The onset of fall is a time of change for much of the natural world. The most obvious change being the change in weather, as brisk frosty mornings usher in blustery cool days. Fall also ushers in shorter days, changing leaves, and the harvest.
The changing effects of fall are also felt by sportsmen, as the majority of them put away their rods and store their boats – instead choosing to get out the camouflage, tree stands, and rifles. Simply put, many anglers are also hunters, and fall is go time.
While the majority of sportsmen are out in the woods each fall, the select few that continue fishing experience some of the best days of the year, as all species of fish are schooled up and feeding in preparation for the coming winter.
So, unless you’re a die-hard hunter unleashing a whole year’s worth of passion in just a couple short months – the following are 3 reasons to keep the rods out (at least occasionally) and fish during hunting season.
1. The “Fishability” Is Perfect
Launch your boat in the fall and one of the first things you’ll notice is the lack of company on the water. Most other fishermen are 20 feet up in trees, and the recreational boaters are long-gone. Fall fishing days can make even the busiest urban lakes feel like wilderness excursions. A side benefit of this is that known community holes can become gold mines in the fall due to lack of angler pressure – so don’t be afraid to hop on that popular ledge or point.
2. They’re Biting
Cooling water temps in the fall trigger the feeding instincts of all fish species. Baitfish group up in easy to find locations, and the gamefish are all over them. Get in the right pocket on a fall day and you can see some of the biggest feeding frenzies of the year. Find a way to match the hatch and pay great attention to the baitfish. It’s also power-fishing time, and classics like crankbaits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, and topwaters take top billing. Get out there, find the bait, and chuck and wind.
3. It’s Giant Season
If you check the headlines and message boards, fall trips routinely result in giants coming boatside. The 9.33 pound smallmouth that recently broke the 100 year old Michigan state record is just one example. Fall bass are putting on weight for the winter, and the colder water temps bring the big ones up shallow. Try fishing bigger baits to imitate the often larger forage that trophies consistently target. Swimbaits, football jigs, Carolina Rigs, and jerkbaits are prime trophy hunting bass fishing lures in the fall.
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