The transition between fall and winter continues with some decent fall weather followed by some cold and snow. 

The water temperatures are dropping again and soon we’ll see some serious icing on many lakes. Temperatures are in the 30s on all lakes, with some of the small lakes in the very low 30s and icing a little more each week.

It’s been a strange late fall, with many small lakes having frozen over and then melted in the last three weeks. We’ve had a lot of moisture, so the lakes are all high. Most piers are gone from the landings, so the late fall anglers are on their own at the landings.

Ice fishing is on the minds of many anglers now, and we’re hoping for better conditions than last year when we had heavy snow on thin ice. This produced a lot of slush. This made it almost impossible to get around on our lakes until the March thaw. It was a long winter for most ice anglers.

Walleye fishing is winding down as there are just a few dedicated walleye anglers out there. They have been finding walleyes on the Chain in the holes, which is an annual pattern. Jigs and minnows retrieved slowly and near the bottom have been quite productive. All lakes on the Chain have a hole or two, and the fish winter in these holes. On the bigger lakes, you will find walleye in deeper water also. The fish will be in water from 15 to 35 feet deep off the drop-offs. Also, try some deep rock bars for some larger fish.

Muskie action attracts many fall anglers out —even in bad weather, as this is the time for trophies. With the cisco spawn having started, this is a great time for that fish of a lifetime. In the late fall especially, muskies feed prior to a largely inactive winter. Also, the females are developing eggs, which makes them the heaviest of the year. The Chain has been active for muskies this fall on jerk baits such as Suicks. Anglers can fish somewhat shallow on the Chain, in water from 6 to 12 feet. It is also sucker time throughout the area. This action has seemed a little slower than normal this year.

For the deer hunters, the rut is on big time and should produce good activity archers this week and gun hunters this weekend. Last year we had that big snow during the gun season to contend with, which hopefully won’t be repeated this season. Colder weather and some snow is OK, but a foot of snow is too much

It’s time to think about the upcoming ice fishing season. It’s not too far away.

Good luck and good fishin’ and huntin’.