The cold weather makes it feel more like November. We could use a break with some temperatures in the 40s. 

Water temperatures in area lakes have dropped into the 40s and even the low 40s on the shallower lakes. This is very early for this. There is some ice forming in bays on smaller lakes.

Muskie action has been pretty slow for this water temperature, but they have started to move some. The Chain has a lot of active fish hitting jerk bait and live suckers. Slow your retrieves down with these temps. Jerk baits, twitch baits and some plastics have produced nicely on the Chain right at the deeper weed edges. We get a feeling that if it just warms a little the fishing will be great for the rest of the open-water period. On the larger waters, the fish are starting to move a little, but it hasn’t been as good as it should. Remember that the cisco spawning period is in front of us and presents a great trophy period for the late anglers. 

Walleye fishing has been good on the Chain of Lakes, with the fish having migrated into the holes or very near them. The basic pattern is for good numbers of smaller fish, but not a lot of size in the last week or so. Jigs and minnows are by far the best bait now, and a few anglers are getting some fish on vertical jigs like the Rapala ice jigs. On the larger lakes, we see the fish also deeper, with some fish up to 35 feet deep. Jigs and larger minnows also are working on these lakes. Fish off the drop-offs on these lakes and look at the deep rock bars.

Northerns are still biting, but either deeper in the weeds or off the weeds as all the bait fish have moved deeper also. Slow your presentation down with this colder water out there.

Panfish anglers are limited to perch and crappies at this time. We don’t see too many on the water until ice fishing, but the crappie fishing has been real good in or near the holes on the Chain. They seem to be mixed right in with the small walleyes near or in the holes, so you will get a mix of fish out there. Either small minnows like fatheads or plastics will work for those crappies right near the bottom. Perch are hitting near or off the weeds on minnows also.

Open water fishing is done for the year for the most part, except for those muskie and walleyes anglers looking for a trophy fish. Ice fishing is next on the schedule.

Good luck and good fishin’ and hunting.