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Whether targeted for fun or for the table, panfish please most anglers– especially lunker crappies and hand-sized bull bluegills. Fall is a great time to catch them, but with variables like changing vegetation, cooling weather, turnover, and fall bait migrations, how do you crack the code for consistent success?

We asked four of the nation’s top panfish specialists five questions about fall crappie and bluegill fishing. Their answers will help anyone become a more successful fall panfish angler.

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The swimbait is a lure type that has gone from trophy hunting bass anglers to something used for many different species, including walleye. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be fished all year long, making them some of the most versatile lures used today.

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New Tackle for 2022

Everyone is throwing bladed jigs these days so sometimes you need to give the fish a different look and sound.

The downsized Chatterbait MiniMax has a downscaled hex-blade and other componentry, but it has the punch to handle big, tough smallmouth, spotted and largemouth bass.

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Featured Videos

KVD: How to Manage Fall Turnover on Northern Lakes Kevin VanDam: Clear Water Spinnerbait Tactics
KVD: How to Manage Fall Turnover on Northern Lakes Kevin VanDam: Clear Water Spinnerbait Tactics
KVD: How to Trick Those Fall Cruisers Zona: Which Docks are Best?
KVD: How to Trick Those Fall Cruisers Zona: Which Docks are Best?
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Side Notes

Monitor fishing and hunting news from the Michigan DNR, Indiana DNR and national sources. If it's happening in the outdoors, you can read it here.

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By Louie Stout

Indiana’s famed muskie fishery got a checkup this fall as fish managers try to restore the fabulous fishing of a few years ago.

That’s not to say it’s bad right now. In fact, we’re in prime time muskie fishing on those Kosciusko County lakes that attract anglers from around the Midwest. Several 45-plus and 50-inch fish have been caught this year.

In case you didn’t know, Webster Lake is one of the Midwest’s best muskie fisheries for several years. Anglers drive here from Ohio, Illinois and southern Indiana to fish for the monster fish.

When it was in its prime, it was nothing for a good muskie angler to hook up several fish in a day, not to mention attract numerous, nerve-racking follows.

But the muskie fishing has been declining in recent years, especially after lake residents killed the aquatic plants with a devastating application of high powered chemicals in 2010. The lake turned the color of chocolate milk and fishing declined considerably for all gamefish.

By Louie Stout

St. Joe River Bluegill UnderutilizedIt’s rare to hear a bluegill fisherman say he wished there were more anglers like him fishing his favorite waters.

Ken McCormack is one of those rarities.

Perhaps his name sounds familiar. The 71-year-old retiree is the former owner of Great Lakes Sportsman that once served as a popular hangout for anglers and hunters.

“In those days, I devoted more time to running a business than I did fishing,” said the Mishawaka angler.

He’s making up for it now, fishing nearly every day on the St. Joseph River for bluegills.

That’s right, bluegills.

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