Icy weather freezes fishing; Tip-Up Town set for Feb. 2

IRON MOUNTAIN — Frigid weather is expected linger well into next week, but it might ease in time for Saturday’s 45th annual Tip-Up Town of the U.P.

The ice fishing contest on Sawyer Lake in Channing will feature tagged fish totaling $2,000. Registration begins at 7 a.m. on the ice. The predicted high temperature for Feb. 2 is 17 degrees.

Bluegills are biting, but most catches have been on the small side, according to Fay Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis. Anglers also were landing walleye and crappie, she said.

At Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township, no one’s topped a 36-inch northern in John Grier’s monthly contest. “A lot of it’s with the weather,” he said of light action the past few days.

Snowmobile clubs in Marinette County, Wis., are rating the trails from good to excellent, said Tim Werner, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources conservation warden at Crivitz. More information can be found at www.marinettecosnowtrails.com.

Despite the arrival of bitter temperatures, areas of thin ice continue to be reported on Lake Noquebay in Marinette County.

The Michigan DNR reported the following U.P. fishing activity:

Little Bay De Noc: Ice conditions improved with the cold temperatures, moving anglers as far south as Portage Point. The Portage area was still considered dangerous. The head of the bay had drifted snow cover. The pressure cracks are large and were noticeable, but may become covered with additional snowfall. Caution needs to be used. Walleye fishing picked up, with fair to good catches reported near Portage Point when jigging rapalas or using tip-ups with minnows in 30 to 50 feet. The Escanaba Power Plant area, Gladstone Bay as well as the Second and Third Reefs produced fair catches using the same in 27 to 50 feet. Pike were speared in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor using live decoys in 10 feet, and a fair to good number of pike were caught off the Escanaba Beach in 25 feet with minnows.

Perch anglers reported spotty catches but good enough to keep anglers interested. The best action was still along the Kipling flats, with wigglers or minnows in 27 to 50 feet. The numbers are fewer, but the size of the fish has made up the difference. No one is targeting whitefish, but several had been caught in the channel in Gladstone Bay when targeting walleye.

Cedarville and Hessel: From Hessel, fishing pressure picked up as anglers were getting perch up to 11 inches when jigging spikes, wax worms and wigglers in 12 to 17 feet.