Cold nights have caused the water temperature to drop significantly, bringing the process of turnover to many area lakes.  

Turnover is welcome to many anglers for this reason: the best fall fishing of the year is after turnover when the lakes clean up and are very clear. On the lakes where this is happening, the water will be greenish from the particles brought up from the bottom. It takes a while for this to clean up and if it gets warm this process takes longer. Anglers can fish through the turnover process by fishing deeper for walleyes and, if there is wind, by fishing the weeds on the windward side of lakes with bright lures.

Walleyes are hitting well on the Chain, with good numbers and a few larger fish in 15 feet and deeper. Minnows are now the best bait for them on 1⁄8-ounce jigs if the wind allows. The fish are slowly moving toward the holes, where they will spend the winter. On the deeper lakes, the fish also have moved off the weeds and are at or near the drop-offs. Minnows are also best on these lakes, with optimum depth in the 14- to 20-foot range.

Bass fishing is getting slower, perhaps because so few anglers fish for bass in the fall. Largemouths will find the greenest weeds they can and spend the winters there. Look for some green cabbage weeds in 8 to 12 feet for them. Plastics still work for them, as do minnow imitation crankbaits. Smallies are in deeper water and will feed on minnows.

Northerns will hit well and as usual are in or near the weeds feeding on minnows or panfish. Good flashy baits like Johnson Silver Minnows work well.

Muskie action has been pretty good lately, but will be affected by the turnover process. Most knowledgeable anglers will move to different lakes if the lakes are in turnover. Either choose a deeper lake that hasn’t had it yet or a much shallower lake that has completed the process. Use brighter lures and move the lure slowly as the temperature drops this fall. It also is the time for live suckers with quick-set rigs.

Panfish fishing drops off at this time of year, just as the bass fishing does. Crappie action continues to be pretty good in the weeds on small plastics and crappie minnows. There have been reports of good action in the weeds. Bluegills are slowing down until the ice is here, and few are fishing for perch.

Good luck and good fishin’.