Something Fishy

Something Fishy
t Doesn't Get Much Better

Monday, September 12, 2011

Labor Day passes, fall arrives

        Labor Day weekend marked the unofficial end of summer. There will be more warm weather, but it is the beginning of the end of the hot stuff. We’ve gone from 100 degrees to a morning long-sleeve shirt.
In 1894, Labor Day became a federal holiday. While some union people and other workers celebrate the day for reasons related to labor, for the most part it has gone the way of most other holidays in that it is a day off and a long weekend to have a good time.
Labor Day pretty much marks the end of summer, the time a guy is no longer supposed to wear white pants, and the start of college and pro football, as well as the kickoff of hunting seasons.
Leaves are beginning to swirl to the ground. Their color is changing. Particularly, the change is starting in my two Walnut trees out back. It may be part that fall is coming. It may be in part the serious dry weather we have experience the past several months.
This morning as I sat on the deck with my dog, Tyler, drinking coffee and enjoying the cool before another hot day. I heard four shots. Suddenly, I remembered early goose season has arrived. Someone may have goose for a Labor Day meal. Yes, fall is enroute.
After the extremely hot, dry summer, I look forward to fall. It probably is my favorite season. However, I have very little enthusiasm for what follows. Winter. 
It is true, Winter has some virtues, although the old mind struggles to enumerate many. It seems the number shrinks as my age increases.
However, summer really isn’t over. There will be more warm days and the water temperature is still warm. It is a time when big catfish are feeding prior to winter months. There isn’t a better time to land a big catfish. Their feeding frenzy, especially in rivers and big lakes, usually lasts through the middle of September when the water begins to cool.
And when the water begins to cool, it marks a time for crappie fishing action to pick up.
Once the leaves begin to turn color and drop, many anglers are ready to put away their rods and reels for the year, but if they do they will miss a lot of good fishing.
Crappie fishing can be goof in the fall as it is during the spring spawn. In fact, it can be just as much fun and productive as there are fewer people and boats on lakes and streams making noise and spooking the fish.
Fall crappie fishing can be a bit more challenging than spring action because often the fish are more scattered. They are harder to find. They also may be more unpredictable.
During the fall, the water temperature eventually becomes about the same at all levels and crappie can be found at most any depth. However, once you find them, they can be caught.
In the fall, crappie seem to prefer minnows over artificial baits as they starting feeding themselves for the coming cold-weather months--at least that is my experience.
If you decide to use artificial baits, it is a good idea to keep them smaller. One-to-two inch artificial minnows seem to work well.
If you are fishing clear water, crappie plugs, small jigs, bladebaits like Road Runners, work well. Often combining a lure with a live minnow will attract fish faster and more often.
Night fishing works well during early fall. Lights which attract bugs also attract fish.
A cookout with fried squirrel and fried crappie and homemade slaw-Uhmm...

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