Fishing with the Guides by George Langley. Week of 9/6 to 9/13.
Wind, Rain. Rapidly dropping water temps. Is it fall yet? All signs point to a very early fall this year. There are even some soft maples turning color out there. All of this means we have to hope that it doesn't turn warm later in the month and really screw up the fishing. Weather is dominant in these “shoulder” periods, and the weather is telling the fish to move to fall habitat. After the summer of hot periods, this is basically welcome for anglers.
Water levels are high on all lake and streams in the area. Weeds are dying off on all lakes, but on the darker water lakes faster. After the weekend now, there will be much less traffic on all lakes, which makes it easier on the anglers.
Walleye are moving slowly deeper on the Eagle River Chain and now are mostly in the 10 – 15' range on the mud flats. The key to finding them is to look for the areas where the hard bottom meets the mud. As it has been for a while, half crawlers or “tuffie” minnows work best for these fish. The fish will soon be concentrated in the holes for the fall, and indeed for the whole winter. On the deeper, bigger lakes the fish are generally at the deeper edge of the weeds in the 8 – 12' range during the daytime. They also are moving deeper and will soon be off the weeds at the drop-offs and in deeper water.
Bass are still hitting well, but the cooler water is causing the shallow weeds to die off. This is causing the largemouth to move a little deeper, but to still use cover where they can. They are hitting plastics well but will still hit surface baits and spinners all fall. The smallies are now feeding on minnows and have also move a little deeper. They are presently hitting jigs and minnows in 12 -30' on the clear lakes. Later in the fall, we will even see some of these big guys feeding in weeds. This fishing has been good, with some good numbers on many lakes and some size to them.
Northerns are as usual hitting well in the weeds, especially if you can find some deeper weeds. Daredevils, Johnson Silver Minnows and Mepps Spinners are all working well. As we've said before, most of these fish are caught by anglers fishing for walleye or musky. For live bait, use the sucker minnows under slip bobbers.
Musky action has been pretty good, with some weeds action on a daily basis. The fish are also suspending out where the walleye are, going up to the weeds to feed during feeding windows which are getting longer as we get into September. We will see a lot of fish in the weeds as the month goes on. As the water cools, use bigger baits and retrieve the more slowly. Jerk and twitch baits work very well in the fall. Night fishing is still good.
Panfish action is still OK, but as good as it was several weeks ago. The crappies are both in the weeds and some out with the walleye. Small plastics or crappie minnows work best for them. Bluegills are still in the weeds and hitting on worms. Look for green weeds or shallow brush piles to hold them. Perch are in the deeper weeds and some of the bigger ones are out with the walleye.
Beautiful daytime weather will bless us for a while, so take advantage of it while you can. Good luck and good fishin’!
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