So far, so good. The fall is starting to set in, and as guys start hitting their treestands, remember some of the best fishing of the year is between now and the end of the season.
The cooler nights the last ten days or so have really changed the conditions on local lakes. Water temps have dropped significantly, and are in the low to mid 60's on most lakes. The algae blooms are clearing up, and the baitfish schools are starting to thin out as fish put on the feedbag.
Bass fishing will remain steady for a couple weeks, then it will be time to put away the plastics and start fishing live bait for a trophy. Smallmouth go on a tear on our area lakes in the fall, and we're just on the front side of this. Expect the fish to make a couple foraging runs a day, but if you're having trouble connecting with active fish, look for the in the deep water, adjacent to the shallow structure. Plastics, cranks and jigs will work, but as the days get shorter, live bait becomes a better option.
Walleye fishing is starting to pick up on the area rivers, although fishing the area lakes has been slower than average for this time of year. I'd expect that to change real soon, but for now the Fox, Rock, and Wolf Rivers, especially in the mouth's of the those rivers has been consistent. Anglers are reporting some amazing action in Green Bay if you're looking for the weekend trip. On the area lakes, the fish will be anywhere there's baitfish around weeds or rock/weed transition areas in 8-12 or 15-22 feet of water. If you tag one, fish through the area very methodically.
Pike fishing has been steady, but with less guys heading out, appears to be a bit slower. Pike will remain active in 10-22 feet of water along weed edges, points or sand/gravel transition areas. Spinners are always a solid option for pike, but as the water cools I usually switch back to crankbaits, especially lipless crankbaits in a gold or silver pattern or wide wobbling deep divers in natural or red/white patterns. Jerkbaits can really shine right now, especially suspenders worked around weed clumps where there are visible baitfish.
Musky fishing has been consistent, and is set to get really good. Now is the time to start working for this years trophy. Gliders, bucktails and jerkbaits are all solid options for casting, and remember to keep a sucker out on a quick strike rig for lazy followers. Right now, look for the them to be using weeds in 12-15 feet of water or rocks in 6-12 feet of water. As the water cools, they'll move to follow the ciscos in, and that's when things start getting really interesting.