Fishing action good, distancing still urged
IRON MOUNTAIN — Anglers are landing bass, bluegills and pike, while walleye action is picking up as the season shifts to summer.
Top-water lures and worms are attracting bass, said Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis. “Leaf worms and nightcrawler pieces for bluegills,” he added. “Fly fishermen are having some luck with poppers.”
Walleye catches have mostly been medium-sized, while a few nice pike have been caught.
“Trout fishing has actually been good,” Whisler said, noting spinners are the most popular bait. “A few people have been fly fishing, too,” he said.
If you’re headed out, health officials advise practicing social distancing, staying at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live in your household. Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported this Upper Peninsula activity:
Keweenaw Bay: Those able to get out caught a few Chinook, coho, steelhead and lake trout. Very few reports have come in from Huron Bay, but those going out did find lake trout. A 39-inch fish was caught recently.
Marquette: Lake trout action was hit or miss. A few boats did say they were marking lots of fish, but they did not want to bite. Some fish were suspended 30 feet down in 60 feet near Picnic Rocks. Some nice steelhead and brown trout were caught. The Sand Hole, Little Presque Isle and Shot Point had slow action as well.
Little Bay De Noc: Walleye action was good, mainly at the mouth of the Whitefish and Escanaba Rivers when trolling or drifting crawlers. Perch anglers reported the best catches off the mouth of the Days River with crawlers in 16 to 20 feet and just east of Butler Island in 24 feet. A few fish were caught in the Gladstone Beach area. Good northern pike action near Kipling with spinners and crankbaits in and around 12 feet. The smallmouth action was still good in most areas, including Squaw Point, Hunters Point and Garth Point when using plastics in 2 to 10 feet.
Manistique: Chinook and lake trout catches are picking up, with the best action between Barques Point and the buoy with flies or spoons 40 to 60 feet down. Anglers reported a lot of baitfish in the area, and several salmon over 20 pounds were caught.
Manistique Lake: Was producing bluegills and crappie on South Manistique. Fishing picked up when trolling a crawler harness for walleye or drifting worms for perch.
Manistique River: The number of anglers targeting steelhead and brown trout has tapered off. Walleye and smallmouth bass anglers reported spotty catches.
Au Train: Had reports of slow salmon action. The few targeting lake trout found fish near Wood Island Reef.
Munising: Boat anglers trying for Chinook and coho reported little action within the bay. Lake trout anglers had fair to good catches off the White Rocks and toward Wood Island Reef when trolling or jigging in 120 to 180 feet along the banks and drop-offs. Good action was reported near Grumps Hump northeast of Grand Island. Pier anglers report slow fishing, with very little splake or coho action.
St. Marys River: Was producing good walleye catches on the north side of Lime Island, which is 2 miles from the Raber Bay boat launch. Try the underwater humps and grassy weeds beds just off the shipping channel in 8 to 14 feet with a crawler harness or shad-colored crankbait in the early morning. Those trolling in the shipping channel on the southwest side of Lime Island caught a few Atlantic salmon with two to three colors of lead core and a gold and orange spoon. In Munuscong Bay, good walleye catches were reported by those trolling a small 2-inch crankbait 8 feet behind the boat in 4 to 6 feet. Hot colors were brown and orange or black and chrome.
Detour: Mild weather improved the bite for Atlantic salmon at the Detour Reef and lighthouse when using an orange and gold 3-inch spoon 20 to 55 feet down, as the fish were hitting baits up high in the early morning. For both Chinook and Atlantic salmon, try from the lighthouse east to the first red buoy and for lake trout try 2 miles south of the lighthouse along the 90-foot flat when using flashers with chartreuse and white spin-glo’s behind a 26-inch leader.
Cedarville and Hessel: For young anglers that want to shore fish, try off Hill Island Road at the new bridge where sunfish, rock bass and largemouth bass can be caught on worms or when casting spinners. For Hessel, the pike action was good at the marina fishing pier in the early morning when using chubs and large minnows two cranks off the bottom in 8 feet.