As fall moves in on a full-time basis, fishing should start to change as well. All of the different species have distinct patterns that relate to the coming season. The time table is a little different, depending on location. At my lake in Minnesota, the change began late in August; here it just began in the last few weeks.
As the amount of daylight decreases, the green weeds in the lake begin to turn brown and stop producing a lot of oxygen. This creates two scenarios: some of the fish will now turn to deeper water for the additional oxygen, while others will retreat deeper into the remaining weeds for a while longer. Walleyes are among the fish that prefer to retreat to deeper water looking for structure and current. Bass will stay close for a long time, feeding heavily, and this year’s young fish that have been living in the weed beds all summer will feed along the edges of the remaining weeds, ambushing prey as it moves by.
Knowing that, it should be relatively easy to put together fishing tactics for walleye here in our local lakes. Those planning to fish at the Skokie Lagoons need to remember that the lagoons are all part of a river, so any area that necks down to create a current flow or any area near the dams would be a great spot. The same holds true for fishing Busse Woods. Look for the current generators to be holding fish. Those headed for the Fox or Illinois rivers are likely to find the best spots to be current breaks, like downed trees, bridge pilings or breaks around islands. These are some of the best times for the bass fisherman to be throwing topwater baits – buzz baits, poppers or frogs – near the weed edges or back into the weeds. There’s no need to worry about the water’s being too shallow Very large bass have been pulled from 18” of water this time of year.
Take advantage of the weather before the lakes go through a turnover later this fall. Get out and enjoy the fall colors.
Until next time…keep a tight line.
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