Good morning, some cooler weather on tap for this weekend with a slight chance of rain. Temps look good through next week, low to mid 70s and only a few chances of rain. The better news are the lows at night which look to be in the 40s and 50s. That should help get the water temps back down to where we can target big fish without putting too much strain on them while handling them! Fishing overall has been pretty solid lately, muskies still very active, crappie out deep where you would expect them, and bass and northern still willing to cooperate.
Musky–Musky action has STILL been good on smaller bucktails and faster moving baits. Mepps Musky killers and Mepps #5s have been solid all year and still continue to be right now. I still have people coming into the bait shop saying they are working these baits over the weeds and seeing fish. Lots of follows and a fair amount of people hooking up and catching fish on them as well. I thought the cold front that came in last week would have changed up the pattern a bit, but that did not seem to happen. Start with fast moving baits over and around weed beds/edges and slow down if that is not working.
Northern pike–Northern pike seem to still be very active as well, hitting these same bucktails and spinner baits. Work these same weed beds/edges where you would target musky and likely you will find pike. You can also try smaller baits such as Rapala Shad Raps, bass sized chatter baits, and even beetle spins will entice pike to eat.
Walleye–The walleye bite has been a bit tougher lately, however I have heard a lot on the crappie being out in the basin, so my guess is walleye will be schooling up out in the depths as well. Slip bobbers with jigs and live bait seems one of the best ways to target deep walleye right now. Rocky deep points that lead out to the basin is a good place to start your search. In some lakes jigging raps worked aggressively can work well, as can just jigging live bait along bottom.
Largemouth bass–The largemouth bite has still been pretty good, mainly on spinner baits worked through vegetation in shallow bays. Swim jigs worked through cover has been good as well, and live bait seems to always catch as well.
Smallmouth bass– Smallies are being caught on deeper parts of the lake with structure (wood,rocks,cribs) and most are coming on finesse plastics worked near bottom. Drop shotting and wacky rigged worms are working from what I am told. My guess is you may run into a walleye or two fishing this way also so it never hurts to try new things.
Crappie–Most of the crappie have moved into deeper water and are more active when relating close to bottom. If the crappie are suspended they may not be feeding heavily, but if they are relating to bottom they will be more apt to take the bait. Mimic minnows and beetle spins cast out and worked towards bottom has been working well to catch fish, and I would bet small jigs tipped with crappie minnows under slip bobbers would be great to pick apart the schools of crappie.
Bluegill/perch–Not much to say in the way of bluegill and perch, both species can be caught shallow mainly off of piers and docks. Nightcrawlers under a bobber or small hair jigs tipped with waxies always work well to catch panfish.
Have a great weekend everyone!