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The fall weather is starting to turn for us. As daytime, and more importantly nighttime, temperatures start dropping and staying cool, the water temperatures will also drop. Cooler water means more active fish and easier-to-identify locations. All the different species become aware of the shorter daylight hours and begin to move into areas to find food for the fall, and to stock up for the cold-water period to follow.

The smaller fish, minnows and this year’s hatch of young fish will be staying in what’s left of the weeds as they begin dying back. They are looking for the small organisms that live on the green plants. As they congregate in the shrinking weed beds, the larger predators like bass, larger bluegills, and northerns will pursue them into the weeds. The best tactics for this time of year would be crank baits or jig worms worked along the outside edges of the green weeds. Another possible two presentations would be small plastics on either a “drop shot” set up or a “wacky” worm rig; both of these could be worked right into the weeds and weed pockets. Strikes this time of year will not be subtle. The fish are going to be pretty aggressive going after the remaining food in the chain.

The small local waters are still producing nice catches. Lovelace Park catches have been really good the past few weeks, with everyone catching fish and having a good time. Skokie lagoons are still reporting good catches of largemouth bass and even a few walleyes thrown in for good measure since the water backed down from our recent floods.

Take advantage of this time of year when a lot of fish will be moving into selected spots. Your catch ratio should improve dramatically.

Till next time, keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.