Fishing Report: Best fall fishing is not far away

For the Tomahawk Leader

NORTHERN WISCONSIN – Water temps have declined to the mid-60s, and some of the smaller lakes have started the process of turning over. This is evidenced by some “green” on the surface, almost like an algae bloom, though that isn’t the case.

Turnover is essentially the surface water sinking as it is cooled by air temperatures, and the bottom water (with the accumulated “gunk” from this year) rising to the top. This process normally takes a couple of weeks, and once it’s over, we get some of the best fishing of the fall.

Weeds are dying on all lakes, especially the shallow vegetation. If we do not get a major warm front — and we certainly don’t want one — we’ll be ready for a very significant water temperature drop and the resulting great walleye and musky fishing we get in the late fall. The color in the woods up here is getting awfully close to peak, and the scenery out on the water right now is bar-none.

Walleye fishing is good, with the fish moving a little deeper weekly on the dark water lakes. They’ll end up in or near the holes, but they aren’t there yet. Look for the deepest weed edges and mud flats off the weeds to be holding fish this week. Jigs and minnows are the best bait and will be for the rest of the open water season. The bigger, clear lakes just haven’t performed that great recently, and we’re waiting for some cold weather to turn these fish on. They’ll be off the weeds in 15 to 30 feet of water when that happens.

Northerns have slowed a little, but they are also in the weeds for the rest of the fall looking for minnows. Look for green weeds for these fish and throw some spinners.

Musky fishing has been good, but not as good as it will be when the water temps fall further. They are hitting some suckers, but not quite as actively as they will when the temps get to the 50s. Bucktails seem to be working best at the weed edges, as these fish will also start to move a little deeper with turnover.

Panfish action is good now, with crappie action on the rise. The fish are holding in the deeper weeds and brush piles. Minnows are best, as always, for these fish. Perch activity has picked up with the cooler water also. They are in the deeper weeds. They’ll hit either minnows or worms equally.

Keep hoping for colder weather for the best fishing!

Good luck and good fishin’!

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