You can say that fall is here and the bite is too. The weather on the other hand has made it a little difficult at times to get out and check what is happening. But, where there's a will, there's a way and this weekend between the showers we headed out early to try our luck.
Once Rich and I arrived to one of our go to lakes, we started scouting out areas that held fish a week ago but weren't there this weekend. Go figure! Last week the fish were in shallower and figured that the water temperature was basically the same as last week so we started to look deeper. They moved for sure and moved out in 25-40FOW and were in tighter schools. Some schools were larger than others so staying on the fish was a bit tougher with the wind. We had wind out of the southeast at 10-25mph which made it a challenge. The key was fishing the side of the lake that was calmer and better to control the boat. Still, staying on the fish was a challenge with them moving so we started the big motor to keep on them. Once finding them, you'd get maybe 2-3 fish before they were gone, so we moved and hoped we moved in the right direction. In most cases, we guessed wrong and it felt like we were on the ice running and gunning on the move.
Tungsten jigs is a must this time of year because of two reasons:
1-Tungsten is heavier than lead and gets the jig down quickly to the strike zone.
2-Catching as many fish when the opportunity presents it's self. The schools of fish are moving and if you can get as many chances to fish the school the better.
Many companies are making tungsten so it really doesn't matter who you use. The ones we used this weekend were the Clam Outdoors Duck Bill and the Drop Jig tipped was plastic. The colors we used didn't really matter either as long as you put it in front of them, they ate it.
This time of year, live bait isn't necessary when fishing crappies and gills. I chuckle when I see anglers using minnows and I'm not saying it doesn't work, but with a jig and plastic allows you to keep fishing when your on the school. Plus, if helps from getting cold hands, and there's nothing worse than having cold hands especially when the weather starts to get colder.
Water temps were in the low sixties and after this rain and cooler weather, look for the temps to drop in the 50's this next week. This won't change the bite, but it will change the depth the crappies and gills will be in. There will always be high raisers in the school and recommend to fish for those because they can be released without harm.
We fished for about three hours before the wind and the rain started but it was a productive day. Look for the fishing to continue from very good to excellent for the weeks to come on all species. Remember to practice selective harvest and be sure to bring a youngster on your next outdoors adventure. Until next time, be safe and we will see you in the outdoors.