Walleye, bass catches highlight fishing action
IRON MOUNTAIN — As summer weather holds through August, river anglers were having some success landing walleye, while bass fishing was good with most any type of bait.
Many boats were seen at the Menominee River launches near Lake Michigan, with walleye anglers being most popular, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said. Anglers were trolling crawler harnesses and crankbaits.
On local rivers, walleye catches in the range of 16 to 19 inches were reported, said Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis.
While panfish action was sluggish, smallmouth and largemouth bass were hitting a variety of lures, Whisler said. “They seem to be able to be caught pretty handily,” he said.
Some crappies were found suspended over deeper water, with crappie minnows the best bait, he added. A handful of northern pike in the range of 28 to 33 inches were also caught.
In Marinette County, a few boats were out this week on the Peshtigo River targeting perch, the Wisconsin DNR said. Anglers were getting around four to eight keeper perch per person with about the same amount thrown back.
The Michigan DNR reported this Upper Peninsula activity:
Keweenaw Bay: Anglers caught primarily lake trout along with a few Chinook salmon when trolling or jigging. Traverse Bay saw a few more coho and lake trout, but the action was very sporadic as the fish are here one day and gone the next. Those going out on Huron Bay found mostly lake trout.
Marquette: Few anglers were out due to windy conditions. Water temperatures are slowly starting to cool with the north winds and cooler air temperatures. Good lake trout fishing continues with incidental catches of coho.
Little Bay de Noc: The best walleye fishing was along the southern waters. Most were trolling crawlers or stick baits near the Minneapolis Shoals in 22 to 30 feet and Round Island in 16 to 25 feet. Perch anglers reported fair catches near Kipling with crawlers in 10 to 28 feet and north to the Days River Buoy. Good smallmouth bass action near the Ford River when casting plastics along the rocks and weed lines in 4 to 10 feet. Salmon anglers fishing the southern bay had little to no fish. On the Escanaba River, fishing was pretty much shut down after a large fish kill.
Manistique: Salmon anglers reported a few small fish caught 60 feet down in 100 feet out near the buoy. Those going out past the buoy to deeper water reported fair to good catches of lake trout 80 to 105 feet down in 120 to 150 feet.
Manistique River: A few salmon have entered; however, the numbers are still quite low. Walleye anglers are still getting fish when casting jigs with crawlers or leeches near the Dam Spill-Over.
Munising: Few anglers were able to get out. Water temperatures remain steady around 70 degrees near shore. North winds have helped to slightly cool the waters.
Raber: Had fair walleye catches in the early morning or late evening at Carlton Creek. Most were trolling a purple beaded crawler harness near the cattails and weed beds in 8 to 12 feet. For musky, try trolling the 2-mile shoreline that runs to Pointe Aux Frenes with a dark green or black rubber paddle tail jig. A couple musky were caught near Round Island when trolling near the weed beds in 12 feet.
Detour: There was less effort for salmon over the last week; however, those targeting lake trout have caught some nice fish 2 miles south of the lighthouse along the 90-foot flat. Anglers were using chartreuse and white spin-glo’s with a 21 to 26-inch leader. The thermocline was 52 to 55 degrees at 60 feet down near the lighthouse.
Drummond Island: Reported good walleye catches on the south end of James Island, which is on the north edge of Maxton Bay. Most are using a bottom bouncer with a crawler harness or trolling inline planer boards with a black and chrome crankbait to simulate smelt.
Cedarville and Hessel: As we move toward the end of August, a few more perch were caught near Connors Pointe, located at the south end of Cedarville Bay. Fish were hitting both worms and shiners. Fair pike catches at the Middle Entrance to the Les Cheneaux Islands when using large creek chubs two cranks off the bottom in 18 to 20 feet near Buoy #8. Good bass and panfish action off the fishing platforms on Hill Island Road. East of there, good largemouth bass action was reported on the east end of Bush Bay with artificial frogs or crawlers. For Hessel, there have been no reports of salmon or trout in the area. Largemouth bass were caught in Mackinaw Bay with plastic worms or frogs in 4 to 6 feet. Good pike fishing from the marina pier in the early morning when using large creek chubs.
St. Ignace: Lake trout were caught around the island when trolling spoons. Surface temperature in the straits was 68.3 degrees. At 60 feet down it was 48.8 degrees. Many were fishing St. Martins Bay for walleye but had no luck. On the Carp River, small walleye were caught at the wall with worms and leeches in the morning. Those fishing midday caught smaller perch when using worms.