Bluegills, crappie, pike highlight fishing action

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Bluegills and crappie were biting at area lakes and trout fishing is holding steady as stream levels drop following heavy rains in mid-June.

“All the way around, it’s been pretty good,” said Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis. “Pike fishing has been really good,” he said, with catches in the range of 26 to 28 inches.

Walleye were also biting though “some of them have been in the small range,” Whisler said. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass have been hitting a variety of lures and live bait, he added.

At Whispering Pines Outpost in Brietung Township, John Grier reported good success at Lake Antoine for bluegills, crappie and northern. Peavy Falls and Carney Lake are also popular destinations, he said.

“If the weather stays nice, it should be good,” he said of the weekend’s fishing prospects.

Water temperatures on the Menominee River ranged from 70 to 73 degrees over this past week, said Ben Olsen, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fisheries technician at Peshtigo. “Some anglers were having success catching crappie, catfish, northern pike, rock bass, walleye and smallmouth bass,” he said.

The Michigan DNR reported the following Upper Peninsula activity:

Lac Vieux Desert: Anglers were catching bluegills and pumpkinseed around the weed beds with natural or artificial baits but it appears the fish are starting to move out to deeper water. Perch and crappie were found in eight to 14 feet. Panfish anglers were sorting through a lot small ones to get some keepers. A few walleye were caught on crank baits or by those jigging for perch. Musky anglers caught and landed a few over the weed beds. Pike are still on the hunt and those chasing bass or musky caught a fair number of them on spoons, spinners and crank baits. Largemouth bass were caught in Indian Bay and Rice Bay when using spinners or top-water lures.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye catches slowed with mostly undersize fish in the northern parts of the Bay. Fair to good catches were reported in the “Black Bottom” with a crawler harness in 14 to 30 feet. Fair walleye catches from Breezy Point and just south of the Ford River in 12 to 27 feet. Smallmouth bass were still on the beds in some areas. Best catches were north of the Escanaba River off the west bank when casting plastics, spinners or crank baits along the weed lines. Lots of perch were reported around Butler Island but most were small. The Escanaba Yacht Harbor reported the same, lots of small perch but a great opportunity for kids. The Escanaba River had mixed results with catches of smallmouth bass, undersize walleye, freshwater drum and some good size pike.

Big Bay De Noc: Still had a couple anglers chasing walleye out by the “Boot”. A few catches were reported but most of the fish have moved out further. Lots of smallmouth bass anglers reporting fair to good catches. Some fish were still on the beds. Try Puffy Bay in four to 10 feet, close to shore along the weed line off Ogontz, Kate’s Bay in 10 to 12 feet and Garden Bay off Ansell’s Point in and around eight feet when casting plastics. Off Fairport, boats were salmon fishing 60 to 90 feet down in 100 to 130 feet. Not a lot of fish were caught but some were 20 pounds or more.

Munising: Offshore surface water temperatures warmed to the upper 50’s, low 60’s. Salmon fishing was not good as the fish have dispersed into other areas because of the warm water. Lake trout fishing was good around Grand Portal, north of Grand Island, Big Reef and around Wood Island. Anglers were jigging or trolling the reef edges. A few nice splake were caught recently. Pier fishing was slow.

Grand Marais: Surface water temperatures have warmed into the low 60’s. Boat anglers report slow salmon fishing but the lake trout anglers continue to do well along the edge of the reefs five to seven miles out near the shipping channel and towards Big Reef. Pier anglers caught whitefish on a single egg at daybreak.