Midway through November and we are finally starting to get hints of ice season. A little different from last year, when we were ahead of normal for ice by this time, but we can only receive what mother nature gives us.

Much like summer, this autumn has been a little “off" as well. Some deer hunters report good rut activity in the woods, and some don't. Starting this weekend, it's the great Wisconsin deer rifle hunt together.

I will be saddled up in a tree for most of the nine-day season and am looking forward to the solitary relaxation of being in the woods. However, don't worry, I will be getting out and talking with area anglers to get the scoop on what is happening on our lakes and rivers. For all you hunters (and anglers) out and enjoying the great outdoors, good luck and be safe.

Here is our mid-November fishing report:

Lake Superior, as well as most area waters, have had little to no fishing pressure as of late. The cold winds haven't been the only factor keeping anglers grounded as hunting seasons keep anglers busy in the woods.

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For a few anglers getting out in the Chequamegon Bay area, they have been rewarded with some nice catches of good-sized smallmouth. The bite still has been revolving around trolling live sucker rigs. Of course, a few pike and the occasional walleye have been hitting as well.

Last weekend saw the close of fishing on some Lake Superior tributaries. The Brule River in particular had some business with some successful last-minute trout enthusiasts getting some action. Best bites were in the form of swinging flies. Leading up to the close of the season, fishing got pretty darn good.

The St. Louis River has been pretty dormant except for a few hunters taking to the water to get to productive hunting spots. For the very few anglers getting out, they are being rewarded with some nice fish. Jigging live bait on channel edges in depths of 6-10 feet has been good. The warmest part of the afternoon seems to be the best bite window.

Musky are very active, and even if you have your boat winterized, it's worth it to grab some big lures and go down to the shoreline and take some casts. Or better yet, if you can find any big live suckers, let them swim under a bobber. It's kind of like hunting for big fish.

Besides that, and for the most part, the river will not see any angling pressure until we build up some ice. I forecast safe river ice around one month from now, weather depending of course.

Inland lake temperatures have been dropping to lower 40s, depending of course what body of water we are talking about. As of this report, some small ponds and even the likes of the Nemadji River have some skim ice. Water temperatures everywhere will now take a dive up until ice up.

For those that are still getting out, concentrate efforts shallow. It is important as always not to spook fish. A good tactic this time of year is long casting stick baits and slow retrieves. Similar to the river, the best bite window will be in the mid-afternoons, when the sun and air temperatures are highest.

Good luck out there, be safe and we will see you on the water, or this week, in the woods!

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.