Don’t wait for the hot muskie bite of fall to kick in-turn your attention to rivers now, when water temperatures remain cooler and muskies feed more actively than their still-water cousins this time of year. Three top rivers are the Wisconsin, the Flambeau and the Chippewa. Look for fish near weed beds, downed timber, deep holes (5 to 10 feet) and runs. Boat control and a quiet approach are key. Standard muskie gear will work, but don’t be afraid to run smaller buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits in white, yellow and chartreuse. The Wisconsin DNR publishes a helpful pamphlet titled “Wisconsin Muskellunge Waters.” Contact: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (608-266-2621).