If you're not a hunter, pull on an extra layer of clothes, grab your favorite fishing gear and head onto the water.
It may be hunting season, but the fishing is pretty darn good right now.
Of course, the St. Joseph River trout and salmon run is getting the most attention, but panfish, muskie and bass are starting to prowl on inland waters.
Steelhead, coho and king salmon continue running from Lake Michigan into the St. Joe and several that negotiated fish ladders around Michigan dams have made it to South Bend.
As of Tuesday, nearly 3,500 steelhead, 1,000 coho and 100 kings had passed through the South Bend ladder. Although the steelhead counts are down somewhat from the same time last year, the coho numbers have soared.
This time last year, we had 5,900 steelhead and 384 coho above the dam. This yearís coho counts are on pace to break the record (1,446 in 2011).
"Steelhead numbers are good and weíre ahead of the curve compared to most years," said Bodine Hatchery Manager Dave Meuninck. "Weíre pleased with the numbers of coho weíre seeing, too."
Indiana's Skamania steelhead run has peaked but Michigan's winter steelhead should be showing up soon. The Michigan fish filter into the river when the water gets cold but the bulk of the fish show up in late winter.
River conditions have been pretty good, too, as the river is settling down after last weekís heavy rains.
Dick Parker said boat and shore anglers were doing pretty well below Twin Branch Dam and Central Park fishermen were picking up a few along the dam apron.
Bait choices depend upon the angler. Spawn, diving plugs, inline spinners, Corkies and crawlers have all produced fish.
Mike McNulty of Midway Bait in Osceola said pink and black spinners have been his best producers for steelhead while Bryan Williams of Trailhead Mercantile in Niles said Oslo spinners and spawn bags have been the most popular baits at his store.
"Fishing has been kinda strange, as one day the fishermen catch them real well and then the next day itís slow," said Williams. "Iím mostly hearing about kings being caught below Berrien Springs dam."
"Oddly enough, said Williams, catfishing has been exceptional on the lower river this year."
"A lot of 18- to 20-inch cats are being caught on artificial baits as well as livebait," he noted. "It's been that way all year."
The die-hard panfishermen are finding pods of nice bluegills in 5 to 10 feet of water while perch fishing is gaining steam on those lakes that have good populations of them.
"There are still some bluegill out deep, but the best action seems to be shallower, especially outside the lily pads," said Darrin Schaap of Clear H2o Tackle near Edwardsburg. "Theyíre in the same places you find them after they spawn in the spring."
Bonnie Kelley at Kelleyís Bait in Lakeville said crappie and bluegill fishing has been pretty good for the few anglers venturing out. Crickets, wax worms and red wigglers remain the best baits.
Inland perch fishing is improving and should get a lot better as the lake temperatures drop. Jim Housman of the Tackle Box in North Webster said anglers are picking them up on the sand flats at Wawasee right now.
"The muskies are biting pretty well on suckers at Webster and Barbee Chain," he added. "Guys are seeing quite a few fish and I know of a 51-incher caught last week."
Bass fishermen have been having some success, but the good fishing is just around the corner.
"All we need some stable weather and a break from the wind and the bass should be going nuts in the shallower water," said Schaap.