You would be hard pressed to find a better fishing lake than Lake Gogebic, which stretches like an inverted
equestrian riding boot some 14 miles along M-28. It’s the largest natural lake in Michigan’s Upper
Peninsula and covers parts of Gogebic and Ontonagon counties.
All told, it encompasses 13,380 acres with a maximum depth of 38 feet and a mean depth of 17.5 feet. With
its girth of 2 1/2 miles, the 36 miles of shoreline ranges from sand and clay banks to a rocky/cobble/gravel
mix. From there it transitions to vast interior areas of mud, muck and clay.
No matter the season, anglers will find good success with walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike and of
course its legendary jumbo perch. The north and south ends are noted for its weedy, fish holding cover. The
mid-lake mud flats hold fish, especially those jumbo perch, nearly year around. In the winter the perch feed
on mayfly larva emerging from the muck.
Learn to read the lake and how to use the right fishing method in the right place for the big reward! For
example, using live wigglers rather than perch minnow to target that species. Find the transition zones –
from hard to soft – to increase your success.
While most anglers tend to think of using a guide only in the warmer months, it’s not a bad idea to enlist
the help of one of those experts to not only put you on the hot spots, but also to fine-tune your presentation
and choice of bait/lure.
As a bonus for those staying overnight at one of the lodges on the lake, they can hop on their snowmobiles
and be on fish in a flash of their depth finder.
Special bag limits for Lake Gogebic ensure that the jumbo perch population will remain strong for future
generations to enjoy. If you’re coming from another state, be sure to get your Michigan fishing license!
• Gogebic Lodge is sponsoring its 38th annual ice fishing derby on Saturday, March 6, 2021. With a purse of
$5,000 total prizes, there will be various cash awards for perch, walleye and northern pike, in addition to
prizes for the first crappie, whitefish and rock bass registered. In addition, door prizes will be awarded.
Ihing hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m CST. For more information, visit gogebiclodge.com or call (906) 842-3321.
• Maple Ridge Bait and Taxidermy plans to again host it Hog-A-Thon, depending on any COVID
restrictions. Owner Gus Pietila says the 2021 Hog-A-Thon – perch only — will be Saturday, March 13.
Fishing hours are daybreak to 5 p.m. EST last weigh-in (The lake is in two times zones.) The largest perch
will net the winner $1,500; second, $1,000 and third, $500. Entry fee is $35. There is no children’s
division. For non-target fish, there is a $250 prize for the largest walleye and $100 for largest crappie.
Gus notes fishermen can increase their chances by using spring bobbers because of the light bite; sonar
units to find them; and to fish in about 24 feet of water. For more information, call 906-365-5050.