Snow makes fishing access difficult in UP

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — As travel on the ice is difficult, fishing pressure remains light, although a few anglers were trying their luck for panfish.

On some waters, the snow has compacted enough to make access easier, said Fay Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis.

Anglers are reminded of the deadlines to remove shanties — this Friday for Michigan and Wisconsin boundary waters; Sunday, March 17, for Wisconsin waters north of Highway 64; and Sunday, March 31, for the Upper Peninsula.

Wisconsin’s youth turkey hunt is just five weeks away, said Aaron McCullough, Department of Natural Resources wildlife technician at Wausaukee. “Hopefully spring finds its way here by then,” he said.

Wisconsin’s Deer Advisory Councils are having their first meetings of 2019 this month. The Marinette County meeting is 7 p.m. Wednesday at Crivitz Village Hall. Florence County’s council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, at the Wild Rivers Interpretive Center in Florence.

Enjoy “Brews for Brookies” today at Alpha Brewing Co., with proceeds going to the Fred Waara Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Drop in from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the Alpha Circle and enjoy fishing hints, beer, food and fun. Lunches and dinners will be offered by Curious Pig.

The Michigan DNR reported the following Upper Peninsula activity:

Little Bay De Noc: Snow has made access difficult pretty much all winter. Catch rates for walleye were spotty. The better reports came from the mouth of the Escanaba River when jigging rapalas in 25 to 35 feet, off Gladstone and the Kipling Flats with tip-ups and sucker minnows or when jigging rapalas. Those fishing near the Ford River reported few catches. The better perch fishing was between the First and Second Reefs off Kipling with minnows and wigglers in 27 to 35 feet. Whitefish and burbot were caught off Sand Point with minnows or spawn in 70 to 80 feet.

Munising: Travel on bay is difficult because of deep snow and more slush closer to shore. A few coho and splake were caught. Anglers reported possible markings of either herring or smelt suspended within the bay. Those targeting burbot continue to do well at night primarily off Sand Point, Trout bay and in the area off Christmas.

Grand Marais: Has deep snow on the ice. Anglers fishing for menominee within the harbor are using a single egg or wax worm. There have been some recent reports of anglers doing well on smelt along with a few coho. Most were jigging with shiver minnows, jigging spoons and Swedish pimples with or without cut bait or minnows. One nice steelhead was caught on a Hali jig when fishing for smelt.

Cedarville and Hessel: Ice conditions were holding however anglers and snowmobilers need to be aware of the areas with a strong current around the islands. Perch fishing picked up with anglers taking fish up to 12 inches on jigging raps, wax worms and spikes. More anglers were seen in Government Bay, but no reports came in.