Anglers landing more walleye
IRON MOUNTAIN — Anglers taking advantage of cooler summer days are catching walleye and smallmouth bass on area lakes and rivers.
At Whispering Pines Outpost on M-95, John Grier said a fisherman landed a 28 3/4-inch walleye and followed it up with a 27-inch catch.
“He didn’t say where,” Grier added, noting he’s also had good reports on crappies and bluegill.
Smallmouth bass have been hitting top-water lures and live baits, said Fay Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis. For walleye, anglers have been fishing deeper water using leeches and nightcrawlers. Whisler also reported good musky action, with catches in the range of 35 to 43 inches.
For those willing to travel, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources recommends the Tahquamenon River in Luce County as a top spot for musky. Fish from below Tahquamenon Falls all the way to Lake Superior.
In Wisconsin, Wednesday marks the start of the citizen-based survey Operation Deer Watch. You can get involved and assist in deer management by going to the DNR website and searching “operation deer watch.”
The Michigan DNR reported the following Upper Peninsula fishing activity:
Lac Vieux Desert: Legal walleye were taken on natural baits in deeper water. Perch anglers jigging in 10 to 15 feet caught sub-legal walleye. Pike and largemouth bass were found in three to four feet along the weed beds with spinners, crank baits and top-water lures. A couple muskie were caught here and there. Panfish anglers continued to catch limits of bluegills, crappie and perch but were doing a lot of sorting to get the keepers. Natural and artificial baits did best in six to 12 feet over the weed beds.
Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers reported spotty catches with most targeting the Escanaba River area or south near Breezy Point. Anglers are still reporting a lot of undersize fish in the Escanaba River but better reports in the “Black Bottom” when trolling or drifting a crawler harness in 14 to 26 feet and near Breezy Point in 16 feet. Fair to good perch catches off the mouth of the Escanaba River with crawlers in and around 18 feet, and just south of the “Narrows” in 28 to 32 feet. Smallmouth bass anglers reported fair to good catches from Hunters Point to Squaw Point using plastics or crank baits in 10 to 14 feet, Gladstone area near US-2 and south to the Escanaba River in eight to 16 feet. Good catches near the Ford River but many were small. Those targeting pike did well off the mouth of the Day’s River trolling spoons, spinners or crank baits in and around 20 feet. Salmon anglers reported a few catches 50 feet down in 100 feet near the Minneapolis Shoals.
Big Bay De Noc: Had all smallmouth anglers. The Nahma area off the Golf course was good with plastics in eight to 10 feet along the weeds. Ogontz was on fire with good numbers of large fish along the weed lines as far south as Martins Bay. Several anglers caught and released as many as 40 large fish. Most of the bass were still in shallower water. At Fairport, salmon anglers were getting fish but not many limit catches when using spoons 50 to 60 feet down in 105 feet off Big Summers Island. Some found fish 60 to 70 feet down in 140 feet. A good number of fish were 20 pounds and more.
Marquette: Fishing pressure was down after the cold windy weather. Before that, good numbers of lake trout were caught when trolling near Granite Island. Orange was a good color. The bite was good out near Stannard Rock however they were not getting the large fish that the reef is known for.
Au Train: The better fishing was along the east bank near Au Train Island in 160 feet. The fish were suspended throughout the water column so troll multiple lines at different depths.
Munising: Had few anglers because of the weather. Those heading out did catch a couple lake trout. Pier fishing was slow.
Grand Marais: Lake trout anglers did well taking limit catches off the breaks near Five Mile Reef. Pier fishing was slow however when the northwest winds were favorable, anglers did manage to take a few limit catches of whitefish.