End of Summer or Start of Fall Fishing?
Blog by: Matt Snider , Colorado 8/28/2018
It was a few days ago I heard the mention of Pumpkin Spice Latte. My kids are in their second week of the new school season. Football is underway, and I had a peach beer at the golf course last week. There was a front-page article in the local paper about where to see the foliage change. And today? Well today we got a very mild but gentle reminder that cooler weather is on the way.
Autumn is a slow change, like dusk to dawn. It doesn’t carry the same excitement as spring when everyone is giddy about warm sunny days, greening landscapes, and a looming summer vacation. No, this is a dreary and slow descent into coldness - like an early Monday morning walk into the office.
I like the crisp fall air. I enjoy the crunch of leaves. I love fall fishing. I also thoroughly enjoy ice fishing now, and I look forward to it. I am however, not a die-hard fan of winter like, say, a skier may be. I am not eager for winter, but I know it is coming.
So where are we now? Is this late summer? Or early fall? What sort of fishing are we supposed to be doing? As Lloyd pointed out in his newsletter to TX folks, it is a tricky time of year for fishing. He says “There is a ton of food available for fish this time of year - big fat juicy minnows, small fat juicy sunfish, big fat juicy crawdads... and so on. We are presenting to fish that have a high metabolic rate, given the warm water, but that also have a plethora of choices for food… These fish are going to be both picky and at the same time they will be actively feeding.”
You’ll hear many folks, from your local shop to global social media, talking about the “feed bags” the fish will be putting on, and how much they eat from here till winter. While I don’t doubt they’re feeding, and likely more plump now than they were this spring, I don’t quite buy into a blanket implication that fishing should now be easy and fast. No, it’s not that easy. Just like any other time of year, seasonal changes should bring change to the techniques you employ for catching fish. Different species, different lakes, different temps, different feeding habits.
This time of year, as when trying to develop a pattern in any season or any body of water on any given day, don’t get stuck in your ways. What may have worked last month may not now. Take comfort in playing around with things, and enjoy the puzzle that it brings to you. As Lloyd put it, “Try everything. Try anything. When you find what works, don't get married to it though.” And as Dave stated in his email contribution, “Many struggle catching during late summer, in large part because they lock themselves into fishing for specific species, using the same techniques that were successful earlier in the year… there’s nearly always something willing to bite, if you’re just willing to be flexible in your choice of fish and methods.”
What changes do you make? I’d like to put together a piece with tips and tidbits about approaching late-summer/autumn/fall fishing. If you have advice, anything you want to share, techniques, tips, considerations in regards to fishing for any species in any body of water during this period, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org