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As the weather is changing dramatically from day to day, so is the ability to catch fish. Water temperatures are going up and down, making for difficult fishing conditions.

Some of the lakes are still going through fall turnover; others have already completed the turnover, so choosing where to fish this time of year can be difficult.

The one area that remains fairly consistent during this time is the rivers where water temperatures remained fairly steady, and there really is no turnover.

Smaller rivers like the Des Plaines, the Fox, and the Kankakee are great options for quality fall fishing. During this time the forage fish have moved out of the dying weeds and are seeking out deeper holes along the river – such as any hole  created by a river bends in a wing dam.

These deep holes in the river are also gathering spots for numbers of small- mouth bass. The bass are looking to speed up for the winter adding bulk for the frozen water time and their reproductive enzymes. This is a great time to catch numbers of small-mouth bass, and the best bait this time of year will be live minnows.

Fall is the time to move to larger baits. It is best to plan to purchase minnows that are at least 4 inches long.

The most effective rig for this fishing is the old-fashioned float position, so the bait will be 1 to 2 feet above the bottom.

The most effective trick is to float the bait downstream to and through the deep pockets. This method should produce numbers of nice small-mouth bass to stretch the line. But after the photos and kudos, the fish should get back into the water – ASAP.

Reports from area lakes and rivers has been as spotty as the weather. The Mississippi River is dropping rapidly down to normal pool and should be there by end of week. Until then fishing on the River is spotty at best.

Lake Geneva fishing has been slow both during the day and at night because lake temperatures have been going up and down with the weather.

On the Fox chain the walleye and northern Pike are biting, but it is slow there as well. The best chance for walleyes will be around the bridges where there is still some current.

Keep on fishing because the white stuff is coming soon enough.  Until next time… keep a tight line.

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