IRON MOUNTAIN - The outdoors scene continues to be dominated by bird hunting.
Don Ciochetto of The Sport Shop in Iron River reports that bird hunters have been very successful. "Grouse hunting has been really terrific this year, probably the best I've seen in years," he said.
Pattie Teske of Florence Sport and Bait also said she's been seeing more birds this year than in the past.
Fall fishing has slowed considerably due to the weather.
"Lots of rain limits the amount of people going out," said John Grier of Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township. "It's been real quiet."
Ciochetto also reported a drop in the number of people fishing, with just a few walleye taken.
Archery deer hunting has been slow, according to Ciochetto, with "nothing spectacular" to report.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the rain finally triggered some fall salmon runs in the state, including Bayfield County tributaries in the northern Lake Superior region and the Lake Michigan region to the south in Milwaukee County.
Overall angling across Wisconsin has been a mixed bag. Fishing has been good on many northern waters, but spotting elsewhere.
Archery, turkey, waterfowl and small game seasons are all in progress, along with the first wolf harvest in modern history. As of Thursday, 24 wolves had been harvested - 12 by gun and 12 by trap. Four wolves have been taken so far in Bayfield and Price counties and three in Vilas County.
Michigan DNR reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:
Keweenaw Bay: Those trolling have caught a mix of coho, chinook, steelhead and lake trout. The bite was slow but those putting in the time have caught a few fish 25 to 60 feet down in 30 to 70 feet of water up from the Falls River, Sand Point and north to Carla's. Anglers fishing from the pier in L'Anse have done very well at times. Near the South Portage Entry, lake trout were caught on the southwest side of Big Reef. In Traverse Bay, lake trout were taken in 25 to 50 feet of water near Buffalo Reef.
Fall's River: Is producing coho and steelhead for those casting spoons and spinners or drifting crawlers and spawn bags.
Marquette: Surface water temperatures were at 52 degrees. Boat anglers were averaging two to four lake trout with the occasional coho or steelhead mixed in. They are fishing primarily east of the White Rocks and from the Carp River to the Chocolay River in 60 to 150 feet of water. The lake trout had not yet moved in for spawning. Shore anglers caught a few coho. A couple steelhead were taken on spoons.
Dead River: Angler activity was low. A few chinook salmon could be seen. Try drifting flies. Water levels are currently low.
Menominee: Pier anglers at the marina and the lighthouse are still catching a few salmon but the fish are turning dark. Brown trout and steelhead have also been caught. Anglers are casting spoons and twister tails or jigging and still-fishing with spawn bags. Walleye fishing seems to be done. Those targeting them near the Cedar River caught smallmouth bass instead.
Menominee River: Walleye fishing was very slow for the few boats going out. Night anglers fishing off the Cat Walk near the Hattie Street Dam caught a few walleye and smallmouth bass but not without putting in their time. Most were drifting rapalas in the current. During the day, those fishing off the rocks near the first dam at Hattie Street caught a few brown trout, steelhead, chinook and pink salmon. Some are drifting yarn or spawn while others are casting spoons, rapalas or twister tails.
Little Bay de Noc: Walleye reports were mixed with most anglers fishing the northern bay and going as far south as the Black Bottom. The best reports came from those trolling stick baits in the evening between the Second and Third Reefs in 14 to 23 feet of water. Day anglers did best from the Black Bottom to the lighthouse when trolling or drifting crawler harnesses in 20 to 35 feet. Perch fishing was fair north of Butler Island in 14 to 25 feet. Good perch fishing in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor when still-fishing crawlers around the boat slips. Those fishing east and south of Butler Island caught northern pike on spinners or crank baits in 10 to 15 feet of water. Water clarity has been very good but water temperatures are still warm.
Escanaba River: Shore anglers caught salmon up near the First Dam. Even though the run seems to be winding down, anglers reported the best catches of the season so far when using spoons, crank baits and J-plugs up near the active turbans.
Big Bay de Noc: Reports have been few but some were still targeting smallmouth bass in Snail Shell Harbor. They are fishing 25 to 30 feet down off the drop or in shallow waters 8 to 10 feet deep. Most are using crawlers or minnows. The perch action in Garden Bay should start to pick up soon.