Fish swim to deeper waters; Edey angler tangles with monster

Outdoors report

IRON MOUNTAIN — As inland lakes continue to warm, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources suggests slowly drifting a larger natural bait at deeper depths to tempt a strike.

Bass, walleye, perch, crappie and larger bluegill often move into deeper water and suspend at their preferred cooler temperature during the hot summer months. Try to keep bait about 12 to 20 feet deep no matter how deep the water is, the DNR advises. If the rod tips, count to three before reeling in and setting the hook.

An angler at Edey Lake in Sagola Township landed a 37-inch northern pike fishing from a kayak, said Bob Kennard at Midtown Bait & Tackle in Channing. “Fought it for three days,” he joked.

Witch Lake in southern Marquette County continues to produce fish, Kennard added.

The Halfway Bar & Grill in Cedar River will host its Salmon Slam fishing derby on Aug. 7. Entry is $100 per boat and there is no limit on the number of anglers or rods per boat.

For more information, go to the Cedar River Salmon Slam page on Facebook, or contact Scot Fernstrum at s.fernstrum@hotmail.com or 906-271-0392.

Lake Michigan anglers near Marinette, Wis., were concentrating on perch in multiple areas along the bay, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said. The Peshtigo River had lots of activity with anglers catching good numbers of perch.

In Oconto County, Wis., walleye action has picked up with boats coming in with four to six fish, the DNR said.

The Michigan DNR reported this Upper Peninsula activity:

Ontonagon: When anglers did find fish, they primarily caught lake trout with an occasional coho mixed in. With the cooler water temperatures, anglers had to fish all over to find active fish. The lake trout coming in were loaded up with smelt with the average fish being in the 2- to 4-pound range. Walleye fishing on the Ontonagon River has been very hit or miss, as anglers were finding a good number of sub-legal fish and fighting to find the legals. Trolling and jigging were productive but make sure to bring extra tackle, as the river is snaggy.

Keweenaw Bay: In Huron Bay and Keweenaw Bay, anglers had luck both jigging and trolling for lake trout. Most of the fishing was done in deeper water. A few anglers were also able to catch brown trout and coho in Keweenaw Bay. In Big Traverse Bay, anglers reported success with both trolling and jigging as well. Most of the fish caught were in water below 150 feet in this area and those surrounding. Near South Portage Entry, anglers reported a good catch of yellow perch, northern pike, smallmouth bass and rock bass.

Marquette: Lake trout catches were spotty. Some anglers found fish in 140 to 180 feet of water. A couple coho and a brown trout were reported being caught.

Munising: Pleasure boat traffic and jet skis have been extremely high. Counts have been over 50 trailers with very few actual boat anglers. However, the boats that were out targeted lake trout with decent catches of five or more fish per party of two and up to some limits. There was a heavy mayfly hatch. Big Reef was excellent with anglers either jigging or trolling and limiting out. Some big fish have been reported in the 15- to 20-pound range. Anglers fishing the reef were fishing the top of the reef and edges.

Grand Marais: Anglers are mainly targeting lake trout and coho and are doing great with most reporting limits of fish. Anglers are fishing mainly towards Five Mile, AuSable, near the shipping channels, towards Caribou Island and Big Reef. Nice catches of fish averaging around 8 to 12 pounds have been coming off of Big Reef.

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers that launched out of north shore managed to catch a few fish while trolling. Similar experience for those that launched out of the Whitefish River, although most were undersized. Smallmouth bass anglers were having some success. Some anglers fishing off the Gladstone fishing pier were catching perch and pike.

Big Bay de Noc: Smallmouth bass anglers were doing well. Reports of fair to good numbers being caught, along with some respectable sized fish in the mix. Perch anglers had variable success, with some able to catch their limit. Salmon fishing in Fairport seemed slow in comparison to previous weeks, although anglers were still making some contact with fish. Most are targeting depths between 100 to 150 feet of water.

St. Ignace/Les Cheneaux: The walleye fishing near the mouth of the Pine River was still good.


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