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Outdoors report

Anglers head to popular derbies

February 5, 2011
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Tip-Up Town in Channing and Pike Fest in Amasa highlight some of this weekend's activities available to local anglers. Both events take place today.

Warmer weather predicted for this weekend should help fishing pick up as well.

"It should be pretty productive this weekend," said Don Ciochetto at the Sport Shop in Iron River. "I know guys have been doing pretty good on panfish this week."

Bait sales were brisk at Crystal Bait in Crystal Falls, ahead of Pike Fest which is headquartered out of the Rusty Saw Blade, but fishing was hit or miss according to Tom Bean.

Dean Lindblom at Country Bait and Tackle said northern were caught at Peavy and out of Badwater this week.

"Lot of reports of perch and bluegill," he added.

Country Bait and Tackle will be holding a weekend fishing contest March 5-6. Details will follow in the coming weeks.

Pattie Teske at Florence Sport and Bait also reported some catches of northern this week.

"Fishing was still a little slow," she said. "A few bluegill were caught. Not much to report on walleye. Perch were hitting on fatheads."

John Grier at Whispering Pines Outpost called the past week rather quiet. Wax worms, walleye suckers and walleye minnows remain his top sellers.

Bob Kennard at Midtown Bait and Tackle in Channing plans to stay open until 5 p.m. Saturday for all those heading to Tip-Up Town.

"Local lakes are doing well," he said, mentioning Sawyer, Squaw and Chief lakes. "Guys are catching panfish and pike."

Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported the following fishing conditions across the Upper Peninsula:

Keweenaw Bay - Yellow perch and smelt were caught out from the Baraga Marina in 30 to 40 feet of water. Best time to fish was sunrise to 10:00am. Lake whitefish and lake trout were caught in 80 to 115 feet of water east of the Baraga Marina. Coho and lake herring were caught between the lighthouse at Sand Point and south or west towards Bucks Marina. Be sure to check the ice ahead of you in this area. Coho, herring and a couple rainbow trout were caught out from the Fall's River in L'Anse. Watch the ice, especially near the open water at the mouth of the river.

Little Bay De Noc - Ice conditions were good north of the Escanaba River however south of the river is still dangerous due to shipping activity. Anglers have started looking for whitefish off Sand Point, but no reports have come in. Walleye were caught near the head of the bay when using tip-ups in 13 to 20 feet of water and off the Center Reef when jigging rapalas with minnows in 22 to 28 feet of water. Some are also fishing near the mouth of the Escanaba River in 25 to 30 feet of water. Anglers have started fishing down near Portage Point. Those taking motorized vehicles out are reminded of the dangers in this area; extreme caution needs to be used at all times. Perch fishing was slow but some nice fish were still reported between the Center Reef and the Second Reef when jigging minnows in 18 to 25 feet of water or off the beach at Gladstone in 25 feet of water. A good number of northern pike were reported off the mouth of the Day's River in 13 to 19 feet of water when jigging or using tip-ups with sucker minnows.

Indian Lake - Ice conditions are still poor near the mouth of the Indian River, just north of Silver Creek as well as north and south of the boat launch in Lange's Bay. These locations will have poor ice all season so anglers need to stay away from them. The big pressure crack is still out there in the middle of the lake. More walleye have been caught near the rock pile in the middle of the lake in 5 feet of water but many were sublegal. Try tip-ups with 2 inch minnows or jigging a Swedish Pimple with or without a minnow. A good number of perch were caught along the northeast shore and in Lange's Bay. Some were over 9 inches but most were smaller.



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