Little Bay de Noc
Lake Preview of Little Bay de Noc in Escanaba, Michigan.
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|Escanaba Michigan area fishing report for Big and Little Bay De Noc|
From the looks of these pictures, fishing has been awesome the last couple of weeks in the Escanaba's Little Bay DeNoc. For those braving the cold, nice catches of good size perch and eater size walleyes have been consistently coming to the ice. Some real brutes has also been caught mixed in to your catch. When looking for a great staring spot, major reefs or rock piles have been producing nice fish. The old stand by of a jig and a minnow head, or a small jigging spoon, has been effective. If you are looking for a great ice fishing trip, Escanaba should be on your list for the rest of this season. Here is a splash of last weeks photos:
Little Bay De Noc
Well the Ice fishing season is well underway in the town of Escanaba! If you are looking for safe ice and good fishing you have got it! The perch and walleye bite has been great all fall and it's been great for the last week here on the ice. The perch and walleye have been biting well on all of the upper bay reefs. Center reef has been especially good for a mixed bag of walleye and perch. The walleye have been falling for jigging spoons tipped with a minnow head. They have also been hitting tip ups in the mornings and evenings. Perch have been hitting small spoons tipped with a minnow head. Russian spoons and teardrops with waxies have also been great. This year the walleye moved back into the bays de noc area in August. No one really knows why the bait and walleye left for the early season, but they (and the bait) are back in force and it's been awesome.
The smallmouth bass action remains as strong as ever! Lots of good fish are beginning to set up on the main points and sand bars around the bay. Early in the mornings it seems that you can get them "On Top" of the points and then slide deeper as the day goes. Tubes and weighted wacky worms have been outstanding.
The best walleye catches were in southern waters between Breezy Point and the Minneapolis Shoals. In the Breezy Point area, anglers trolled stick baits or a crawler harnesses along the break in and around 12 feet. Out near the "Fingers" anglers used the same in 18 to 25 feet. A few walleye are still being caught off the mouth of the Whitefish River but most are undersized. A few good catches of perch were reported around the Kipling area using wigglers, crawlers or minnows in 5 to 24 feet. A good number of pike are being caught through out the bay. Salmon anglers reported catches out by the Ford River Buoy when trolling spoons 60 feet down in 85 feet.
Well the Bass fishing on Little Bay De Noc is now in full swing. I just got back this morning after a great day on the water on Thursday. Here is the deal, Smallmouth are on the beds up in the shallow water at the head of the bay near the mouth of the Days river. Almost all the shallow water that has good spawning grounds is filled with fish. We caught over 20 nice keepers up to 5 pounds and had a blast! The best baits were a combination of "search baits" and "Bedding baits" I used a KVD Perfect Plastics 5" Swimming Shiner as my search bait. I made long casts in 2-3' and caught half the fish. I casted all around the boat and targeted marauding smallies. My bow man was Scott Cormier an accomplished Escanaba resident fisherman. Scott slowly ran the boat working the beds with a Strike King "Creature Bait" the bass could not leave it alone and Scott caught and quickly released another 15 nice fish. The bottom line is the bite is just getting going and should remain good thru the next couple weeks. If you have never fished Little bay for smallmouth.....this is a "Bucket List" destination.
Howdy anglers! Well...tomorrow is another holiday in the U.P., it's opening day of walleye season. We've had a very cold spring up here in da U.P., but anglers are ready to get out there after ol' "marble eyes". My brother still saw walleyes in the Rapid River while shining just 3 nights ago. We're starting to warm up some, and that's exactly what we need right now. I think anglers will have to slow down their presentations for at least the first week or so of the season. One of my best tactics in the early season is drifting with a floating jig tipped with just 1/2 a night crawler. Takes are subtle, feeling just like you're starting to snag up on bottom. If the walleyes aren't cooperative you can still fish for perch. Good perch action has been found in the "narrows" at Gladstone out from the water treatment plant all the way to Saunder's Point in 30 to 45 feet of water. Wigglers and minnows are working best right on the bottom. Good luck anglers, we'll keep you posted!!! Look at this early season HOG!
Welcome to spring! The perch are beginning to bite in the inner bay from Gladstone north. decent catches of perch are coming in and it seems like the area in front the Day's river, Third reef and Gladstone beach being the most productive. The perch should hold us over until the start of walleye season.
