As fall continues, the days are shortening and we can really sense the approaching winter. Evening fishing is almost a thing of the past as the days shorten.

Water temperatures are dropping with all the rain we have had and those shorter days. Water levels are high everywhere. There is current on the Chain of Lakes and this is a factor in picking your spots to fish. Boat landings are in good shape with the high water.

Be careful around those cement or blacktop boat landings and piers as the water can freeze and make them dangerously slippery. One angler took a dip after slipping on a pier this week.

Walleye fishing is as good as it’s been all year, as the fishing on the Chain is great now. The fish are locating in the holes and deeper water. You’ll be able to find them on your electronics in each hole. Jigs and minnows are definitely the way to go for the rest of the fall. Large fatheads are best. We also know of some anglers who have been successful jigging Rapalas in the holes. On the bigger lakes, the fish are also in deeper water off the breaks. Use eighth-ounce jigs unless the wind forces you to go bigger to keep in touch with the bottom. The fish in these lakes will be either on deeper rock bars or off the breaks in water as deep as 35 feet.

Muskie action has been very good on the Chain, as both the current and fishing the deeper weed edges has been productive. These fish are now responding to the temperature drop with their annual feeding binge before winter arrives. This provides the best action of the year for big fish. The sucker shortage is a big problem this year. It is because the trappers cannot get to their traps because of all the rain and the resulting high water. Use sucker imitations such as Suicks or Eddie Baits, or the big plastics in deeper water. Don’t give the retailers a rough time. They are trying to get them (usually without success).

Bass fishing is slowing now and very few anglers are even trying for largemouths. Smallies are still hitting in deeper water on Ned Rigs or jigs and minnows. Look for deeper hard-bottom areas for these fish. On clear-water lakes, you can get them as deep as 30 feet.

Northerns are hitting everywhere, with some concentration in the weeds. They will feed off the weeds in deeper water if the bait fish are out there. Jigs with sucker minnows or Mepps are the best way to fish these fish.

Panfish action is especially good for crappies on the Chain right now, as the crappies have schooled in the holes. They are hitting minnows or those smaller Rapala jigging minnows with abandon in the holes and are tightly schooled. This is a great pattern for those anglers willing to panfish at this time of year. Some perch also are being caught in the weeds on minnows.

It’s time to give it one last try for the fall and then put the boat away.

Good luck and good fishin’.