Aggressive walleyes have been on the chew this past week, and it has made for fun fishing. A sweet tactic we have been utilizing is the “double-up” method. It’s simple: Instead of using one minnow, use two while you are working jigs. They give off more scent, and if you miss a fish and it took a minnow, you still have another minnow on. I like this operation on faster, dirtier water with current. However, don’t be afraid to try it other places.
Water temperatures are dipping into the lower 50s and will continue to fall as we move into November.
The St. Louis River has been good fishing for decent-size walleyes using bigger chubs pulled on regular hook, line and sinker. Jigging is best and is the easiest way to catch a few fish (give the double-up method a try), but slow-trolling crankbaits is working as well. Cranks in the No. 5 size with rattles in them have been best. Use larger jigs with plastics and tip with a minnow for the bigger fish. Crappies have been on the bite as well. Some anglers are catching muskies throwing the regular lineup of large baits at shorelines. A fun fish to catch has been the freshwater drum (aka sheepshead). They have also been taking baits in all sections of the river.
Lake Superior has been quiet in the Twin Ports area. However, anglers are still finding success on the streams. Brookies, brown trout, steelhead and the occasional salmon are entering the streams from Lake Superior. Swinging flies under float indicators and casting smaller spinner baits are tactics producing the most action. Make sure to give other anglers room while fishing; there are plenty of areas to provide space. Fish are in both deeper pools and fast areas.
Inland lakes are the ticket for consistent catches. Snap-jigging has been good (fast jigging cadence using flashy baits). Pike have been caught using all tactics. Panfish have been hitting on small jigs or slip-bobber rigs — look to the weed edges in 10-17 feet of water. Most panfish are transitioning into their usual winter areas, so don’t be afraid to try deeper water. It is a good time to scout out first-ice spots. Muskies have been reported on Island Lake as well as some northern Wisconsin waters like the Pike Chain in Iron River. Large suckers have been a good choice for targeting these muskies.
Jarrid Houston of South Range is a fishing guide (houstonsguideservice.com) on Minnesota and Wisconsin inland waters, the St. Louis River and, in winter, on Lake Superior.