Hey sportsman, just a quick update to the areas fishing report. There has been some activity recently of some larger walleye moving into the Bay. It is by no means fast action but the fish being taken are giants. The fish are being caught using #7 & #9 jigging raps tipped with a minnow head only. The action is happening at the bottom of the breaks that are in 25-35' FOW. Jig with a couple longer strokes and then really go subtle or even stop for a bit. The long strokes draw them in and the rest is up to the angler. After you see one on the graph sometimes a slow upward motion triggers the bites. The good thing is that you can fish for perch during the day and walleye for the 1st and last hours of daylight. Pike fishing remains strong. Take a look at a couple slobs that were caught this week. The bite should continue to improve as we get closer to spring and the fish come into the bay towards the river mouths. For winter trip info contact Jordan at: email@example.com
It's been the slowest winter we've ever seen for walleye fishing. Some are blaming the high number of alewives in the bay, while others are blaming the 77% reduction in fingerling planting by the DNR, while others are placing blame on the illegal gill-netting by tribal fishermen that's occured every year since 2009. I'm sure it's a combination of all three! We recently got some good news...they are finally starting to charge the individuals in the 2014 illegal fishing operation that was uncovered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. They set up an undercover wholesale business and made several hundred purchases of illegally caught fish by tribal subsistence fishers. Heck...the DNR even planted 10,000 muskies in Little Bay de Noc, why? Not sure...because NOBODY wanted them. When we are trying to re-habilitate the perch and walleye fishery, they plant another top-end predator. Not too smart in my book! Musky fingerlings cost $1.70 each while walleye fingerlings cost .04 cents. So...the DNR spent $17,000 to plant a fish that nobody wanted and for that same amount of money we could have planted 425,000 walleye fingerlings. Thankfully we still have a pretty good perch fishery and the pike fishing is really good right now, they are everywhere in the bay. Perch are being caught off the Days River in 12 to 18 feet of water on wigglers and minnows. Locals are catching 10-20 really nice perch in the 10-12 inch range daily. Slender spoons tipped with minnow heads are working as well as J and K tackle "slayers" tipped with minnow heads or wigglers. Hali-style baits are working too. Perch can be pretty finnicky some days, and using a camera to see how they react to certain baits can be a really good tool. Just tellin it like it is folks!!!!!!!!
Well...the walleye fishing remains to be tough on the Bays de Noc. The bite that most anglers are concentrating on now is the perch bite. We've had some pretty decent reports of good perch fishing the past week to 10 days. Anglers are catching perch using a variety of methods, but the one working best is just tipping small jigs with wigglers. This is catching the most fish...but not the biggest fish. Some anglers have been coming into the shop saying they're just using 2 inch shiners, and this is how they eliminate catching the small ones and just catch perch in the 9 to 12 inch range. Conditions are a little sloppy and slushy out there now with this recent warm spell, but anglers are still getting around driving trucks and snowmobiles. If you use a quad now you might want to make sure it's 4wd or have chains until things tighten back up next week. I fished yesterday with my buddy Ray and the only fish we caught was a beautiful 40 inch 17.5 lb. northern pike, which he released to fight again. Best perch fishing has been found along the edges of First Reef and in Nelson's Bay in the northwest corner of Little Bay de Noc. Best depths have been 10 to 15 feet. We will keep you updated!!! Good luck from all of us in the Bay de Noc area.
Bitter cold temperatures have taken hold in the U.P., 9 below zero as I write this update. The only good thing to all this cold is it's making ice rapidly. A good 8 to 12 inches of ice have been reported for most of the upper bay from Gladstone north. South of Gladstone caution should still be used, but a good 4 to 6 inches have been reported. Currently there is no ice from Escanaba south. Fishing...welll, to put it truthfully, it's been very slow. A few big walleyes are being caught, but numbers of fish are down. There have been some decent perch caught in the Nelson's Bay area and in the First Reef area. Pike are being caught all over the bay on tip-ups. Best baits for walleyes have been #7 and #9 jigging Rapalas in the glow hot perch pattern and firetiger. One of my favorite baits on the bay is a Willams Wabler tipped with a minnow tail. This lure has saved the day for me many, many times when the fish seem to be lethargic. I think once temperatures moderate some the bite will pick up, over the years it's always been tough during these bitter arctic blasts. Good luck from all of us in the Bay de Noc area.
Ice has formed on Little Bay de Noc and anglers have been ice-fishing for about 2 weeks. This past warm-up and rain didn't help, but we still have fishable ice. The north end of the bay from Gladstone north has a good 4 to 8 inches on average, with a little more in some spots. South of Gladstone there is only 3-5 inches of good ice, however the forecast is for some very cold air next week with lows below zero again, and that should really put on some ice. We haven't heard of many real good reports yet, with a few walleyes here and there and some decent perch being caught off the Day's River. Numerous reports of small pike being caught all over the bay, especially in the Escanaba Harbor. Caution is still advised on this early ice, and as always...stay away from river mouths and points. As the reports come in, we'll keep you updated!
