Autumn Angling

With summer ending, the days get shorter and the nights get cooler – these are signals to the fish and wildlife in the area to get ready for the cold winter ahead. The bears are eating and getting ready to hibernate, the squirrels are gathering acorns, and fortunately for us anglers, the fish are starting to school up and gorge on anything and everything that moves. Because of this, the fall season is every angler’s favourite time of the year. 

When I am fishing in the fall, I like to capitalize on the aggressive nature of fish behaviour by presenting fast moving baits, and covering a lot of water. This is not only the most productive way to find and catch fish at this time of year, but it is also the most fun. With bone-jarring unexpected strikes and acrobatic battles to the boat, it gets your blood flowing with excitement, and it is a great way to keep you warm on a cool fall day!

Some of my favourite baits to find these schooling fish are the ever-popular white spinner bait, a jerk bait and lipless and square-bill crankbaits; these baits allow you to fish fast, make multiple casts, and cover water efficiently. You can also play with the cadence of these baits and find out how fast the fish want it, and what type of presentation to use. Once you find an active school and start triggering strikes or ‘fire up the school” the action can be nonstop.

I throw the spinner bait and square-bill crank bait around large shallow weed flats, stumps, and rock humps to entice strikes on cool mornings; these areas seem to hold the warmest water in the autumn months. The jerk bait and lipless can be used on deeper weed edges, and points adjacent to deeper water to get fish to fire.  There are many types of depths you can run with these baits – they are very versatile. With these four favourite fall baits, you can effectively cover some the of the water on any lake.

The fall season also allows you to fish these baits more effectively, with the water cooling and becoming clear and weed growth dying it offers more fishable areas and makes these baits the ideal choice for these conditions.

So, in the fall remember to fish fast and aggressively, match the fish behaviour and I guarantee you will catch more fish and have an absolute blast closing out the season.

Your Friend in Fishing, Mike Williams, Pro Angler & Owner of Williams Outfitters in Curve Lake First Nation