Whether it’s your first or your thousandth time fishing in the autumn, it’s no secret that anglers are looking for fall fishing tips to help land more fish. After all, the late fall before ice fishing starts can be some of the toughest angling.
Furthermore, tracking down targets can be cumbersome, with fish becoming sluggish, lacking appetite, and heading into hard-to-fish wintering grounds.
But, to help bump up dismal fish counts, there are a few late fall fishing tips to keep in mind. Here’s what you need to know!
1. The Afternoon Appetite
It’s no secret once the water temperature dips into the low 50s, fish can be excruciating to locate. Or vice versa, you can see the fish on a finder, but they aren’t striking your line. This is largely because the fish have no appetite.
Although this isn’t a foolproof approach, consider fishing in the afternoon. You may have heard that the morning sports the best bites, but before the first iced-over edges appear, the fish slow down with a lethargic metabolism.
Why the afternoon is prime time in the late fall, is because it presents the warmest part of the day and increases the likelihood of having a fish on.
2. Learn the Wintering Grounds
This fall fishing tip will vary with what you are targeting. But in general, there are two areas to seek before heading out deeper (more on that below).
If you’re fortunate enough to be fishing in an area with a catacomb of creeks or small streams, consider tossing your line here. These areas have calmer waters, which house more insects and baitfish. Further, increasing the potential for targets looking for a lazy nibble to be about.
3. Play Hide and Seek
In a last-ditch effort to stay near the shore, scout out areas of dying or dead forage and waterlogged structures. Heck, cast under a dock if there’s some around. As the title suggests, play a game of hide and seek: angler’s version.
It doesn’t hurt to get your line wet and see what strikes happen by pinpointing spots that fish or baitfish can hide in. Even in the late fall, slow pokes procrastinate moving into wintering grounds or deeper water, so you never know what could be around.
But when fishing in areas of forage, there are a few things to know about lure selection, which brings you to the following fall fishing tip.
4. Getting in the Strike Zone
With fish gradually slowing down, so do their efforts to strike at the bait. Hence, getting your offering into a strike zone.
When late fall is well underway, any fish toughing it out in the forage will want to save their energy for a big meal. Thus, presenting larger lures with a minimal striking distance is the best way to go.
Slowly retrieving a three-inch paddle tail on a jig head is a good starting point. Yet, another outstanding option is spinners, which can be fished at a much slower pace.
5. Deeper is Better
Generally, fish will go deeper in the fall, especially if the water temperature is dropping in the shallows. Cause who wants to hang out in an ice bath?
There are three ways to approach deeper fishing. First, bottom fishing, like jigging, is a good technique. As well as drop shots as an excellent alternative. Second, if you have a fish finder, try to search for bait fish; there could be starving targets nearby searching for a meal. Lastly, you will want to pick the right color bait for angling in the cloudy fall water.
So make sure to check out the fishing tip next up on this list!
6. Nature’s Easel
If you weren’t one for painting in school, don’t worry. Just remember, white will cut through any dark color, and that’s the same for late fall. And here’s why!
With the leaves spilling into the waterways and other forms of decay, anglers will notice that the water will become murky and dark. So, understanding a little color theory will help you select the best colors to use. And it doesn’t matter whether you are fishing in creeks, forage, or open and deeper water.
As it goes for fall fishing tips, a basic arsenal of white or pumpkin green baits are the go-to shades. But if you don’t have these, opt for bright colors or flashy metallic.
Nevertheless, just because it’s the most challenging time of the year to land fish, it shouldn’t deter you from getting out and trying. And keep these late fall fishing tips in mind on your next trip out and see the results.
On the other hand, late fall fishing can produce some monsters. So if your dream is to have that bragging photo, the chilly weather and numbing water temperatures shouldn’t stop you.
What fall fishing tips do you have? Please let us know in the comments below!