Another page has turned on the calendar, leaves are making their downward exit from trees, walnuts are hitting the ground, making a green minefield for the mower.
The squirrels are busy figuring out where to hide nuts, fall festivals are everywhere, and I’ve gotten out a long sleeve shirt to don when drinking my morning coffee overlooking the lake.
After a warm, relatively 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 the number of candles increase to the point of having to alert the fire department before attempting to light them all.
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 well into October when the water begins to significantly cool.
And when the water cools, 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; well, eating doesn’t get much better.