We just got our mid-October Indian summer this last week of October and first week of November. Water temps are hanging around the low 40- to high 30-degree range. The weather will transition cooler again starting Monday, but we will still have open water fishing opportunities for probably a couple of weeks yet.
The walleye bite has been tough this last week, and I only have some guesses as to why. Locating some fish was not the problem, but triggering the bite, and getting numbers was. I believe the walleyes were into a pattern of feeding very late at night with the bright moon and moon phase period, so the daytime bite was very challenging. I usually try and get out to pull shallow cranks during these moon periods, but my schedule didn’t have that as a plan for this Halloween full moon cycle.
Several quality musky have been boated that were reported to me on both Big Detroit and Pelican Lake this last week. I have not heard of the more typical multi-fish days that are notorious for this time of the musky season, but getting one 50 inches makes up for the slower than average bite! It is very possible they have been doing more moonlight feeding and less active during daylight hours too. I am expecting both bites to pick back up like they had been feeding up to a week ago, as we transition out of this moon phase.
If you do continue to fish these next two weeks or so, remember some basic cold weather practices. If your boat sits out overnight, or even stored in an unheated garage, you may want to prop lids open as they can freeze down solid during the below freezing overnight temperatures.
Before pulling your trailer out after launching or loading, let your trailer drain before driving up the ramp. This practice will help you and others from having to deal with a slippery ramp. It isn’t a bad idea to have some sand with, just in case. After you trim your motor down as you clean, drain, and dry -- start it to blow the water out of the water cooling system. This can help prevent premature replacement of you water impeller or not having the water pump pumping water out the spray discharge.
Dress for the weather, and stay safe on the water as this can be a dangerous time with the lake temps and weather.
(Laabs owns Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes)