Jump to content
jbmaine

Early fall patterns?

Recommended Posts

Thanks to all the great advise I received from the generous members here I had consistent luck with deep water smallies this summer. I never got high numbers but rarely got skunked. I am looking forward to an even better summer next year.

 But here in southern Maine early fall is starting to appear. The nights are starting to cool off and the water temp has dropped 5 degrees in the last couple of weeks. My last two trips showed nothing from the summer spots I fish.

 So if the smallies are moving, where are they moving to? Where would you recommend I look? The lake I most fish is rocky with a bottom that changes like a yoyo. Shallower?, how shallow?, points? Any advise you could give would be greatly appreciated.

                                                                   Thanks

                                                                         Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fish the largest flats on the lake.

Areas with shallow water ( perhaps some weeds).

But you'll want to know there's bait there. (perch, some type of minnows and or crayfish).

Early & late in the day bites will slowly start to include one or two other mid-day bite periods.

And as the days shorten it can turn to an all day deal.

Then when the water gets cooler / cold it will be a mid-day into the afternoon point, quicker drop-off  location deal almost exclusively.

Sad as that means the bite is coming to an end but at least I get to sleep in a little.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks A-Jay,

When you say largest flats, how deep are these. Are these single fish just cruising along or are they concentrating to eat? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, jbmaine said:

Thanks A-Jay,

When you say largest flats, how deep are these. Are these single fish just cruising along or are they concentrating to eat? 

You know it's tough to call that for your water from here my man.

 However, what I've found is Largest flat means area wise - depth perhaps 5-12 feet may depend on water clarity.

Clearer may mean deeper - colored up could see fish shallower.

Little tip ** - often the same places (or at least close to) where they spawn is a great place to start.

If it's good in the spring (and there's a reason why) it's often good in the fall.

The water temps, the presents of life (bait & food for the bait) it's orientation (shelter from cold wind but gets warmed by the sun) and proximity to deep(er) water, all often add up to solid producers for me early & later season, year after year.  Much of the time these places are fairly obvious so don't write them if or because they are. 

And just to complicate the deal, I do fish a few places that only seem to produce early and not late season and vice versa - but they are not common but worth checking. 

The only way to know and find these areas is to fish it during a peak period.

This may be the best time of year to "find" good areas on new water especially - because the fish are looking to eat. 

So horizontal / moving presentations will often be the deal so I can cover water - huge bonus.

When I'm fishing during what I think is the 'right time', if I'm not getting bit, I'm moving until I do.

Still, new or big water re-con missions can include quite a bit of fish-less casts, but if & when the above conditions exist - I'll have the net ready. 

Good Luck.

:smiley:

A-Jay

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

You know it's tough to call that for your water from here my man

I know A-Jay, I'm just trying to get a feel of what you find and relate it to this body of water. This pond has a ton of SM in it. I see hundreds during the spawn. But trying to relate to bottom contour, structure, the rest of the year is tough. I have mapped most of the place with my Garmin, but when I applied depth shading it lit up like an abstract mosaic. You just color in say 16-20 ft and hundreds of spots light up. So My goal is to take info from what others are seeing ( largest flats for example) and find similar areas here. Obviously no guarantees for success but it gives me a place to start.

                                          Thanks Again

                                                      Jim 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, jbmaine said:

I know A-Jay, I'm just trying to get a feel of what you find and relate it to this body of water. This pond has a ton of SM in it. I see hundreds during the spawn. But trying to relate to bottom contour, structure, the rest of the year is tough. I have mapped most of the place with my Garmin, but when I applied depth shading it lit up like an abstract mosaic. You just color in say 16-20 ft and hundreds of spots light up. So My goal is to take info from what others are seeing ( largest flats for example) and find similar areas here. Obviously no guarantees for success but it gives me a place to start.

                                          Thanks Again

                                                      Jim 

You'll find them or perhaps if you're out there enough, they'll find you.

That's happened to me at least a time or two.

But 'the hunt' is at least half the fun, for me anyway.

Once you find the right ones, they're a little suicidal . . .

:D

A-Jay

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Typically in Northern waters during the early fall; I’ve found many offshore summertime schools of bass will move from those deeper areas (12-30ft) towards the mouth of coves or inlets.....they may sit or hold in 6 to 10 feet on points or feed in open water; and then forage at different intervals into the shallows and flats. Essentially if you follow the post spawn staging areas in reverse, then you should hopefully or eventually  locate concentrations of fish. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim, I would not have believed we were starting to turn seasons if today had not happened.

While the full moon may have played a part, @A-Jay called it today. We put 10 in the boat from 6 AM and 10 AM.  All over 2 lbs most hovering over 3 lbs with one at 4. They have moved off 20 foot and are at 10 ft near big spawning  flats. Most success was dragging the bottoms with jig like baits. We share similar weather patterns and water has dropped to 70 degrees.

Happy hunting

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, NHBull said:

Jim, I would not have believed we were starting to turn seasons if today had not happened.

While the full moon may have played a part, @A-Jay called it today. We put 10 in the boat from 6 AM and 10 AM.  All over 2 lbs most hovering over 3 lbs with one at 4. They have moved off 20 foot and are at 10 ft near big spawning  flats. Most success was dragging the bottoms with jig like baits. We share similar weather patterns and water has dropped to 70 degrees.

Happy hunting

Ya, hard to believe we have temps heading for the 90's again this week

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, NHBull said:

Jim, I would not have believed we were starting to turn seasons if today had not happened.

While the full moon may have played a part, @A-Jay called it today. We put 10 in the boat from 6 AM and 10 AM.  All over 2 lbs most hovering over 3 lbs with one at 4. They have moved off 20 foot and are at 10 ft near big spawning  flats. Most success was dragging the bottoms with jig like baits. We share similar weather patterns and water has dropped to 70 degrees.

Happy hunting

It may have less to do with the temps of water or air and more with the length of day.

:smiley:

A-Jay

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just waiting for winter! That special time of year when I can get a bite 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TnRiver46 said:

I'm just waiting for winter! That special time of year when I can get a bite 

In our area (MN) that means from ice shacks...

 

... I better make my reservations for TN or Fla soon..!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in Southern / Central Ontario the smallmouth are at a point where they are going crazy for baitfish in the morning and evening to ready for the winter like most species. It's been a very hot late summer though so far, so they might be a little confused. Still, they are unusually swallow at mid day too. Wherever the baitfish are.

 

Yesterday I was near Tobermory, ON and was catching tons of 16"-19" smallmouth with some floating cranks. Of the two dozen or so smallies I caught, I'd say 75% of them struck the crank within 3 seconds of hitting the surface, despite sometimes being in 20+ feet of water. Other times I was catching them in about 2-3 feet of water. 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Consistent numbers in the fall is all about finding consistent food sources.  What are the dominant baitfish in the lakes?  Shad, alwives, perch, etc are generally schooled up pretty heavy.  If you find them, generally you're going to find schools of smallmouth close by.  And don't overlook going shallow.  As the water cools, it's not uncommon to find them in shallower flats and even busting along shallow weed edges towards dusk.  

 

Oh, and your entire tackle box is in play.  Welcome to the most fun season of the year. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the great advice everyone. I really appreciate it.

                                      Jim

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How has the utilization of any of this advice worked out for you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The advise I've received this year has done so much to make me a better SM fisherman.

 As for this fall-- My plans fell thru. The smallie lake I targeted this year was closed for several weeks right after I posted this, due to the public ramp being rebuilt. I never did get back to full time SM fishing.

 However, we spent the time fishing another lake, mostly for LM, and it paid off rather well.

IMG-1730.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×