Bass anglers rewarded for braving the heat

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Hot weather has slowed the pace of fishing although bass and panfish anglers continue to find success.

As the water warms, fish become sluggish especially on the shallower inland lakes so try fishing deeper water, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources suggests. Early morning or later in the evening is usually best.

“We’re selling a lot of leeches now,” said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township, naming bass as the main target.

“Panfish are doing pretty good,” said Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis. But after a busy weekend, activity dropped off, he noted.

Earlier in the week, southern Oconto and Marinette counties received up to 5 inches of rain, which pushed flows in the lower Oconto, Peshtigo and Menominee rivers to much higher than normal levels, said Mike Donofrio, Wisconsin DNR fisheries supervisor at Peshtigo. “Boaters and recreationalist should use caution when participating in activities on these waters,” he said.

There was good fishing for perch and walleye this week along both the east and west shores of Green Bay. Several large perch were reported up to 16 inches, said Scott Poquette, DNR fisheries technician at Peshtigo.

The Michigan DNR reported the following Upper Peninsula activity:

Keweenaw Bay: Fishing was sporadic as those coming in with lake trout had anywhere from one to limit catches. A few reports of salmon, steelhead and brown trout however anglers were marking baitfish as well. More anglers were launching from Traverse Bay which was a little slow after spring storms partially silted in the site.

Marquette: While many boat anglers are picking up a few fish, overall fishing had been slow with zero to four fish taken including smaller lake trout and the occasional Chinook and coho. Fish were scattered throughout the water column.

Chocolay River: Brown trout were caught in the upstream sections, but many were five to eight inches. Some are fly fishing but those using spinners have done well. Water levels were quite low in the upstream sections so target the deeper holes.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers reported very little action with undersize fish caught most likely due to the recent fly hatches. Best areas were the head of the Bay in five to 12 feet, Black Bottom in 14 to 28 feet, or Breezy Point in 10 to 20 feet. Fair to good perch fishing off the beach in Gladstone in 18 to 27 feet and at the head of the Bay along the weed beds in five to eight feet with crawlers or minnows. Northern pike were active from the Escanaba ship docks to the municipal docks when trolling spinners or crank baits in 12 to 30 feet. No salmon to report.

Manistique: Had few anglers. Those targeting salmon and lake trout had little to report.

Munising: Those targeting salmon had poor catch rates as they were lucky to get two fish. Catch rates for lake trout were spotty. Splake fishing continues to be slow when casting spoons or fishing with spawn sacs. Water temperatures were in the mid 50’s.

Grand Marais: Had very low fishing pressure but those trying for lake trout had good catches near Five Mile Reef. Those fishing from the breakwall caught a few whitefish.

Detour: Anglers out of Detour Village have switched from salmon and trout to cisco.

Drummond Island: A few Menominee were caught on the south side at the mouth of Whitney Bay.

Cedarville and Hessel: Young anglers had fun casting crank baits from shore in Flower Bay just east of Cedarville. Mid-day was excellent for bass off the two fishing docks.

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