Any angler knows wind is an important factor when it comes to a fishermen's success. Some people don't care for it, but truth be told, wind is good when you use it to your advantage.
From fishing wind-blown shorelines, drifting in the wind or setting up on a back side wind blocked point and casting into the wind, all can be beneficial. This last week we had lots of wind, so we worked those different plans of attack. However the best bite came just before the wind changed.
For example, last weekend's southwest winds were consistent for three days in a row. Then on Monday late afternoon, it was calm. Right before the calm, the fish were very active. We see this time and time again with weather patterns. Our favorite time to fish is the tail end of a weather pattern. Same holds true for wind patterns. We prefer to fish the tail end of any consistent conditions.
Here is our report:
Lake Superior anglers continue to work a few bites on the North Shore. Best tactics continue to be pulling flasher/fly combos and spoons. Color schemes have been consistent, with best bites coming on regular chrome, gold or orange colored baits. Always important to keep at least one presentation different though.
Lake trout continue to stage for the annual autumn spawn, so some fish are being picky, while others are still vulnerable. This is the time of year where we are starting to see some brown trout come top side as well.
The South Shore has been pretty quiet lately, except for a few anglers trying for some migrating walleyes. Stream fishing is definitely seeing a lot of pressure lately. Some anglers are reporting a few kings and steelhead trickling in.
Brown trout have been active in the later afternoons concentrating on topwater baits. Brook trout are still eating small spinner baits. Casting into the back end of strong current has been best.
The St. Louis River bite has been good this last week, and will continue to get better. Fishing the deep channel/old shipping routes has been good, especially at the bends. Most fish are coming from 16-25 feet of water, but early and late in the day, a few good fish are being caught shallow. We are seeing more and more big hefty looking fish which is a sign they are starting to put on the feed bag.
There is a big shiner run starting to take shape, so that’s one reason we are seeing some active fish. Some big crappies, walleyes and pike are making up most catch rates. However we are still getting good catfish, drum and white perch as well.
Smallmouth have been on a tear this last week as well. Fat belly females are eating very aggressively over hard bottoms and rock in the cooler faster running waters, although we also have caught some big bass in the lower sections as well. Best tactics have included slow trolling big bodied crank baits, fan casting rattling traps and rip jigging boot tailed plastics and live bait.
Like the river, inland lakes have been putting up some great bites this week as well. The best fishing has been the afternoons until dark near over mid lake humps. Look for big depth changes on your graph and work the transitions to your advantage. I've said it before, trust your electronics.
A good mix of pike, bass and walleye are being caught with slip bobbers fishing mid lake structure in and around 12-24 feet. Leeches have been good, but big fatheads have been better. I like a red hook with a gold bead, split shot, and light bobber. Important to have a soft sinking float like a Venom float.
If you're after muskies, rumors are starting to fly that the big live sucker bite is coming alive. Look for muskie angler success to pick up in the coming weeks. Hello Fall, we missed you!
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.