Time to do a little fall fishing

By Roger Wolfe - Outdoors Columnist

The leaves are starting to blow around on the evening breeze and the nights are starting to cool. Fall is approaching and the temperatures are starting to drop.

It is not just the air temperatures that are starting to cool off. The water in our lakes and rivers are starting to cool off ever so slowly as well. This means good things for the anglers out there.

Just as the unbearable heat makes most of us lethargic and dreading to move outside in the heat, fish are not much better. Let those temperatures start to fall and it is often like flipping a switch. Ole Billy big mouth bass knows that the lean times of winter are coming and with each degree of temperature drop he is out looking for his next meal.

The cooler waters of fall offer some of the best fishing of the year. Everything from crappie and catfish start feeding heavily as well as the top end predators like bass, musky and walleye. They are all feeling the need to feed.

What better time to wet a line? A good fisherman once told me, “If you see the deer on their feet feeding, you can bet the fish will be biting too.” That little tid bit of wisdom has proven itself to be very true over the years.

Somehow, it seems that everything knows when it is time to feed. It may be the barometric pressure, the change in the weather coming in, or it may have something to do with the timing of the moon. Regardless of what causes it, seems that whether you are hunting or fishing it can go from boom to bust from one day to the next.

Luckily, in the fall the boom days seem to come a lot more frequent when the water temperature starts to fall. Plus there isn’t a prettier time to be outdoors than when the leaves start to fall. It doesn’t get much better than casting your favorite lure as the colorful leaves start to slowly drift down from the trees.

If you are bass fishing this time of year, you might want to give a good jerk bait a try or even a suspended spinner bait to entice that hungry bass on the line. Going after some big catfish, cut-bait is always a good bet for a hungry whisker fish.

It is even a good time to hit some of the bigger waters in the state with some big gliders in search for those monster muskies or even a marble eyed walleye. The big fish go after big baits as soon as the water temperatures start heading back down the thermometer.

Hunting seasons have kicked off, but that doesn’t mean it is time to put down the fishing rod just yet. What better time to get out and get on the water than on a cool evening with the fall colors starting to fill the hills with color.

The fish will be feeding heavily getting ready for the long cold winter which definitely means they will be ready to take the bait when it is presented making for some exciting fishing. It won’t be too long before the snow is flying and the waters will be icing over so get out and make the most of some of the best fishing days of the year.

Heck, in just a few short weeks the streams will again be full of some fall stocked trout for the taking as well. This time of year the fishing opportunities are nearly endless. If you will pardon me, I think I might just go fishing.

By Roger Wolfe

Outdoors Columnist

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