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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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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

Northern Indiana fisheries biologist Tom Bacula has been a busy man.

A few weeks ago he was on Lake of the Woods near Bremen surveying the walleye population.

More recently, he examined bass populations at Koontz Lake and Fish Lake to the west of South Bend.

Here’s a preliminary look at what he saw:

Koontz: Historically, Koontz has been a good place to catch a big bass. An 8 pounder was caught there this spring and that’s huge for this part of Indiana.

But the numbers of largemouth have sagged in recent years.


By Louie Stout

Brandon Demitruk has been checking his mailbox daily for more than a month now.

Still no answer from the Indiana DNR.

Demitruk is vice president of the P.N.A. Fisherman’s Club in South Bend. In late March, he wrote a letter to the DNR urging them to consider buying available property on Hudson Lake northwest of South Bend and make it a public access.

The Michiana Walleye Club signed on, too.

The 400-acre lake is a good fishing lake within a short drive of South Bend and LaPorte, but access has been limited.

Until now, the only boat launch lies on the property for sale. It’s there where anglers have paid a small fee to launch their boats for several years.

But the landowner has the site for sale. The state could buy the four acres for $200,000.

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