Water temperatures have now dropped to the mid 50 degree range. We are in for an even more significant cool down starting Sunday, and lasting a week or 10 days. Look for water temps to drop to under 50 degrees by this time next week.
We even have some snow in our forecast! It seems we missed out on our “Indian summer” that usually occurs in the middle of October, but, this is 2020 -- so we seem to adjust to the unusual and unexpected.
It is great to fall fish in the more moderate weather, but they are not always the best bite days. Experienced fall anglers understand that some of the best fall days on the water are during some of the most weather-challenging days.
Walleye fishing isn’t a fair weather sport, and neither are musky. On days that it is easy to justify not going out, you may be actually missing out. When you try some of those challenging days and get rewarded, it becomes easier the next time to take the risk to fish in the cold, wind, rain, sleet, and snow. It only takes one fall bite to get your next personal record sized fish!
The walleye bite now has been on shoreline breaks, especially in areas where the breaks are sharp and drop to deeper holes. Hard sand bottom areas on the outside edges of the weed lines have been productive with jigs or live bait rigs and minnows.
The weed lines vary in the area depending on the lake. The clear deep water lakes have most fish holding on the outside edge of weeds growing out to 22-25 feet, and the fish can be as deep as 30 feet.
On the shallow lakes or lakes with stained water, most weed lines are at about 11-13 feet now and fish will be from the edges to out several feet away from the edges and out to 16 feet of water.
Wind will position the fish on tips of points or inside turns. The wind will stack plankton up against the weeds and that will bring baitfish in to feed. The baitfish draw the gamefish, and it is a great opportunity for them to corral baitfish and feed up before the freeze up.
Start preparing for launching and loading without docks, as it will not be long now before they start getting removed. Water levels have also dropped significantly, and you may need to back deeper than you have before now to get off trailers (bunk trailers in particular).
Watch out for piles of rocks behind the power loading scour holes. The removal of all the docks, lifts, and boats this fall has created some prop dinging situations at most of the accesses. Remember to clean, drain, and dry after every trip out.
(Laabs owns Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes)