‘One of the better years’ for fishing in Dickinson area

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — With the first day of summer approaching, the 2018 fishing season is off to a strong start.

“Most people are pretty happy,” said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township. “It’s been one of the better years so far.”

Leeches and crawlers are the primary baits going out the door, he said.

At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., Doug Whisler reported good catches of northern pike, bass and panfish. Largemouth bass are hitting leeches and minnows, while leeches or worms could do the trick for smallmouths, he said.

“The pike action has been pretty good,” Whisler added, noting catches upwards of 33 inches.

Friday’s rains might pause a trout season that has been exceptionally good, Grier and Whisler said.

Lake Michigan anglers were reporting a variety of catches but mostly king salmon and lake trout, with a few coho and rainbows caught as well, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said.

“Heavy pressure was had during the weekend at Algoma as anglers were limiting out on mostly Chinook and lake trout,” said Aeden White, Wisconsin DNR fisheries technician at Sturgeon Bay. “Large fish out there were breaking 30 to 60 pound monofilament.”

The Michigan DNR reported the following Upper Peninsula activity:

Ontonagon: Fishing was good with Chinook showing up near the mouth of the river. Lake trout and brown trout were caught along the shoreline in 20 to 60 feet. Fish up high for the salmon and brown trout and lower for lake trout.

Keweenaw Bay: Fishing was good as those trolling off Sand Point and the head of the bay have caught Chinook, coho, lake trout, brown trout and splake. Hot baits were chartreuse stick baits and green, black or blue spoons in the top 1/3 of waters 40 to 80 feet deep. In Huron Bay, Chinook and lake trout were caught in 30 to 60 feet but the fish were scattered. Good fishing in the South Entry with Chinook, coho and lake trout caught around the lighthouse and south along the shoreline.

Lac Vieux Desert: Anglers were getting limits of bluegill and pumpkinseed on worms, minnows and soft plastics in shallow waters. Perch and crappie were caught in five to 12 feet but many were small. Largemouth bass are becoming more active and were hitting on crank baits and soft plastics up in the shallows. Walleye fishing slowed for legal size fish but lots of small ones were caught. Pike were hitting on spoons, spinners and crank baits along the weed beds. A couple anglers found musky in deep waters.

Little Bay De Noc: Had good catches of walleye at the mouth of the Whitefish River when trolling a crawler harness or stick bait and when jigging a crawler near the weed beds. Fish were also caught on the Escanaba River when jigging crawlers. Some limit catches were reported. Fish were also caught along the “Black Bottom” when trolling crawlers or stick baits in 18 to 30 feet and off Breezy Point in 15 to 20 feet. Perch anglers reported fair catches off Gladstone Beach with crawlers or minnows in 15 to 25 feet and at the head of the bay near the green buoy off the Day’s River in 24 feet. Garth Point, Gladstone Bay and the Ford River all reported fair catches of smallmouth bass when casting or trolling crank baits, spinners or plastics in eight to 16 feet. Lots of pike action at the mouth of the rivers, the ship docks in Escanaba and along the weeds south of the Ford River. Most were trolling or casting crank baits, spoons or spinners in five to 15 feet.

Big Bay De Noc: Fewer walleye were caught here as the fish are starting to move south. The “Boot” out from the Fish Dam Rivers and Indian Point was best when trolling a crawler harness in 15 to 28 feet. Fair to good smallmouth action out from the Little Fish Dam River and off Porcupine Point with plastics or crank baits in 10 to 14 feet. Ogontz was good with smaller fish hitting on plastics or spinners along the weeds. Pike were abundant throughout the bay. Most were still quite shallow in five to 15 feet. Lots of fish were marked near Martins Bay but many were sub-legal. At Fairport, a few boats were starting to show up but no reports had come in yet.

Munising: Boat anglers did well taking a few Chinook, coho, steelhead and brown trout. Those fishing have seen a number of Chinook in all sizes from 17 to 36 inches including fish just over 16 pounds. Most were fishing in the bay and both the east and west channel. Lake trout anglers were few but those heading out might want to try the Wood Island Reef. Pier fishing was slow as access is currently limited due to road construction in the area.

Grand Marais: Boat anglers did well for lake trout along the “Banks” and out to Au Sable Point when fishing near the bottom. Salmon and steelhead anglers reported fair action outside the harbor and when trolling east past the Sucker River. Surface water temperatures were in the low to mid 40’s. Pier anglers reported slow whitefish action.