Is it midsummer or early fall? It’s hard to tell as the weather has been so hot and humid, yet some leaves are starting to turn. Ferns are turning brown.

Water levels remain high. The weeds are dying off quickly now and even the deeper weeds are dropping down somewhat. Water temperatures are in the low 70s, but will drop quickly with colder weather.

With Labor Day over, most of the summer tourism is over and the lakes will be much quieter. The need to fish early or late to avoid the traffic is gone, but those time periods can still produce some very good fishing.

Walleye action has been pretty good on the Chain, with good numbers being produced in deeper water. Most fish are in the 12- to 18-foot range, but some shallower weed-related fish are still being caught in the evenings. The best bait is still crawlers, but some anglers report that minnows are beginning to produce pretty well. Try the edges of the holes first and move shallower if they are not in the holes. On the deeper, larger lakes, the fish are in deeper water during the daytime. Look for the deep rock bars to hold fish. In the evenings, these fish normally move shallower and anglers can do well on the weed edges with minnows. 

Bass action has stayed pretty good, but the smallies have moved deeper as the crayfish have died off. On some lakes they are holding in 15 to 20 feet of water feeding on minnows. Look especially for deep cribs to be holding some fish. Jigs and minnows work very well when they are in those patterns. Largemouths are still in the weeds and cover and are hitting just about anything that moves, including surface baits. 

Northerns are hitting as usual on all lakes. Look for any weeds that are holding panfish and you will get some action from these aggressive fish. Use spinnerbaits Mepps or Johnson Silver Minnows in the weeds.

Muskie action has been very inconsistent throughout the area, with some anglers reporting good action and others not so happy in the same time periods. During the daytime, trying for suspended fish out over deeper water will produce large fish and more consistent action. In deeper water, plastics or crankbaits will work best because you can get them deeper. For weed fishing, use surface baits or bucktails.

Panfish action has been good, with the bluegills still in weeds even if the weeds are dying off. Worms will always produce for the ’gills. Crappie action has been good in the weeds, but the fish are not concentrated at all. Anglers need to keep moving and will get one every once in a while in the weeds. Perch are usually in the deeper weeds.

Enjoy the weather while we can!

Good luck and good fishin’.