Fall is indeed here. Water temperatures on our lakes are dropping like rocks, falling into the 60s.

We are starting to see color on the soft maples and some of the birch trees. We’ll be seeing some turnover on some of the smaller lakes and on the Chain soon. 

Walleye fishing has been good on the Chain of Lakes, with the fish having moved deeper and nearer the holes. Your best average depth is around 15 feet and the best baits are jigs with half-crawlers or minnows. By the end of the month, the holes will be pretty loaded with walleyes. They are easy to locate on maps and electronics, and certainly worth fishing from mid-September on. The clear, deep lake walleyes have moved from weeds to drop-offs and even deep water off the weeds. Jigs and minnows are best on these lakes.

Bass action is slowing somewhat for largemouths. They are deeper now as the shallower weeds die off. Minnow imitation baits are working well, such as Rapalas, but you can still get them on surface baits and plastics. Smallies are also feeding on minnows as the crayfish die off in the fall. Look in water from 10 to 30 feet for these fish. You’ll find some very large smallies feeding in weeds later in the fall.

Northerns are active as always, usually in or near weeds feeding on minnows or small panfish using the weeds for cover. The best all-around bait for northerns are Mepps spinners in the Nos. 3 and 4 sizes.

Muskie anglers have been waiting for fall fishing as the biggest fish of the year are caught in the fall. Think of it as bears bulking up for the winter. As the water temps drop, we see more fish actually in the deeper weeds feeding actively. They like large, slow-moving baits at this time, so jerk baits, twitch baits and live suckers all work. As the water temps drop, work these baits slower. Night fishing for muskies will slow, but will last right into October.

Panfish action remains good. The bluegills have moved a little deeper, but will stay in the weeds for cover. Crappie action is good, with some crappies in 5 to 8 feet of water in the shallower weeds and some having moved deeper with the walleyes. Perch have slowly moved deeper. Some of the bigger perch mix with the walleyes in deeper water.

It’s fall fishing time and patterns are changing.

Good luck and good fishin’.