The turnover period can ultimately produce the best fishing of the open water season.

As the peak of the summer fishing ends around August, we look forward to the fall action that begins around mid-October.  The key to the fall action is what is called lake “turnover,” which means the lake water changes into basically the same temperature at all depths.

Here are some tips for fall fishing as we head into the month of November, typically the best month of the fishing season.


This is the period before the actual turnover when fishing can be downright difficult. I have experienced this pre-turnover before and it isn’t fun.

You can search deep and shallow and it’s like the fish have vacated the lake! This is usually a short period of time just before the actual turnover. Sometimes this pre-turnover time can drag on, especially with inconsistent weather patterns.

Go super deep

When the water temperatures are uniform at most of the depths, walleyes and bass can be super deep. Super deep is a term that fits deep, clear lakes such as Mille Lacs, Leech Lake (Walker Bay) and Miltona.

I have caught walleyes as deep as 60 feet during the turnover period and the most common depths are 33 to 55 feet on most deep lakes.

Scanning with electronics

This fall period can be especially productive with the use of your electronics to scan the deeper structures. I spend a great amount of time in the fall scanning before ever wetting a line.

Try cruising at about 10 mph and search from 20 to 60, feet going from shallow to deep, to find a pattern. In the fall, if you mark fish on your electronics at 44 feet, be sure to stay at that depth as this is a big clue to their whereabouts.


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