Muskies caught, largemouths rising

Outdoors report

IRON MOUNTAIN — A few muskies were caught in deep water and bass fishing remained good as anglers hit the water before the long holiday weekend.

“We’re selling a lot of minnows, some crawlers and a few leeches,” said John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township.

At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., Doug Whisler said the muskies were caught by jigging plastic baits. Top-water lures were working for largemouth bass.

“Smallmouths are biting on worms and leeches, and bluegills on worms,” Whisler said. A few walleye were caught on leeches, but they were mostly small.

Perch were being caught in the Peshtigo River upstream from the launch on Marinette County Road BB and also at Red Arrow Park in Marinette, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Fishing the weed edges in shallow water was producing a good number of keepers.

The Michigan DNR reported this Upper Peninsula activity:

Portage Lake: Anglers reported decent walleye catches.

Keweenaw Bay: Is still producing lake trout for those trolling or jigging. Those trolling have been picking up a few salmon here and there.

Marquette: Boats are still picking up a fair number of lake trout near the White Rocks and Granite Island. Some bigger fish over 10 pounds have been caught every day, which is a good sign the fish are starting to move closer to shore. Those targeting 120 to 140 feet had good luck but still no sign of any salmon.

Little Bay De Noc: Had fair walleye fishing with the best action in the evening when trolling a crawler harness or jigging crawlers along the weeds on the First and Second Reefs. During the day, anglers were jigging crawlers in 10 feet along the east bank off Kipling. Good to excellent smallmouth catches reported near Garth Point, Hunters Point and straight out from the Day’s River in 6 to 10 feet with tube baits and other plastics. Fair perch catches off Saunders Point in 10 feet and south of the Day’s River with crawlers in 6 to 10 feet. Pike were active between Butler Island and the coal piles near Kipling in 10 to 16 feet with spinners or crank baits.

Big Bay De Noc: Had good bass fishing including some limit catches.

Manistique: Boat anglers were looking for staging salmon however few were caught.

Manistique River: A few boats trolled for salmon, but no catches were reported. Those fishing up near the High Dam caught a couple when casting rapalas and J-plugs. Fly anglers were throwing large flies or spawn bags. It is still early and there’s not a lot of fish yet but enough for anglers to give it a try. Walleye slowed with only a few caches reported in the “Bass Hole” at dusk when using crawlers.

Munising: Had very low fishing pressure. A few trying for coho had no luck. Most caught a couple lake trout near Wood Island Reef and north of Grand Island when jigging or trolling with cut bait. The average fish was 3 to 4 pounds.

Grand Marais: Had few anglers. Those heading out for lake trout were fishing straight out towards the shipping channels and west towards Au Sable Point when trolling in 180 to 220 feet. Those trying for coho caught very few fish.

St. Marys River: Fishing was hit-or-miss however on the good day’s anglers did very well for Atlantic salmon, whitefish and walleye.

Detour: Anglers are reporting fair catches of Chinook salmon on the Drummond Island side of the river. Try east of the Detour Lighthouse and fish from the first red buoy southeast to the next one with baits 55 feet down in 110 feet. Lake trout are still good two miles straight south of the lighthouse. Fish the 90-foot flat that runs east and west with spin-glo’s and while skipping cannon balls along the bottom. Best colors were chartreuse and white, or white and orange when trolling 2.5 mph. Those doing best were running short leaders 18 to 24 inches behind flashers for lake trout.

Cedarville and Hessel: Off Cedarville, yellow perch fishing improved in Government Bay when using worms or shiners just off the weeds in 6 to 8 feet. If the fish are not there, try drifting in 18 to 20 feet. Fish were caught on both sides of the bridge at Island #8 with worms or shiners in 4 to 6 feet. Hill Island Road was producing smallmouth bass, rock bass and sunfish for young angler’s early morning or evening. Good smallmouth action in Peck Bay with artificial worms in 6 to 8 feet or in Duck Bay when casting gold spinners in 4 to 6 feet. For Hessel, those trolling caught Chinook and lake trout near Goose Island. Most were running dipsey divers with flies for chinook or blue and chrome spoons along with flashers 60 feet down in 90 feet for lake trout. Better salmon catches were reported off Mission Point with flashers and squid 55 feet down in 150 feet. There were reports of splake coming from Wilderness Bay when trolling or long lining with a 6-inch black and silver crank bait.