Good morning! Frost in the mornings, woods that look like painted postcards and muskies eating live bait……..yep fall has arrived!!!! The forecast for the next 15 days looks pretty good for October and the fishing has picked up after this cold front. Water temps are kind of hovering in the high 50s on most lakes around here. The only negative is the lack of rain lately has the lakes WAY WAY low. The quiet lakes are down about 18″ and I am hearing almost 36″ down on the Chip. The fishing has picked up a bit so here we go….
Musky–The musky bite is picking up on suckers both big and small. Casting still helps to get fish interested, but a lot of times a musky will follow the bait in and go for the easier meal in the form of the sucker. Quick strike rigs under big floats are the most common way to rig them, and fish them around the same structure you are casting at. If you are casting, gliders and jerkbaits are great options this time of year. Bucktails will still work, however working them slower than summer is key. Big crank baits on deep edges work well too.
Northern pike–As with musky, northern will hit suckers and many of the same artificial offerings being thrown at them. Northern will still be relating to weeds this time of year and working the deep weed edges is best. Also good is working wind blown structure/points/weeds where smaller bait fish are getting pushed into and concentrated.
Walleye–I have heard the walleye bite has moved to deeper basins and fish are being caught jigging with live bait. Look for fish in 20-25 FOW as they are starting to relate to where they will stay most of the winter. Bigger jigs tipped with fathead minnows, jigging raps, and blade baits are all producing right now.
Largemouth bass–Not a whole lot to report on a largemouth bite, as most folks just aren’t targeting them this time of year. They should still be relating to weeds and warmer shallower water, so look for areas that have rocks that will hold heat and bays where the sun is keeping the water the warmest. Fathead minnows under a bobber on a plain hook will work well, and spinnerbaits and bass sized glide baits will work well also.
Smallmouth bass–Smallies will be deep and mixed in with the walleye as they are all transitioning to late fall/winter spots. Deep rocks and points that tail off into the basins are key spots on the lake. Again look for fish in 20-25 FOW and use the same techniques you would for chasing walleye.
Crappie–The Crappie I am being told are also relating deeper and schooling up in the basins. Crappie minnows sent deep under a slip bobber seem to be the ticket for nice crappie. Smaller jigs tipped with plastics, and small baits such as beetle spins, and mimic minnows are also doing well.
Bluegill/Perch–Bluegill and perch are still related to vegetation to hide from bigger predators. Waxies tipped on small jigs are working well to catch some nice panfish right now.
The weather looks to be a good one for the youth deer hunt! I hope everyone has a great weekend and enjoys some of the nicer weather for this late in the year!