Saturday, September 9, 2017
Well gang, it very quickly became Fall this past week. And as things go...so far, so good and while there's football and a bunch of hunting on the radar, remember some of the best fishing of the year awaits between now and the end of the season.
The cooler nights during the last week or so have started the annual water temperature drop. While daytime temps can be all over the place over the next six weeks, the overnight temps are really what matters moving forward. Warm, sunny days will pull fish onto the rocks, especially in the mid to late afternoons. The late algae blooms we had this season are clearing up quick as a result, and the baitfish numbers, which seemed to go up and down this year, are really starting to thin out as fish turn on for fall.
Bass fishing will remain really good for a couple weeks, then it will be time to put away the plastics and start fishing live bait for a trophy. Smallmouth typically go on a tear on our area lakes in the fall, and we're getting real close to that kickoff. For now... 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, especially for bigger fish. It is time to start using the biggest shiners you can find, or small suckers or chubs if you have to.
Walleye fishing is hasn't really started pick up on the area rivers. I'd expect that to change real soon. On the area lakes, the fish will be anywhere there's baitfish around weeds or rock/weed transition areas in 5-8 or 10-12 feet of water. Fishing cranks and stickbaits around weeds works well for active fish, and if you get one out of a patch of isolated weeds, fish through the area very methodically. Fishing just before the sun comes up or right after it goes down can be a solid bet, especially along shallow gravel/rock/sand transitions with some current on them.
Pike have been 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 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 hovering.
Musky fishing has started to pick up, but is sure to get really good over the next stretch. Enjoy the tree stand and/or your goose blind now, for soon will be 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 8-12 feet of water. As the water cools, they'll follow the ciscos in, and that's when things start to get really interesting.
Posted by Chris at 8:18 AM