With that extreme warm spell behind us, we’re looking at falling water temperatures again. This is making both the anglers and the hunters happy. 

Sight lines for hunters have been tough, but with the leaves on many trees starting to fall, they’re improving. We’re starting to get nice color in the maples and the ferns on roadsides are brown.

With the rain we have had, the lake levels remain very high. Weeds have died off a fair amount, but you can still find green weeds with a little searching. Remember, the deeper the weeds the slower they die off. 

Walleye fishing has been very good on the Chain now that the cooler temperatures are back. The fish are returning to the holes, where they will stay for the winter. It is quite possible to get 30 to 50 fish in the right hole. As always happens in the fall, minnows are becoming the best bait, although there are a few anglers still catching walleyes on half-crawlers. We suggest large fatheads on one-eighth ounce jigs as the best combinations unless it is very windy. On the bigger lakes, go deeper and use either sucker minnows or large fatheads. We see fish as deep as 35 feet on drop-offs in these lakes. Hard bottoms are much better now also.

Muskie action has improved now that the water temps are declining and the best fishing of the year is just ahead of us for several months. This is the time for live sucker fishing for those bigger fish. Larger baits such as Suicks or other jerk baits now will work very well. Anglers are also getting fish deeper on plastics. Remember that the slower you move the bait the better as the temps drop into the 40s. Try some of the larger twitch baits also.

Bass are still hitting, but we find fewer anglers targeting them at this time of year. The largemouths are still in the weeds, but you will find them deeper as the water temps drop. Also, as the temps drop, surface baits become less productive, but plastics still catch fish in good numbers. Smallies travel more at this time of year, as you can find them deep or in the weeds feeding on minnows.

Northern pike are still mostly in the weeds, but some anglers are reporting getting some deeper with the walleyes. They are mostly feeding on minnows or smaller panfish, so imitate them with your artificial baits.

Panfish action is still good, with crappies again leading the way as they have all summer. These fish can be caught everywhere from the holes to the mid-level weeds, and they seem to be moving a lot. Eventually, they’ll all be in deeper water in the holes on the Chain. Minnows work best, but small plastics work well also. Bluegills remain in the weeds and are best fished for with worms. They can still be caught shallow, but are edging deeper as the temps drop.

Fall is here now. Get that last fishing trip in before it is too late.

Good luck and good fishin’.