Here in Phelps, the colors of autumn are just beginning to kiss the tops of the trees with a sprinkling of orange and red. Summer is over, the kids are back in school, and the days are cooling off. But that doesn’t mean fishing has to end!
Fall fishing in the Northwoods is some of the best a sportsman could hope for. The waters are seeing less traffic, no splashing kids or jet skis, making conditions ideal for the serious fisherman. And sure, there is more of a challenge to fishing in the fall, but the rewards are that much bigger!
Fall Fishing For Pan Fish
Pan fish are some of the most popular prey on the lake, no matter the season. Bluegills, crappies and perch make a great meal, golden fried to perfection in your favorite batter. But like most species, catching pan fish in the fall is a little trickier. It may be hard to locate the schools you are looking for in the early fall, but when you do, the fishing is great! Experts suggest trying at depths between 15 and 40 this time of year. And live bait will increase your chances, as the colder water means pan fish are less likely to chase a lure.
Fall Fishing for Smallmouth Bass
The best part of fishing in the fall is that the fish know winter is coming, and they go into a feeding frenzy to bulk up for the season. This means they are hungrier AND bigger! Smallmouth bass are moving to shallower, warmer waters in September, and congregating together. When you find that sweet spot, your pole will be busy!
As the water cools, smallmouth change their eating habits. They switch from feeding on crayfish to minnows and other fish forage. Guides recommend trying your luck at the edge of creek channels for smallmouth fishing in the fall.
Fall Fishing for Walleyes
Fishing in the autumn for any species can have huge returns, but few as big as walleye fishing. In fact, the catch rate for walleyes in the Northwoods is the highest in the fall! This is partly due to the fact that walleyes prefer to spend their summers in patches of weeds and they begin to move out in late August, after the weeds begin to fade. Around twilight, they tend to move to shallower waters, making for great evening fishing in the fall.
Experts suggest taking advantage of cooler, drizzly autumn days if you hope to catch a sizeable walleye. They tend to stay deep, so fish accordingly. Just like muskies, the biggest walleyes will be found in deeper and clearer lakes. Some guides recommend using minnows as bait after water temperatures cool to 65 degrees or less. Sting crankbaits are also good for walleye, and for pikes.
Catch Monster Muskies in Phelps!
Fall fishing for pan fish, smallmouth and walleyes is great, but this is truly the season for musky hunters! Muskies measuring in at over 48 inches are caught every year in the Northwoods! Talk about a great catch! They are hungry, they are big, and they are here in Phelps!
You may catch more muskies in the summer, but fall will see the biggest of the monster muskies. It’s important to stay flexible and try different bait, and also be persistent. Jerkbaits, bucktails, spinnerbates, and live suckers are all good options, depending on the lake you are fishing. Dubbed the fish of 10,000 casts, muskies can be elusive and it takes a serious sportsman to land a big one. But once you have, you will be a musky hunter for life!
35th Annual Midwest Musky Classic
Because this is the best time of year to catch a big musky, the Northwoods is the place to go for great musky fishing competitions. The Phelps Midwest Musky Classic is right around the corner, October 2nd through October 4th. The fishing tournament will take place on four Phelps lake, with grand prizes and a Big Fish of the Day competition. If you haven’t yet registered for this fantastic fishing event, you can do so today, right on the Phelps Chamber website or by calling 715-545-3800.
Discover Fantastic Fishing Opportunities in Phelps This Fall!
You couldn’t ask for a better place to get in some fall fishing than Phelps, Wisconsin. Vilas County has more freshwater lakes, brimming with huge muskies and walleye, than you could ever fit in one fishing trip! And Phelps has some of the largest and deepest lakes in the county, including North Twin, Lac Vieux Desert, and South Twin Lake.
Need help finding lodging for your Northwoods fall fishing trip? Give the Phelps Chamber a call at 715-545-3800 and we would be glad to help! Have a picture of your last fishing adventure or a great tale you would like to share? We would love to hear it!