Northern hitting everything, bass biting, and up-again-down-again water temps slowdown musky, wall-eye and panfish a bit in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
The up and down water temperatures are putting the fish in their seasonal funk in the Eagle River area. Water temps that had been in the upper 50s are now back to the mid-60s.
The northern keep hitting everything in the Eagle River area. Sizes have fallen off, but the numbers keep climbing. Spinners, small surface lures and chubs are all effective in the broadleaf weeds. Bigger fish seem to park in the deeper vegetation, so check those clear lakes first.
In the Eagle River area, smallies will frequent the same deep areas as the walleye and presentations can be the same, as well. Mid-sized crankbaits zipped along rock piles or rip-rap are triggering strikes. Largemouth remain much shallower, near weeds, reeds and structure, and torpedoes, spinnerbaits, Timberdoodles, or plastic worms on a swim head jig are productive.
The sucker bite for musky was just beginning with the advance of colder weather in the Eagle River area. That's fallen off now, but it's still a good idea to "soak a sucker" while casting. These fish got a taste of live bait for a bit and a live 11 to 13 inch sucker may draw some attention to the boat. Drop the sucker just off the bottom outside of the weeds in 8 to 12 feet of water. Cast Burts, Jakes, seven inch Cranes and Depthraiders outside and just over the weedlines. Pull out the plastics arsenal now and start chucking Swim'n Joes, Suze Suckers, Foluttertails, Bulldawgs or Live Action lures over the depths, humps and cribs. On cloudy days with a slight chop on the water work Pacemakers, Hellhounds, Docs, Suicks, Eddies or anyh number of noisy topwaters. The musky have been active lately.
For walleye in the Eagle River area, don't use a fast presentation. Walleye don't want to see a minnow or crawler whizzing by at warp factor two. Boat control is everything in early fall, and don't be afraid to anchor, if fish are marked on electronics. Nightcrawlers and leeches (if you can find them) are still working, either jigged or with slip bobbers in depths to 20 plus feet. Target sand or gravel flats, and if there are rocks around, even better. On cloudier days with a slight chop in the water, get closer to the deepest weeds, and drop XL fatheads or walleye suckers. The bonus is that larger perch and bass will also hit.
Panfishing in the Eagle River areas has been a little tougher lately.
Target weed edges from 6 to 12 feet with half a crawler, leech or minnow, for perch. Bluegills will be tighter to the weeds, and using a longer rod, drop live bait or small plastics like Gulp! or Power Baits into the small holes. Crappie remain suspended and mobile in and around structure. Small minnows or cubbies are pulling fish.
Hunters should now be getting up to Eagle River for the unmatched fall hunting opportunities, including black bear, deer, waterfowl, and gamebirds such as grouse. And don't forget that fall in Eagle River means trophy musky and great walleye fishing. Now is the time to join us in Eagle River for the wonderful fall season.
(Report for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce based on Creative Brilliance interview with Mike Michalak of Guides Choice Pro Shop).