Good morning, much different weather patterns than we have experienced over the last few weeks as winter is coming! We will be making ice on much of the Northwoods lakes very soon as highs are right around freezing and lows down into the teens most nights. Fishing has still been pretty good for the diehards that have been on the water, as some nice ‘skies have been boated and raised. Not much else to report on other than musky and walleye so until we got on some first ice action it’s going to be short reports!!
Musky–Musky fishing has still been consistent with most anglers getting fish on suckers rigged on quick strike set ups. My boat also raised a nice fish twice on two casts at dark on a suick right at the boat. Fun stuff when you can’t exactly make out what’s happening except thrashing followed by some choice words . We were working a pretty steep breakline close to shore when we raised that fish. We also fished some bays with still green weeds which is pretty crazy to find this time of year. Our suckers were moving like there could have been something chasing them around, but we didn’t end up with anything on those spots.
Northern pike–Nothing substantial to report on a pike bite, but they should be locating around the same points/flats/weeds that baitfish are relating to. It’s not uncommon to get on some good pike shallower than you think this time of year and into first ice. Small musky suckers and walleye suckers soaked over the side of the boat can be great for pike this time of year.
Walleye–Saw a few boats out on some walleye spots this past week, and looked like most were jigging. It looked like they were working rocky/sandy mid lake humps that taper out into the basin. Jigs tipped fathead minnows/plastics cast out and worked back to the boat is deadly to catch fish. One thing to note is that if you are finding fish on spots now, you will most likely find them during the first part of the ice season as well.
Largemouth bass–No reports on largemouth this week, and probably won’t have one again until next spring when the ice goes out. If the largemouth bite picks up during the ice season I will be sure to let you know!
Smallmouth bass–Anglers will most likely find smallmouth relating to the same spots as the ‘eyes right now. They prefer the same structure types and will eat the same presentations.
Crappie–Crappie continue to school up out deep in the basins of the lakes. Jigging raps that get deep quick and smaller jigheads tipped with minnows/plastics can be great ways to catch deep crappie.
Bluegill/Perch–Bluegill and perch will be hiding wherever they can right now. That may be related to shallow weeds on some lakes and deeper timber on others. Jigs tipped with plastics or minnows such as Gulp! are great choices to catch fish. Should have a much better report on panfish once we get some ice and the bite gets a little more predictable.
Gun season starts next Saturday so the open water fishing season is done for almost everyone except for a few truly diehards.