I know I sound like a broken record, but the weather has really impacted our fishing. The sudden temperature rise took water temps up to summer levels again just after the fish had started to move into fall transition patterns. The large rainfalls have swollen all our rivers and made them muddy messes. The rain has also created high water on a number of our area lakes forcing “No Wake” warnings on Lake Geneva, Lake Delavan and high water warnings on the Chain of Lakes.

Weather fluctuations have also caused the closing of several area small lakes and ponds because of a blue-green algae bloom that is toxic to humans and animals. The city of Des Plaines has closed Lake Opeka for at least two weeks to deal with the algae. There is a good article from the Daily Herald about the closure at dailyherald.com/amp-article…190919762.

Once out on the water, anglers will see that most of the fish will be transitioning to fall patterns as the green weeds begin to die off and the fish search for more oxygen-rich water. That means some will move even shallower to what is left of the green vegetation, and some will move to deeper water. Last week we were able to catch a number of 4-plus-pound largemouth bass from what was left of the weeds in 3 to 4 feet of water. We caught a nice 32-inch northern pike in the same shallow water. This can be a good time to use surface baits – frogs, whopper ploppers, chatter baits and swim baits all would be great choices. There is no need to be shy with the speed of retrieving those baits. These fish are feeding up for winter and are very aggressive for their next meal. I would recommend that those fishermen looking for a shot at a musky give it another few weeks before they get really active.

Be careful with the high water areas, but it’s a great time to be out there fishing.

Until next time…keep a tight line.

 Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.