Weather changes have brought about the water temperature drops that we have been waiting for throughout the area. 

The dropping of the water temperature will bring on the process of turnover on all area lakes. It is late this year, but it should be interesting. Water temperatures are in the 60s and dropping. Water levels remain somewhat high on most lakes. Things look good for fishing in the next month or so.

As an avid muskie fisherman, I also want to note the recent passing of the great Tony Rizzo (see related story). I had the pleasure and privilege of knowing, and occasionally fishing with Tony throughout 49 years, and will always cherish those times. 

Back to fishing.

Muskie anglers are getting the conditions they wait for all year, with the best fishing for trophies coming in the next two months. Larger baits are working as the fall progresses. The slower moving bait such as Suick and Eddie baits are now a part of our tackle box on a daily basis. With the temps dropping, the fish will be in much longer feeding windows in the weeds and in shallower water, so you can try these shoreline areas more often.

Walleye fishing has improved with the decline in water temps and it will get better as the fall progresses. While anglers are still getting some walleyes on crawlers, the switch to minnows is underway. The fish are moving into the holes on the Eagle River Chain and there have been reports of good fishing in those holes. You can often find these fish in the holes with electronics and if you don’t, try near to the holes in slightly shallower water. Twelve to 16 feet is the depth to look for in the holes. On the larger lakes, we are seeing the beginning of a better bite. That 15- to 25-foot range on the edges of structure is becoming more active with walleyes. 

Bass fishing remains good, with the smallies both grouping near deep-water rock structure and occasionally now moving to the weeds in search of food. The food base has moved to minnows, so try some minnow imitations. Largemouths are still hitting well in the weeds and cover, but a little deeper as the water temps decline. As these temps decline, plastics and hard baits will work best.

Northerns are hitting well as always, with most of the action, as always, in the weeds.

Panfish action is still good for bluegills and crappies. The crappies are hanging both in schools in the holes and in the weeds in shallow water. Small plastics like Mini Mites are working well for these fish. Try worms in the weeds for the bluegills.

Get out now as it’ll be getting colder this week.

Good luck and good fishin’.