Water temperatures range from the mid-to-high 50-degree range now. Even with the rain we have had the last couple of weeks, water levels are low, so caution at the access is prudent. Having boots along may come in handy. Docks at accesses will start to disappear now. Some boats are still out fishing, and on some lakes a few duck hunting boats are out, but most of the lake activity now is pulling docks and boats as people get ready for the upcoming hard water season. Overall, lake activity is slow, so it is very pleasant to have most of the lake to yourself when fishing now.
Most of the anglers out fishing right now are chasing walleyes or muskies. A few are after fall crappies and even though we have good fall bass fishing for largemouth and smallmouth, very few anglers seem to take advantage of that bite opportunity.
Right now, some walleyes are deep and some are shallow. Rigs or jigs and minnows, jigs and plastics, or jig raps are producing the best. Many musky anglers are still burning baits over the top of shallow weeds. The weed growth has diminished significantly, so area still holding some green weeds become prime. The big sucker minnow bite has started and will continue to get better for these monster fish as water temps continue to drop.
Crappies are starting to school up and some anglers that chase them regularly report that most fish that have been contacted now are holding suspended off edges with sharp drops to deep water. Small jigs with minnows or plastics or small jigging raps have produced.
Even though we have some very good bass lakes, and some good smallmouth populations in some area lakes, not as many bass anglers take advantage of that fall bite in our area. With so many fall activities and hunting as a competitor, sports people have to make tough choices and make priorities for time (stupid work gets in the way!)
Just so you are aware there is another possibility to conflict you with how you spend your time, I will let you know that the shiner run on the Rainy River has started. This means the huge populations of walleyes are just outside the gap area, in Four Mile Bay, and in the river at Lake of the Woods at Baudette.
That bite will last from now until ice, and of course first ice bite up there is excellent also. This area is a very popular destination in the spring with the walleye spawning run, but the fall can be a close second for numbers and size.
Have you noticed that there never seems to be enough time in the fall for everything? If I could have a wish granted, it would be to extend this season by at least a month. It goes by too fast. If you have been getting distracted by all the noise about North Korea, Iran, Russia investigation, Washington in-fighting, and blah…blah…blah, help yourself with a little priority re-set and get out for some fall fishing!