Pike, trout highlight late summer fishing

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Anglers giving it a try over the Labor Day weekend can expect scattered thunderstorms and pleasant temperatures, with northern pike and bass among the best bets.

At Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township, John Grier reported a good deal of fishing interest and at least one trout angler enjoying a fine season. “He caught a brook trout almost 20 inches and said he hasn’t kept anything under 12,” Grier said.

At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., Doug Whisler noted several northern pike catches in the range of 35 inches. “No real pattern,” he said of the bait preference.

Bass fishing is steady, both largemouths and smallmouths, Whisler said, but perch have been on the small side.

Water temperatures on the Menominee River dropped from 77 to 64 degrees over this past week, according to Ben Olsen, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fisheries technician at Peshtigo. Walleye anglers were having the most luck catching walleye using nightcrawlers at depths of 10-15 feet, he said.

The Michigan DNR reported the following Upper Peninsula activity:

Lac Vieux Desert: Muskie anglers caught a few legal fish but not without putting in some effort. Those putting in the long hours have been rewarded with some decent pike ranging 24-30 inches. Walleye anglers had limited success in finding legal size fish. Panfish have been caught in the submerged vegetation with both natural and artificial baits however be prepared to sort through all the small ones. Bass anglers had good catches using top-water baits along the shoreline. A few smaller muskie were caught by bass anglers.

Little Bay De Noc: Had another good week for walleye anglers though windy conditions have limited access. Strong south winds made for good catches off the mouth of the Whitefish River where limits were taken when trolling a crawler harness or using stick baits in 14 to 22 feet and near Breezy Point in 12 to 14 feet. Fair to good catches were reported along the “Black Bottom” in 20 feet and Gladstone Bay straight out from the Terrace Inn in 35 feet. Fair to good perch fishing off the mouth of the Escanaba River in 28 feet, off Kipling in 23 to 30 feet and south of the “Narrows” in 30 feet. Good smallmouth action near Round Island with plastics in eight to 14 feet. Pike were active throughout but the best areas were the Escanaba Yacht Harbor and just north of the Escanaba River.

Big Bay De Noc: Had fair to good smallmouth catches throughout the bays and coves. Ogontz anglers moved into waters near St. Vitals Island and reported very good catches in eight to 14 feet with plastics, dropshots and leeches. Off Nahma, anglers fished off Butlers Point in 10 to 12 feet or Ansell’s Point, Puffy Bay and Garden Bluff in six to 18 feet. Off Fairport, strong winds have kept many off the lake. Catch rates were spotty when trolling 60 to 80 feet down in 105 to 130 feet. Salmon fishing was not as good but some very large fish have been reported.

Marquette: Had very good lake trout fishing with the majority caught 40 to 70 feet down in 100 to 150 feet. The fish ranged anywhere from 2-10 pounds however there was one fish caught that weighed in at 28 pounds. Stannard Rock continues to produce lots of smaller lake trout. Very few salmon were caught.

Au Train: Had only a few boats heading out. Decent numbers of lake trout were caught east and north of Au Train Island in 130 feet. The bite was hit-or-miss but look for a pod of fish and stay on them. Wood Island Reef continues to produce lake trout.

Munising: Had very low fishing pressure. The rain and north winds should bring cooler water to the bay. No salmon to report. A few lake trout anglers did well in the west channel and towards Wood Island Reef.

Grand Marais: Lake trout anglers reported excellent fishing from Au Sable Point to Big Reef and Five Mile Reef. Most anglers were getting limit catches of smaller fish. A few were trying for salmon but had no luck. Water temperatures should cool with a northerly wind and slightly cooler evenings.

Fox River: Trout anglers had success when using worms or spinners.

Two Hearted River: Trout anglers had moderate success.

Manistique Lake: Perch and panfish are being caught on both lakes.

Manistique River: Was producing some walleye.

Brevoort Lake: Was producing some good size walleye but anglers had to put their time in because fishing was slow.