The water temperatures are falling quickly in lakes across the North Woods and we are seeing the process of turnover taking place on many lakes. This does make fishing tougher, but when the lakes clear up after turnover, anglers get some of the finest fishing of the fall for walleyes and muskies. 

Lake levels, if anything, are down just a little due  to a lack of rain. Many anglers have put their boats away and are thinking about ice fishing. It also is hunting season, so many people have turned their attention to those opportunities.

Walleye fishing on the Chain of Lakes has been good, with the fish having finally reached the sides of the holes. This makes the fish easier to locate, as the holes on the Chain are pretty compact for the most part. The fish will be in those holes or near them for the winter. Minnows are definitely the bait of choice now, though a few diehards stick to crawlers. A few larger fish have been caught and that will be the standard for the rest of the fall. The same basic pattern is going on with the larger lakes, except they don’t have the condensed holes that the Chain does. Anglers will find the walleyes deeper, as much as 35 feet on some lakes. Also, try some of the deep rock bars on the clear lakes.

Muskie fishing, now that turnover is winding down, will be some of the best of the year in the coming weeks. Large, slow moving baits are on the menu during this cold water time. The Eagle River and Three Lakes Chain will provide great action during the late fall. Jerk baits, slow moving twitch baits, crank baits and plastics will all work in the fall period.  As the water temperatures drop, suckers become the best producers in November.

Northerns hit throughout the fall and can be found in or near the weeds. All the usual shiny or noisy baits will work for northerns, or try live bait, such as a sucker minnow, under a slip bobber.

Panfish action has slowed, but mostly because there are few anglers out there pursuing panfish. A few perch anglers are fishing the weeds and a few crappie anglers are fishing the Chain.

Open water fishing is just about done, but there is some warmer weather in the forecast this week.

Good luck and good fishin’.