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Walleye fishing improves, bird season going well

September 29, 2012
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Fall fishing has picked up for many anglers, with reports of walleye becoming more active.

John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost said a fishermen had lots of walleye action using minnows, but only a couple of keepers were caught.

Tom Bean at Crystal Bait also said walleye were starting to heat up, with most anglers changing over to minnows and crawlers as the leech supply dwindles.

"There's been lots of bass and northern action, too," he added.

Bob Kennard at Midtown Bait and Tackle in Channing recommended Marquette County for the best fishing action. His shop still has leeches available. Kennard also reported a 12.5-inch bluegill caught at Way Dam.

Lots of bass continued to be caught in Wisconsin, according to Patti Teske at Florence Sport and Bait.

"They are getting some northern, too," she said.

Michigan trout season is winding down, but Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River reported a 17-inch fish caught this week.

Bird season is in full swing, and area shops are reporting generally positive news.

"There are quite a few birds being seen," Bean mentioned.

Grier said there were limits of grouse taken in the past week, even though the cover is still rather thick.

"It's been very good," he said.

Ciochetto also said there's been a lot of birds reported. "Guys with dogs are reporting a lot of activity," he said.

Michigan archery deer season opens Monday. Results have been slow in Wisconsin so far this season.

"They're getting some," Teske said. "But it's been tough."

Bear is also picking up for area hunters. A 350-pounder was taken in Iron County this week. Grier's shop has registered 41 to date.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said areas of northern Wisconsin are reporting fall colors are near or at peak and this weekend should provide some of the best fall color viewing.

Archery hunters are reporting white-tailed deer bucks are becoming more active with the cooler nights and more scrapes are being seen and some sparring among bucks was reported this week. There are still a few lingering reports of bucks in velvet.

An excellent acorn crop continues to be reported in many areas, and while squirrel hunters are reporting very good success due to very active squirrels, bear hunters continue to report bears are nearly nonexistent at baits due to the abundant mast crop.

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

Black River: Anglers have reported nice catches of chinook, coho and pink salmon below the Rainbow Falls.

Keweenaw Bay: Boat anglers are fishing when they can get out. Many were taking to the piers or fishing inland as the last rain did bring more fish up into the rivers.

Fall's River: More fish have moved up into the river. Anglers were harvesting coho and pink salmon. They will also find the occasional chinook or brown trout.

Chocolay River: Anglers have caught a good number of coho salmon.

Marquette: Boat anglers fishing inside the breakwall for salmon did not catch many fish. Surface water temperatures are still quite warm in the upper 50's. No lake trout to report this week.

Dead River: Shore anglers caught a couple pink salmon when using spinners. The occasional chinook and coho were also seen. Try flies, spinners or small stick baits.

Carp River: Shore anglers caught a few coho on stick baits, spinners, crawlers or spawn. Water clarity was turbid.

Menominee: Walleye fishing was slow. Those trolling near Green Island caught few fish. Panfish were caught by those drifting wax worms or crawlers near the lighthouse. Those fishing north or south of the Cedar River reported fair walleye fishing. Most are using crawler harnesses during the day and switching to Reef Runners or Thundersticks after dark. The better bite was between late evening and early morning in 20 to 30 feet of water.

Menominee River: A couple salmon were caught near the Hattie Street Dam but no big numbers of fish yet. Chinook and pink salmon were taken by those floating yarn or casting spoons. Boat anglers caught walleye when trolling crawler harnesses or casting crank baits. Many were sub-legal. Smallmouth bass, pike, rock bass and bullhead were also caught.

Little Bay de Noc: Perch anglers fishing near Kipling reported several nice catches with crawlers in 10 to 23 feet of water. Fair catches were taken between the "Narrows" and Gladstone Beach in 14 to 28 feet. A few walleye were caught near Kipling but the better catches came off the mouth of the Escanaba River when drifting or trolling crawler harnesses in 10 to 25 feet of water. Smallmouth bass were caught south of the "Black Bottom" and over to Farmers Dock in 15 to 25 feet.

Escanaba River: Shore anglers saw fish near the 1st Dam.

Big Bay de Noc: Smallmouth bass anglers caught fish off the Bluff when drifting crawlers or minnows in 10 to 35 feet of water. The area has a good number of bass. The Nahma Launch near the mouth was dredged last week so access should be easier. Ogontz and the Fish Dam access site were very low and not being used.

Au Train: Shore anglers fishing off the mouth of the Rock River caught just a couple coho when using spawn in the early morning.

Munising: Boat anglers are targeting coho but the results were slow for the few boats that were able to get out. There were no reports of lake trout this week. The number of pier anglers has increased since the cooler temperatures and rain arrived. Catch rates were fair to good for coho and splake. The coho averaged two to five pounds and steelhead averaged three to five pounds. Fish were caught throughout the day but the bite usually quite at sunset. High winds made for better catch rates for those casting spinners or spoons while others did alright with spawn bags. Orange was the hot color for spinners and spoons.

Grand Marais: Boats trolling in the bay caught coho and steelhead. Pier anglers reported slow catch rates.

St. Mary's River: A warning boat anglers along the entire watershed including Detour and the area around Drummond Island. Water levels are lower now than they have been all summer. Boat anglers need to be extremely careful. Smallmouth bass have been caught in 6 to 8 feet of water on the north end of Lime Island when jigging brown or green tube baits.

Detour: Fishing was very slow at the Detour Reef. Anglers caught chinook, pink salmon and Atlantic salmon around the lighthouse.

Carp River: Is absolutely packed full of pink salmon. Chinook salmon are also in the river. Anglers are fishing near the mouth of Nunn's Creek.

St. Ignace: Fewer boats are trolling for salmon. Fish are still there but the numbers are declining as fish migrate to the rivers and creeks.



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