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Bass fishing as hot as the weather; advisory issued for algae blooms

Outdoors Report

July 7, 2012
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Bass fishing highlighted the Fourth of July holiday, while panfish anglers were finding some success in deeper waters.

"Bass fishing continues to be really terrific all over," said Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River. "Trout fishing is rather slow because it's too warm," he added.

At Florence Sport & Bait in Florence, Wis., a three-and-a-half-year-old angler reported catching "lots of basses."

Leafworms were a popular bait choice for crappies and perch in the Florence area, with anglers finding success when moving away from the shallows. Largemouth bass were biting on plastic worms at the Spread Eagle Chain of Lakes.

"Bass fishing is going crazy on Witch Lake," reported Bob Kennard at Channing's Midtown Bait and Tackle. Artificial lures, including plastic crawlers, were the favorite baits.

Anglers at the Michigamme Reservoir were landing some northern, walleye and perch, with leeches the best choice for walleye, Kennard said. Squaw Lake was continuing to produce panfish.

At Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township, John Grier was receiving good reports on bass. "Some nice sized ones, too," he said.

Anglers braving the heat were catching perch at Lake Antoine, and some good walleye and northern fishing was reported to the north, Grier added.

Fall turkey applications are now available, he noted.

At Crystal Bait in Crystal Falls, shop traffic was steady for the community's annual Bass Fest, which continues through Sunday.

In Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources advised that record hot sunny weather has triggered blue green algae blooms in waters across the state. Exposure to this algae poses a health risk to people and pets, with a report of a dog dying from exposure this week in Oneida County. People and pets should avoid contact with water that has a blue-green scum, and both people and pets should shower or rinse off after swimming.

Meanwhile, musky action has stayed pretty good and many Wisconsin anglers have reported a lot of follows with some decent catches being made, with most fish in the mid 30-inch range and a few up to 46 inches also reported.

Walleye success continued to be generally slow, with the best action found in mid-depth weed beds and the open pockets within these beds.

The Michigan DNR issued the following report on conditions across the U.P.

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers picked up salmon and lake trout when trolling from Sand Point north to the Red Rocks at the Keweenaw roadside park. Try 50 to 100 feet down in 50 to 120 feet of water with a variety of colors. Those jigging for lake trout caught fish in 240 to 280 feet of water off Pequaming. Perch were caught off the Baraga Marina. Those fishing the South Portage Entry caught fish off the Mud Banks, Farmers Reef, Newton's Reef and the Big Reef. Try the bottom 50 feet in waters up to 150 feet deep. Off the south end of Big Reef and Farmers Reef, try 220 to 260 feet of water. In Traverse Bay, those trolling for lake trout did well between Gay Point and Big Louie's Point.

Marquette: Lake trout fishing was fair with most anglers taking one fish per hour. Try east of the White Rocks and towards Granite Island in 160 to 180 feet of water with a combination of spoons and flies. Those jigging for lake trout did well at Stannard Rock. Surface water temperatures near shore were in the upper 60's but offshore waters were in the low 60's.

Menominee: Chinook and brown trout have been caught in front of the marina in 50 feet of water. Anglers are also trolling the north and south side of Green Island. Limit catches were reported by those fishing 100 feet of water near the Whalesback in the early morning. Most of the fish were 30 to 50 feet down. Those trolling 50 feet down in waters 70 to 85 feet deep off Wells State Park caught chinook and the occasional brown trout on spoons.

Menominee River: Those trolling caught freshwater drum, channel cats, smallmouth bass, pike and walleye. Try crawler harnesses or rapalas in a variety of colors. The bigger walleye were caught in the deeper holes like the one in front of the Foundry. Shore anglers caught freshwater drum, smallmouth, rock bass, channel cats and a couple small walleye between Boom Landing and the First Dam. Water levels were low in many areas.

Cedar River: Is still producing smallmouth bass. Shore anglers near the boat launch did well drifting crawlers or casting crank baits. Channel cats and freshwater drum were also caught.

Little Bay De Noc: Mayfly hatches and alewife have slowed catch rates considerably. Walleye anglers did best in southern waters with the exception of night anglers but catch rates were spotty. Those jigging crawlers along the weeds out by "Black Bottom" scored a few keepers in early morning in 10 to 20 feet of water. Breezy Point and south to the "Fingers" also produced a few catches with some trolling crank baits while others used crawler harnesses in 12 to 24 feet of water. Fair to good smallmouth bass action off Hunters Point, the coal docks in Escanaba and the Ford River when casting crank baits or jigs in 10 to 15 feet of water. Salmon fishing was fair out by the Ford River buoy when trolling spoons 75 to 90 feet down in 80 to 120 feet of water.

Big Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers were fishing the "Boot" and south to the Shoals but no fish were caught. Smallmouth bass were caught near Ogontz, Poplar Point, Kates Bay and off Garden Bluff when casting crank baits, plastics or crawlers in 12 to 18 feet of water. A good number of rock bass were caught by those drifting crawlers in 8 to 12 feet of water in Garden Bay. Fairport has excellent salmon fishing out in the "Gap" when trolling spoons 70 to 90 feet down in 80 to 125 feet of water. Black or green glows have done very well.

Au Train: Anglers are picking up a few lake trout towards Wood Island in 200 feet of water. Chinook and coho were caught on high lines.



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