Panfish, bass, brookies biting

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — Inland lakes in the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin are producing panfish, bass and northern pike.

Catch rates were improving with cooler temperatures in the early morning and evening. Anglers were targeting crappies in shallow water with nightcrawlers. Perch were also in the shallows.

Bluegill results were best in about 10 feet of water, said Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis.

“They’ve been catching brook trout on dry flies, and some nice bass, largemouth and smallmouth, on a variety of baits,” Whisler said. Northern pike fishing has been steady, but “they’re on the skinny side,” he said.

With pike trying to hide in cooler water, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources suggests fishing where cold-water streams flow into lakes, or around springs.

The DNR reported this Upper Peninsula activity:

Keweenaw Bay: Anglers had success trolling and jigging for lake trout. A few lucky anglers picked up a couple Chinook and steelhead; however, it took time and effort.

Marquette: Limits of lake trout were caught, and fishing pressure has increased. Most were out in the early morning or evening, and the average fish was 2-3 pounds. Fish near the White Rocks, “Sand Hole,” Granite Island, “Clay Banks,” Stannard Rock and Granite Loma Farms. A few coho, steelhead or brown trout were taken. Catch rates out near Shot Point were getting a little better in 120 to 180 feet.

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers reported spotty catches, with fish taken off Breezy Point with crawlers in 16 to 18 feet and at the Minneapolis Shoals with crawlers and stick baits in 30 feet. In front of the Terrace Bay Inn, fish were found in 25 feet of so when using a crawler harness. Fish were also found at the mouth of the Whitefish and Escanaba rivers with crawlers in and around the weed beds. Fair to good perch catches by the ship docks in Escanaba with crawlers in 30 feet. Just off the Ford River, smallmouth bass were caught when casting jigs or plastics around the weeds and rocky areas in 5 to 10 feet. A couple salmon were caught near the Ford River Buoy when trolling spoons and flies in 80 feet.

Manistique: Anglers are starting to target fish heading to the river. Boats going out 3 to 6 miles looking for fish had little to report.

Manistique River: Chinook salmon are starting to show up, so many will start trolling the river or shore fishing.

Munising: Anglers are catching primarily lake trout out near the White Rocks, West Channel, Wood Island Reef, Trout Bay and Grand Portal in 120 to 160 feet. A few were suspended, but most were near the bottom. Anglers were putting in five hours or more to get fish. There were various bug hatches in the area. Big Reef was also producing some lake trout, either trolling or jigging. Anglers reported young smelt in some of the fish caught.

St. Marys River: Anglers are fishing the shipping channel for walleye. Lake George was producing good numbers of northern pike. Behind the Powerhouse, some Atlantic salmon were caught, but very few whitefish.

Raber: For walleye, try near the mouth of Carlton Creek when trolling just off the weed beds in 8 to 12 feet with a black and chrome crankbait or crawler harness, early or late. For musky, try trolling the north shore of Raber Bay to Point Aux Frenes with a black bucktail spinner or a large chrome spoon with a red eye just off the weeds in 8 to 12 feet.

Detour: Reported some nice catches of Chinook, lake trout and Atlantic salmon along the Detour Reef. Try fishing along the east side of the lighthouse to the first red buoy. Target 100 feet of water with good rocky structure and baitfish. The thermocline was 55 to 58 feet down in over 100 feet. Salmon were hitting flashers with orange and gold spoons with a black ladder back.


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