Walleye, panfish biting; farmland hunt slated in Marinette County

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Snow depth has been going backwards but ice continues to be thick enough for anglers to be successful in landing walleye and panfish.

A 28-inch walleye was the best catch of the week, said Fay Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis. “Walleye action has been good, but a lot of them are undersized,” Whisler said.

Some anglers are catching their limit of good-sized bluegill, she added. “Crappies are plentiful but small,” she said.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources cautioned the recent warm weather has made ice conditions unsafe in the west end of the Upper Peninsula. The long-range forecast calls for freezing daytime temperatures and single digits at night which should provide angling opportunities over the holidays.

On the east end of the U.P., anglers on the inland lakes near Newberry are finding panfish. The lakes south of Munising are providing walleye, pike and panfish and anglers have found walleye, northern pike and panfish at Manistique Lakes. There is snow pack in the northern sections.

At Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township, John Grier said fishing will likely pick up today with temperatures staying below freezing. “We’ve got lots of bait,” he added.

Deer are moving well during daylight hours and archery hunters have reported some success, according to the Wisconsin DNR.

The central farmland portion of Marinette County has an antlerless-only rifle season from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1. All hunters there must wear blaze orange/pink, including archers. Only antlerless deer may be harvested in the farmland portion of the county, regardless of weapon.

Any Wisconsin counties not having a holiday hunt firearm season follow normal archery and crossbow regulations, so archers hunting in those parts of the state can harvest any deer they have a tag for and they do not need to wear blaze.

“The lack of snow makes trail use difficult, but it also makes for nice walking through the woods,” said Aaron McCullough, Wisconsin DNR wildlife technician at Wausaukee.