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Three Tips for Better Fall Fishing

By Bob Jensen - November 1, 2005

Fall fishing is upon us. Some anglers look forward to fall fishing with great expectations. Those anglers know that the autumn months can provide lots of action and perhaps the best opportunity of the year for a trophy. Additionally, in many cases you will have the best spots to yourself. There are a lot of distractions in the fall that keep anglers off the water, but if you get the opportunity to go fishing this time of year, you should take advantage of it.

As is the case in fishing at any time of the year, there are things that an angler can do to increase the odds of getting bit in the autumn. Following are three of those things.

When fishing, it is always important to fish where the fish are. That thought holds true in the fall, but you may need to search more to find the fish. In the summer, you can almost always find a few fish willing to bite along a weedline. In the fall, some weedlines will be very productive, others will hold nothing. Look for green weedlines to produce best in the fall.

On some lakes, the fish will be on deep structure one day and on wind-blown shorelines a week later. Spend time checking deep structure with your sonar. If you check several deep locations and don't find fish, go shallow. The new generation of color sonar units make it almost impossible for fish to hide on deep structure. The new Humminbird Matrix color units reveal fish that are tightly hugging the bottom, increasing our chances of finding action.

Idea #2. Use big baits. Most species of fish in the Midwest prefer bigger meals in the fall months. A four inch Gulp! worm is good in the spring, but the seven inch version will be much more productive in the fall. Use big baits, you'll catch bigger fish.

The last thing you must consider is what specie of fish you want to chase. There are so many great opportunities for a wide variety of fish in the Midwest, deciding which specie to focus on can be a difficult decision.

If you want to key on, say walleyes, do some homework to determine which bodies of water have a history of producing walleyes in the autumn months. Some lakes are better in the spring, some are better in the fall. It makes sense to spend your time on lakes that produce better in the fall.

Also, some lakes that are good for walleyes in the fall are also good for smallmouth bass. If you're chasing walleyes, but the bass are more active, switch gears and chase bass, or vice versa. In the fall months, you need to take advantage of what's biting.

I know there are a lot of things to do in the fall, but if you enjoy fishing, you owe it to yourself to check out the great fishing opportunities that are available right now.

Author Bob Jensen
Bob Jensen
Bob Jensen is the host of the Fishing the Midwest television series, a series of television fishing shows that highlight fishing locations and techniques throughout the Midwest. He also writes a syndicated fishing column and does fishing seminars throughout the Midwest. He is a former fishing guide and tournament angler. Visit Bob's web site at
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