IRON MOUNTAIN - A drop in water temperatures has led to an increased bite for area anglers.
"Surface temperatures have dropped considerably in the past week," said Patti Teske at Florence Sport and Bait. "It might mean the water has turned over. They've been getting bass, a few walleye and some northern, but there haven't been as many guys heading out with the opening of the Wisconsin hunting seasons."
John Grier's Whispering Pines Outpost reported good northern action.
"Evidently they are really biting," Grier said, recommending northern suckers as bait. "Some guys are still trout fishing, getting two or three at time, and bass are still hitting."
Grier mentioned his shop has registered 14 bears to date, mostly of modest size.
Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River also mentioned trout anglers finding success.
"The fish seem to be getting aggressive again," he pointed out. "Walleye started to pick up a bit, but not great."
Tom Bean at Crystal Bait mentioned fishing starting to take a back seat to hunting, but said anglers heading out were catching some northern, gills and a perch here and there.
"Walleye was spotty," he added. "Leeches and crawlers still the best bet."
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said outdoor activity kicks up another notch this weekend with the opening of Wisconsin's archery deer, fall turkey, cottontail rabbit, squirrel, and exterior zone Canada goose and northern zone ruffed grouse seasons.
Some white-tailed bucks are still being seen in velvet but most are in the process of rubbing it off. Acorns are reportedly "dropping by the bucket full" in some areas, so archers may want to look for oak stands. Also, with many crops already cut, deer have been feeding mornings and evenings in harvested fields.
Despite abundant natural foods, early season bear hunters reported some very good success with a 485-pound bruin reported in Shawano County.
Fall fishing is also picking up a notch, with some very good musky fishing continuing in the Northwoods and walleye action also picking up as water temperatures start to drop.
Fall color is about a week or two from peak in Bayfield County and still several weeks off in central Wisconsin, though many areas are reporting colors are earlier than most years.
Small game season opens in Michigan today.
Michigan DNR reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:
Keweenaw Bay: Is producing chinook, coho and lake trout between Sand Point and the Keweenaw Roadside Park. Try spoons 25 to 70 feet down in 30 to 90 feet of water. Trolling speeds were between 2.2 and 2.9 mph.
Marquette: A few chinook were caught by shore anglers casting stick baits near the mouth of the Carp River. Surface water temperatures have cooled to the low 60's.
Dead River: A few anglers were out but no salmon were reported.
Menominee: Walleye anglers are trolling in 30 feet of water near Green Island and in front of Red Arrow Park. Catch rates were fair for those using crawler harnesses or thundersticks. Walleye fishing was good in 25 to 30 feet of water north and south of the Cedar River. Night anglers did best. Strong winds have pushed weeds in closer to shore so anglers will need to check their bait often.
Menominee River: Boat anglers caught walleye but many were small. Northern pike, smallmouth, freshwater drum and rock bass were caught by those trolling crawler harnesses or crank baits. Shore anglers near the Hattie Street Dam caught crappie, perch and rock bass on wax worms, crawlers or minnows.
Little Bay de Noc: A good number of walleye were marked from the Narrows south to the Black Bottom however catch rates were only fair for those jigging along the weed lines in 10 to 14 feet of water. Perch were caught in 10 to 26 feet of water between the Second and Third Reefs as well as 20 to 30 feet around the Escanaba coal dock. Fair to good smallmouth bass action around the mouth of the Ford River when casting plastics or crank baits in 10 to 17 feet of water. Shore anglers in the same area reported seeing salmon but no catches were reported.
Big Bay de Noc: Dredging is taking place at the Nahma Boat Launch. No walleye to report this week. Fair perch fishing in Garden Bay as most anglers were drifting and looking for schools of fish. Try crawlers in 8 to 12 feet of water. Smallmouth bass action was fair to excellent off Garden Bluff when drifting crawlers or minnows in 10 to 25 feet of water. Some day's the fish are up on the shelf and other day's they were caught in deeper water.
Au Train: Offshore water temperatures have cooled to the mid to low 60's and the near shore surface water temperatures were 60 degrees.
Munising: A few coho were caught by anglers fishing around Grand Island and near Miners Castle. Lake trout anglers are fishing in 100 to 160 feet of water as the fish are starting to stage. Pier fishing is slowly improving for coho and splake. Most are still-fishing spawn bags or casting spoons and spinners.
Grand Marais: Lake trout anglers had success fishing five to eight miles north of the bay in 100 to 180 feet of water. A few coho were caught right along with lake trout in 100 feet of water. No pier or shore fishing reports.
St. Mary's River: Walleye fishing slowed in Raber Bay. Smallmouth bass action was very good on both sides of Round Island. Anglers are jigging tube baits in 6 to 8 feet of water around the rock piles. Some are looking for yellow perch around Lime Island but no fish were reported. Anglers need to use extreme caution because water levels remain low along the entire St. Mary's watershed.
Detour: Chinook salmon are beginning to move from the lighthouse to the harbor. Fish have been caught by those trolling J-plugs or silver hammered spoons. A couple pink salmon were caught around the lighthouse and to the north when trolling chrome and red spoons 35 feet down in 80 feet of water. A few walleye were caught on the north end of the village across from Pipe Island when trolling bottom bouncers and crawler harnesses. Purple and orange blades worked best.
Drummond Island: A few perch were caught along the weed beds in 14 to 18 feet of water around Harbor Island and Ashman Island. Smallmouth bass were caught off Bruce's Point and the north end of Scott's Bay when jigging tube jigs and crawlers. Anglers need to be careful when launching or boating in this area.
Cedarville and Hessel: Pink salmon action has been excellent out of Hessel while perch fishing was good out of Cedarville.
St. Ignace: Continues to provide great chinook and pink salmon fishing. Boats are trolling 60 to 90 feet down with orange lures. Hot spots were the Coast Guard Station, north past the old fuel tanks and the west side of Mackinac Island. Salmon are beginning to stage at the mouth of the Carp River and Nunn's Creek.