IRON MOUNTAIN - With strong winds and hunters getting ready for the Nov. 15 firearm deer season opener, the outdoors scene is relatively quiet.
"The bow hunters are out but there haven't been any really big deer taken," said Don Ciochetto of The Sport Shop in Iron River. "Everyone's been getting ready for the firearm deer season, that's all everyone's going to be talking about for the next couple of weeks."
Ciochetto did say that fall walleye fishing has been picking up, and bird hunting has still been good.
Tom Bean at Crystal Bait in Crystal Falls also mentioned better walleye fishing. "A lot of guys have been going out for walleye and having the best luck with minnows," he said.
John Grier of Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township said many hunters stayed home this past week. "Bow hunting has been slow because of the wind," he said. "Who's going to sit in a tree stand with wind like that?"
Grier reported that 57 bear were registered at Whispering Pines this season.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reports that, depending on how much time you want to spend in a damp or cold boat, good fishing can still be had. Far to the west, in Sawyer County, musky fishing was been excellent for anglers using large suckers or very large rubber baits.
In Wisconsin, the archery, turkey, waterfowl, small game and trapping seasons are in progress, along with the first wolf harvest in modern history. As of Thursday, 44 wolves had been harvested. To date Price County hunters have taken six and Bayfield County the next most with five.
The Michigan DNR reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:
Lake Gogebic: Was producing some limit catches of walleye.
Keweenaw Bay: When they can get out, boat anglers managed to catch a couple lake trout, chinook and coho.
Fall's River: Is producing coho and steelhead for those casting spoons and spinners or drifting crawlers and spawn bags. Try orange, pink or chartreuse.
Huron River: In Baraga County is producing coho.
Menominee River: The few out fishing were targeting trout and salmon near the Hattie Street Dam. They are drifting yarn and spawn or casting small spoons, spinners or twister tails.
Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers did well all night long when trolling stick baits in 8 to 20 feet of water off the reefs. Fair catches were reported off the lighthouse in Escanaba in 25 to 35 feet and off the north end of Butler Island when still-fishing crawlers or minnows in 10 to 20 feet. Day anglers caught fish near the Second and Third Reefs as well as the Black Bottom.
Escanaba River: A few salmon were seen but none were caught.
Big Bay de Noc: A few walleye were caught on crawler harnesses in 20 to 30 feet of water near Ansell's Point. Perch anglers in Garden Bay reported good catches of small fish over by the "Fish House", out to the middle of the bay and over to Ansell's Point. Try 8 to 12 feet of water with crawlers. Good smallmouth action between Garden Bluff and Snail Shell Harbor for those drifting crawlers or minnows 35 to 50 feet down in the deeper water.