North Woods lakes have very suddenly moved into the late fall patterns, as the water temperatures are solidly into the mid-40s on all lakes. The temperature drop was very fast, and has resulted in good walleye fishing in the area, especially on the Eagle River Chain. 

With much wind over the last two weeks, most of the fall color has gone. Meanwhile, lake levels are high to very high, with some lakes having piers right on the surface of the water. Watch for floating piers on these lakes, as they can be very hard to spot.

Walleye fishing has been very good on the Eagle River Chain, as the fish have moved into the holes. Numbers of fish caught have been excellent, and there have been some bigger fish. The fish are now hitting by far the best on Tuffy minnows on jigs. The premium level seems to be 18 to 22 feet. Anglers will also find some schools of crappies in these holes. Some of the current areas on the Chain are also holding walleye in the bends in the river. On the bigger lakes, anglers are seeing some of the late fall patterns, with walleyes holding off the drop-offs in 15 to 30 feet of water. These walleyes are also hitting minnows best.

Muskie fishing has been good, but it still feels like we are waiting for that surge of action as the temperature drops. By far the best action has been on the Eagle River Chain in the current areas, as that current has brought shiners into the river and they have been followed by muskies. Some decent fish have been caught in the pattern, but no “super” fish. On the rest of the lakes, while we have seen some action we are still waiting for that great fall fishing we will get one of these days. This applies to both the smaller lakes and the larger lakes. There has been some decent sucker action, but not a lot of artificial bait action. Water temps dropping through the 40s normally produces great action.

Northerns are still working the weed beds, but there are few anglers targeting these fish. Larger baits for them such as No. 4 Mepps work well at this time of year in the weeds. In the past few years, we have seen some bigger northerns at this time of year on the Sugar Camp Chain of Lakes, even large enough to be hitting muskie suckers.

Bass fishing is basically at an end, as no one seems to be targeting these fish. Some really big smallies will be caught by muskie anglers fishing the weed edges with stick baits and jerk baits. This seems to happen every fall. Largemouths are still in the weeds, but deeper in depth as these weeds die off. Small stick baits or spinner baits will catch them.

Panfish action is OK, but again not many anglers are targeting them. We have seen some perch in the deeper weeds and some crappies are being caught in the holes on the Chain. This action can be spotty, but quite productive if you find them.

Not much time left to get out there.

Good luck and good fishin’.