With this colder weather we finally have the process of turnover occurring on many area lakes. Provided there is not a big warm spell, this will last for a little more than a week and the lakes will start to clean up.

This turnover will provide the best walleye and muskie fishing of the year. Remember, the bigger and deeper the lake, the later this process will occur. While it can be miserable out there, the colder the weather, the better it is for fishing. Muskie anglers know all about this.

The fall color is at the apex this week and it will go downhill pretty quickly. A?few frosts and some wind and rain and it will be all over in a very short time. 

Water temperatures are in the low 50s on most lakes and provided that we get cold weather, they will soon drop into the 40s — the best muskie temps!

Muskie action has been pretty slow for the last week and the feeling is that they have been in deeper water waiting for turnover. It’s here and the fishing should improve very significantly in the near future. The late fall usually provides some great trophy angling with slower-moving baits such as Suicks, Eddie Baits and twitch baits. This is also sucker time for most muskie anglers, with the use of quick-set rigs. Using suckers on the weed edges or in deeper water can be quite productive as these temps decline.

Walleye fishing is good and getting better on the Chain for numbers of fish. Turnover will interrupt this for a bit, but the after-turnover fishing in the holes is just great. So far, we haven’t seen much size, but very good numbers in reports from anglers. Jigs and minnows used in the holes on all lakes on the Chain are working well. Look for about 18 to 22 feet of water for best results. We have reports that the larger lakes are pretty slow at this time. This makes us wonder if turnover has started on these lakes, as it is harder to notice in that clearer water. Usually, those lakes just darken up some during the process, so you may not notice it except the fishing can be lousy. Jigs and minnows on these lakes, in roughly 14 to 25 feet of water at the drops, should produce fish.

Bass fishing will slow considerably now, and we really don’t see many bass fishermen at this time of year. We do have reports of some really big smallies roaming the weeds for food from muskie anglers throwing smaller jerk baits. Largemouths are still in the weeds and still hitting spinner baits and smaller stick baits.

Northerns are active as usual in the weeds. Some decent-sized fish have been caught in the last several weeks, but as usual they are caught by muskie anglers.

Panfish action has slowed as fewer anglers are targeting these fish. Perch and crappies are mostly the targets by the few anglers willing to put up with the cold weather. Crappies are in the holes on the Chain, as they school up with the walleyes. Perch are generally in the deeper or mid-level weeds. Minnows work for both fish.

Get out there before you have to put the boat away for the winter.

Good luck and good fishin’.