Howdy folks! Sorry for the lack of reports lately, but we've just had some terrible weather this fall. I am done charter fishing for the season, but there are a few hearty souls still out there when the wind isn't blowing 30 mph. I think this has been the windiest fall I've seen since moving up here 20 years ago. There is still some good smallmouth fishing going on when guys can get out after them, and the perch bite is starting to get better. Normally the 2nd and 3rd weeks of October are peak for our fall perch bite, but this year it seems to be starting a little later, at least on Little Bay. Over on Big Bay I've heard of some good perch being caught in the Garden Bluff area, and anglers are waiting for them to make their move into Garden Bay, which should be occurring soon. The walleye bite has been slow, however there are a few being caught after dark south of Escanaba trolling crankbaits over structure. Reef Runners and deep Husky Jerks have been the baits of choice. Good luck from all of us in the Bay de Noc area!!!
It's that time of year folks! It can mesmerize you, it can hypnotize you, it can totally take over your whole thought process. It's "GIANT FALL SMALLMOUTH" time. And, that's exactly what happened to me last Thursday when I had a charter cancelled and I went fishing with the idea of finding walleyes for upcoming charter trips. I got into some beautiful smallmouth bass...and I forgot all about fishing for walleyes. Smallies are like that, they are just so much fun to catch that you just want to keep catching them. Both Little and Big Bay de Noc are on fire right now for smallmouths, the only bad thing is that we've had some really crummy weather preventing us from getting out on the water. I had two charters cancelled this weekend because of high winds, and the forecast doesn't look good for the next week. Rain and high winds are in the forecast. Casting tubes, drop-shots, and swimbaits is about all you have to do to catch them right now. I love the Keitech swing impact baits on a vmc swimbait jig head. One of my best big fish baits is a Jackall I-Shad in green pumpin on a dropshot rig. Man...I've caught some of my biggest smallmouths on that setup. With the water temperature slowly dropping, the walleye bite is in a bit of a transition time. For about a 2 week span every year the walleye bite slows this time of year until they get used to the cooler water temperature. It's a great time for big pike and smallmouth bass though. When searching for these smallmouths right now, look for the shallow sand flats close to sharp drops into deep water. Also look for scattered grass/weeds and sand. Hopefully the weather straightens out and we can get back out there soon, because I've got the smallmouth bug bad...it's an addiction, and the cure is getting out there and setting the hook until your arm hurts!!! We'll keep you updated, good luck from all of us in the Bays de Noc area.
Yup, couple days late again getting a report up. Between work at the resort, charters, and kids activities it's been a little crazy. Today's charter got cancelled, so I took the opportunity to check out some new spots for smallmouth's. I'm glad I did because I had some awesome bass action this morning. I was mainly tossing a drop-shot rig and also casting a swimbait. The bass are coming back into the shallows, like they do every fall, and it can be some of the best bass fishing of the year. You can check out some of today's fish at our Sall-Mar Resort Facebook page. The walleye bite has been slow recently, we might be getting close to that fall turnover time when things slow down for a week or two before picking back up once the water fully cools. Very few anglers have been out fishing lately, I think most people have hunting season on their minds. We are smack dab in the middle of bear season, and today was the opener for small game. Lots to do this time of year, and I can't think of a better place to do it than Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula. Get out there and enjoy the outdoors. I'll be on the water all weekend, so next week we should have a much more detailed report.
