Fishing with the Guides  by George Langley.   Week of   8/11 to 8/18.

We sure seem to be getting gentle hints of fall now in our weather. This is the time of the year for the water temps to begin that long, slow drop into the 60's. We will probably get some warm spells right through September that will raise the temps, but on the whole they'll be going down. Warm fronts in the fall are as bad on the fishing as cold fronts are in the spring. Hope for some consistency in this drop. Water levels are holding well, but the weeds are beginning to die off – especially the shallow ones. The temps are in the 70's now.

If you look at the ferns along the roadsides, a few of them are already turning brown. Pretty soon, we'll be seeing some of that great fall color. The bugs are not gone, but there sure are a lot fewer of them. This is a great time of the year.

Walley are hitting pretty well, but mostly smaller ones. We are not hearing of many big fish in the last week or so. On the Eagle River Chain, the fishing has been good in the weeds, and you can fish as shallow as 4' and catch these walleye. Either 1/8 or 1/16 ounce jigs work well in the weeds, with half crawlers as the best bait at this time of year. You can also check out the holes on the Chain, as more and more we'll see fish in there as the fall progresses.

On the larger lakes, the fish are in the weeds also, with those in the 8 to 14' range providing good action even during the bright daytime. Leeches and half crawlers are the best baits with those jigs, but minnows will become more productive as the temps drop.

Bass action remains great, with both smallies and largemouth hitting well. Surprisingly, you will find these fish mixed together now, but the largemouth are mostly shallower than the smallies and using more cover. Plastics and surface baits are working best for the largemouth, with spinner baits close behind. For smallmouth, Try drop-shotting deeper on gravel or hard bottom for these fish. They can be surprisingly deep, especially on clear lakes. Leeches will work very well as live bait.

Northerns are hitting as usual, with the spinner working the best, in or near the weeds. On some lakes, there are deeper grass weeds. These will hold good populations of northerns and they can be caught on crankbaits or larger minnows under slip bobbers.

Musky action is good right now, but all in all it has been an unusual year. It took so long for the water to warm up this spring that it was slow right into July. With the weed growth and warmer water now, the action is “normal” for these fish. Bucktails and surface baits work very well on most water. The Eagle River Chain is now producing pretty good action as a whole, in the weeds daily. Night fishing is always very good at this time of year.

Panfish action is good as it always is. The bluegills are in the weedy areas on both dark water lakes and clear lakes. Worms work best for them. Crappies are also in the weeds but moving around more than the 'gills. Use small plastics for these fish under bobbers in 3 – 5' of water. Perch are in the weeds also, but look for deeper weeds. Leeches work well for them.

Fall is coming – get out there while it is still warm.

Good luck and good fishin’!


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