It certainly feels a lot more like fall out there, with the cold nights leading the way. With these cooler nights, the water temperatures have dropped into the 60s on many lakes. 

As you drive around, you will notice that there are more and more brown ferns on the roadsides, and even a few yellow leaves on the birch trees. Just wait, the colors will change fast in September. There are also fewer mosquitoes with the cooler temps. 

Many anglers, especially the walleye and muskie anglers, look forward to the fall for some of the best fishing of the year. 

Walleye fishing has been good for numbers. The Eagle River Chain has been quite active, with Cranberry, Catfish and Eagle lakes producing well. The fish are still in the weeds and are being caught on crawlers and minnows. There also has been a little action in the holes, and this will increase as the water temps drop. On the bigger, deeper lakes, the fish are still locating in the weed areas in the 8- to 12-foot range and right off these areas at the drop-offs. Good numbers are being reported on these lakes, with a few larger fish being caught. On these lakes, the best bait remains half-crawlers on 1/16- or 1/8-ounce jigs, worked slowly. Evening fishing is best on the clear lakes. A few anglers have reported good action after dark on minnows using lighted bobbers.

Bass continue to provide anglers with very good action on all lakes. Largemouths are hitting all types of baits, but especially surface baits and plastics. These fish are still located in cover — weeds, piers, trees and brush piles. Smallmouths are deeper than the largemouths, over harder bottoms. They utilize rock areas, but also will be found over gravel. The crayfish, which is their diet of choice, start to die off now and the smallies will switch to minnows as the fall moves on. The Eagle River Chain has developed a decent smallie fishery in the last several years.

Northerns are hitting as usual in the weeds. These aggressive fish will hit anything that moves. They are in those weeds to feed on minnows and panfish. Any artificial bait with noise or flash, including surface baits, will provide action. Sucker minnows are the best live bait for northerns. The deeper the weeds, the better the fishing with live bait.

Muskie action is better than it has been all year. It was a long wait for these fish to become active, but they are beginning to make up for that wait through spring and early summer. The best baits have been bucktails and surface baits in the weeds, and large plastics in deeper water. We are looking forward to a good fall for muskies. Live bait will begin to work as the water temps fall into the 50s.

Panfish action is still good, with crappies still providing very good action on the Chain. They are moving in small schools through these weedy areas so you will have to search for them. Bluegills are also active in the weeds. Worms for the ’gills and small plastics under bobbers or minnows work best for the crappies. Perch are in the deeper weeds.

Good weather equals good fishing. Time to take advantage of it.

Good luck and good fishin’.