IRON MOUNTAIN - Slow fishing was reported throughout the area this week, as warm water temperatures and hot days have kept fish largely inactive.
The most successful activity was reported in early morning or evening hours, with anglers having to search deeper, cooler waters to find fish.
"With it being a little cooler now, it should help the guys fishing," said Don Ciochetto at The Sport Shop in Iron River. "Bass is still good, as it's been all summer, and some panfish are being caught."
"Guys were getting some walleye action on Way Dam," said Bob Kennard at Channing's Midtown Bait and Tackle said. "Squaw Lake was producing fish too."
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reported that angling success has been generally fair across the Northwoods, but with the hot and dry weather of the last few weeks recreational boating has provided most of the activity.
In preparation for Wisconsin's first-ever wolf hunt, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board approved a quota of up to 201 wolves that could be harvested during the first season. The quota and permits available to nontribal hunters and trappers will be determined after tribes make their declarations of the harvest quota for the Ceded Territory. The season will run Oct. 15, 2012, through Feb. 28, 2013.
Unsuccessful hunters will be awarded a preference point. Permit applications may be purchased at any license vendor, online and by telephone. The permit application fee is $10. The license fee is $100 for residents; $500 for nonresidents. Information on the hunting season proposal can be found on the DNR website dnr.wi.gov search for keyword "wolf."
Michigan DNR reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:
Black River Harbor: The few boats going out have caught a mix coho, steelhead and some nice lake trout. Fish 50 to 220 feet of water and stagger your lines. Use both magnum and regular spoons.
Ontonagon: Had good fishing with chinook, coho and lake trout caught in 75 to 110 feet of water. Try orange and green spoons or spin-glows.
Ontonagon River: Anglers are catching walleye and bass however they were throwing back more than they were keeping.
Keweenaw Bay: The bite has slowed as surface water temperatures were near 75 degrees. Few salmon and perch have been caught. Lake trout were caught by those jigging in 240 to 280 feet of water but those anglers were working hard. The South Portage Entry was producing a few lake trout near Farmers Reef in 130 to 150 feet of water. Catch rates for lake trout were fair in Traverse Bay along the reefs including Big Reef. A couple coho were also caught. Anglers were trolling on the bottom in 140 to 150 feet of water. Best trolling speed was between 2.2 and 2.4 mph.
Marquette: Had lots of anglers getting one or two lake trout per hour. Best areas to fish were east of the White Rocks, Little Presque Isle, and towards Granite Island. Anglers are using a variety of colors with flies and spoons. Depths vary from 180 to 200 feet or as little as 100 feet or less with highlines. Fish were caught by those trolling or jigging near the "Sand Hole" in 120 to 150 feet of water. Stannard Rock remains consistent with most fish averaging five to 15 pounds. Try jigging with suckers. Water temperatures are still in he low 70's. No salmon or steelhead to report.
Menominee: Is producing chinook, steelhead and brown trout in 100 feet of water near Green Island. Surface water temperatures were in the mid 70's. Walleye were caught by those trolling crawler harnesses in 12 to 15 feet of water. Those fishing off the Cedar River caught mostly chinook salmon out near the Whalesback.
Menominee River: Continues to produce smallmouth bass, channel cats, freshwater drum, pike and walleye for those trolling crawler harnesses or different colored rapalas. Shore anglers are targeting walleye and smallmouth in the late evening.
Cedar River: Had no changes, still producing sub-legal smallmouth bass along with some rock bass and freshwater drum.
Little Bay De Noc: The better walleye fishing was near the Escanaba River when trolling or drifting crawlers in 14 to 30 feet of water from the southern end of the "Black Bottom" , the East Bank and over to the coal docks. Several limits were reported. A few anglers were fishing crawler harnesses in 20 to 35 feet of water down near the "Fingers" and the Minneapolis Shoals. Fair perch fishing northeast of Butler Island when drifting crawlers in 16 to 32 feet of water. Salmon anglers were following the baitfish. Some were shallow 32 feet down in 50 feet of water while others were 65 to 90 feet down in 110 to 140 feet of water.
Big Bay De Noc: Rumor has it a few walleye were caught between the "Boot" and the shoals area. Smallmouth bass fishing was fair as the fish were seeking deeper water due to heat. Try fishing 20 to 30 feet of water in Kate's Bay and Garden Bluff. Panfish anglers caught rock bass and perch in 10 to 12 feet of water in Garden Bay. Fairport had good to excellent catches 50 to 90 feet down in waters 80 to 110 feet deep or 65 to 96 feet down in 110 to 140 feet of water. The size of the fish caught is down from last year however the number of fish caught is definitely up. Hot colors were black, green, red, anything that glows or anything with a big eye.
Au Train: Lake trout fishing was fair as anglers averaged two to five fish in a five hour trip. Try the shipping lanes and the flats of Shelter Bay. The fish averaged three to four pounds and a few were close to 10 pounds. Those jigging east of Au Train Island had poor results. No salmon to report this week. An algae bloom was still present as water temperatures were still in the low 70's.
Munising: Boat anglers were targeting lake trout almost exclusively. Early morning is best on the west side of Grand Island, Grand Portal Point, Trout Bay, Wood Island and Trout Reef.