Hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe Labor Day weekend. The waterways in and around the Northland saw a little traffic, but not as much as usual. Now that we are well into September, fishing pressure will continue to decrease.
For the next few months, most people will be busy hunting and watching football during the weekends. Needless to say, the waters will have plenty of room to venture around. I have said it before and will say it again, fall is arguably the best time of year to fish. Cool mornings and warm afternoons make for very comfortable angling. Not to mention, pesky bugs are less of a problem. For the next couple of months, fishing will get better and better. We are already starting to see signs of a great fall bite.
Lake Superior had its ups and downs last week — mostly in the form of good-sized rollers on account of the wind. At least the fishing has stayed consistent for the most part. Bright colored spoons and stick baits continue to take some nice lake trout in many different areas and depths. On the bright blue bird days, the best bet has been fishing the deeper waters using downriggers, although some anglers are getting fish to go on lead core or copper line. Best colors this last week have been bright orange and yellow. Some great steelhead have also been showing up on many areas of the North Shore in waters of 60-150 feet. On the South Shore, some anglers are still getting a few walleyes trolling stick baits behind planer boards. Stream fishing continues to improve as well with many fish getting pretty active with the dropping temperatures. With the recent rains, river fish have gotten a second wind.
St. Louis River anglers are still challenging the fish to bite with mixed results. Best bet continues to be targeting shallow flats to deeper water transitions. Bigger profile baits will take bigger fish, but long waiting times between bites can be overwhelming.
Inland waters are continuing to change over to autumn conditions. Fish remain active on various mid-lake structures including, but not limited to, sunken islands, lumber, rock piles and points/bars. Some fish are starting to migrate back toward water inlet/outlets, so don't hesitate to try these areas. Fan casting shorelines is still turning some pike and bass. As water temperatures continue to drop, live bait will be necessary. Technically we only have a couple weeks left of summer, but it sure feels like fall already. On a side note, don't forget to pack warmer clothes in the boat. It’s time to start ditching the sandals and shorts for shoes and pants.
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.