Bear hunt opens Wednesday in UP

Outdoors report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Michigan’s first bear hunting period, which allows bait-only hunting through Sept. 15, opens Wednesday in the Upper Peninsula,

During the second period, starting Sept. 16, both bait and dogs are permitted through Oct. 26. The third season, with similar rules, starts Sept. 25.

Hunters are reminded of additional restrictions on baiting in areas where deer baiting is illegal.

The grouse hunt opens Sept. 15 in Michigan and Sept. 14 in Wisconsin. At Whispering Pines Outpost in Breitung Township, John Grier has gotten a few reports from trout anglers who’ve flushed grouse.

In Wisconsin, citing a dwindling population, the Department of Natural Resources plans to close the grouse season Jan. 5 across the northwestern two-thirds of the state. The traditional closing is Jan. 31.

Michigan’s grouse season ends Jan. 1 and there is also no grouse hunting during the firearm deer season.

Leftover fall turkey permits remain available, said Grier. The Upper Peninsula season runs from Sept. 15 through Nov. 14. Fall turkey hunting begins Sept. 14 in Wisconsin.

Any leftover antlerless deer permits will be on sale in Michigan beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern time on Monday. Go to Michigan.gov/Deer for more information.

Anglers continue to have success landing panfish and have been targeting other species as well.

“We’re selling a little bit of everything as far as bait,” said Grier.

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

Keweenaw Bay: Lake trout have been caught in both Keweenaw and Huron Bay when trolling or jigging in deeper water.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye catches were spotty especially with the north winds. The better action came in the evening when trolling stick baits or crawlers along the reefs in 10 to 20 feet or when trolling stick baits near the “Black Bottom” in 14 to 25 feet. A few yellow perch were caught just south of Nelsons Bay with crawlers in 10 feet. Good smallmouth action from Garth Point south to Squaw Point with tube baits in 4 to 8 feet. Most of the pike were undersize, however several large fish were caught by walleye anglers trolling the river mouths with stick baits.

Manistique River: Almost all Chinook anglers were trolling the river. Catch rates were spotty and the numbers were still low but should get better. Most were trolling rapalas up near the High Dam spill over. Shore anglers were casting rapalas or spawn bags between the “Bass Hole” and the spill over. Walleye anglers reported fair catches from the mouth to the US-2 Bridge. Most smallmouth bass were undersize.

Grand Marais: Had low angler pressure. Those out lake trout fishing had fair to good results out near the shipping lanes and Five Mile Reef in 180 to 220 feet. Those trying for coho had no luck.

Drummond Island: The walleye bite slowed though a few catches were reported in Scott Bay in and around Peck Island in 20 feet with a crawler harness and bottom bouncer or smiley face spinners. No yellow perch to report.

Detour: Pink salmon were caught near the Detour Reef and lighthouse as well as west to the first green buoy when trolling smaller spoons. Hot colors were orange and gold or pink and white. Atlantic and Chinook salmon were caught upstream from the lighthouse about halfway down in 90 to 100 feet with flashers and squid. In most areas, the thermocline was still at 45 to 55 feet. Atlantic and Chinook salmon were caught near Fry Pan Island and lake trout were caught two miles straight south of the lighthouse along the 90-foot flat with spin-glo’s behind flashers.

Cedarville and Hessel: Successful anglers reported good catches of yellow perch at the Middle Entrance to the Les Cheneaux Islands. Fish 8 to 11 inches were caught when drift fishing southeast of Peck Bay with worms or shiners on a spreader with orange beads. For Hessel, pike were caught in Mismer Bay and Mackinaw Bay on both natural and artificial baits, including black bucktail spinners or a chrome spoon with a red eye in the early morning or late evening. Look for pike and smallmouth bass in 4 to 6 feet near Echo Island and St. Ledger Island.