For many of us, fall is the perfect time of year. The temperatures and humidity levels are dropping, the leaves are changing colors, and the cool autumn nights send the mosquitoes away. Apple orchards and pumpkin patches are around every corner. We can see and feel all these changes, but what we can’t see are the fish getting ready for a long winter under the ice.
Most people think fall is the time to winterize the boat and put the fishing equipment away, but what they don’t know is they are missing out on some of the best fishing of the year. The fish are more active in the search for food, and on-the-water traffic declines dramatically. What more could you ask for?
At Canvasworks in Cokato, MN, we outfit fishing boats daily with new boat covers, fisherman tops, bimini tops, and more to make fall fishing enjoyable for everyone. Once you are ready to start planning, call us to order a fisherman’s top or swing in to get your current cover repaired before taking your boat to the lake.
Troll around Shore
In order to gain enough weight to survive the long winter ahead, fish head to areas where food is more plentiful. For many fish, this means weed beds or drop-offs near shore. Weed beds shrink and die off as winter gets closer. As a result, the fish in the area become more and more concentrated, fighting for the last of the food they can get before the weed beds are gone.
Baitfish are also moving to shallower water to spawn, which causes walleye and other predator fish to follow. Trolling along the shores is a great way to catch this wide variety of fish that may be below. The slow-trolling also tricks the fish into thinking your bait is moving prey.
Watch for Birds
Birds are also on the lookout for food before their long haul down south. So while the large fish are swarming schools of small bait fish and chasing them to the surface, birds are attacking from above. Gulls, terns, and other birds will swoop and dive over the schools, hoping to catch food too. When birds are diving, it’s a sure sign of fish, and that spot should be an ideal spot for you to reel some in big fish.
Use Bigger Bait & Slow Your Reel
Bigger bait catches bigger fish. Using bigger lures, such as spinnerbaits and bulky jigs, is more desirable because of their size. During the fall, fish are preparing for winter and want to make their energy count. Cooling water temperatures trigger the fish’s metabolism to slow down. As that is slowing down, the time needed to digest food increases. So, instead of chasing many small meals, fish prefer to conserve energy and chase a larger meal, which allows the fish to feed less often, saving their energy and building a fat reserve to survive the winter months ahead.
In addition, as the weather cools down, the cold-blooded fish tend to move slower in the water. Fish want to optimize their energy spent on a larger meal, especially when those larger meals are moving slowly. If you are reeling too fast, the fish may not bite, as the chase may not be worth the lost energy.
Ready to Extend Your Fishing Season into the Fall?
Now that you’ve read our tips on Fall Fishing, it is time to prepare your boat for cooler weather. At Canvasworks, we can fit your boat for a fisherman’s top, boat cover, bimini top, and more. We also make winter storage covers to prepare your boat for winter. If your existing cover is still in good shape but needs minor fixes, bring it into our shop in Cokato, MN, and we will get the job done for you.
If your boat needs upholstery work, late fall/winter is the time to do it. Check out our upholstery photo gallery, and email or give us a call at 320-559-0165 to get your project started.