Fall time fishing can go either way when the waters start dipping into the 40’s, one day they are feeding and other days, you can’t buy a bite. But with the conditions right now, most water temperatures are in the low 60’s to upper 50’s and that means the feed bags are on.
Since we are still in these ranges, this allows us to target a couple of different species with crappies to start one day and moving onto the bass the next. So far this fall season, we haven’t had that many cold days or nights and this is keeping the waters warmer and the fish more active.
Crappies were first on the agenda and with the water temperature at 59 degrees, definitely hoping for some fast and constant action. This particular lake we have one area that has been producing some nice sized fish and the beginning of the action was great with a few 14.5 inch fish being caught.
Switching between a couple of different baits was the one two punch, as you would catch a few on
one and then a few on the other. Water depth was 11 feet deep and these fish were laying fairly close to the bottom.
The aggressive fish were keyed on the Clam Outdoors Rattlin Blade Spoon tipped with a Maki Plastic and the fish that were a bit more lethargic, would fall to the Northland Tackle Mitee Mouse tipped with an Impulse Water Flea. Both of these baits had to be fished in a subtle manner as if you worked them a bit too quickly, they weren’t interested.
Next fish on the agenda was to target largemouth and smallmouth bass. We had driven by a river that looked very inviting and decided to give it a try. This type of water system we are very unfamiliar with as we never fish rivers so this is going to be a learning experience.
This section of the river is above a dam, so the waters had some decent depth to them and where do we start. Many of the shorelines have quickly dropping water depths so we wanted to try and find areas that had some irregularities and also shallower flats and green weeds.
Water temperatures were at the 59 degree mark and that means crankbait fishing is on the agenda. We like to run cranks at this time of the year as we are targeting aggressive fish and also want to cover as much water as we can. A crank is a great bait for learning new water as it allows you to find a variety of covers along shorelines and other deeper water structures.
We covered a number of good looking areas but it came down to one key location. Using the Salmo Hornet, we had found a fairly good sized flat that had a good abundance of green vegetation on it. The weeds went out to the 9 foot depth and cranking through the weed patches was key for locating the fish inside of them.
Many of the casts would get clogged with weeds but those times that you wouldn’t, those were the times the fish would attack. Being this is a river system, when a fish attacks, you don’t know if it is largemouth or smallmouth.
Smallmouth were the active fish this trip and they definitely gave off a great battle back to the boat. We ran a number of other areas, but just couldn’t find that same type of structure. River systems are very foreign to us but we definitely will be back to search them out again.
So hopefully the boats aren’t put away yet as the fishing is getting better and the larger fish are feeding very heavily. May have to dress a bit warmer these days, but the end results will definitely be worth the trouble of dealing with the cooler weather.