I’m surprised at the lack of fall coloring in our area trees. We should be seeing much more color than we are.

I just returned from a brief trip to northern Minnesota, where the fall colors were nearly in full peak. Well, the fish do not need to see the trees turning to know what time of year it is in their world. From the reports I’ve been getting, a lot of the larger lakes in this area have been through their turnover, leaving large masses of floating weeds for anglers to contend with. The good side of this time is that fishing picks up quite noticeably on most lakes.

The panfish bite is extremely good right now on most of the local lakes, depending on the species. On some of the lakes, the white bass are schooling up and are easy to target for some good fishing action. On other lakes, it will be the perch that are really active, making for good catches of good sized fish for the fry pan. My personal favorite, the crappie, is also extremely active in large schools right now on Lake Geneva and on Lake Delavan.

My personal choice of bait for this time of year is a small chunk of night crawler with a dropshot rig. The fish will be a little deeper than usual but can be easily located with electronics. Crappie, like bluegills, feed looking up, so the bait should be just above where they are suspending. The dropshot rig allows just that, with precision.
I like using a three-eighths ounce weight on the bottom of the rig and then attaching the drop hook between 12 and 18 inches above the weight, depending on the suspended fish. This will present the bait right in front of their eyes, making it hard to resist.

When fishing in the dying underwater weed beds, the bait should be just above the weed tops for the best results. An additional bonus to this dropshot fishing is the likelihood of hooking up with a few bonus bluegills – and even a few bass are possible.

Enjoy the great weather we have for fishing, until next time… keep a tight line.
Visit Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.