Contributed photo
Fishing in the fall can result in some big rewards as fish are actively feeding throughout the fall months. 

Chill Fishing Report

Cody Hill

Fall is in the air, trees are starting to change colors, and the fall bite is starting to get amazing. Morning temps are dropping into the 40’s and the lakes are starting to slowly begin the cool down process. Anglers who like to chase trophy fish, this is prime time. Fish know winter is not far away and they are trying to put on as much weight as possible by eating as much as possible right now.

During the summer most people focus on the outside weed lines (where weeds meet the mud) but this is the time of year to start focusing on those inside edges of the weeds. The lake I have been on has an outside weed line around 24-26 feet of water but if you traveled shallower around 18-14 feet of water you noticed the weeds went from 10 feet tall to 2-3 feet tall in a matter of feet. If you kept traveling shallower around 11-9 feet of water the shoreline weed line started growing tall again.  

I like trolling to cover water and find active fish. A simple presentation of a 1/8 oz jig head tipped with a fat head was our ticket. This presentation is simple and can be a lot of fun especially with inexperienced anglers because these fish are active and aggressively feeding. 

Get your lure near their mouths and they will inhale the bait. When you are picking up your bait from one of our amazing bait shops in the area do not forget extra jigs because you will lose a few throughout the day.  

Trolling around 0.6-1.0 mph was our best speed with letting out enough line to try and stay near bottom but not dragging bottom.  Livescope is a great asset and it showed all the fish were 2-3 feet off bottom regardless of depth, even the walleyes.  If you are graphing fish and nothing is biting don’t be afraid to try a half a night crawler on your jig giving a little tail action behind the hook. We had a few active schools that would not bite our jigs but would chase but once switched to a night crawler they bit instantly. Just be prepared for perch and sunfish to bite more often.

Once you find active fish do not be afraid of marking those spots on your GPS and coming back to them after a little break.  We found multiple pods of fish and after we would catch a few of them they would run into the tall weeds and hide. We would leave the area targeting other schools but if we gave it some time, we could come back to our GPS points and the fish were back and actively feeding again. We tried casting into the weeds and jigging back but the weeds were too thick for our jigs and if we speeded up our retravel to stay above the weeds that presentation produced mainly small pike and cut lines.

Fall is in my opinion the perfect time of the year because fish are actively feeding and with the trees changing colors it produces some amazing backdrops for photos. There are still plenty of weekends available to book a trip and make memories that will last forever.