Wind, rain, rapidly dropping water temperatures, is it fall yet? All signs point to a very early fall this year. With the Labor Day weekend behind us, there will be much less traffic on all lakes which makes it easier on the anglers.

Walleye are moving deeper on the Chain of Lakes and are mostly in the 10- to 15-foot range on the mud flats. Look for the areas where the hard bottom meets the mud. As it has been for a while, half crawlers or “tuffie” minnows work best for these fish. On the deeper lakes, the fish are generally on the edge of the weeds in the 8- to 12-foot range during the daytime. 

Bass are still hitting well, but the cooler water is causing the shallow weeds to die off. This is causing the largemouths to move a little deeper, but to still use cover where they can. They are hitting plastics well, but will still hit surface baits and spinners all fall. The smallies are now feeding on minnows and also have moved a little deeper. 

Northerns are hitting well in the weeds. Daredevils, Johnson Silver Minnows and Mepps Spinners are all working well. Most of these fish are caught by anglers fishing for walleyes or muskies. For live bait, use  sucker minnows under slip bobbers.

Muskie action has been pretty good with some action in the weeds during the day. The fish are also suspending out with the walleyes and then move into the weeds during feeding windows which get longer in September. As the water cools, use bigger baits and slow the retrieve. 

Panfish action is still OK. The crappies are in the weeds and some are out deeper with the walleyes. Small plastics or crappie minnows work best for them. Bluegills are still in the weeds and hitting on worms. Look for green weeds or shallow brush piles to hold them. Perch are in the deeper weeds.

Take advantage of this late summer fishing while you can.

Good luck and good fishin’.