The water is in the mid to upper 60's on most lakes in our area. Weeds are still green, but showing some signs of thinning out and the algae blooms are starting to clear up. There are schools of bait in both deep and shallow water, both of which are drawing attention from the gamefish right now.
Largemouth are holding along clumps of weeds on the shallow weed flats. Others are still hanging along the deeper weed edges. Smallmouth are relating to weed clumps near or adjacent to rocky and sandy areas with a drop off. The deeper fish will bite best when they make a move into the nearby shallow water, typically something they will start to do a couple times a day. When the water and air temperatures begin to cool down some more, fish will use rocky areas in the early afternoons.
Your best lure options right now are wacky worms, large jigworms, skirted grubs, jig/chunk, texas rigged plastics or lipless crankbaits. Smaller, wide wobbling crankbaits can also produce. Wacky worms and skirted grubs are great around the rocks. Jigworms, texas rigs and jig/trailers are great around the scattered weeds. Lipless crankbaits are great in both areas. Browns, greens, orange or black are usally the best colors for plastics (pretty much as they are all year) but white, shad, bluegill or silver colored crankbaits can really produce.
Walleye: Stick with live bait unless fishing over submerged weeds in the evening when you should consider throwing minnow-baits like rapalas and rouges. Look for walleyes to be in the sandgrass or in breaks in the weeds in 10-15 feet. Some fish will be deeper or shallower on our local lakes, but the best approach to locating fish is to slowly troll with a slip-sinker or lindy rig with a big minnow.
Northern: Most northern caught this time of year are caught while targeting other species, especially bass and musky. But they can still be caught and in good numbers. For bigger fish, try Deep diving crankbaits in bluegill, perch or white/shad color patterns. Hot N Tots, wiggle warts and the rapala deep divers are my favorites for trolling, while Norman D-22's or lipless crankbaits are better options for casting.
Musky: The fish are starting to make fall transitions, but the action is still a little slow. I'd expect that to make a rapid change after this week. Most fish are being reported from 10-15 feet of water. Casting bucktails, gliders, swimbaits or jerkbaits all will draw some attention, but don't forget to keep a sucker or two out on a quick-strike rig. Many fish that follow a bait to the boat will turn on for the sucker hanging nearby.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
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