Fall is here and we’re starting to see some turnover on some lakes. It is very late in coming this year, and hopefully the weather will stay reasonably cold and let that process finish on all our lakes. 

The reason we say that is that the walleye and the muskie fishing is some of the best of the year after turnover. The smaller and shallower lakes will go through this process first, followed by the biggest and deepest lakes.

Color is going to be at an apex this weekend for Cranberry Fest, which will make it a great weekend for everyone. 

Lake temperatures are in the 50s and in general the levels are high. Weeds are dying off on all lakes, so most fish have moved at least somewhat deeper.

Walleye fishing is good and getting better as the water temp declines. On the Chain, the fish are definitely in or very near the holes and good numbers are being caught. At this point, minnows are the best bait, but a few anglers still are taking crawlers along. Fish the center and deeper parts of those holes first and then move to the edges or right off the edges if you can’t find them deeper. This is a time of the year when good electronics are a real bonus in finding fish. On the bigger lakes, we are also getting good action somewhat deeper with anglers reporting action in 12 to 30 feet off the edges. Minnows are definitely the way to go on these lakes. Try some of the deeper weed edges in the evenings as they move in to feed.

Muskie fishing is a little behind this fall but it will start getting better. Last week the fishing for these fish was pretty sketchy, and we just get the feeling that they’re just waiting for turnover and the fish will put the feed bag on after that process is done. Let the water temps go down another 5 degrees and watch out! This is also the time for suckers.

Bass fishing is definitely slowing down at this point as we near turnover. There are few anglers trying for these fish at this point. The largemouths have moved deeper but if they can they will still stick in the weeds. Spinner baits and stick baits work well for these fish in the fall. Smallies are still deeper but individual large fish will move into the weeds, sometimes surprisingly shallow, to feed in the late fall. Their main baits now are minnows or small panfish.

Northerns are feeding heavily in the weeds on panfish and larger minnows and will be there for the winter. Try some stick baits or large chubs for these fish. As stated before, it seems most northerns are caught by accident this time of year by muskie or walleye anglers.

Panfish action is slowing, but it is hard to tell if this is because the anglers have stopped fishing for them or they have slowed down. Crappies are still hitting in two places: the weeds and schooled in the same holes the walleyes are in. Bluegills are still in the weeds as are the perch. Worms work for the ’gills and minnows for the perch.

There’s not much time left for open water fishing. Get out there before you have to put that boat away!

Good luck and good fishin’.