Walleye biting, but they’re small; bass, bluegill also hitting live baits

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Anglers are catching undersized walleye in deep water, while other fishing activity has been fairly steady.

“Lots of walleye, but most are on the small side,” said Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis. Live baits are working best at about 20 to 25 feet, he said.

Anglers have been getting some perch at Lake Antoine, while trout fishing has again picked up, said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township.

Whisler, meanwhile, said minnows have been working for bass; worms for bluegill. Northern pike have been hitting both artificial and live baits with the catch size mixed, he said.

Very high numbers of boaters filled the Geano Beach launch this week in Oconto County with most after walleyes, said Megan Radtke, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fisheries technician in Green Bay, Wis.

“Many boaters harvested close to their limit on most days,” she said.

Hunters in Michigan are reminded that the antlerless deer license application period runs through Wednesday.

The Michigan DNR reported the following Upper Peninsula activity:

Lac Vieux Desert: Fishing remained steady with bluegills and sunfish found in three to 12 feet or crappie in eight to 14 feet. Natural and artificial baits produced best but the key is to find vegetation to fish over. Anglers are doing a lot of sorting. Bass anglers caught fish working the weed beds when casting artificial baits. Walleye fishing remained slow as only a few sublegal fish were caught in deeper water with the crappie and perch. A couple nice muskie were caught but angles are putting in a lot of time. Pike fishing slowed but anglers were still running into them when chasing muskie or perch.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers reported good numbers of undersize fish throughout the Bay. Fish that were just legal size were caught between the Second and Third Reefs when trolling crawlers or jigging in 20 to 28 feet. Fish were caught south of the Ford River near Round Island when trolling crawlers in 10 to 20 feet. The same area produced smallmouth bass when casting plastics or drop-shotting along the rocks and weed lines. Several large pike were caught off the mouth of the Escanaba River when trolling rapalas in 20 feet.

Big Bay De Noc: Nahma still had good smallmouth fishing for those using leeches, crawlers or plastics in eight feet off Butlers Point, in five to 10 feet straight out to the “Rock” and in eight to 10 feet off Ogontz. Off Fairport, salmon anglers were struggling and only getting a few from the “Gap” south to St. Martins Island in 105 to 170 feet. A fair number of lake trout were reported as well.

Marquette: Lake trout anglers were taking some limit catches. The hot spots were between the white rocks and Granite Island, off Shot Point, Sand Hole and way out to Stannard Rock. Many reported that the fish had moved deeper to 150 to 200 feet. The odd brown trout or coho were also caught. Spoons and plugs worked best.

Au Train: Most boats were taking good numbers of lake trout just north of Au Train Island in 200 feet or more. A few boats going out to Wood Island Reef caught fish.

Munising: Boat anglers targeting lake trout were getting fish up to 10 pounds near Wood Island Reef and Grand Portal in 140 to 200 feet with downriggers or the occasional high-lines. Pier fishing was poor.

Grand Marais: Boat anglers did well for lake trout with most reporting limit catches of fish up to 10 pounds near Five Mile Reef, west towards Au Sable Point and the east end of Big Reef in 150 to 200 feet plus. Only a few coho were caught. Pier anglers were trying to catch anything.

Detour: As we move deeper into August; higher numbers of Chinook salmon are showing up with fish moving closer to the lighthouse and the mouth of the St. Marys River.