Rain, rain go away. With the recent very rainy weather this last week, we again have had a big slow-down on fish outing success. Not a great start to October. But the good news is, we still have a lot of fall fishing left. I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but again, let's cross our fingers that the precipitation subsides. I think we all would love to enjoy a more normal autumn. Some anglers have already winterized their boats or are in the process. Even many retail stores have shifted gears and are setting up for winter ice fishing. Hopefully next week, I have a better report. Until then, here’s what we have:

Lake Superior has been big, wavy and mean lately, restricting many chances of successful angling. It was sad to hear about the accident that happened, with one man on a work crew drowning off Park Point last week, but it’s a great reminder of how quickly the Gitch can become dangerous. The only rumors of fish being caught have been out of the Ashland area, where the waters are better protected. Word is smallmouth, walleyes and bonus brown trout have been coming off a variety of trolling methods. As far as stream fishing goes, anglers for the most part have been non-existent this last week. Waters are high, fast and dirty making for nothing short of very challenging conditions.

The St. Louis River has become a mud bath with many areas of the system a brown chocolate milk color. The fishing pressure here has also resembled a ghost town. I am afraid it will now take a couple of weeks for things to settle down. Between the high water, fast current and color, not to mention the floating debris, the river is messed up. Again, let’s hope we can endure some weather to help matters out.

Inland lake fishing is most certainly the best chance to find success currently. Crappies and a few walleyes are still coming off of deep water lumber and other types of structure. Live bait and/or soft plastics jigged or drifted seem to be the best tactic. Don't be surprised to tangle with other species as well. This is the time of year where live bait becomes increasingly popular. Some days are better than others, but that is a direct relation to the weather patterns we are seeing day to day. If we could get a more consistent blend of weather, the fishing will certainly heat up. Until then, we are at the mercy of Mother Nature.

On a side note, this is the time of year where we are starting to see more and more hunters in the woods and on water. It may be a good idea to wear a blaze orange hat, and make sure your always paying attention. Also, the water temps and air temps are taking a dive pretty fast now, so dressing for the occasion is important. And remember to wear a life jacket!



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.