Grant County Fishermen Experience Poor Fall Fishing


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

Delayed cooling of temperatures and low water levels have caused a decrease in fall fishing action for local fishermen in the Grant County area.

The website lists 10 lakes and sloughs and two small lakes off of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers in the Grant County area, but the local fishermen are struggling to find the fishing pattern this fall season.

One of the most anticipated fishing times of the year for determined fishermen seems to have a twist this year.

According to the DNR’s Mississippi River team, many local fishermen have reported catching absolutely nothing after several trips to local fisheries this fall season. This has caused rising concern and frustration among local fishermen.

With local fisheries such as the Mississippi River, the question of why fall fishing hasn’t lived up to its usual this season is one of great concern. There is a great deal of speculation regarding what has caused this decrease in recreational activity.

During a typical fall season, fishermen can look forward to heavy strikes, fatter fish, and most of all, more strikes! Just a year ago, the Wisconsin DNR reports that in a single pool amongst the Mississippi River in Crawford, Grant and Vernon counties, there were 28 walleye per square mile in the fall season (September-October).

These numbers are collected via sending electric signals through the water column, temporarily shocking fish and waiting for them to surface. With such low evidence of aquatic life in the area this fall, the DNR has chosen to avoid conducting this research in fall 2021 to avoid harm to the little life present.

With those numbers coming from just a fall ago, this year the DNR has received countless reports of empty fishing trips as well as minimal reports of fish being difficult to find. The Mississippi pools have often shown great productivity in the fall season. Because of the small aquatic population this fall, a report hasn’t even been made.

Fall fishing productivity is at the stake of decreasing water temperatures, dirty water conditions and the need for fish to eat before going dormant for the winter season, according to bassfishingandcatching. com.

The problem is that temperatures are not what they normally are for the fall season. Tyler Schuman, a local Grant Country fisherman, states, “Temperature drops this fall season seem to be set back a full month. I believe that has led and contributed to the loss of fishing efficiency this fall season.” Tyler continued talking about many trips that he had taken this fall season. After fishing Grant Country for years, he has never seen such low fishing productivity.

According to, the average fall temperatures in Wisconsin on Oct. 1 are in the mid 40s-50s. This October we saw a surprising continuation of heat with the beginning of October 2021 offering days of temperatures in the mid-70s, which is 20-30 degrees warmer than normal. That appears to be enough to throw off the fall fishing conditions and confuse the seasonal rhythm of our local aquatic population.

Whether it is or isn’t the temperature causing this change in fishing patterns in our local area, there are other possible factors.

Another local fisherman, Alex Buss, introduced the possibility of low water levels causing early dormancy in the local aquatic population this fall season. “Many waterways that I have been very successful in fishing in the past fall seasons, such as Mississippi off streams, seem to have roughly 6-7 inches less water than in the past”. Shallow waters may be pushing the fish out deeper to fishing which is only accessible via watercraft.

There are many of factors that seem to be playing into the decreased effectiveness of fall fishing in the Grant County area. Despite the decrease, local fishermen are still fishing strong hoping that a bite turns on.

Surely, the poor fall conditions will result in a massive increase in spring fishing, which starts in early April in Southern Wisconsin. Hopefully, we will see some personal bests soon with sporadic conditions.

Time will surely tell; fishing should pick up shortly. Leave it to the dedicated Grant County local fishermen alongside the UWP Bass Fishing Team to gain traction on the local fishing patterns again very soon.