Warm weather greets ‘fall’ hunters

Outdoors report

Fall turkey hunts are underway in both the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin. The U.P.’s license quota is 1,500. (Ryan Brady/Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — Summer-like weather is holding on even as the 2022 bear season moves into full swing and archery deer hunters hit the field in Wisconsin.

In the Upper Peninsula, bait, dogs and other legal bear hunting methods are allowed through a season that runs through Oct. 16. The same holds true for northern Wisconsin through Oct. 4, to be followed by an “aid of dogs only” period from Oct. 5-11.

After the first week of the Wisconsin hunt, Millan’s Custom Butchering in Armstrong Creek had processed nearly 70 bruins. Taking a limited number of animals each day, the shop on its Facebook page advised hunters to “ice your bear heavily and keep it cool.”

Daytime highs are expected to reach well into the 70s at least into midweek.

Silver Lake Resort in Channing, a Michigan bear registration station, reported visits from a half-dozen successful hunters so far.

At Whisler Outdoors in Florence, Wis., there were reports of walleye action picking up. The fish were hitting crawlers on black or blue jigs.

“The crappie and bluegill bite has been good,” added Fay Whisler, noting bluegills have moved into deeper water. Good numbers of perch running 9 to 12 inches were also caught, she said, with the most success in about 12 feet of water.

Wisconsin’s archery and crossbow deer season opens today, running through Jan. 8. Regulations can be found at https://widnr.widen.net/s/pdq5r2sdqc/2022wi_huntregulations.

Michigan’s fall turkey, small game and ruffed grouse seasons opened Thursday. Check leftover turkey license availability and find additional fall turkey hunting information at Michigan.gov/Turkey.

Northern Wisconsin’s fall turkey season opens today, along with small game and grouse.

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

Little Bay de Noc: Walleye anglers reported good fishing. Anglers were trolling or jigging near Gladstone, close to the first reef and by No See-um Creek. Perch anglers had variable results, with spotty success. Anglers were focused on the Days River and out in front of Kipling along weed edges.

Manistique: River anglers reported a fair amount of pink salmon in the river. Anglers were catching pink salmon on beads, spawn, spoons and crank baits. The Chinook salmon bite was tougher with limited reports of success. However, anglers are anticipating another push of salmon when the fishing is expected to improve. Chinook anglers reported best success when floating skien.

Marquette: Fishing pressure was very low. Anglers reported catching fish from White Rocks, Granite Island and Stannard Rock. The water depth for anglers fishing White Rocks was between 60 to 80 feet of water while trolling two to three color combination spoons. Anglers fishing Granite Island reported catching fish while trolling blue/tri-color spoons in 100-plus feet of water. As for Stannard Rock, anglers reported catching lake trout while trolling and jigging in 150-pus feet of water.

Munising Bay: Boat anglers trolled for over three hours for coho or splake with no success. A few anglers were fishing off the Anna River with no success. One boat angler was targeting lake trout and had some fair action towards Wood Island Reef, resulting in good eating size lake trout around three pounds.

Grand Marais: Anglers were jigging and they limited out in about three hours of fishing just off the break outside the harbor.

Keweenaw Bay/ Huron Bay: Anglers caught some lake trout while jigging and trolling over the last week. During those trips, burbot were also biting in Huron Bay. Anglers were anticipating the salmon run and have been increasing their fishing pressure in the mornings.

Big Traverse Bay/ South Portage Entry: Some anglers reported lake trout catches while trolling and jigging in mid depth waters from 70 to 170 feet. Some anglers reported lake sturgeon catches off the pier in the Portage Canal. Anglers reported natural and artificial bait catching fish while trolling. Natural baits worked while jigging. Catches were divided relatively evenly between morning and afternoon fishing.

Au Train: Fishing pressure was very low in the Au Train area. The best opportunity for catching lake trout would be in around 150-plus feet of water near Au Train Island. Try trolling spoons or stick baits, or jigging cut-baits in deep water.

Les Cheneaux/Detour: There were a few splake sightings within the Hessel marina, but no catches were reported. Anglers were still getting a few perch from the marina as well.

Lower St. Marys: Fishing activity was slow due to weather and water conditions. Perch were caught with crawlers and minnows by the few anglers that made it out. Very few harvest reports of walleye, pike, bass and muskie.

Lake George: The fishing in Lake George was productive with catches of pike, smallmouth bass and perch. On occasion there are a few walleye caught as well, which was a distinct increase since earlier this month. Most of the fishing was dependent on the weather conditions for the species in question, some conditions being better for others and with a front sitting close, it may cause the bite to change.

Lake Nicolet: Fishing in Lake Nicolet improved as the month progressed due to weather and temperatures. The methods remained consistent, and a few of the surveyed anglers were putting in the track down the fish. Salmon were caught, with a couple walleye, pike, and perch being caught on occasion through the lake as well. More types of salmon were reported in the river, but surveyed numbers were still on the lower side of things at the present time, but those numbers started to increase as the season continued.

Upper St. Mary’s/Whitefish Bay: Anglers were fishing from shore or docks to avoid windy conditions on the boats. Anglers were primarily targeting yellow perch upriver of the Soo Locks and into Whitefish Bay. Crawlers and a bobber, perch rigs, and small spinners produced some successful results. The occasional northern pike and walleye were caught.


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