Pleasant weather for Wisconsin opener
IRON MOUNTAIN — Most waters are still high as the Wisconsin game fish season opens today and Michigan anglers enjoy their second weekend of trout fishing.
“A lot of people are going to target the smaller streams,” said Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis. “It’s supposed to be a beautiful day.”
The predicted high is 66 under sunny skies.
Sunday brings a chance of showers in the afternoon, and a high near 58.
“Some of the streams are going down,” said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township, noting a good report on brookies this week. Many people were buying licenses, he added.
Anglers continued to chase crappies on inland lakes with some success.
Turkey seasons are in full swing in Michigan and Wisconsin and Grier noted Upper Peninsula permits may still be available.
“Flocks have broken up considerably now and small groups of birds are being spotted wandering over all types of habitats from fields to swamps to pine plantations,” said Aaron McCullough, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife technician at Wausaukee.
DNR wildlife staff have installed the accessible fishing pier and boarding dock on the north shore of Lake Noquebay, McCullough said.
Fur harvester kill tags are now available in Michigan for 2019 and early 2020, according to Grier. The application period for bear and elk licenses runs until June 1.
The Michigan DNR reported the following Upper Peninsula activity:
Copper Harbor: Both Copper and Eagle Harbor were open water.
Keweenaw Bay: The ice is gone, and fishing was good. Those trolling stick baits in five to 40 feet did good for coho, brown trout and splake. The whitefish action was slow. In Huron Bay, the fishing pressure was low. Only a few splake were caught and released. A few lake trout were caught off the South Portage Entry. Finding them was hard but once you do, they are hungry. Smelt are schooled up but not in the rivers yet.
Marquette: Boat anglers are picking up coho from the Lower Harbor to the Chocolay River when trolling spoons and stick baits in 20 to 50 feet. Brown trout and the odd Chinook salmon have also been caught. Coho and the odd splake were caught off the breakwall. Fishing on the Dead and Carp Rivers was limited due to high water.
Chocolay River: Anglers managed to pick up a couple steelhead and brown trout. Suckers moving into the river to spawn were also caught. Most are using spawn and worms, but some were trying spinners and small spoons.
Little Bay De Noc: The ice is finally gone, and the docks are in. The rivers are still running fast throughout the area. Fair perch catches were reported between the Day’s River and the Vagabond Resort with minnows, wigglers and crawlers in 10 to 30 feet or between the Second and Third Reefs in 30 feet. Smallmouth bass are starting to show up at the mouth of the Ford River for catch and release fishing. Steelhead anglers have struggled with the fast water. A few catches were reported on the Day’s River near the golf course.
Manistique River: With four gates open and water flowing very fast, angler participation has dropped. Water levels were probably three feet higher than normal and most of the river was unfishable. There are good numbers of steelhead in the river and a few were caught however landing them in the fast water is difficult.
Munising: Strong winds blew most of the ice out however there was still some floating ice within the bay. Ice had pushed up on shore near the Anna River and from the east shoreline up to Sand Point and through the east channel. The docks are in at Brown’s Public Launch. A few boats did get out and did well for coho with limit catches reported. A few smelt were running in area streams.
Grand Marais: Boat and pier anglers were doing well for coho and were taking limits of whitefish. Anglers were trolling spoons and shallow running stick baits from the harbor to Carpenter Creek and from the Sucker River to Lonesome Point and beyond.
Two Hearted River: Has steelhead but water levels are high. Access in this area is good now. For shore anglers looking for brook trout, area streams are still high.