Fishing with the Guides by George Langley. Week of 9/1 to 9/8.
Boy oh boy, has fall come early this year. As we mentioned last week, we are starting to see some color in the trees even here in Eagle River. We have had a lot of rain and things are no longer dry, but the fall beauty is coming. With all the rain, lawns are growing again, so we'll have to mow one more time this year. Then raking -oh boy.
Water temps are going down quickly, so we’re seeing a lot of 60's on the lakes. As a fall angler, this writer’s biggest fear is that we'll get a big warm front in the middle of September. This will hurt the fishing, especially the musky fishing. As long as it's cold, let's keep it that way.
Water levels are good with all the rain we've gotten. Most landings are in great shape. Weeds on the lakes are definitely dropping down and getting brown, especially the shallow weeds. These weeds go first, then the deeper weeds.
Walleye fishing is changing with the weather. As these temps drop on the Chain we start to see the fish move slowly towards and into the holes. If you do not get fish in the weeds, move deeper and check the harder bottom areas near the holes. Then they'll be in the holes for the rest of the fall (and all winter). We also see a movement from crawlers to minnows now.
Same thing is happening on the deeper lakes, with the weeds receding but still holding fish at this point. We do see the fish moving to the outer edge of the weeds and to the drop-offs more now. It's the same thing with bait – try minnows for the fall – and some bigger minnows.
Bass fishing is holding up but we're seeing some changes there also. The smallies are changing their bait targets to minnows slowly as the crayfish disappear. These smallies still prefer hard bottom but move in search of minnows as the water gets colder. We even catch them relatively shallow in the weeds as the fall progresses.
Largemouth are still in the weeds but moving deeper, as the shallow weeds decline. Plastics are the best baits for them now, but all bait types are still working. Slow your retreve down for these guys as the water gets colder.
Northerns remain in the weeds and are very active right through the fall. Daredevils and Johnson Silver Minnows work very well in those weeds for these fish.
Musky fishing is good and will get even better through the fall. The fall is the best time of the year for bigger fish, as these fish have gained weight and grown all year. They will put on the feed bag in the fall, as they are somewhat somnambulant during the winter and the females need it to support egg development. During September we will see some nice action in the weeds for these feeding giants. The Eagle River Chain, with its dark water and good seeds, will be very active. Look for current on this water for great fishing.
Panfish are still good, but the crappies on the Chain will mirror the walleye movement to deeper water as the fall goes on. Right now, still work the weeds, but move deeper if you don't find them. Catfish, Eagle and Cranberry have been very good. Bluegills are still holding in the weeds and hitting worms best. Perch as always are deeper in the weeds.
Get out there before it turns cold. There is much less traffic on the water now.
Good luck and good fishin’!
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