With all the weather changes and all the rain we’ve had, the water temperatures are falling pretty quickly in the area (except for the warm front this week). 

We’ve had water temps as low as into the 50s reported on some lakes. It’ll turn colder and when it does, expect some turnover to start on many lakes. All in all, the fishing has been pretty good and pretty consistent in the area.

Water levels are high from the recent rain. Weeds have been dying off on all lakes. Remember that the deeper weeds are much slower in dying in the fall, so look for deeper weeds for your best fishing. On some of the clear lakes, the deep grass will live right through the winter.

Walleye fishing has been real good on the Eagle River Chain, as these fish are now in or very near the holes. This pattern is quite predictable each fall and these fish will stay in the holes for the winter. While a few anglers are still catching walleyes on crawlers, most anglers are switching to fatheads for best action. We are not seeing real big fish yet, but the numbers of fish are very good. Use one-eighth ounce jigs with large fatheads for best results in the holes. This pattern is quite consistent throughout the Chain. On larger lakes, we also see the walleyes moving deeper off the weeds and onto the drop-off areas. They will move even deeper as the water cools. We’ll see fish in schools as deep as 35 feet soon. Jigs and minnows work best on these lakes also.

Bass fishing is slowing down somewhat, but part of that is that fewer anglers are fishing for them in favor of walleye in the fall. The largemouths can be surprisingly shallow even now with the weeds dying off. We’ve had anglers reporting fish in 3 feet of water in the weeds on surface baits. The smallies have switched to minnows as their food base now and will be moving around on all lakes. You can get them in 25 feet of water on some clear lakes and in the weeds chasing minnows on some of the dark-water lakes. It still is worth bass fishing for both species through the fall.

Northerns are hitting well in the weeds. While you can find some northerns in deeper water, most of them stay in the weeds as deep as they can in search of minnows and panfish. All bait types still work at this time of year, but we feel that Mepps spinners seem to be the most consistent producer of these fish.

Muskie fishing is improving as the water temps drop. As the fall progresses and the temps drop, bigger baits seem to be better and slower presentations work best. There is a good part of the population out over deeper water suspending now, so the large plastics work quite well at this time of year. Suckers also are working very well.

Panfish action has been good, especially for crappies. These fish are doing the same thing as the walleyes are and moving to deeper water for the winter. Small plastics or minnows work best and you’ll have to do some searching for the crappies. Bluegills are still in the weeds and hitting worms. They’ll stay in the weeds all year. Perch, at least the larger ones, often mirror the patterns of walleye so look in the deeper weeds and off the weeds for them.

We’re running out of time for fishing over open water with decent weather. Now’s the time for some great fall fishing!

Good luck and good fishin’.