Bass fishing in fall

Fishing for Bass and Pike in the Fall

Autumn is my favorite time to fish, because I prefer to catch pike and bass, which also happen to be two species that are great for fall fishing. My dream is to fish for pike in Scandinavian waters (where pike are much larger than in the United States,) and angle for bass in Ireland. But until I can manage a fishing trip to Europe, I’ll content myself with the fine northern waters of the U.S. and Canada. In fact, some of the best fishing I’ve ever had has been in Minnesota and Montana.

There’s plenty of big pike to be had on this side of the Atlantic, and I’ve caught some beauties because I’ve honed my skills and learned from experience over the years. The same is true for Bass fishing.

Finding and Catching Pike

Pike fishing in fallAfter feeding all summer long, the food supply for pike starts to dissipate, and as the temperature starts to drop in the fall, Pike start moving closer to the shore seeking both food and more conducive water temperatures. As for me, I am happy to find pike without motoring too far out as it saves gas and time. I seem to have the best luck right about the place where the deep water begins, and I catch the most at about midday. Some people have a lot of luck catching pike right at dusk, but that’s never been the case with me.

You really need to use lures to catch some serious pike. I have a few favorite lures I use just for pike, but believe it or not, I’ve caught a lot of pike simply using a bobber and a minnow. I cast my line near the weed line where they like to lurk. It sometimes takes a while, but generally a Pike finds the dangling bait too tempting to resist. I’ve also had great luck using a KandleFish lure. I’ve also experimented with some of my dad’s favorites: trollers’ plugs, spoons and baitfish rigs, but if I can’t get a bite using a bobber or a Kandlefish, I’ll usually start trolling the edge of the deep water. I sometimes attach a planer to my line so that I don’t rile them up by driving my boat directly above them.

Bass Fishing

Bass fishing in fallThere is nothing, and I mean nothing, as good as a fresh-caught bass battered and fried. The best thing about fishing for bass in the fall, especially late fall, is that they, like other fish, are working on stockpiling for the winter. By late fall, the pickings are getting slim, so my bait starts looking better and better.

I know that bass love to feed on shad, and I’ve tried tracking the shad just to get to the Bass, but I mostly think that’s a waste of time. Besides, I’m not a big fan of shad, and when I’ve tried to fish for bass where they love to feed, I end up getting more shad than bass. I try to find spots where there are bait fish of any kind because the Bass will go for anything to get themselves prepped for winter.

Other than searching out good bait fish areas (I’ve had great luck with known blue gill spots), I look for green weeds. The weeds provide more oxygen and attract more bait fish, so that’s where the bass go. That or rocks because the rocks retain some heat and all the fish are looking for a little more warmth. Here’s something else you should know: bass run in schools in the autumn. If you catch one, stay in the same spot for a while, you’ll probably catch another half dozen.

Knowing where the bass are likely to be feeding is the first step, but knowing where they are likely to be won’t help you unless you use the right lure to catch them. I’ve caught tons of bass with a KB amphibian spoon; I just drag it across the weeds. I also use lures that are close to the same color as the bait fish the bass are feeding on.

Happy Fishing,

A fellow fisherman

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