It’s FALL NOW! Trees are popping with color, water temps are dropping and nice, big fish are being caught!
On many lakes of small to medium size (1,000 acres or less, depth not more than 30-35’) surface temps have fallen into the low 50’s, below turn-over stage. On larger lakes, while no reports as of this writing, with nights in the low to mid-30’s (and a weekend forecast for HIGHS in the 30’s with SNOW), every lake will probably be done turning by early next week.
Musky: Good-Very Good (but not as good as expected) – Reports of nice, heavy fish in mid-40” range and above3 (50” being tops at shop). A good mix of fish on lures (Deep Crank – 50”, Bucktail – 47 ½”, Suick – 42 ½”, Crane – 41”) and fish on suckers. Not the numbers expected (usually the best #’s weekend of the year), but nice fish overall.
Crappie: Good – When able to withstand wind, good numbers and size (fish to 14 ½” this past week). Medium fatheads, ½ crawlers or 1/16 oz Bunny Butt jigs under slip-floats in 14-18’. Watch for schools suspending 4-6’ off bottom.
Bluegill: Good-Very Good – Not your typical October target, but anglers targeting drowned wood in 13-16’ making nice catches of Gills 8-10”+ on ½ crawlers, small Crappie minnows.
Northern Pike: Good-Very Good – Mostly incidental catches of larger Pike (30-35”) while targeting Musky using twitch baits or suckers. Anglers working shallow weeds reporting #’s but small Pike on jig/minnow or Mepps #3.
Largemouth Bass: Good – A few anglers targeting largemouth reporting good action back up where green weeds are found. Swim baits of 3” as well as sucker minnows in 2 ½-3 ½” range.
Walleye: Good-Fair – Spotty reports best on waters further north this past week. Some very nice fish including 28 ¾” on 3/8 oz jig and chub. Vertical fishing jig/minnow combos and jigging Raps best.
Smallmouth Bass: Good-Fair – Limited reports. Most on drop-shot rigs using 3” Gulp Alive minnows or similar minnow imitations over gravel humps of 22-32’.
As reported, this weekend looks a bit chilly, but should get us past the turn-over on almost all lakes. Patterns will stabilize, then its up to how weather conditions will effect angler participation.