By Steve Pennaz
Early fall is one of my favorite times to fish. The mornings start cool, usually with a shroud of mist as water temps drop. The key to fall fishing success is recognizing that fish respond to the changing temps, often by moving deeper. To stay on fish, you need to be flexible as well.
Just last week, water temps in my area dropped nine degrees, and the shallow bite I’d been enjoying all but died in a matter of days. So, I moved deeper, eventually finding numbers of fish in deep grass.
Consider these tips for fall fishing success:
- In natural lakes, take the time to find the deep weedline. Water clarity determines how deep grass grows in a given body of water. The weedline in stained waters often ends at just 4-6 feet. In clear waters, grass can be found as deep as 20 feet or more.
- After you locate the deep weedline, use your map to find structure like underwater points, inside turns and other fish-holding areas before starting.
- When fish are in transition, expect to find them scattered, which makes fishing more challenging. Baits like cranks are great this time of year to help you locate fish because they cover so much water. Consider working squarebills or other shallow-diving cranks over the top of the grass or deep-diving baits parallel to the deep weed edge. I keep my cranks in Plano Elite Series Large Crankbait Stowaways. They hold up to 20 baits and unique v-groove compartments protect hook points and prevent baits from tangling with each other.
- Drop a waypoint on each fish caught so you can come back later to work the area with plastic worms, jigs or other presentations.
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