Water temperatures on Pool 9 have plummeted from the mid-50’s to 42 degrees over just the past 10 days, drastically impacting both fish activity and location.
SMB are still catchable with slow presentations aimed at targeting primarily walleyes, with walleyes running ‘down the stairs’ in just over a week holding @ about 18-21 fow. Saugers have been active in 21-24 fow. This pattern won’t change all that much as temps continue to fall into the upper 30’s.
Eelgrass is a MAJOR factor now, limiting presentations pretty much to single hook options like the venerable jig. Northland Buckaroo & Taylor tackle hair jigs have been very effective over the past week or so–especially with a little meat. With calm winds in a vertical presentation of over 20′ a 1/4-3/8oz is plenty. But with a howlin’ NW wind like we had yesterday 1/2 oz was necessary to stay in the fish zone.
In those few areas where eelgrass is not a MAJOR factor, pitching/dragging 3/16 oz. B-Fish-N tackle precision jigs in pyrokeet pattern w/ firecracker or cotton candy Pulse-Rs has been producing some nicer fish. A Rippin’ shad has been putting a few fish in the boat, too–in areas where the trebles don’t work like a six-tined rake
Most panfish have moved to zero-current areas near where they will spend the winter, with many pike right behind them. Crappies & a few gills are still relating to wood with crappies 4′ down where there is at least 10 fow and gills on the same structure a little closer to the bottom.
Perch have ben a mystery to me lately. Catching quality fish, but not numbers cruising the same areas as walleyes. Almost all have come on a 1/4 oz. perch pattern Buckshot RattleSpoon, with occasional “perch bites” in deeper water on bigger spoons. Aggressive “frosting lickers” which are just slapping larger lure profiles? Don’t know, but certainly plan on being out there just about every day until the tundra swans leave.
Seems like 48 hrs. after the big white ones bug out, quiet shallows ice up. The wonders of nature along the Immortal River never cease to amaze. Closing in on 7 decades, humbled by the fact that the more time spent out there trying to figger it all out, the less you really know