Anglers land bass, perch

IRON MOUNTAIN – Trout streams are low, but lakes and reservoirs are producing bass and perch for anglers in Dickinson and Iron counties.

“We’re still having good reports on bass,” said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township. Action at the Peavy Falls Reservoir has been steady, and Lake Antoine is drawing attention for perch. Muskie catch and release fishing is on the upswing, Grier added.

At Midtown Bait and Tackle in Channing, Bob Kennard mentioned Dawson Lake in Iron County as a hot spot for bass, with crawlers and minnows the best baits.

“Perch fishing is great at the Michigamme Reservoir,” he said, noting catches in the range of eight to 12 inches. Sawyer Lake is producing bluegill and Marquette County’s Witch Lake has been good for walleye, he said.

Northern pike and bass fishing highlighted the week, with northerns hitting on spinners, said Patti Teske at Florence Sport & Bait in Florence, Wis. Crappies were biting, too, mainly on crappie minnows, she said.

Teske reminded anglers that the public boat launch is closed behind the Brule River hydroelectric plant, where a temporary drawdown has begun. The reservoir is scheduled to begin refilling when maintenance is completed around mid-October, according to We Energies. It’s expected to return to normal levels by Dec. 1.

At The Sport Shop in Iron River, Don Ciochetto said trout fishing is slow but lake fishing has been holding up.

Grier, meanwhile, said early reports from the woods suggest there’s a good population of grouse for the fall season.

Peshtigo Harbor anglers are reporting catches of cat fish, sheep head, small mouth, and the occasional walleye fishing live bait on bottom or casting crank and spinner baits, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Shore anglers on the Menominee River in Marinette County continue to catch cat fish, rock bass, sheep head, and a few walleye mostly using live bait. Anglers trolling the Menominee are catching some nice walleye using stick baits.

The Michigan DNR reported the following from across the Upper Peninsula:

Black River Harbor: Lake trout fishing was fair in 100 to 120 feet.

Ontonagon: Fishing was spotty because of all the wind. A few lake trout were caught 10 to 15 feet off the bottom in 60 to 80 feet. Green and orange spoons worked best. Walleye fishing was slow with only a couple fish caught.

Lake Antoine: Boat and shore anglers are still catching sunfish, bluegills, yellow perch and rock bass when drifting crawlers. Many were small however a few nice ones were caught. Bass anglers continue to do well when casting or trolling crank baits or plastics. A few walleye and northern pike were also caught.

Marquette: Most are targeting lake trout and salmon. A few coho were caught on high-lines and dipsey divers. The better success was near the White Rocks, north to Granite Island and near Little Presque Isle and the Clay Banks. Those trolling caught lake trout 40 to 50 feet down in less than 150 feet. Those fishing the “Sand Hole” found fish in waters 200 feet or more when using spoons tipped with cut bait. Colder water temperatures may be keeping the lake trout suspended. Those fishing around Stannard Rock had good success but the fish were smaller.

Little Bay De Noc: The Kipling boat launch is now open. Angler participation was down with the exception of salmon anglers. Walleye catches were fair. In the Kipling area anglers trolled or drifted crawlers on harnesses in 18 to 30 feet and along the Center and Third Reefs in 10 to 20 feet. The Escanaba River anglers also reported fair catches using the same in eight to 12 feet. Perch anglers did a little better with fair catches in the Gladstone Beach area when still-fishing crawlers or minnows in 10 to 25 feet and east of Butler Island in 10 to 14 feet. A few good catches of perch were reported just south of the Day’s River in 12 to 14 feet. Northern pike were active with fair to good catches reported around the mouth of the Day’s River using crank baits or spoons in 10 to 12 feet, by the shipping docks in Escanaba in eight to 12 feet and the Escanaba Yacht Harbor when trolling the channel with spinners, spoons or crank baits. Good smallmouth action between the Ford River and Breezy Point when casting plastics, crank baits or spinners in 12 feet. Salmon anglers reported fair catches north of the Ford River Can 50 to 60 feet down in 80 to 90 feet. The better catches were further south almost to the Cedar River when fishing 40 to 60 feet down in 80 feet.

Big Bay De Noc: Pretty much all the anglers were bass fishing. The hot spots were between Poplar Point and Porcupine Point when casting or trolling crank baits, spinners or plastics in and around 12 feet of water. Fair catches were reported in 10 to 14 feet near Ogontz. Lots of freshwater drum in 10 to 15 feet in the south end of Kate’s Bay. Catch rates for salmon off Fairport were fair to good 40 to 60 feet down in 80 feet. Some did well while others struggled. Try copper, spoons or meat rigs.

Au Train: Anglers are mainly targeting lake trout when trolling spoons. Popular colors were orange and gold or green and silver. Catch rates were slightly better two to three miles north of Au Train Island and towards the Shelter Bay flats. Some observed lake trout surface feeding on flying ants on calm days.

Au Train Lake: Had good walleye fishing. Try along the west side near the inlets with jigs, rapalas and live bait such as leeches.

Munising: Catch rates for lake trout were poor to fair with anglers putting in long days while trolling the popular spots like Pictured Rocks, Grand Portal, Grand Island and Wood Island Reefs. Water temperatures were still in the low to mid 50’s. Pier fishing was slow with only a couple legal-size splake taken. A few pike 26 to 30 inches were caught recently. Reports from the Big Reef indicate fishing was starting to improve.

Grand Marais: Had low angler activity and catch rates have not changed since last week. Boat anglers were still heading north and west of the bay, out near the shipping channels and near Sable Point and targeting waters 70 to 200 feet deep. No salmon to report. A few tried offshore at the marina but had no luck. Pier fishing was limited but anglers may still find a couple whitefish when using a single egg.

Big Manistique Lake: Perch fishing was fair in 10 to 15 feet. Some use leeches to catch the bigger fish.

St. Ignace: Anglers are harvesting lake trout from Mackinac Island to the north.