While the walleye action has been less than spectacular the past few weeks in the lower St. Louis River, crappies of slab proportions are more than making up for it.

Each fall, schools of hulking, super-size crappies congregate in predictable areas such as the perimeters of piers, docks and other man-made structures.

Veteran guide and Lindy pro staffer Charlie Nelson reports the fall bite is beginning in earnest right now.

“The fish are starting to school up around the typical structures,” he said, noting that ¼-ounce Lindy Jigs, Fuzz-E-Grubs, Watsit Jigs and Slick Jigs tipped with a minnow are hot tickets for big crappies.

A top tactic is positioning your boat tight to the structure, then vertically jigging along the base of it, keeping the jig near bottom.

Sometimes fish will stray several feet from the structure, so it pays to cover the entire area, especially when you’re not getting bit right on the pilings or pier wall.

Nelson also notes that River Rockers are still producing lake trout just offshore in Lake Superior east of the Superior Entry.

His favorite program includes trolling size 7 baits about 2 mph, either behind planer boards or long-lined in back of the boat.

“Lake trout season wraps up shortly, but brown trout will be dropping out of the Brule River and heading in our direction, adding to the trolling bite,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nelson says fishermen focused more on the North Shore should see a mix of lake trout and king salmon.