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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

Steelhead fishing continues to provide good action on the St. Joseph River, while lake fishing is slowly coming around.

Steelhead continue to filter into the river although the spring run is near its peak. More than 2,800 steelhead have moved into South Bend so far and anglers are enjoying success.

“There’s a lot of fish on the gravel right now,” said Dick Parker of Central Park Bait in Mishawaka. “The river is in great shape; a little low but the water is clean. I know of a few 12-pounders being caught.”

Flies, fresh spawn and Corkies drifted over the gravel have been good baits.


By Louie Stout

One of Michiana’s most prestigious sportfishing clubs is on the brink of dissolving.

“As bad as I hate to say, that looks like the direction we’re heading,” said Patty Schmaltz, Michiana Steelheaders board member and secretary-treasurer.

Schmaltz and her husband Jeff, the club president, have been carrying the weight of the Steelheaders’ leadership for the past few years. No one wants to take over or help out.

“We’re overloaded and have been trying to get nominations for these offices and nobody wants to step up,” said Schmaltz. “We don’t mind helping but it’s gotten to be too much. We both hate to see this end, but we can’t do it anymore.”

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