This is the time of year fishermen really dislike, because the end of the fishing year is rapidly approaching. After removing most of the rods, electronics, and tackle bags, it is time to deal with the motor and cover the boat for the winter. That said, covering the boat has such finality that it is not something fishermen look forward to doing. 

Though it is still possible to do some shore fishing at favorite local spots, even those days are numbered. The early snow made that pretty obvious. If shore fishing is still an option, here are some suggestions for assembling a small, very portable tackle pack with a few essentials. It is a good idea to take few jig heads in various sizes, from 1/16-ounce to 1/4-ounce; three each 3-inch twister tails in white, yellow and black; a few smaller 2-inch twister tails in the same colors; two small spinnerbaits; two in-line spinners; a couple of pre-rigged plastic worms; a small package of split shot lead weights, if needed; and two fishing rods – one 6-foot medium-light-action spinning rod, and one ultralight spinning rod. This will provide the right tackle for catching many favorite species.

Reports from the big lakes are that it is the time between soft and hard water, and everything is slowing down. But reports from the smaller waters are still promising, with good bass being caught at Busse Lake and bass and panfish still biting at the Skokie Lagoons. Those who are heading out should have the best luck there. That is where this fisherman will be going this week.

Until next time … keep a tight line.

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