Tomahawk leader

NORTHERN WISCONSIN – More of us are looking forward to lower catches than any other time of year, and this will be an interesting shift over the next few weeks as water temperatures drop.

You’ll notice the beginning of fall colors here as the roadside ferns turn brown and the maples begin their change. The water temperature will now drop, which is exactly what we want. We’re hoping for a sustained low into the 60s and then 50s, and really hoping there aren’t any harsh warm fronts. From this point on, rising temperatures will eliminate fishing for the duration of those fronts.

Walleye fishing has been good on the chain, with large numbers of fish being caught daily. Basically, they stayed on those deep edges of weeds and did better during the day than they did in August. Jigs and fish, as usual, are the best bait for them. In deeper lakes, we have seen some improvement in daytime fishing, but evening and night fishing is still better. Half-crawlers have been good on these lakes on weed edges in the 12-inch range.

Panfish action remains good, with bluegills continuing to hit midrange weeds. Cereus or worms work. Crappie schooling continues, and if you can find them, they will provide great impact on minnows. Look for them in deep brush piles and deep weed edges. Perch have been moving somewhat deeper recently, and leeches or minnows are best for these guys.

Bass action is still very good, with plenty of smallmouth and largemouth bass being caught together in lakes that contain both types of fish. Plastics fished off the bottom have been effective, but a half-crawler on a jig at the edges of the weeds can work as well.

As always, the Northerners remain hungry. Look for them in the weeds and throw anything flashy and they will hit you. Try a spinnerbait right over the top of the weed beds to get some good action. They also hit spear-sized suckers well.

The musky action has been decent and will improve as the water temps drop. These fish will be more active in the weeds this month during the day than they have been all summer. There’s a great mix of good numbers and a chance to get a trophy during fall hunting. Larger jigs are still the most effective, but it’s worth trying surface baits too, if for nothing else than the chance to see a strike directly above the water. With water temperatures dropping, we are on the cusp of the off-season.

Welcome to the start of what we hope will be great fall fishing, with some of the most beautiful scenery of the year on display. There’s nothing better than a day on the water during a crisp fall day, with colors glowing on the beaches.

Good luck and good fishin!

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