Fall is a great time for the muskie hunters and walleye anglers. If this writer had his choice, there would be two Octobers.

Days are getting much shorter now, an indication of what is to come.Water temperatures are mostly in the 50s. Meanwhile, water levels are high from the rain again, with more than 6 inches falling in September. Weeds are dropping down and turnover is done on many lakes. 

Walleye fishing is good in the area, with a lot of fish moving toward the holes on the Eagle River Chain. Minnows are the best bait on jigs, but half-crawlers are still working. The thing about fish at this time of year is movement. This means you have to do some searching every time you go out. There has been some current, which means you can get some fish in those narrow areas in the river. On the larger lakes, the fish are simply moving deeper off the weeds and to the drop-offs. We’ll see some anglers in 30 feet of water if the drop-off is sharp enough. Minnows work best on these lakes, and some anglers use larger minnows such as sucker minnows. The deep rock bars are also a place to locate walleye at this time of year.

Muskies go on a slow-motion feeding binge right up to ice-up on many lakes. They are at their fattest by the end of fall, and the females are already starting to build some eggs. It’s trophy time for the serious muskie nuts. The biggest problem with fall muskie fishing is that it conflicts with hunting, and there are only so many hours in the day. The best time for muskie is the midday period, when the water can warm a little and spur some action. Larger baits that move slower work best now. Sucker fishing is at its best in the fall and larger suckers tend to work for bigger fish as these water temps drop. The muskies are spread all through the lakes as the fish move to and from the weeds to feed.

Panfish action is still OK, but we don’t see many panfish anglers at this time of year. Some anglers are still getting perch in the weeds on many lakes, and crappie are hitting if you can find them. They, like the walleye, are moving to deeper water as the water temps drop. 

What a great time of the year! 

Good luck and good fishin’.