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Panfish biting, maple syrup starts flowing

Outdoors report

IRON MOUNTAIN — With warmer weather arriving, it’s important to pay close attention to deteriorating ice conditions, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said.

Anglers are reminded that, aside from upcoming deadlines, ice shanties must be removed once the ice can no longer support them safely.

Most of the remaining ice action is concentrated on panfish.

“Crappies are hitting right around dark,” said Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis. “Bluegills have been pretty steady and they’re catching perch, but mostly small,” he added.

Snowmobile trail conditions in Florence County were listed as fair and trails in Marinette County were only partially open, according to travelwisconsin.com.

UPROAR — Upper Peninsula Recreational Off-Road ATV Riders of Dickinson County — will have its first meeting of the year at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the back room at Big 10 Sports Bar & Grill in Quinnesec. New members are welcome.

Maple trees have been tapped in Marinette County and the trees are reciprocating with steady flows during sunny weather, the Wisconsin DNR said.

The Michigan DNR reported this Upper Peninsula activity:

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers were catching more fish. Those moving out to deeper water picked up lake trout, whitefish and herring when jigging, while those in shallow water caught coho, splake and brown trout. Some did well with tip-ups and jaw-jackers, but most fish were caught while jigging. Those targeting burbot at night picked up a few, but most were on the small side. Smelt fishing was slower.

Little Bay De Noc: Travel on the ice was a bit easier. Watch for changing conditions with warmer temperatures this week. Walleye anglers reported spotty catch rates even though good numbers of fish were marked. The better catches came from the head of the bay with tip-ups in 14 to 24 feet, and the Escanaba River with tip-ups or jigging raps in 30 feet. A few were caught on the Ford River. Perch anglers reported fewer catches, so many were moving to deeper water. Fish were found near Kipling with minnows or wigglers in 28 to 30 feet. A warming trend this week could produce some good walleye action.

Munising: Ice conditions improved slightly; however, the east end of Sand Point and the West Channel were not safe due to strong currents and open water in the area. The nearshore ice at Sand Point was mainly pack ice. Anglers could be found off the Anna River access points. In general, fishing was very slow for coho, splake, lake trout and lake whitefish. As more anglers were targeting burbot at night, some reported good catches. A few locals who fish several times a week did well for whitefish, but put in a good six hours or more on the ice.

Cedarville and Hessel: Catch rates picked up around the Les Cheneaux Islands, with anglers catching perch and pike in Government Bay, the Cedarville Channel and Duck Bay. Perch ranging from 7 to 13 inches were caught in Musky Bay when jigging minnows and wax worms in 12 to 17 feet. Some pike up to 27 inches also were taken with blues on tip-ups.

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