Well it looks like fall is finally here folks, as you can tell from the cooler temperatures and the masses of leaves falling from the trees. With that the change in seasons also means a change in fishing presentations and hunting patterns.
The musky bite this last week has been really good and we are now starting to see quite a few fish being caught on suckers suspended below slip bobbers 3 to 5 feet down. We are also catching a fair number of nice fish on crank baits like Depth Raiders, jerk baits like Suicks and rubber baits like Bulldawgs by Musky Innovations. Most of our action has come from fish holding in 6 to 12 feet of water.
The walleye bite just keeps getting better and better, with a lot of nice fish in that 15 to 20 inch range. We are also catching a few nice slot fish and even a couple up to and over that magical 30 inch mark. Most of the walleyes are holding in deeper water right now, and you can find them by working 1/8 and 1/4 ounce lead head jigs tipped with fathead minnows. For consistency target the fish that are staging in the deeper pools in the main river system or lake. The key to being consistent is finding the active feeding fish in these areas. These fish are either at the head of the pool which is where the current is coming into it or they are holding at the bottom end of the pool where the current is leaving. The fish that are staged in the center of the pool are the lethargic fish that won’t be as easily tempted into striking your presentation. If you are fishing a lake use the wind as your current determining factor.
The fall crappie action consists of suspended fish holding over deeper water. To find these active fish target water depths in the 10 to 16 foot range. Use slip bobbers rigged up with tiny jigs set 4 to 8 feet down. Tip the jigs with tiny fathead minnows and slowly drift through these deep water areas. After a few drifts you will see a pattern forming as to which depth most fish are holding and where they are in the area. At that point you can readjust your baits and drift pattern to be more consistent and successful.
Smallmouth bass action has been phenomenal this past week. With the cooler water temperatures which are now in the mid to upper 40° range you will find your active fish relating to rocks and wood in 6 to 10 feet of water. Target these areas with crank baits like Rapala Shad Raps and jigs tipped with plastics like beaver tails.
I know most hunters as well as myself a starting to get that itch. With the dropping of the leaves and the much cooler temperatures especially at night we know let the rut is right around the corner. With that it means BIG BUCKS. Now everyone knows that once the rut gets here the activity levels pick up and the bucks become more vulnerable, they become less nocturnal and start moving around a lot more during the daytime. To be successful at this time of the year you need to know where the does are bedding and feeding in your area. Once you know this simply set up a stand location between these areas. This will give you an opportunity to target any unsuspecting bucks that may be following and chasing the does at this time of year.
Good luck and have a safe week,
Licensed Wisconsin Hunting & Fishing Guide
Hooksetters Guide Service www.hooksetters.biz
Ruttnut Guide Service www.ruttnut.com
Reed & Hoppe Wildlife Food Plots www.foodplotting.com