Anglers landing crappie, walleye, northern pike

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Fishing continues to be good, highlighted by crappie, walleye and northern pike action.

Anglers in Iron and Dickinson counties were targeting panfish and pike on inland lakes, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said.

At Whispering Pines Outpost on M-95, a 36-inch northern leads John Grier’s monthly contest. “There’s lots of people fishing. It’s been good,” Grier said, noting big crappie catches this week.

Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., said walleye in the range of 20 inches were being taken from river systems. Crappie catches were running from 11 to 13 inches, with minnows, spikes and wax worms all seeming to work.

“Fishing all around has been good,” Whisler said, noting pike and bluegill catches as well. There’s 17 to 18 inches of ice on some area lakes, he noted.

At mid-week, the Wisconsin DNR said Lake Noquebay in Marinette County finally froze completely but there were areas with very thin ice — under 3 inches.

The Michigan DNR reported the following Upper Peninsula conditions:

Little Bay De Noc: Ice conditions are a problem and are creating limited access and very unsafe conditions in many areas. A few anglers have been fishing out from the harbor in the Gladstone area, but this is a dangerous area where the ice thins out quickly as you head south. The northern bay from the Whitefish River south to First Reef had a little better ice but still had areas that were not safe. The pressure cracks are moving daily. Open water was reported at Saunders Point, Hunters Point, Day’s River and the mouth of the Whitefish River. Most anglers are walking out. No vehicles should be out on the ice at this time. Walleye and perch reports were fair at best. Perch were hitting minnows or wigglers in 18 to 31 feet. Walleye anglers reported many undersize fish. The better catches were on tip-ups or when jigging rapalas with minnows in 23 to 35 feet. Good pike action out past Butler Island with tip-ups and sucker minnows in 10 to 30 feet.

Newberry: Area lakes had a lot of traffic but the panfish bite was slow.

Munuscong Bay: Had a lot of activity however the yellow perch bite was slow.

Cedarville and Hessel: Has ice but also some areas with open water. There is a pressure crack in Hessel Bay that had only a couple inches of ice on the west side of it. Beware of pressure cracks and currents around the islands. There was not much fishing pressure, but anglers have caught perch with wax worms and spikes in 10 to 17 feet. The fish were seven to 10 inches. A few pike were seen but no word on any fish harvested.

Brevoort Lake: Anglers caught pike, walleye and perch on minnows. Try the east end of the lake.