As we are approaching fall, we’re beginning to see some really nice color just north of Eagle River. Every time it rains or gets just a little windy, we see some leaves down on the pavement. For many of us, fall is our favorite season. 

Hunting season is starting and some of the best fishing of the year is also beginning. Water levels are high with all the rain we’ve experienced. Most bugs are now gone, so that’s a large factor in enjoying the woods and water.

As always, it will be hard hunting for the early part of the season because the leaves have not fallen from the trees in the woods. That will change in just a few weeks though, and the sight lines will be much better. Expect some warmer weather for the last half of September or even in early October.

Walleye fishing is very good at this point, with the fish starting to move deeper for the rest of the fall. On the Eagle River Chain, they are definitely around or in the holes on all lakes. The main bait transition is starting — from crawlers to minnows. This is the best time to fish for walleye on the Chain, as they become congested in those holes and are much easier to find. All the lakes on the Chain have some holes, so you can get walleye in all the holes. On the larger lakes, we also see the fish moving deeper, off the edges of the weeds to as much as 30 to 35 feet of water. Jigs and minnows work very well on these deeper lakes.

Bass fishing is slowing just a bit as the water cools down. The weeds are definitely dying off in the shallower water, which drives the food supply to deeper water and the bass follow them. Still, stay in or near the weeds for largemouths, but switch to minnow imitation lures for better action. Smallmouths are still in deeper water than the largemouths, but they also are switching their food selection to minnows as the crayfish die off. Look for harder bottom in water from 10 to 25 feet on the clear lakes for the smallies.

Northern action is the same, with fish in the deeper weeds for the most part. If you are going to tar-

get them, use some sucker minnows under slip-bobbers in the weeds. For artificials, try some twitch baits over the weeds.

Muskie action is good at this point as they are starting to feed more as the water temperatures drop. You’ll find a good number of fish feeding daily in the weeds. Now is the time for twitch baits and jerk baits for both good numbers and for some larger fish. It’s also time to fish with suckers. Anglers start using the  smaller suckers early in the fall and gradually move to larger suckers as the water temps drop into the 50s and 40s. Muskie action on the Chain has been good lately.

Panfish action is still good, but you’ll find the crappies moving from the weeds to deeper water and will end up in the holes on the Chain soon.They are still hitting those small plastics well. Bluegills also are slightly deeper, but still consistently hitting worms. Perch are deeper in the weeds.

Days are getting shorter, as is the fishing time.

Good luck and good fishin’.