Good morning, unseasonably warm temps this weekend should be great for fishing. The rest of the week looks pretty good for late October as well with the only chance for rain this week on Monday. Water temps are in the high 40s on most lakes and right now is prime time to get on some of the biggest fish of the year as they are feeding heavily for winter!! Fishing has been pretty good with a lot of folks getting some good musky on suckers.
Musky–If you aren’t dragging a sucker off the boat while you are casting for musky this time of year you are missing out!! There is no doubt casting baits is still effective, but once a fish sees an easy meal after you “lure” them in (I know, dad joke) they will likely hit the live bait and get you on the board! Casting gliders, jerkbaits, big rubber, tubes and anything else you can make pause for few seconds can really make fish eat this time of year. Use any structure you can find, whether that is still green weeds, rocky points, neckdowns, islands etc. For weedlines I like stay on the deeper edges with the suckers and cast up into shallower water. On rocks, points, or islands, I will work baits very shallow and keep the suckers off the back of the boat.
Northern pike–Most days this time of year, northern pike will eat your musky offerings, walleye offerings, crappie offerings…….you get where I am going with this. They will eat just about anything from a small jig tipped with a minnow to a 12″ musky sized crank bait that is over half their size. They can also be anywhere in the water column and on any structure, so fish any water that looks good to you.
Walleye–I have not heard a whole lot on the walleye bite lately, but pitching a jig and minnow is a very common tactic this time of year. Using lighter jigs and minnows or plastics with a fluke style tail can be the ticket as they are more subtle than a big paddle tail. Work baits slower than you think and make sure to give a little pause in your retrieve. Points that drop off into the basin, rocky humps and transitions from hard to soft bottom are all good spots to start looking for fish.
Largemouth bass–Not a whole lot on a largemouth bit either……Spinnerbaits should still produce good fish, as should live bait such as fathead minnows under a bobber. Bass should still be relating to weeds in shallow bays where water temps may be warmer.
Smallmouth bass–Smallies will be on the same spots you are finding walleye and you can probably catch a good mixed bag of each using the same presentations. Look for transitions from hard to soft bottom, deeper points, and main lake humps that drop off into the basins.
Crappie–Look for crappie suspended in the deeper basins towards the bottom. Slip bobbers with jigs and minnows get down to fish fast and keep you on the school. Even dropping jigs down without bobbers (think ice fishing) can be very effective. Tip them with waxies or crappie minnows or even plastics such as Gulp! minnows and you will be set.
Perch/Bluegill–Shallow weedy bays will still be holding perch and bluegill. Most docks are out of the water by now and they have lost their ability to hide there. If you find weeds that are still green, you will probably find a good amount of panfish. Jigs and minnows under spring/slip bobbers is a great choice this time of year.
There is a very good chance this will be our last weekend in the 70s so get outside and enjoy it! Between the woods and the water I’m sure it will be busy!