You have to love fall fishing. I know I do, and there are plenty of reasons to enjoy time on the water this season.
First and foremost, this is some of the best weather of the year. Not too hot, not too cold, the air temperatures are often just right, typically above freezing in the mornings and seldom getting higher than the seventies in the afternoons. Add to that, fall in Colorado is typically dry, so storms are few and far between. Plus, more often than not, the winds, if they exist at all, are often light breezes.
Second, once September rolls around, school’s in session so students and teachers who could fish during the week are now otherwise occupied. Football is underway, so many weekend anglers are glued to the television or going to games rather than spending time on the water. I could go on listing reasons why many don’t fish, but it matters not, as many previously crowded waters are relatively free of humanity.
Third, shorter days and cooling waters seem to turn fish into aggressive feeding machines. It’s as if they know lean times are ahead and now’s the time to fatten up for the winter. Plus, water temperatures remain warm enough for most warm water species to remain active for a few more weeks and the cooler waters turns up the trout bite.
All-in-all, fall is a wonderful time to spend time on the water. Last night is case in point. Every fall the white bass at Boyd can often be found pushing bait early and late in the day. So I hitched up the boat and got to work early enough to be able leave around three in the afternoon. By four we were casting lines, working the shorelines for largemouth and whatever else would bite, while keeping our eyes peeled for bird activity signaling “boils” and the boils themselves.
Conditions were ideal, clear sky, light breezes to dead calm, good water clarity, water temperatures in the low seventies, very few boats on the water, and even fewer shore anglers. Simply you could as for much better conditions.
There were large numbers of gulls sitting on the water, occasionally flying around, and squabbling with each other. I figured they were sitting there in anticipation of the evening’s melee to come, which unfortunately never materialized.
But like I said, many species put on the feed bag in the fall, and this evening wasn’t an exception. While waiting for the white bass to turn on we caught solid numbers of fish, mostly largemouth bass and yellow perch. But before the evenings fishing was done I also managed walleye, crappie, smallmouth, white bass, and bluegills, a seven species evening. While most were small, there were several very respectable fish, including a crappie that was pushing master angler proportions. Not bad for a few hours fishing.
The point isn’t that we had a good evening of catching. Rather, last night’s action tends to be the rule, not the exception this time of year. So don’t put the boat away, or hang up the rods quite yet, there’s plenty of great open water fishing to be had over the next few weeks. Get out there and enjoy it.