It’s hard to believe, but another fall fishing season is just around the corner. Autumn can provide the best fishing of the year for both numbers of fish and trophy fish. Many anglers have caught the biggest fish of their life in the fall, and that’s saying something, because generally there are fewer anglers in the fall than there are at other times of the year. If we want to take full advantage of fall fishing, now is a good time to make preparations to do so. The following are some of those preparations.
Whether you’re fishing a lake, river, or reservoir, at some point in the fall the fish will school up. In the summer they’ll be loosely schooled much of the time, but when the fish feel the water temperatures drop and notice the days getting shorter, they’ll really group together. Therefore, it works well to keep moving with an eye on your sonar until you find where the fish are hanging out.
Although you’ll want to keep moving quickly until the fish are found, once you find them you want to give them plenty of opportunities to eat the bait. Go through them a couple of times with a jig tipped with a larger Impulse Smelt. If they don’t eat that, go to a Fire-Ball jig with a live minnow. If that doesn’t do the job, try a live bait rig with a live minnow. If none of those work, drop a GPS marker on the spot or make a mental note of where the fish are and return later. Eventually they will eat.
Start the autumn season off with fresh line. Just as we start the opening of season with fresh line, we want to be sure our connection to the fish is in good shape in the fall. You want to be sure that when that fish-of-a-lifetime eats your bait, your line will be ready to handle it.
In the fall, fish like larger lures. Even the smaller fish eat bigger baits in the autumn. Evidently they would rather eat one large meal instead of several smaller ones. If you’re looking for a big fish, use a big bait.
Get on the water whenever you can. That’s good advice at any time of the year, but especially in the fall. The best bite will often be at mid-day, but there are some lakes, especially the deep, clear ones, where the night-bite is best. The more time you spend on the water, the better your chance of getting a big bite.
There are lots of options for recreation in the fall. Football and hunting take up a lot of folk’s time. But if you like to fish, reserve some time for fishing. The weather is nice, the scenery is nice, and the catching can be outstanding. Discover that for yourself in the next couple of months.
Image courtesy Bob Jensen