Friendly water levels, but chilly temperatures for trout opener

Outdoors report

IRON MOUNTAIN — With the winter snowpack long melted, trout anglers should find streams flowing within their banks for today’s trout season opener in Michigan.

Otherwise, the forecast is less than ideal — wind, rain and maybe even some snow by evening. The expected high is 49. Sunday looks to be sunny, but with similar temperatures.

Cold and windy conditions have slowed fishing.

At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., Fay Whisler said anglers nonetheless were making plans to head out this weekend, targeting walleye on the boundary waters or casting area lakes for panfish. Wisconsin’s general inland fishing opener is Saturday, May 1.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said boat anglers were catching walleyes in good numbers this week in the Menominee River at Marinette. Vertical jigging with minnows was working well on the lower stretches, while trolling stick baits was working well upstream in the shallower areas.

Lake Michigan anglers farther south off the Little River boat launch reported a few good catches of brown trout while trolling Rapalas and spoons. Catches of three to six fish were common.

In Oconto County, the area at the mouth of the Oconto River off Oconto Park II and off Pensaukee were all producing fish, according to the DNR.

The Michigan DNR reported this Upper Peninsula activity:

Ontonagon: Strong winds have stopped boat anglers from heading out. When they did get out, a few anglers trolling did well while most only picked up a fish here and there. Some steelhead were caught but there were no reports of fish in the rivers yet. Large schools of smelt were seen at the mouth of the Ontonagon River; however, smaller streams have not seen any smelt.

Little Bay De Noc: Boat anglers continue to catch yellow perch near Kipling.

Manistique River: Has a good number of steelhead in the system.

Indian Lake: Was producing some perch.

Au Train: Boat anglers were getting some limit catches of coho along with the occasional Chinook. Water temperatures were about 34 degrees.

Munising: Shore and pier anglers report slow fishing with only a few coho and splake caught. Boat anglers trolling within the bay caught a few coho. A few limit catches of mainly coho with the occasional steelhead or brown trout were reported in Trout Bay up near Chapel Beach.

Grand Marais: Limits of whitefish along with a few coho averaging 12 inches have been caught. Most are using eggs for whitefish and spawn sacs for coho. Steelhead are in rivers and the majority may be done spawning. Smelt were found in Sable Creek.

St. Marys River: Perch fishing was picking up on the upper river.

Drummond Island: Perch fishing started to pick up in Scott’s Bay.


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