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Holiday boaters reminded of Operation Dry Water

IRON MOUNTAIN — Over the holiday weekend law enforcement officers and agencies will be on the water educating boaters on safe boating practices as part of the annual Operation Dry Water weekend.

Operation Dry Water is a national awareness and enforcement campaign focused on reducing the number of alcohol- and drug- related incidents and fatalities on the water.

Officers will also be on heightened alert looking for those in violation of boating under the influence laws.

The month of July sees the highest total number of recreational boating incidents nationally, according to U.S. Coast Guard recreational boating statistics.

Anglers are having good luck landing panfish and bass, while walleye and northern pike action has been hit-and-miss.

“They’re catching some big bluegills on leeches,” said Doug Whisler at Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis.

Little crappie minnows are the best baits for crappies and perch, while smallmouth bass have been hitting a variety of things, he said.

“The best walleye fishing has been in the evening using crawlers,” Whisler added.

Kids and Mentors Outdoors will host a Kids Hooked on Fishing event Saturday, July 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lake Emily Park in Florence County. Fish poles, bait and life vests will be provided for the catch-and-release event.

For more information, go to the KAMO website at https://www.kamokids.org/map/northwoods-chapter/.

The Sagola Township Sportsmen’s Club youth program meets the first Sunday of every month at the Sawyer Lake clubhouse at 1 p.m. For information about the club’s shooting sports program, call 906-396-1119.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported this Upper Peninsula activity:

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers had some success when trolling with crawler harnesses or crank baits. Anglers going out of the Ford River or fishing Breezy Point reported positive results. Anglers were catching walleye at the head of the bay, although a degree of sorting through sub-legal fish was necessary. Some anglers were catching perch on crawlers. Those targeting bass were having success throughout the bay, fishing reeds or submerged structure, casting jerk baits and soft plastics.

Manistique: Anglers salmon fishing reported a fair amount of bait fish, but fishing was slow. Anglers were unable to locate warm water and all of bait sightings have been limited to the upper part of the water column.

Keweenaw Bay/Huron Bay: Anglers in Keweenaw Bay and Huron Bay were fishing for lake trout and salmon. Anglers were mostly trolling and had success in around 150 feet and up near 30 feet as well. Most fish were caught while using flies and spoons. Fish were biting on green, blue, and silver spoons.

Traverse Bays/ South Portage Canal Entry: Anglers reported success jigging and trolling for trout and salmon. Most anglers had success with lake trout whether it be trolling or jigging. Anglers jigging were in deeper water, mostly around 170 feet. Those who were jigging were using cut bait for lake trout. Anglers while trolling were anywhere from 30 feet down to 150 feet and they were trolling with spoons and flies. Most fish were caught during the early morning or the late evening. Some anglers casting from shore had luck catching pike and rock bass.

Munising: Angler pressure was low and most of the boat traffic was recreational pleasure boaters. A few boat anglers were fishing early morning for Chinook and coho with only scattered catches reported of a few Chinook. Fishing out near Wood Island in about 120 feet was successful for lake trout.

Grand Marais: Fishing pressure was low with only a handful of boats out with most reporting limits of lake trout. Anglers reported good catches of nice eating size lake trout caught anywhere from 150 to 200 feet.

Marquette: There was a slight uptick in fishing pressure over the last week. Anglers reported catching mostly lake trout, but there were some reports of Chinook and coho salmon being caught. Anglers fishing offshore near the Chocolay River had success catching salmon from high lines using tri-color spoons of varying vibrant colors. Lake trout were caught lower in the water column in around 40 to 50 feet of water using bright orange spoons. Anglers had some success catching lake trout near white rocks in around 150 feet of water.

Au Train: Anglers fishing to the east of the Brownstone Boat Launch caught lake trout in around 40 to 50 feet of water while using bright color spoons and flickers. Try trolling at slower speeds of around 1.5 to 2 miles per hour. Anglers fishing to the west of the Brownstone had success catching lake trout. Try jigging or trolling in 140+ feet of water for best success. Cut/natural baits while jigging or orange and blue spoons while trolling seemed to be a common theme for anglers catching fish.

Upper St. Mary’s: Anglers were targeting and catching whitefish upriver of the Soo Locks. High numbers of small sized whitefish were caught while jigging or using a simple bobber setup with wax worms. Anglers were jigging between 3 to 5 feet above the bottom of the river in 15 to 25 feet of water. Anglers were also catching an increased number of round whitefish (menominee) over the past week.

Lake Nicolet: There was the occasional steelhead bite at the rapids, but only a few harvested. There were pike and perch caught, with an occasional walleye.

Whitefish Bay: Fishing around 65 feet in 100 to 120 feet of water while trolling produced some bites of coho salmon, but the bite was not very consistent.

Carp and Pine rivers: Good numbers of walleye were caught at both rivers by anglers fishing from the shore. Early morning and late afternoon were the most productive times. Anglers were using leeches under a bobber.

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