This week’s Grand Rapids Fishing Report by Tom Neustrom, MN Fishing Connections,
With the warmer than usual weather of late is it really time to put the boat away? For me, not just yet. With water temperatures in the mid 40’s, fish have been cooperating like it’s the last push before winter. It’s very unique to see so many anglers still fishing on area lakes and enjoying the late fall opportunities.
Crappie fishing has been excellent and depths are important to find schools. Right now if you visualize where you find them at first ice this may be the key to finding them. Many times crappies will stay over the soft bottom areas in bays and main lake points. Small jigs with live bait or plastics are good presentations right now and even some of the baits we use at first ice can be key. Small spoons, Jigging Raps and sometimes just a plain hook and small minnow can do the job.
Walleye fishing has also been good, but don’t always look for them where they were 3-4 weeks ago. On many of the walleyes lakes in our area the dc since the water temperatures dropped significantly and on many lakes walleyes they are setting up for winter attitudes. Right now moving deeper to depths of 20-25 feet has been key to finding not only walleyes but other species as well. Jig and minnow has been best, but with cooler water don’t discard a live bait rig with a redtail or larger rainbow chub. Slowly crawling through fish can be just the ticket.
Northern Pike have been active and most often are right in the mix with other species. Jig and bigger plastics or o larger minnow have been taking nice northerns where anglers are targeting them. I believe that winter will come all of a sudden this year, but until then, enjoy the last weeks of open water opportunities.