Trout fishing improves, big northern pike caught

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — As temperatures drop a bit, trout anglers are finding more success and northern pike action is picking up.

At Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township, John Grier said one of his regulars reported a 16-pound northern pike catch, which would be in the range of 40 inches.

“They’re catching some bluegills with nice size,” he added.

Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., said a few groups have had “pretty good luck” on trout, using beaver tails and worms.

Panfish and bass action has been steady and smaller northern pike were biting, Whisler said. Walleye success has been mixed, he added, noting “everyone seems to be switching to minnows now.”

Grier said walleye were active at Way Dam but mostly on the small side.

Menominee River anglers at Marinette, Wis., were catching a few smallmouth bass and sheepshead while trolling crankbaits upstream from the interstate bridge, said the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

A few boats were going out to the bay in search of brown trout both in Wisconsin and Michigan waters with very little luck. However, the few that were caught were rather large.

The Michigan DNR reported this Upper Peninsula activity:

Keweenaw Bay: A couple limit catches of lake trout were taken by those trolling or jigging in the deeper waters of Huron Bay and the Keweenaw Bay. The launch in Traverse Bay is mostly cleared out from dredging that has been going on. Some coho are starting to be caught along with lake trout by those trolling.

Marquette: Fishing picked up. Many boats were catching lake trout, and some did very well especially when trolling spoons right on the bottom in 60 to 150 feet. Anglers were marking large numbers of fish up high, but they did not want to bite. Most were fishing the White Rocks area and near Granite Island. Salmon numbers were light however a fair number of steelhead were caught.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers reported fair catches off Gladstone Beach when trolling or jigging crawlers in 14 to 25 feet or the Kipling reefs in 12 to 30 feet however most of those fish were undersize. Perch catches were fair between the First and Second Reef with crawlers or minnows in eight to 23 feet. Good northern pike action throughout the Bay. Some were undersize but several large fish were caught when trolling spoons, spinners or crank baits in eight to 15 feet. No smallmouth bass reports this week although anglers were doing best around Garth Point or between Hunters Point and Squaw Point when casting plastics with drop shots.

Manistique: Salmon have started entering the river and so have the anglers. Most boats were looking for staging fish near shore, but few were caught.

Manistique River: Anglers are fishing the “Bass Hole” and the rapids by the High Dam spill over. Most were casting J-plugs or spawn sacks. Very few catches were reported however it is still early. Good walleye action in the same area when drifting crawlers in the current. Good northern pike catches were reported along the breakwalls and into the river near the marina when trolling spinners, rapalas or sucker minnows.

Munising: Not many anglers were out and those trolling for lake trout had slow catch rates. Those targeting coho had no luck. Water temperatures were low to mid 60’s.

Grand Marais: Those targeting lake trout had good results with most taking limit catches out near Five Mile Reef and Au Sable Point. Those trying for coho had no luck.