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Fall fishing up north - help

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I don't have many fall fishing hours under my belt, but this year I'm really looking to get some bigness, hopefully break my PB smallie. 

 

Do you guys have any fall fishing tips for both smallmouth and largemouth? I am up in ontario Canada.

 

Note: my fish finder is having issues - doesn't stay on with a full battery - I'm trying to fix that, but as of right now i do not have any electronics. 

 

Water temp on October 1st was about 63 degrees... what are the fishing doing and what will they be doing when the water temp is in the low 60s and high 50s?? 

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They're getting fat.  What's the forage, and do you have lake maps?

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I'm from the Thousand Islands region on NY and the Fall is my favorite time to fish.  I've found that both the smallmouth and largemouth school up pretty heavily in just about any lake I fish up there (and when you find them, they're easy to catch).  The bass also seem to focus more on baitfish.  Most of the places I fish don't have shad so the bass are keying in on bluegill and perch.  I know you can catch them shallow (less than 6ft) through the first couple weeks of October but I tend to do better in the 8 to 17ft range for both species.  I fish grass all year and finding the right stuff in the Fall is clutch.  In the summer, I can find loads of largemouth in straight grass but in the fall they seem to prefer a grass/rock mixture.  You can catch them on just about anything.  I throw jigs, bladed jigs, swimbaits, cranks, and jerkbaits.  If it's legal in Ontario to use it, an A-rig can be dynamite in the fall also.

As far as the smallmouth go, I'm fishing basically one place in the fall...the eastern basin of Lake Ontario.  They come in from the main lake in droves to feed on bait and it's always a slugfest when you find them.  This can be tricky because they can be in 2ft to 20ft.  I have great luck on jerkbaits and topwater plugs until about the third week in October.  That's when I switch to tubes and the drop shot.  Again, the A-rig is a really great choice also. 

The toughest thing about our Northern fall is the weather.  It's always unpredictable.  If you can tough out the cold though and fight through the polar winds, it can be the most rewarding time of the year.  You usually have to cover a lot of water to find them but once you do there are always a ton. 

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On October 5, 2016 at 4:48 PM, Turkey sandwich said:

They're getting fat.  What's the forage, and do you have lake maps?

Main forage is perch, minnows and crawdads

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If your looking for bigger fish, use a jig and craw combo. I also do well with a jerkbait such as a rapala x-rap. Of course in the early mornings a topwater is staple. For no wind conditions I use a walking bait, like a zara spook or sexy dog,... slight ripple? a pop-r,... choppier waters? a heddon torpedo. later in the day if the wind kicks up I will switch over to a spinnerbait.

 Hope these help some

Keep ya line wet!

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I fish fall the same as the rest of the year:  cover the top, middle and bottom of water column. i can usually cover everything with a topwater, spinnerbait, Ned rig, 4-5" senko, jig, and drop shot.  it's not uncommon for smallies to charge 20+ yds to hit a topwater. I'd go with a spook b/c you can cover water.

early in my fishing 'career' i made the mistake of trying to cast every inch of water; trying to catch every bass in the lake, including dinks; and blindly casting forward.  i now pick the best 10% of the water.  take sample sections of the lake to find clues ie fish.  You don't need the fish finder to identify points on land.  they will extend underwater and fish love them.  investigate a cove and it's secondary points.  find some underwater weed beds and fish them shallow to deep. also look for a shoreline that is steep and has rocks or tall trees (vs flat shorelines with low scrub bushes).  the steep bank will also continue under water. deep water access is huge.  follow that steep/rocky shoreline till it forms a 'corner' at a cove or flat=a very productive area.

It's much better to troll around for 30-60 mins to look for clues and see if you spook bass as opposed to blindly casting forward. if you have a 100 yd stretch of shoreline, troll forward first and pick the best looking 10%.  then come back the other direction and cast.  you're greatest weapon is between ur ears. 

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This should help (yes, I talk about northern fall fishing):

 

 

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I live in north western montana and my usual solution for fall fishing is a wacky worm wherever there is a wind pocket (windchill also affects fish) and slow rolled spinner baits in the bulrushes and near depth transitions. I find that the bass try to avoid the cold weather by avoiding the wind and soaking up the last rays of sun while packing on a few extra pounds before the ice freezes over.

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About thirty minutes ago I started throwing my fishing bags/tackle boxes in the shed for the winter.  To me bass fishing is over till January 1st when the fishing shows come back on TV then the long wait for mid April when the fishing really starts up.  I might get back on the water one more time but I doubt it. 

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I'd stick to Perch and fire tiger patterned cranks and jerkbaits in or around whatever green weeds you can find.  No weeds, rock and gravel would be my second option, in 10-15ft. Once the water temps. drop close to 50, you can drop the cranks in favor of  a drop shot with a long leader and move deeper if you don't contact fish in that depth range. 

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Those temps should keep them pretty agressive and feeding. Depending on the lake look for shallow pockets that shoot off from the main lake. If there's any creeks that run in check around those as well. This time of year swimbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs, and plastics should all be effective. If you've got any deeper weedlines that are still green try fishing those first. Largemouth will often congregate on those before they move shallow. Without electronics it's harder to find warmer water throughout the day, but any banks with a southern exposure are sheltered from the colder north winds and if they have a wind blowing into them it should stack a little warmer water up against them. If the weeds are gone, try looking for hard cover such as wood, boulders, gravel, even docks will hold them this time of year. As the water cools start checking places close to deeper water. 

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I cannot wait to go out. Haven't had time =(

Fall is my favorite weather to fish

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