Northern pike, bass, panfish biting

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — From big fish to little fish, anglers were having success going into the extended holiday weekend.

“Everybody seems to be pretty happy with fishing,” said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township. “Lots of bass, crappies and bluegill. I’ve heard some good stories on trout, anywhere from 9 to 14 inches.”

At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., Doug Whisler reported a number of northern pike catches in the range of 35 inches, mostly on live bait. A 40-inch musky was also in the mix, along with some keeper walleyes caught in deeper water.

“Everybody seems to be having a good time,” he said. “Bass fishing has been really good — crappies, bluegills … just panfish in general.”

Brook trout anglers were landing a few in the 12-inch range, Whisler added.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported the following Upper Peninsula activity:

Keweenaw Bay: Those heading out of Baraga found a few Chinook salmon when trolling. Brown trout and steelhead were caught but it was tough going.

Marquette: Fishing was hit-or-miss as some are catching fish while others had none. Salmon catches were low. A couple steelhead and coho were taken near the White Rocks and Granite Island. Some big fish were caught but the numbers are not there yet. Boats seem to be picking up bigger fish on high lines which could mean they are feeding on bugs right now. Stannard Rock has also been a tough. Boat anglers are marking lots of fish but caught few.

Chocolay River: Had few anglers but those out did catch brook trout, rainbow trout and small brown trout upstream of the 41 and 94 bridges.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye catches were spotty. Those fishing off Garth Point caught undersize fish. A couple nice fish were caught on a crawler harness in 25 feet along the Black Bottom and off Breezy Point in eight to 16 feet. Perch fishing was fair to good mostly north of Kipling in five to 17 feet with minnows or crawlers. Smallmouth bass were caught in three to six feet along the weed line with plastics near Garth Point, the Day’s River and the Ford River. White bass and freshwater drum were caught at the head of the Bay.

Big Bay De Noc: Was producing some northern pike.

Manistique: Salmon anglers should be heading out as water temperatures warm up.

Manistique Lake: Walleye were caught in both Big and South Manistique Lake.

Manistique River: The lamprey weirs were removed from the lower dam and a gate was opened which is good news for shore anglers. Walleye and smallmouth bass will move in and should be accessible. Steelhead could also be back now that the flow is up. The river is full of alewife which is also a sign for salmon anglers.

Munising: Anglers reported slow fishing in general with very few salmon caught. The lake trout action was fair near Wood Island Reef and the White Rocks area northeast of Grand Island. Some boats heading out to Big Reef did manage a limit of lake trout however fishing was tough, and they did a lot of moving around on the reef. Most were using a combination of flies and spoons tipped with cut bait. Splake fishing was slow and most fish were undersize. Those targeting pike while casting jigs and stick baits in Murrays Bay had slow catch rates.

Grand Marais: Had good lake trout fishing near Five Mile Reef and Big Reef when trolling or jigging. Most were three to five pounds with a few over 10. Salmon fishing has slowed with very few fish reported. Pier fishing was slow.

St. Marys River: Anglers fishing north of the locks caught whitefish in 10 to 18 feet.

Detour: Atlantic salmon and steelhead are feeding on fly hatches. Try running lines 14 to 35 feet down in 60 to 90 feet between the red buoy on the Drummond Island side of the river to Lighthouse Reef.

Drummond Island: A cadis fly hatch is ongoing on the south side of the island. Walleye were caught throughout Scott Bay, at Rutland Island and Ashman Island when using planer boards and crank baits.

Cedarville and Hessel: Both largemouth and rock bass were caught in Flowers Bay with worms or casting spinners.

Carp River: Walleye were being caught on leeches.