The cool down of late August has started! Lake temps have fallen from mid-70’s to upper 60-70 degree marks. Weeds are starting to pale up noticeable as they die back, marking the end of their growing season. Fish patterns are changing as they usually do this time of year. Most everything is right on time with exception to water levels. Lakes are high and flowages are very high. This shouldn’t affect what we see on lakes, but Flowages could be off from the late summer/early fall norm.
Smallmouth Bass: Good – Some good shallow action on surface lures (Whopper Ploppers) and twitch baits (X-Raps). Big fish in the 18-20” range. Other fish off deep gravel humps on Ned rigs and drop-shot rigs in 18-26’.
Largemouth Bass: Good – Where weeds have started to die back stay out. Healthy, green cabbage as well as deep coontail edges using tube jigs and wacky worms best.
Musky: Good – Top-water action up tight to shorelines and shallow weeds, wood, or rock good. Smitys Flap Tail, Whopper Ploppers, and Hawg Wobblers all good. Most reports are of action fish, mid 30’s.
Northern Pike: Good – Like the cool down. Tickle the tops of green cabbage beds with Boonie baits, BooYah baits, chatter baits and shallow jointed hard baits.
Bluegill: Good-Fair – Faltering weeds playing on Gills a bit. Where you can find them in deeper weeds, small leeches, minnows and tiny tube jigs.
Yellow Perch: Fair – Very scattered from most reports. Drowned wood using beavertails or medium fatheads best.
Crappie: Fair – Just starting into early fall patterns. Suspended near wood or off 14-18’ coontail edges. Vertical jig medium fats or fish under slip-floats.
Walleye: Fair-Good – Showing up on deeper gravel humps of 18-26’. 1/8 oz jigs with large fats, ½ crawlers. Jigging raps also effective for the most aggressive Eyes.
Live bait will be on many anglers’ minds for this fall. Leeches nearly all but done for the season. Wild chubs, red tails, blacks have been tough to get all year. With last years heavy snows in Minnesota killing off lots of the pond raised suckers and rivers so high that wild caught will also be in low supplies this fall. Fatheads and crawlers should be fine. Best to call ahead to your favorite bait shop to get an idea before you travel.