Well folks, it’s almost over for the open water anglers. This is a rather unexpected early winter for us.

You’ll notice that ponds and some small lakes are frozen, and the bigger lakes will not be far behind. The water temperatures dropped very quickly in the last week, as much as 8 to 10 degrees on some lakes. 

Walleye fishing was good right to the end. On the Eagle River Chain of Lakes, the fish were pretty much stacked in or near the holes, where they will stay for the winter. On the larger lakes, the water temps are not dropping as fast as the small lakes and are still in the 40s. Walleyes are deeper on these lakes, off the drop-offs generally over harder bottom. They are actively feeding in these areas, as deep as 30 feet. Larger minnows will work well on these fish.

Muskie action also has been good on the Chain, but the fish seem to be running slightly smaller this year. Suckers are working really well for these fish, so take a few along. Sucker imitations such as jerk baits or twitch baits, returned slowly with pauses can work very well in this dark water. The holes are the place for that really big “horse” in the late fall. We will also get the Cisco spawn going, hopefully later this week, which is a great opportunity for a really big fish. 

This is it, I think, for an open water report. Get ready for ice fishing.

Good luck and good fishin’.