September 20, 2007 at 9:23 a.m.
It's a simple fact that walleyes become active during dusk hours, and there's no better way to catch actively feeding 'eyes in shallow water than long-lining stickbaits in 4 to 10 feet of water. When the sun hits the horizon, swap your spinning rod and jig for a baitcaster and shallow running crankbait. The windy side of a lake retains its higher water temperatures into the night hours, and it's at dusk that walleyes ambush larger prey in earnest. A big-shouldered walleye will invest a fair amount of its valuable energy and put on surprising bursts of speed to get at what they perceive to be fleeing baitfish. These dusk-to-dark walleyes will quite literally smash anything they perceive to be a fleeing meal. Changing lure speed as you troll can oftentimes trigger aggressive strikes, so sweeping the rod forward and allowing the bait to suspend in the water motionless between sweeps can be a deadly presentation worth trying. Productive hours to pull baits over these shallow sand and gravel bars, humps and points are 4-9 p.m.
Area anglers chasing the bass are experiencing outstanding fishing on area lakes, particularly on Chisago Lake. Brad informed me, "The bass fishing is outstanding right now. Work the weedlines, points and timber. The bass are in all the spots they're supposed to be and folks are catching them. Get out there right now, you won't be disappointed."
If you're looking for cooperative crappies and bluegills, the north end of North Center Lake has produced limits of panfish for anglers looking for a quick and easy meal of fish.
If you can't get out there this weekend, don't panic. This fall transition and the great fishing that goes along with it will last right through October. Make a point to get out there and chase some walleyes or bass. Like Brad said, you won't be disappointed.
Dan Brown's weekly outdoor column is brought to you by Frankie's Bait and Marine, in Chisago City, and St. Croix Outdoors, in St. Croix Falls, Wis.