feet down in waters 90 to 120 feet deep when trolling green, purple, and blue spoons and flies.

Au Train: Anglers caught chinook and lake trout near Shelter Bay, Laughing Whitefish Point, Wood Island and outside Au Train Island. They were using a combination of flies and spoons tipped with cut bait. Chinook salmon were caught in 40 to 50 feet of water near Scott Falls where schools of sticklebacks were found.

Munising: If the winds die down, boat anglers should still find trout, salmon and whitefish. Those in small boats fishing near shore did catch splake and whitefish but most of the splake were sub-legal. Pier anglers caught a couple menominee on worms.



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