I had a very good week of fishing last week with some nice walleye catches and some great bass fishing as well. We had a couple of days of strong winds, but that just meant we had to change our tactics. When the wind blows, I like to drift with floating jig heads tipped with just half a crawler. This method works from May through September, and is especially effective when the mayflies are hatching out in June and July. It also works well when fish are relating to sharp breaklines and sharp weedlines. On Friday we hit Big Bay de Noc for smallies, and we had a blast catching over 50 beautiful smallmouths up to 19 1/2 inches. All were released to fight again, they're just too much fun to catch only once! Tube jigs, drop-shots, and wacky rigs all caught lots of fish in depths from 6 to 35 feet of water. Unfortunately, this past weekend we had a terrible tragedy on Little Bay de Noc. An angler from Illinois fell out of the boat he was fishing from and still hasn't been found as of today. It just stresses the point that we all need to focus on safety first every time we hit the water. There were three anglers in a jon boat and none were wearing a life jacket in rough seas. Be safe this fall fishing season...and if conditions warrant, please wear your life jacket. You can check out some of the fish we caught last week by going to: http://www.baydenoccharters.net
We've really had some nice weather and some nice walleye catches on our charters recently. On Sunday's trip we did an evening trip and trolled deep husky jerks and reef runners to put some dandy walleye in the boat including a 29 incher that we released. Monday we took advantage of a strong south wind to drift a sharp breakline where we caught 10 nice walleyes using floating jigs tipped with 1/2 crawlers. I just love fishing this way!! Water temperature is still in the mid 70's. Guests of ours at the resort have been bringing in a mixed bag of fish including walleyes, bass, perch and lots of pike. We've been finding our walleyes either on top of reefs or along sharp weedlines. Bass have been very scattered, but mostly relating to weedlines that transition to shallow sand flats. Pike have been everywhere...literally!!! Boat traffic on Little Bay de Noc has been pretty much non-existent, very few people fishing right now. Soon the kids will be going back to school, the trees will begin to change color, and summer will just be a memory. We'll keep you updated each week on how the fishing is and current conditions, good luck from all of us in the Bays de Noc area.
Howdy anglers! I don't have a whole lot to add this week, as I've been out of town for the last 5 days vacationing with family. We had a great week of fishing last week, with some nice catches of walleyes, pike, and bass. We released all the bass and all but one of the pike. The walleyes...well, they're going to make some great meals for my clients. The water temperature has stayed in the upper 70's, which is great, the warmer the water the better the fishing is up here. We've also had some tremendous rains lately, making the rivers rise and bringing in lots of stained water...which is another good thing. It looks like we'll have some nice weather in the next week to 10 days, so get out there and enjoy the last days of summer, and some really good fishing as well. Good luck from all of us in the Bays de Noc area.
Sorry for missing a couple of weeks, but I had some phone and internet problems. We're back online and back on the water too. We've seen a pretty decent walleye bite the past two weeks. Nice warm and stable weather has the eyes in a feeding mood. We've been catching them using two completely different methods. Trolling harnesses over reefs and weedbeds has been very productive as well as drifting sharp breaklines with floating jig heads tipped with crawler halves. Drifting is really fun, there's nothing like feeling the subtle take, dropping to the fish for a second, and then setting the hook. I think clients like this type of fishing more than any other type of fishing we do on our charters. August dog days are walleye days on the Bays de Noc. The pike fishing remains good...despite the water temperature being 76 degrees. We aren't catching the whopper pike we'll be getting later in the year, but numbers have been good and boy do they fight. I just love casting for "toothy critters". Summer goes quickly folks...so get out there and get in on the good fishing before it's over!!! Good luck from all of us in the Bays de Noc area.
Walleye fishing continues to be somewhat slow on the bays. On Monday's trip we caught 6 nice fish and several undersized walleyes along with a few sheephead, bullheads, and pike. Yesterday we caught some dandy perch in the 10-12 inch range while fishing for walleyes, so that is also an option right now. I think somebody could do really well dropping the anchor and using slip-bobbers. Bass fishing has picked up considerably on both bays. Both guests and many locals have commented on the good bass fishing. Pike fishing remains really good, even though the surface temp. is up to 76 degrees. This is usually a good time of year for numbers, but the bigger fish still prefer a little cooler water temperature. Late August and all of September we see some really good pike fishing for big fish, and hardly anybody out there fishing for them!!! Good luck from all of us in the Bays de Noc area.
There's not a whole lot to report from this past week. Very few anglers have been fishing the Bays in this heat we've been experiencing. Walleye fishing continues to be somewhat slow, we just can't get rid of the alewives in the bay this year so the fish have plenty to eat right now. Despite water temperatures in the 68 to 70 range the pike fishing has been very good. On yesterday's trip we tossed spinnerbaits over deep weeds for a couple hours and caught several pike in the 22 to 32 inch range while missing many more. Some salmon are being caught out from Escanaba near the Ford River can and by the D8 can southeast of Escanaba. A good trolling bite for walleyes usually heats up in the "Black Bottom" area of the bay in late July and all of August. We will be on the water a lot in the next 10 days, and will keep you updated. Good luck from all of us in the Bays de Noc area.
With Little Bay de Noc full of alewives, the walleye bite has been very slow. We are currently experiencing the warmest weather of the summer, along with very strong south winds. This should warm up the water and drive the alewives out of the bay and get the fish biting better. Pike fishing has been very good for the few anglers targeting them. Lots of fish in the 22 to 30 inch range. Smallmouth bass have finally started to turn on as well. Bass anglers have reported good fishing when casting jerkbaits and tube jigs along weedlines and anywhere there's rocks, as the bass are feeding on gobies. I've got a couple walleye charters coming up...so we will keep you updated! Good luck from all of us in the Bay de Noc area!!!
