Some people think of Fishing as a summer activity. However, any real fisherman knows that autumn can be just as good a time to unwind with your fishing pole. In fact, it can be the best time for fishing because the Fish are large and active. This is the time that fish are on the move because they are migrating. They have also put on plenty of weight to prepare for the winter months, so many anglers catch their biggest fish during the fall. Here are some tips to ensure that you make the best of your fall fishing season:
Most popular autumn fish
Depending upon the location and point in the season, you’ll find a number of fish in the waters. Some of the most popular fish during this time include:
Since Bass are the most popular fish for the season, most of this article’s focus will be on catching them. There are numerous types of bass, the two most popular of which being largemouth- and smallmouth bass.
Bass migrate in the fall. Therefore, they are constantly on the move (especially older, larger bass), and you need to be on the move as well. If you stay in a stationary place, the fish will start to move around you. The other fish will follow to avoid you as an obstacle. Therefore, you need to move with the fish. Be sure to move in the direction of the migration.
Be sure to alternate between different depths as well. Ten feet can make a world of different. We will get into this in more detail later, but the fish will move higher and higher as the weather gets colder. Even in the beginning of the season, you should still change up the depth about five feet to get the fish that are swimming around just a little higher or lower than you originally expected.
Also, speed up your retrieve! As we said, the bass are on the move at this time, because they are feeding. This being the feeding season, the faster retrieve will attract the bass.
Be prepared for all weather
Fall is a time where the weather changes quickly and often. Be prepared for any and all weather. This means being prepared for hot temperatures and cold temperatures. The best way to do this is to dress in layers. Wear clothes for when the sun is out, but have light jackets and sweatshirts available as well. Also bring an umbrella and something to wear in the rain.
Most importantly, make sure your boat is able to handle all of the elements. This is not only a matter of comfort, but it is also a matter of safety.
The different weather can also change your fishing strategy and choice of bait. Search shallow water the colder the water, and use bait that match the fish your desired catch would be able to eat in that area of that you’re fishing in. In order to accomplish this, be sure to know the temperature of the water of your fishing spot.
Follow the shad and the greens
Fish obviously need to eat just like we need to eat. If fishing for large bass, it’s best to look for the fish they eat to find them. This is not limited to shad, but shad are an indication that bass will be nearby. Shad are easier to find because they are nearer to the surface of the water, and they travel in schools. Clear water means you will be able to see the baitfish more clearly. Also look for aquatic birds diving into the water to eat. Other fish to look for include perch, bluegill, and carp. Bass eat a lot in fall to prepare for the winter. That means they aren’t too picky.
Fish also need shelter. This means that it’s smart to look around the shrubs and grass. Bass will hide here when they can. They will also find shelter around rocks and wood as well. Rocks are a particularly popular place for bass to post up during the fall because they retain heat while the water temperatures are dropping. Use sonar to locate the rocks (and also schools of baitfish) if possible.
Know the difference in migration patterns of different bass
There are two types of bass: small-mouth bass and large-mouth bass. One of the main differences between the two fish for fishermen this time of the year is that they migrate differently. Large-mouth bass migrate horizontally while smallmouth bass migrate vertically.
Bass will more into more shallow waters the colder the water gets. Once the water gets to be about fifty degrees, it look in more shallow water than typical (the 3- to 6-foot range), especially in creeks. This happens at the end of the fall season. When the water is warmer, the fish will generally be in the 15- to 25-feet range.
Use the correct bait
There are a number of different lures that work well in the fall. The trick is to know which is best for what situation. To pick the right one, you need to know what to expect from the different baits.
- A lipless bait can accidentally get under the flat. Do not use these for catfish, bottom dwellers, or other fish that live in deep water. However, they don’t get high enough for fish in shallower depths, either.
- A spinnerbait will stay above the flat. Spinnerbait is perfect for keeping the lure high so that you can catch the fish moving into shallower waters at the end of the season.
- Crankbaits work best to find fish on the bottom of the lake. Use this during the beginning of the season to catch bass swimming deep.
Timing is everything
Dinnertime is the best time to fish. In the fall this time is generally when the sun is going down or through the night. This is when the fish are most active because they are eating.
Having good timing also means it’s important to know when to call it a day. When the water gets to 40 degrees and below, catching fish becomes much more difficult. At this point, the fall fishing season is more or less over. The ideal water temperature for catching fish in fall is between 45 and 60 degrees.
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