Menominee River yields walleye

Outdoors report

IRON MOUNTAIN — A few anglers were catching walleye on the Menominee River at a limit of one per day while others were taking advantage of late ice and landing perch, crappies and bluegills on area lakes.

“Crappies have been biting about an hour before dark,” said Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis.

John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township noted the Michigan trout opener is just three weeks away. With moisture soaking into the ground, chances are improving for stream levels to be low enough for a good opener, he said.

“Hopefully all the snow is gone by then,” he said..

Turkey permits are still being sold with the Michigan opener April 22, Grier added.

In Marinette, brown trout are being caught off of the Hattie Street bridge and along the shore up to the dam on both sides of the Menominee River during the day, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said. Reports of big walleye being caught off the bridge at night are also coming in.

The Michigan DNR reported the following Upper Peninsula activity:

Keweenaw Bay: Ice conditions are still holding in most places. Shoreline ice north of the tire shop is getting weak and starting to break up. Ice at the head of the bay near the 3rd bridge is in poor shape and has areas with open water. Watch out for old holes that were drilled in front of the Falls River. With rain and warmer temperatures in the forecast, anglers need to check the ice before heading out. Both the lake trout and the whitefish bite were slow. The coho action was a little better in eight to 20 feet. The smelt bite was fair for those using wax worms or spikes. Steelhead have been showing up in the area rivers that are open.

Marquette: A decent number of boats were going out to the “Bubbler” near the mouth of the Dead River but catch rates were hit-or-miss. Some managed to get their limit but most were lucky to get a couple coho. Cloudy days with a light wind seem to produce the most fish. The warm water discharge from the power plant has been shut down for good. The “Bubbler” will still be running until mid-June without warm water. The Upper Harbor is completely ice free and anglers were launching boats. The Lower Harbor is also ice free however the marina still has ice and it could be another week or so before boats can launch from there.

Little Bay De Noc: Still had ice fishing and could for a while yet because of the cold temperatures at night. Perch anglers did best with minnows or wigglers in 25 to 30 feet near Kipling. The numbers were light, but many reported some nice jumbos in the mix.

Munising: Fishing pressure has been very light. Those out reported slow catch rates with only a few coho taken. Reports from Trout Bay, Sand Point and near the Anna River were no fish taken.