Anglers advised of high fire danger in Wisconsin

Outdoors report

IRON MOUNTAIN — The fire danger is high in Florence and Marinette counties as Wisconsin’s general fishing season opens today.

The forecast is expected to bring windy conditions and warmer weather. Although there’s a chance of showers this morning, today brings the most concern as winds could gust as high as 30 mph with a high near 76.

Sunday should be much cooler, with showers likely.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources fire control officials remind the public that wildfire season continues until vegetation greens, regardless of recent precipitation.

The DNR also advises that boat launches may be crowded for today’s opener and encourages anglers to maintain social distancing.

“No matter where you live or recreate in Wisconsin, there is a good fishing spot close by,” said Justine Hasz, DNR Fisheries Management bureau director. “Take some time, get outdoors and find your adventure fishing Wisconsin waters.”

In the northern part of the state, walleye will be done spawning and have moved into shallower bays to feed. Anglers should expect to find them in slow currents or drop-offs and should fish for them using a jig and a minnow, the DNR said.

Bass anglers have reported modest catches during the new catch and release season, and both largemouth and smallmouth bass will be in their pre-spawning modes for the opener. Anglers will find largemouth bass in the same shallow bays as walleye, while smallmouths will be on rocky drop-offs adjacent to spawning sites.

Panfish anglers may find bluegills and crappies in warm shallow water around trees and stumps preparing to spawn, though fishing may be slow with the recent cooler weather. Worms, waxies or small plastics fished under a bobber will work well for bluegills. Try using minnows under a bobber to catch crappies.

Trout streams are relatively low and anglers might expect trout to spook easily.

Anglers trolling in Door County and northern Lake Michigan can expect to catch brown trout, and perhaps rainbow trout, as they are just finishing their spawning runs. Many of these trout have begun returning to the lake.

Additionally, coho salmon are starting to make their annual northward migration along the Lake Michigan lakeshore. Shore anglers have reported catching coho by casting spoons off the piers, while boat anglers have caught them trolling with flies on dipsy divers.

The Michigan DNR reported this Upper Peninsula activity:

Ontonagon: Fishing here and Union Bay was hit-or-miss. Most anglers caught coho and brown trout though lake trout and steelhead were also reported. Lake trout were found in deeper water. Anglers reported very little smelt activity in the streams however boats were marking baitfish relatively shallow. Surface water temperatures were in the high 30s to low 40s.

Munising: Boat anglers are still catching a few chinook and coho per trip. Some also reported the occasional steelhead or brown trout. Splake fishing was slow.

Grand Marais: Windy conditions have limited access for boat anglers. Those getting out did manage to catch a couple steelhead and the occasional Chinook. For pier fishing, the best bite was towards evening. Anglers are reporting limits of quality size whitefish and a few coho when using a single egg for whitefish and spawn sacs for coho. Some were targeting Menominee.


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