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Deer getting more active, cold weather slows fishing

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Whitetails have begun making scrapes and rubs and the colder weather has put them on the move, especially at night.

“They’re seeing some nice bucks on trail cameras,” said Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis. Both Whisler and Whispering Pine Outpost’s John Grier had reports of archers taking eight-pointers.

Grier has registered 27 black bear at his shop on M-95. Small game interest is picking up, he added, though grouse remain well-hidden. “They’re hearing ’em,” he said.

Whisler said several muskies have made it to the boat. Other anglers were catching big bluegills along with a few northern pike.

Overall, however, fishing pressure has been light.

Fall turkey hunters in Marinette County have reported finding some flocks, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Electrofishing surveys in the lower Menominee River turned up browns and rainbows, the DNR said. Walleye were present in good numbers, and a few trophy smallmouth bass were observed.

The Michigan DNR reported this Upper Peninsula activity:

Copper Harbor: The cold weather slowed catch rates, but just before that fishing was fair with some nice splake caught along with lots of smaller fish by boat and pier anglers. Most were using spawn, smelt, spoons or crank baits. All produced fish but the majority were undersize.

Keweenaw Bay: Was producing coho, splake and steelhead for shore anglers. Slow fishing was reported in Traverse Bay. Those that did find fish caught a mix of coho, lake trout, brown trout and steelhead. Some fresh fish were moved into the Falls, Huron and Silver Rivers.

Marquette: Had its first snow of the season. Most boat anglers struggled to catch more than a fish or two, but a few did manage to get a mixed bag of Chinook, coho, lake trout, steelhead or brown trout in 70 feet or less from the Lower Harbor to the Chocolay River. Surface water temperatures were in the low 50’s. Anglers are starting to fish from the Lower Harbor breakwall. Fishing picked up slightly with a couple coho and steelhead caught on the Carp River as well as coho, brown trout and the occasional steelhead taken on the Chocolay River. Overall, the action was still hit-or-miss. The Dead River still had a few Chinook and though anglers had a hard time catching them, they did manage to pick up a few coho and pink salmon.

Little Bay De Noc: Walleye anglers trolling stick baits in 10 to 15 just south of the Ford River near Round Island as well as those trolling stick baits or jigging crawlers along the reefs near Kipling caught a few fish. There was very little in perch, bass or pike reports this week because of low angler participation.

Manistique River: Was too fast to fish near the dam after all the rain. There were a lot of hook-ups in the fast water, but few were landed. Many of the large salmon were quite dark but the younger fish were still somewhat silver. Most were fishing the “Bass Hole” area and reported fair to good catches of Chinook, steelhead and brown trout when casting spawn, skein or crank baits. Fly anglers were casting yarn, flies or beads.

Munising: It appears the fall coho run is on the downslide as those out trolling caught very few coho or splake. One nice native steelhead was caught recently. Pier anglers reported slower catch rates. Those using spoons did a little better. Shore anglers fishing Bay Furnace caught a few coho and splake on spawn, but the action was hit-or-miss for the most part.

Grand Marais: Boat anglers trolling for coho and steelhead did not have much luck. A nice brown trout more than 8 pounds was caught. A few more shore anglers were surfcasting at the mouth of the Sucker River. A couple nice steelhead were taken on spawn.

Two Hearted River: Continued to produce some coho.

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