Going Fishing Again

September 29, 2014 by  

by Bob Jensen

I went fishing last week.  I’m going fishing again this week, and if things work out, I’ll be going fishing the next week also.  Just a couple of days per trip, but what wonderful days they can be this time of year.  The trees were just starting to get some color last week: This week there’ll be a little more gold and orange and red on the shorelines, and in another week or two the shorelines will be ablaze with color, especially early and late in the day when the sun is shining on them.

september 2015 fishing 089

For a variety of reasons, fishing in the fall can be spectacular, and the catching can be outstanding also.

The coot are starting their annual migration.  Several of the lakes that we fished had hundreds of coot flocked tightly on the water.  When the coot flock up like that, it’s usually an indication that the fish will be biting.  And that brings us to the fishing action from last week.  We fished walleyes on Monday afternoon, smallmouth on Tuesday.  The walleye catching wasn’t so good, the smallmouth action was outstanding.

The lake where we spent most of our walleye time is a shallow lake with stained water.  There are only a couple of areas that hold walleyes, so we concentrated our efforts in those areas.  Patches of weeds in five to seven feet of water is where the walleyes are in this lake at this time of year, and they were there on our trip last week.  We caught a few walleyes, the biggest one maybe eighteen inches.  We threw jigs tipped with live bait, jigs tipped with plastic, and crankbaits.  However, zillions of perch that were probably hatched this spring we’re right in there with the walleyes, and they destroyed our live bait presentations.  Apparently the walleyes preferred the perch to our lures.  The fishing was fantastic, but the catching was not.

The next day, we went to a different lake and got after smallmouth bass.  Again on this lake, the smallmouth are found mainly on a couple of spots.  Those spots are humps that top out at about six feet and taper into twenty feet of water.  These humps are rock on the top and turn into sand at about the twelve foot depth.  Almost all of our bass were right on the rock-to-sand transition.  We caught smallmouth after smallmouth after smallmouth.  Most were in the fifteen to seventeen inch range, but a few topped eighteen inches.  Very few were smaller than fifteen inches.

That day of catching smallmouth was fantastic, but you know what?  That afternoon of not catching very many walleyes was pretty darn good too, and that’s the point of this writing.  Any time of the year is a great time to go fishing, but right now and for the next few weeks is perhaps the best.  The natural world is alive with activity: The world surrounding the lake presents a variety of vivid colors, the bird world is more active than at any other time of the year, and the fish world is going to continue to get hungrier.  This is the time of year when many of us realize that going fishing is a pretty good thing to do, and if we do some catching, that’s just an additional benefit.


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