Get Ready For Fall FishingBy Bob Jensen - September 15, 2020
In the 80's I had the good fortune to work at a fishing school in Walker Minnesota called Camp Fish. Camp Fish hosted what they called "Camp Fish Celebrity Jamborees". These Jamborees were 2-3 days of hard-core fishing. Anglers visited Camp and were taken fishing by notable guides, fishing celebrities, and tournament anglers. The Jamborees were fund-raisers and were held in the fall for several reasons, with one of those reasons being the fishing for a variety of fish species was best and most consistent then. On one memorable day my boat partners and I caught dozens of largemouth bass using crankbaits along deep weedlines and on spinnerbaits in shallow rushes in the morning. In the afternoon we moved to a different lake and caught a bunch of walleyes on jigs in a narrow area between lakes. We would have been very challenged to have that much diversity with that much success at any other time of year.
I remember fishing for muskies with my friend Don Pursch on Leech Lake one autumn afternoon a good number of years ago. We had been fishing for several hours with minimal action. I was ready to call it a day, but Don said that a "major" was coming soon. The "major" was a major solunar period, and some anglers pay a lot of attention to these. Perhaps more anglers should pay attention to them. Don wanted to be on his best spot when the "major" arrived. We were, and so were the muskies. In just a couple of hours we saw and hooked more fish than we had in the previous several hours. Some very successful anglers believe that major solunar periods have the most impact on fish in the fall months.
Last thing. Smallmouth bass gather more than usual in the fall. Just a couple of years ago Mike Frisch and I joined Tim Snyder on Kabetogama Lake in northern Minnesota. Tim told us that the smallmouth fishing can be very, very good in the fall. Some fisher-people exaggerate: Tim wasn't. We caught smallmouth after smallmouth on jigs and dropshot rigs tipped with KVD Dream Shot and Half Shell plastics. Absolutely the best smallmouth action that I've ever experienced, for quality and quantity. Spend time looking for the concentrations of fish in the fall and chances are they'll bite.
It appears that the fall of 2020 will be somewhat unusual, just like the spring and summer of 2020 have been. The good thing is, the fish don't know about that. They'll be where they usually are doing what they usually do in the next few weeks. If you're where they are and doing what they want, you can get in on some memorable fishing action.