Fishing was a definite challenge last week on account of rain, wind, storms and mixed weather patterns. For the most part, anglers have been sidelined and not getting out. For example, the NWT walleye circuit actually "rain-checked" day two of the National Championship over on Devils Lake, ND last weekend. That doesn't happen very often.
We have encountered similar weather here in the Arrowhead region, where safety has been a priority and we have had to "rain-check" some guide trips. On the positive side, in case you haven't noticed, we are starting to see the vibrant colors of autumn show up on the tree canopy tops of shorelines. Further meaning we are now into the fall fishing season. Goodbye summer 2019 and hello autumn.
Lake Superior had minimal action last week. People who got out reported a few lakers being caught, but nothing to write home about. Tactics continue to be trolling waters of 60 to 200 feet. Closer to shore, anglers are getting a few steelhead. The South Shore walleye bite was silent as fish have dispersed into new areas and are gearing up for fall migrations into tributary areas. Stream fishing is starting to capture the interest of many fishermen as we are at the fall solstice. Unfortunately, the bite has not been great yet, but look for things to heat up in the next several weeks. We have heard a few reports of migratory salmon runs in select rivers around the area.
St. Louis River angling has been stressful with the high, fast and dirty water. We are at the mercy of Mother Nature, and like many other river rats, all we can do is be patient. The good news is we have lots of time for things to settle down and clear up. Look for the estuary to catch fire in the coming weeks ahead as we should start to see some shiner runs. For those that are getting out currently, there is a good chance for big fish!
Inland lakes, ponds, reservoirs and flowages have all been showing the best rate of success. With that being said, fishing has been on the slower side on these waters as well. Still, we are catching a few fish putting in the time and figuring out patterns. Crappies are starting to stack up in big roaming schools and by using your electronics to chase them down, one can find success. Don't be afraid to try usual wintering holes as well. A few walleyes and pike continue to come boat side on mid-lake reefs and humps. Best time of day has been later afternoons as water temperatures climb. We are not into full blown fall turnover yet, still a long ways to go, but getting closer. Surface temps are still in the low 60s, meaning we are waiting for that temperature to drop down and match the thermocline. Then we will experience full fall turnover and freshly oxygenated waters.
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.