Bluegills biting on wax worms

Antlerless applications available soon

IRON MOUNTAIN — Bluegills, including some large ones, were biting on wax worms at area lakes while river anglers were landing a few big northern pike.

“Selling a lot of crawlers and leeches,” said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost on M-95. Crappie and bass action has been steady, he added.

At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., Doug Whisler reported a pike catch of 40-plus inches as well as a musky of 45-plus inches. “They’re also getting some perch and crappie out of the rivers on live bait,” he said.

Walleye have been biting on jumbo leeches or large fathead minnows in 20 feet or more of water, Whisler said.

Trout action has been spotty, although there have been some nice catches, Grier and Whisler both noted.

Grier reminded Michigan deer hunters that antlerless applications will be available beginning Monday.

In Wisconsin, bear dog training season began July 1. Hunting season, however, doesn’t start until early September, said Aaron McCullough, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife technician at Wausaukee.

“Warm temps and scattered rains have the wild fruits ripening, including juneberries, blueberries and a few wild strawberries,” he said.

The Michigan DNR reporting the following Upper Peninsula fishing activity:

Keweenaw Bay: Fishing was slow. Those heading out from all ports were putting in their time to catch a few fish. Reports have been coming in that the scum line is up in Eagle Harbor and fishing there was good. Those willing to make the run out to Isle Royale have been rewarded with some nice bags of lake trout.

Marquette: Fishing was hit-or-miss, with some boats getting four to eight fish while others reported zero to three. The fish were scattered throughout the water column. This trend could continue for the next week or two with the recent bug hatches and water temperatures in the mid- to upper 40s. Lake trout was the number one catch, followed by a couple Chinook and coho. Most boats were heading north towards Granite Island or the White Rocks and fishing in 130 to 200 feet.

Little Bay De Noc: Had a very large mayfly hatch and slow fishing overall. Walleye were caught with a crawler harness in 20 to 30 feet near the “Black Bottom”; however most of the fish were undersize. Perch catches were fair at best. Most were fishing the Kipling area south to the Day’s River with crawlers in 5 to 20 feet. Smallmouth bass anglers reported fewer catches. The best areas were Hunters Point in 4 to 10 feet, in the Escanaba River along the shoreline and at the mouth of the Ford River in 3 to 10 feet. Most were casting plastics, spinners or crawlers.

Big Bay De Noc: Was producing some northern pike. Smallmouth bass were hitting spinners and crank baits off Indian Point and St. Vital Island.

Manistique: Salmon anglers were searching, but few fish were marked. Lots of baitfish in the area as surface water temperatures were between 60 and 70 degrees. Conditions are good, so anglers are just waiting for the Chinook salmon to arrive.

Manistique River: Anglers reported fair catches of smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye with crawlers along the breakwalls and weed beds.

Munising: A few boats out targeting lake trout had good results when trolling or jigging various drop-offs along the reef. The salmon and splake action were slow. A couple boats out near the White Rocks did fair with three to four lake trout while others reported slow catch rates.

Grand Marais: Lake trout anglers continue to do well near Au Sable Point, Five Mile Reef and the Southwest Bank area. Those trolling for salmon outside the harbor reported slow fishing.

Detour: Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and lake trout are still being caught 18 to 35 feet down. When salmon and trout are in feeding mode, they still want a smaller 4-inch spoon behind flashers. The best colors were orange and metallic green. The best area for Atlantic salmon was on the Drummond Island side when trolling from the red buoy back to the lighthouse at 3.5 to 4 mph and near the quarry loading dock. For lake trout, fish the 90-foot flat 2 miles south of the lighthouse with orange and white or chartreuse and white spin-glo’s behind flashers.

Drummond Island: Those launching from the DNR boat launch in Detour Village have caught a few cisco. Target the islands on the north end, like Macomb, Butterfield and Maple Island. Fly hatches were mild this week but should pick up. On the south end of Drummond, where Lake Huron hits the mouth of Whitney Bay, a few Menominee were caught. Best baits were dark brown or red teardrop jigs tipped with wax worms in 25 to 28 feet.

Cedarville and Hessel: A fly hatch at the yacht entrance to the Les Cheneaux Islands may have triggered the perch bite at Island No. 8 and reports of Atlantic salmon at Boot Island. Those trolling for Atlantic salmon were using chrome and dark blue 4-inch spoons about halfway down in 35 feet. Make sure the hooks are sharp. Hill Island Road, located 2 miles east of Cedarville, has been very good for youngsters who want to fish from shore or the new fishing platforms.

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