Feels like fall now! Following a week of warm weather and rising water temps, the past weeks weather has brought lake temperatures back down in a hurry. Lakes and Flowages that saw surface temps hit 70-71 degrees 10 days ago, now see most lakes sitting in the 60-63 degree range. With the exception of a hic-cup on Thursday afternoon (9/26) fishing has improved for several species as the water has cooled.
Crappie: Very Good – Not only has the bite gotten better, mostly with medium fatheads under slip-floats in 14-18’ over wood or along coontail edges, but some truly big fish. 13-14” have been reported by a lot of anglers, but a 15 ½” followed by a 16 ¼” monster were brought into the shop last week.
Musky: Good-Very Good – This next week to 10 days leading up to the turn-over on most lakes should be key for Musky action! Good time to continue with top-water and bladed baits. Higher riding, plastic and swim baits also hot. Suckers, especially on bladed quick-set rigs have been scoring well.
Walleye: Good – Definite up tick in action as waters cool. Vertical jigging 1/8 – 1/4 oz jigs tipped with large fatheads or ½ crawlers. Jigging Raps, Shiver Minnows and Hyper Glides over 22-38’ gravel/rock humps. On Flowages 1/16 – 1/8 oz Invasion or Jacks weedless jigs tipped with large fats or smaller chubs working in drowned wood and even shallow weeds on windward shorelines.
Northern Pike: Good – Most reports from anglers targeting Musky using smaller bucktails or twitch baits Mepps #5 spinners as well as 4” swim baits also effective.
Smallmouth Bass: Good – Fewer reports anglers targeting = less reports. Best along base of gravel humps. Drop-shotting and vertical jigging.
Yellow Perch: Good – Best on Flowages around wood using ½ crawlers under floats.
Largemouth Bass: Fair – Not many targeting. Most reports from deeper weed edges using Sweet Beavers on Carolina rigs or drop-shotting 3” Wacky Worms
Bluegill: Fair - Few reports
Seems the warm September has everything held back. Not a lot of color in trees unless you head north of here. Warm lake temps threw patterns off but now things starting to line up!
Big question will be “when is turn-over?” All the lakes won’t turn-over at same tie due to surface area and depth differences, but watch surface temps. Once they get to the 53-55 degree range it could start. Lakes without current (Flowages) and depth (under 24’ Max, typically) won’t experience turn-over. This pre-turn-over time can bring on some “hot” fishing as fish seem to “feed up” prior to the shutdown stage when the “mix” is happening, so get ready!