Walleye, pike biting hot

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Walleye fishing is heating up and a few big pike have been caught, along with an out-of-season musky.

“Fishing has been excellent,” said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township. “More and more people have been going out.”

Grier reported a northern pike catch of 40-plus inches, along with walleye ranging from 22 to 31 inches. “It’s been really good,” he said, mentioning one angler landing several big walleye in a single outing.

At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., Doug Whisler said an angler caught and released a musky measuring more than 50 inches. A couple smaller ones also were reported, he said.

“Crappie have been hit and miss, biting about an hour before dark,” he added. Some of the crappie have been in the 10-inch range, while good numbers of perch up to 10 inches have also been taking the bait.

Whisler said a couple of 27-inch walleye were caught, along with plenty of smaller ones. “They’ve been catching a bunch of northern pike, some over 30 inches,” he said.

For winter walleye, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources recommends setting a live minnow under the tip-up to swim 12 to 15 inches off the bottom. Northern pike are usually found near offshore structures and weed lines.

An antlerless-only rifle deer season continues through Tuesday in the central farmland portion of Wisconsin’s Marinette County. All hunters there must wear blaze orange or pink, including archers. Only antlerless deer may be harvested, regardless of weapon.

The Michigan DNR’s next Upper Peninsula fishing report will be the second week of January.