Upsizing Fall Baits

The fish are feeding heavily now, with the water temperatures continuing to drop and that will allow you to use a bigger profile bait for catching better sized fish. Fish are preparing for the coming of winter and that means eating often and lots of competition. For crappies, jig and plastics are working very well right now and by also upsizing the plastics size, this keeps the smaller fish off the bait and more opportunities at those larger fish. Starting out with 2-inch-long plastics with paddle tails, these are minnow imitators and draw in a number of fish to the bait. Couple of ways for fishing these are, you can vertical jig them and cast them out, count down, or start reeling slowly ri

SD Pheasant Opening Weekend--Not What I Expected

Our Game, Fish, and Parks Department here in South Dakota has been saying that pheasant counts for the state were up 40% over last year for a couple of months now. What that report didn't really publicize was that most counts showed the east river side of the state had large numbers, while west river numbers were way down compared to last year at the same time, around 50% less near my hometown in Lemmon. The birds were hard to find last season, but I had high hopes that with my uncle and his friend coming from Idaho for the weekend hunt, that we'd still find some birds to shoot at. The weekend was a warm one, with daily temperatures hitting into the low 60s both days, which made for pleasant

Fall Bite is ON

Stopped at a local pond this morning to make a few casts and see if the crappie were near the shoreline. Immediately could see fish surfacing and had a good feeling that these were crappies, but the bluegill will do this as well at times. Only had one lure tied and fortunate that is what they wanted, had a 1/16 oz Clam Drop Tg tungsten jig with a 2” shad tail plastic. Casting out as far as possible, counting the jig down and a steady retrieve back getting hits from certain areas that the schools were using. The longer you stood there, you could see more schools forming and surfacing giving you more casting opportunities. Always a fun feeling when this situation is happening as time goes on t

Fall Bite Heating Up

While the return of cool, crisp fall weather has me preparing for the coming hardwater season, it is also a great time to hit the shores for the return of the shallow water bite. As fish put the feedbags on with the water cooling, they return from their summer haunts in deeper water and move closer to shore, taking advantage of high oxygen levels in and around weed growth and of their prey moving back into the shallows. It's a great time to catch fish from the shore again. I had a few hours to kill before work, so I decided to see if there were any trout or pike hanging around in Jenny Gulch at Pactola Reservoir. It was an excellent morning on the Gulch and not only because the air was crisp

Fall Fishing Setting Up

Finally, the heat of summer is leaving and with the cooler nights, the water temperatures are going down as well for creating the fall fishing mood for the fish. With heavy rains of late, the river fishing is picking up with more current happening. This sets up how and where you want to target the fish and with which baits that work for the situation that is happening. Fall time means, crankbait fishing and with the added current, the fish should be in a biting mood. This river has several trees that have fallen into the shorelines as well as locations that have a fast dropping shoreline. Targeting the areas in between these trees has been the most productive for finding the active fish. Kee

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