Plenty of choices for holiday anglers
IRON MOUNTAIN — Anglers are finding a variety of fishing opportunities for the Labor Day weekend — everything from muskies to bluegills.
Inland lakes are producing walleye, bass and panfish, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., Doug Whisler said there were good reports on perch. “That’s something we don’t always hear,” he said.
“There’s a lot people musky fishing,” Whisler continued, noting success has so far been slow. Bluegills were found in deeper water, he said, and walleye catches have been “of decent size.”
Minnows have been producing for walleye as well as crappie, although the latter have been more finicky.
Bear hunting begins Wednesday in the Upper Peninsula, with bait-only hunting for the first five days. During the remaining periods, both bait and dogs are permitted. Wisconsin’s bear hunt also starts Wednesday, with regulations specific to each zone.
Next weekend brings Wisconsin’s archery deer opener Saturday, while Michigan will conduct its annual firearm Liberty Hunt that same weekend.
Small game and turkey hunting also starts Sept. 12 in Wisconsin, while Michigan opens its seasons Sept. 15.
The Michigan DNR reported this Upper Peninsula fishing activity:
Keweenaw Bay: Catch rates were spotty, and most of fish caught were lake trout when trolling or jigging. A few Chinook were caught along with coho and steelhead, but these numbers were much lower compared to the lake trout. All launches are open and ready for anglers.
Marquette: A few trolling for salmon from the Lower Harbor to the mouth of the Chocolay River had no luck. Lake trout fishing continues to be good from the White Rocks to the Little Presque Isle area along the drop-offs in 140 to 180 feet. The fish are staging for spawning. The Carp River had a few shore anglers casting; however, the current was strong with high water levels. The Chocolay and the Dead River Tourist Park area also had high water levels.
Little Bay de Noc: The better walleye fishing was still south, although a few more catches were reported throughout the bay. In Kipling anglers trolling the Second and Third reefs reported fair catches using crawler harnesses or stick baits in 25 to 32 feet. Fish were caught in the Ford River area to Round Island with the same in 10 to 20 feet at night. Fair to good catches at the Minneapolis Shoals in 20 to 30 feet. Perch anglers in Kipling reported fish in the Butler Island area using crawlers in 10 to 25 feet. Several large northern pike were reported around the Escanaba ship docks trolling crankbaits, spoons or bucktails in 8 to 14 feet early morning. Smallmouth bass are starting their fall patterns, as some anglers reported catches in the “Black Bottom” area using plastics along the breaks and weed lines in 14 to 18 feet. Though very few salmon were caught in the bay, now is the time to start checking the rivers.
Manistique: While it is still early, a few boats were out about 2.5 miles looking for staging fish, but only a few catches were reported.
Manistique River: A few salmon are in the river, along with a fair number of brown trout. While there may not be a large run this fall, there should be enough fish to make it worthwhile. Walleye anglers are still doing well. Most were trolling or casting jigs with crawlers at night.
Munising: Lake trout were caught near the White Rocks, Wood Island Reef and in Trout Bay. Strong winds helped cool water temperatures, which should be in the mid to upper 60s now. Pier anglers were out but had to leave due to waves coming over the pier. Water levels on the Anna River were very high.
Raber: Walleye slowed in Raber Bay. A few pike were caught between Little and Big Lime Island when trolling or casting a spoon with a red eye in 6 to 10 feet. Anglers are reporting nice catches of smallmouth bass at Round Island. Try orange spotted tube jigs in 4 to 8 feet off the rocks.
Detour: Chinook salmon fishing slowed considerably this week at the Detour Reef and lighthouse. The few caught were in deep water.
Cedarville and Hessel: A few Chinook and pink salmon were caught near the Cedarville Quarry when trolling near buoys 3-5 in 80 feet. Yellow perch were caught across from Viking Boat Works near the cattails in 8 feet with worms and shiners. Good largemouth bass throughout the Les Cheneaux Islands when fishing near structure.
Carp River: Anglers were still catching walleye and perch drifting and bottom bouncing leeches and worms, though leeches seemed to work best.
Nunns Creek: One or two anglers were casting spoons for salmon at the mouth, but no fish were caught.