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Tip-Up Town derby today at Sawyer Lake

Outdoors Report

IRON MOUNTAIN — It will be cold but sunny for today’s Tip-up Town of the U.P., 4 miles north of Channing on Sawyer Lake Road.

The 47th annual fishing contest runs from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with prizes given out at the Sagola Township Sportsmen’s Club. The fee is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 17 and under. Register at Midtown Bait & Tackle on M-95 or at Sawyer Lake.

Women on Ice will be on hand to help promote the sport of ice fishing.

Food will be served until 6 p.m. and admission to the clubhouse is free.

Bob Kennard is well-stocked at Midtown Bait. He recommends having all fish measured at the clubhouse, regardless of size, as not every category may be well-represented.

Action on Sawyer Lake has been good, Kennard said, and contest anglers can also try Eddy Lake for panfish.

“They’re hitting Lower Peavy (Pond),” he said of other fishing activity. Walleye, perch and northern pike were among the targets.

At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., Fay Whisler said crappie catches have been good in deeper water. Bluegill catches — many of them 10 inches — were reported as well.

“Quite a few northern pike and some keeper walleye but not a whole lot,” Whisler added.

Waxworms and small minnows were the preferred baits for panfish, she said.

Next weekend is free fishing weekend in Michigan. All fishing license fees will be waived on Feb. 13 and 14 and a Recreation Passport will not be required for entry into state parks and boating access sites.

At mid-week, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported these Upper Peninsula conditions:

— Keweenaw Bay: Ice was starting to form near shore. Extreme caution needs to be used, as it is early ice. Anglers need to be aware of changing ice conditions, especially with a south wind.

— Little Bay de Noc: Ice conditions were widely inconsistent around the bay. Good ice at the head of the bay has created a false sense of safe ice, as it may be a foot thick in one area and less than an inch nearby. Several anglers have fallen through the ice recently, either walking or operating snowmobiles and ORV’s. Extreme caution needs to be used. Areas of special concern include Saunders Point, Hunters Point, the access site at Fayette and Ogontz, Farmers Dock, and near the mouth of the Escanaba, Days and Ford rivers.

— Munising: Ice anglers are out on the bay, and more ice shanties are popping up. Ice conditions are not consistent, so anglers need to use caution, especially with moderate snowfall and strong winds in the forecast. Avoid the channels and Grand Island Access areas. There is a large pressure crack off Powell Point. Anglers are getting splake, coho, whitefish, burbot and perch, including some limit catches by those putting in the time. Fishing pressure was high in the mornings off the Anna River Access, the city docks and Sand Point. Splake were hitting jigs with minnows or wax worms in the bottom 6 feet. Coho were slow, with anglers getting maybe one fish per hour. Those spearing for herring reported slow catch rates. Those targeting burbot were seen off Sand Point and off the Anna River.

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