The wind and the rain are both having major effects on fall fishing, but one is a good effect and the other is not. The rain is the bad guy in this scenario. It is raising lake and river levels to very high and dangerous levels. The Fox Chain has been closed to all boats since Sept. 16, and we don’t see it opening anytime in the near future. All nearby rivers are at or near flood stage, so fishing there is also going to be pretty difficult.   Finding an access point will be the challenge in fishing either from a boat or from shore.

Those who can get a boat in the water or get to a good location onshore will discover the wind will be their friend. The wind will blow up the surface water, creating underwater currents that will carry algae and plankton toward the windblown shore. The small baitfish will move into the open water on the windy side of the lake or pond after the food source that is being blown their way. And where there are large numbers of small fish, there will be larger predators to feed on them. The wind also dislodges crayfish, frogs and newts for easier eating by the large fish.

The best spots to fish will be on windblown shores with rocky edges, points of land and pockets or small bays. These will concentrate the baitfish for the predators. The wind will probably cloud up the water, so larger spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits or jerk baits should be the baits of choice. Large and flashy are good options. But it is important to be careful with the wind on the lakes. No fish is worth risking a boat or a life. There will be another day.

There have been some good reports coming in. White bass are moving in the Fox River coming in from Lake Winnebago. On Lake Geneva, pike and muskie are the most active, with bass chasing baitfish in shallow water. And Busse Woods is reporting that bass are biting, but it is slow. There’s still time to get out there and catch a big fish this fall.

Until next time…keep a tight line.

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