Over the past 7-10 days, we have had several different weather changes that have had me scratching my head. Went from cool weather to very hot and humid and it really had some of the panfish patterns somewhat poor at times. Fishing has been good, but you'd have to do some homework to figure out the "new" pattern. Water temps. went from 74degrees to 69 degrees to 72 degrees and now today it was 66 degrees. What a roller coaster ride and you wonder what the fish were thinking......lol.
This weekend was definitely trying to say the least. High winds, rain, and a cold front coming through which will now start the transition. Today, checked a few spots in areas that are normally good but it was a no go. These areas are heavy weeds next to a deep basin and not a bite. Hmmmmm, they couldn't have moved out already? Well, they did. They moved from 9-13FOW to 12-17FOW and they were cruz'n around. It was time to switch gears and change to way I fished for crappies and bluegills. Using the same presentation as for summer patterns, I just switched to a heavier split shot to get it down in the target zone. It didn't take long and I found a small school on the locater and it was pretty quick before it was "fish ON"! It was nice to feel the tug on the end of the line, but the one thing about crappies and gills, is that they are on the move feeding so you'll have to find the next school of fish. This is the way I will work it this time of year, and that is too slow troll using my trolling motor until marks show up on the locator.
I'll see other anglers just anchored in one spot, but the approach to have during this transition is being
obile. It's like ice fishing in a way, but in a boat. Look for the school and drop the line. This sounds easy and it is if the wind isn't blowing 20mph. Today was very windy out of the northwest at 10-20mph so I looked for areas that had fish and that I could troll slowly around following the schools of fish.
The hot jig was the Northland Fishing Tackle Minic Minnow Tuff Tube in white. This has been a very good presentation is year. I had the privilege to use this new jig before it makes it to retailers next spring. This will be a jig that you'll want to have in your tackle box.
Moving forward, with the weather changing you can start looking for the crappies and bluegills to be moving out a little deeper. Start looking in 15-17FOW for starters, but don't give up on fishing shallower in the weeds. Some crappies will stay in the shallows and I call them weed fish. Majority of the fish will move out and start feeding heavy for the winter. Today, I could see it and the stomachs were getting big. Fall fishing is like spring fishing but in deeper water and that's why it is my second favorite time to fish.
Remember to practice selective harvest and to take a youngster fishing. Until, next time be safe and we will see you in the outdoors.