In case you haven’t noticed, some area waters are becoming increasingly dormant. Most traffic last week has been in the form of lakeshore owners wrapping up their yearly choirs and preparing for autumn. Many summer camps around the region have already pulled docks, rafts and beach furniture. This is typical for this time of year. Even though many cabins and camp areas are becoming silent, the fishing is just starting to heat up.
Lake Superior anglers are still finding good success trolling waters of 75-175 feet for a mix of lake trout and salmon. It has been a good year for bonus chinook along the stretches of the North Shore. On the South Shore stretching all the way to the Apostle Islands, some anglers are finding success for walleye. Some walleyes coming boatside are of the trophy caliber. Things are changing day to day, but most consistent has been a troll speed of 2 mph dragging crank baits behind planer boards. Always remember to watch the wind, as things can change in a hurry. Last week, we experienced some days with a good blow. Stream anglers continue to see the preliminary signs of returning Gitch fish. For the most part, however, resident browns and brook trout are being caught.
The St. Louis River estuary was been mostly on the silent side last week with minimal traffic, except for the influx of big freighters. Fishermen have been scarce. With that said, a mixed bag of walleye, catfish, pike, perch and rock bass have been showing up dragging mid-level cranks and fan casting shorelines.
Inland waters remain the constant for regular action. Crappies and walleyes/perch have been going good on wind-blown, mid-lake shallow humps. Looking for feeding marine birds is a good bet, as bait fish are really starting to show up in select areas of inland lakes. Best tactic continues to be pitching jigs with plastics and/or live bait. Trolling mid-lake basins and contour edges with stick-baits can be productive as well. As area waters continue to see temperature change, fishing is only going to get better.
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.