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Why I Fish in the Fall

By Bob Jensen - October 1, 2006
The autumn months offer so many options to sports enthusiasts. There's football on Saturdays and Sundays.

There's goose, duck, pheasant, deer, and small game hunting.

There's the traditional "drive-around" to look at leaves in their brilliant fall colors, visit orchards, and to do whatever else people who enjoy that sort of thing do.

What many outdoor folks forget, or don't realize, is that a day on the water in the fall can be very, very rewarding, in a number of ways. Here's what I mean.

Fall fish have received a message from Mother Nature that it's time to start fattening up for the winter months. Mother Nature sends this message through falling water temperatures and shorter days. The fish respond by eating heavily. When fish are eating heavily, they are easier to catch. Anglers will appreciate that.

Because they are eating heavily, the fish are not only easier to catch, they are heavier than usual also. A "nice" walleye in the summer becomes a "really nice" walleye walleye in the fall. That means that the true trophies are more likely to be caught in the fall months, even though fishing pressure is down.

A reduction in fishing pressure is another great reason to fish in the fall. On many bodies of water, you'll have the lake to yourself. Because of all the options available in the fall months, you could find yourself alone on a lake on a Saturday afternoon. The solitude is nice, but the fish also often bite better when there are fewer boats and jet-skies buzzing around overhead.

The scenery can be spectacular in the fall. The shorelines are ablaze with color from the leaves, and it seems like the skies are clearer in the fall. Plain and simple, fall is just a really nice time to be outside. But, you'll enjoy your time on the water even more if you're catching a few fish. Here are some quick ideas for catching fish in the fall.

If you're looking for walleye action, a Fire-Ball jig tipped with a minnow is tough to beat. For bigger fish, go with larger minnows on the jig. A five or six inch redtail behind a jig is tough to beat. Use that same minnow on a Roach Rig for trophy smallmouth.

A big, bulky soft bait like Gulp! or Power Bait will entice largemouth bass. If you're looking strictly for big bass, a seven inch Power Worm will catch them, but a ten incher might catch more of the really big ones.

Autumn is a wonderful time of the year for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Deciding what to do can be challenging because there are so many options. However, if you decide to go fishing, you won't be making a mistake.

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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