by Bob Jensen
It might sound premature, but fall fishing is not too far away. Summer fishing patterns emerged later than usual this year, as the weather was pretty cold later into the summer months this year. Spring fishing patterns held on longer than usual, making this kind of an interesting fishing season. For the most part, fishing throughout the Midwest has been very good for the past few months, and hopefully that good fishing will continue into the autumn. Following are some things you can do to get ready to take full advantage of fishing in the fall.
First of all, if you haven’t already done so, you need to be making plans for your fall fishing trip. Some anglers are fortunate to live close to their favorite fall bodies of water, but most of us need to make travel plans. We might be going on a weekend trip, or we might be gone a little longer. Whatever, you need to make plans now if you want to maximize the chances for getting bit. Here’s what I mean.
Here in the Midwest, walleyes are a big deal. Many anglers like to get in on night-bite walleyes in the fall. Action can be outstanding, and the opportunity to take a truly big walleye is as good in the fall as it gets. But, in the minds of many anglers, there is a window when that opportunity is the best. Those anglers believe, and history usually proves them right, that certain moon phases will produce the most and biggest walleyes. The full moon phase is when most walleye anglers like to schedule their time on the water. So, if you’re getting ready to plan a fall walleye trip, check the calendar and schedule that trip during the full moon if you can.
I would guess more trophy fish are caught in the fall than any other time of year. Give yourself every chance to catch that fish once it eats your bait. One way you can increase the odds of landing that lunker is to use fresh line. If you’ve been using the same line all year, pull fifty yards of the reel and add new line.
Now is the time to make sure your gear is ready to go. Don’t wait until the day before your trip to have your stuff action-ready. If you need a new rod or to fix one you already have, do it now. If a new reel is in your future, get it now and familiarize yourself with how it works. You don’t want to be trying to figure how the drag works when you’ve got the fish of a lifetime thrashing boatside. I’ve been using Pflueger spinning reels a lot this year and really like them. They’ve got very nice reels in a variety of prices.
Weather is another consideration. You never know what Mother Nature is going to throw at you. Cabela’s Guidewear is always in the dry storage of my boat, just in case. Frabill’s new Storm Suit is another jacket/bib combo that will keep you comfortable in foul weather.
And now, we just need to wait until fall fishing is in full swing. I’m going to keep fishing until that period arrives, and you should too. Fall fishing could be here in two weeks or two months, but it will get here. If you do the things just mentioned, you’ll have a good jump on fall fishing when it shows up.