On Outdoors: Anglers return to U.P. for smallmouth outing

Smallmouth bass are active in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Ryan Hagerty displays one of many landed on a recent trip. Photo by Amy Hagerty

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

With the success of last year’s Big Bay de Noc, Mich., smallmouth bass trip, Rock Valley Anglers will return to the U.P. in 2010 with hopes of topping 2009’s mark of 400 fish.

According to Big Bay-area anglers and guides, smallies are active as ever and becoming just as popular as walleye, which attracts thousands to the area every year.

Dave McCoy of Rock Valley Anglers said dates for the trip have not been set. However, officials are leaning toward making the trip north May 22 and returning May 24.

Big Bay de Noc bass

When it comes to bass, Big Bay’s (and Little Bay de Noc) smallmouth population outnumbers the tally of largmouths by about 90 percent. In spring, especially if spawning beds are on the chilly side, smallie fishing is optimum. Because of the unique layout of both bays, fish tend to remain active, even after the spawn, when smallmouth bass tend to disappear in traditional lakes and streams.

Formed by Lake Michigan, Big Bay de Noc spans the area near the towns of Escanaba, Gladstone and Rapid River. Known nationally for its smelting, Big Bay offers more than 500 acres of parks, miles of bike paths and beaches.

Those interested in making the trip or joining Rock Valley Anglers can call Dave McCoy at (815) 772-5071. Information about fishing the Big Bay de Noc area is at baydenoc.com.

Outdoors news and photos can be sent directly to Jim Hagerty at jim.hagerty@-rockrivertimes.com. Glossies and hard-copy press kits can be mailed or delivered to The Rock River Times’ office at 128 N. Church St., Rockford, IL 61101. Jim can be reached at (815) 964-9767.

From the May 19-25, 2010 issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!