What a month October was! The River flowed like an old style bathtub–hard to mix the cold water & hot water until everything was just right.
Water temps dropped to 44 mid-month, then rebounded into the 50’s. Walleyes responded by sliding a little deeper–the 16-18 foot contour. Grass has been a major, MAJOR factor. A single hook presentation the the venerable Taylor Tackle Killer jig has put grins on lots of faces on folks fishing near dam tailwaters.
This has been the best fall crappie fishin’ I’ve seen in years. The 2019 year class which happened in the year of perpetual flood is now a herd of fat-backed 12-inchers–with fair representation of 17 & 18 year classes in the system.
My wife, the Admiral, put her PB in the boat this fall: an honest 15 incher. Most outings have produced at least a couple fish tickling 14″ on both side of that line.
Most fish have ben biting 4-6 feet down over 10+ fow. But there are some places where the bigger fish have been holding bove brush about twice that deep. For these fish a little Northland Tackl jigging spoon in “wonder bread” pattern tipped with a minnow has been a red-hot killer!
Yesterday I filmed a show with the Fishing Roots folks for You Tube. Fishing Roots videos have a Wisconsin-centric focus. Fishing Roots is the brainchild of Phil Barefield, son of legendary Wisconsin guide Ron Barefield. Rotten Ronnie and me have been serious runnin’ buddies for almost 40 years. I have yet to encounter a more competent outdoorsman. Ron’s grandson, Gavin, is a You Tube star in the making. Eventually this young buck will get the velvet worn off his rack and get back to focus on what’s truly important in life.
But I digress. Phil & Ronnie wanted to shoot a fall crappie video. I put 3 slabs in the boat on the wonder bread jig before Ronnie even got his rod rigged. it didn’t take long to put a show in the can.
With water temps bumping 52 we figured a Z-Man Ned head with a Swimmerz paddletail would be too much for bass to resist. Both LMB & SMB tend to congregate in very small areas in late fall–usually near small, steep breaks where they can move 20′ vertically and maybe 10′ horizontally once they seek food.
Casting the Ned head within a foot of shore thn hopping it down to about the 12′ contour produced a bunch of respectable fish for about an hour. Then we saw gulls dipping below a wingdam about a half mile downstream.
The Bill Lewis Lures MR6 in a ghost shad pattern proved irresistible on the magnum whiteys!
With water temp in the low 50’s e decided to check a couple of wingdams with the MR-6 to see if bass were home. Tried to convince Ronnie that the bass were clustered in the deep pocket mode. If we could get through the weeds all we would likely catch was walleye.
A FAT marble-eye garwoofled Ron’s MR6 on about the 4th cast. Like a couple old women we argued about the length of the fish. Ron was convinced it was 22″ .I said it wasn’t over 19″. The old dog tried to fudge by half an inch when putting it on the boat ruler. Even squeezing the tail he could only make it stretch to 19 7/8″ making it a giant, barely legal sammich. This and another fat 18 incher were enough for a couple of meals.
Time to load the Lund. Today is Thursday. Maybe the last perfect weather day of 2022. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. If I were you–I WOULD GO FISHING!