As we head into the 4th of July, the action on the Bays de Noc has been hit and miss. On last Friday's charter we landed 16 keeper walleyes and a lot of undersized fish, then we were hit with some very strong north winds for a few days and small craft advisories. Those north winds really blew out the warm water and dropped the water temperature, which in turn shut down the walleye bite. However, when we have strong fronts come through like that the northern pike bite really cranks up. Pike fishing has been very good for those anglers casting spinnerbaits and spoons along and over emerging weeds throughout the bay. A friend was casting tubes a couple days ago for bass and landed the biggest one of his life...at almost 23 inches! He released it to fight again! Salmon fishing has been great while trolling with downriggers and spoons in deeper water out from Fairport at the end of the Garden Peninsula. Good luck from all of us in the Bays de Noc area...and have a safe and happy 4th of July celebration!!!
The past week we've had some very strong west and northwest winds. This has caused most anglers to stay off the water. We currently have a couple of guys staying with us and they've been chasing bass on both little and big bay de noc. Considering the tough conditions they've been faced with they've done well. The smallies seem to be getting more active. Yesterday I had a 1/2 day trip in the morning and we landed 8 nice eating sized walleyes and a bunch of short fish. We caught them both trolling harnesses and pitching 1/4 oz jigs tipped with crawler halves. Lots of mayflies hatching out and there is a pretty good alewife spawn happening in the bay. I think this might be why we haven't seen many big fish being caught...they've got full bellies! Salmon are being caught in good numbers near Fairport as well as a few steelhead. We will keep you posted with current fishing conditions and "hot bites" Good luck from all of us in the Bay de Noc area.
Howdy folks! Here's the most recent update for the Bays de Noc area. We have been hampered with some brutal north and west winds recently, which has made for some tough fishing. The north wind blows out the warm water, bringing in cold water from Lake Michigan, and this literally shocks the fish and their activity slows. After last weeks north blow the water temperature went from 68 in some places down to 57. We've still been catching walleyes, but many have been undersized. Trolling crawler harnesses has been best for me in 15-20 feet of water. Out of about 30 fish on Saturday's trip, only 3 were keepers. We then went pike fishing and caught some "toothy critters" casting spinner-baits, but most of the fish were small. We need summer to get here and it will definitely improve the bite. When we do get south winds, the water will warm up and the fish will turn on. Bass fishing has also been slow due to the weather. Stay tuned...
Sorry for the late report, but the Memorial Day Holiday weekend saw some pretty decent walleye fishing on Little Bay de Noc. The upper portion of the bay was the best location, and most anglers were trolling shallow crankbaits like rapalas, thundersticks, and rattlin' rogues. Most of the fish were running 15 to 20 inches, perfect for the frying pan. Night fishing was fantastic over the weekend, but very few anglers were fishing at night. A past charter customer of mine landed over 30 keepers fishing last Saturday night trolling stickbaits over emerging weeds at the north end. After a terrible opening week, the fishing is finally picking up with nicer weather and warming temperatures. Bass season opened and most reports we got were that the bass fishing was slow. Fish were just coming in to the shallows to spawn, and very few beds were seen. I had a great charter yesterday trolling crawler harnesses in 8 to 12 fow. We caught lots of fish and the average size was 22 to 27 inches. We had a hard time finding smaller fish under our slot limit that we could keep. Lots of fun!!! Good luck from all of us in the Bays de Noc area.
Capt. Ken Lee
Bay de Noc Charters
5/25/2016 As we head into the Memorial Day Holiday weekend, the walleye bite here on Little Bay de Noc is slowly improving. We had a very cold opening week of walleye season, with snow falling on opening day and cold north winds for many days in a row. This has kept the water temperature from rising, and just in the past few days we've seen the water finally go above 60 degrees. This will no doubt help the bite. Guests of ours here at the resort have started catching fish the past couple of days trolling or drifting crawler harnesses at the north end of Little Bay de Noc. Catch and release bass fishing has been very good the past couple of weeks, but most smallmouth are now moving to bedding areas to spawn. Big Bay de Noc has also been slow for walleyes, however some perch are still being caught in Garden Bay for the few anglers targeting them. We will keep you updated, Good luck from all of us in the Bay de Noc area...
Capt. Ken Lee
Bay de Noc Charters