Well folks, we are now heading into the fall period in full force as some trees are turning color, especially the birch trees. Ferns along roadways have died off significantly and the soft maples are turning red.

On the lakes, weeds are dying quickly; even the deeper weeds are dropping down in length. Water temperatures are still in the 70s on some lakes, but have dropped into to high 60s on some of those smaller, shallower lakes

It is time to start thinking about turnover and the various temperature and chemical changes that will totally change the lakes. We know it is only mid-September, but that process of lake turnover can start, stop for a while if the temperatures change and re-start for a period of a month up here on our numerous and different-sized lakes. More on that next week.

Walleye fishing has been pretty good on the Eagle River Chain in the last several weeks. We haven’t seen a lot of size, but we have seen very good numbers of fish. Basically, the fish are moving deeper and toward the holes, where they will spend much of their time during the fall. You can catch them from 12 to 22 feet now, right up to the deeper parts of the holes. Both half-crawlers and minnows are working at an equal level right now. On the deeper lakes, the operative depths are 12 to 30 feet, especially if you can find deep rock bars to fish during the daytime. The fish are deeper on sunny days, but move up as it darkens.

Bass fishing is still good, especially for largemouth as they will stay in the weeds right to ice-up. Try some deeper weed edges for these fish at this point, but also their usual cover spots like downed trees and shallow boulders. For the smallies, still look for hard-bottom areas, but they are generally much deeper at this time. 

Northerns remain quite aggressive during the fall period. Look for them wherever you can find panfish as they are in there feeding on them and minnows. Any minnow imitation will work well, and you will be surprised at the size of the baits they will hit.

Muskie action, which has been inconsistent all summer, will improve in the fall. They will spend more time in the weeds for the rest of the month feeding, so try some bucktails in those weeds or try surface baits moved slightly slower than you do in the summer. While you can still find some deeper fish, the general pattern is shallower for September and early October.

Panfish action remains good, with the bluegills still in the weeds. They will hit worms. Crappie are a little more spread out now, but you can find some in the weeds and some in or near the holes. Plastics such as Mini Mites seem to be working best for them. Perch are in the deeper weeds.

The weather has been great. Get out there while it is still glorious.

Good luck and good fishin’.