Summertime isn’t the only time to cast some lines.
Evan Fiorito. Argus Contributor
Fishing is a long-enjoyed pastime of the residents of Northwestern Ontario. We are blessed with a plethora of lakes, rivers, and creeks to fish from and enjoy. For a lot of local residents, fishing is a huge part of their summer. When autumn arrives, many people hang up their fishing poles and prepare their shacks or sleds for ice fishing. This however, means they are missing out, as fall is one of the best times to go fishing. As long as you don’t mind the chillier weather, fishing during the fall can be one of the most rewarding times to do so. Although it may be a bit more challenging than in the summer, fishing during the fall can mean big fish, full limits, and lots of fun.
The fall months are great for bass fishing. As the temperatures drop, the lakes become cooler. In preparation for winter, bass start to travel in larger schools and they get hungry! They will start feeding much more actively leading up to the long winter, which means if you’re able to find a school on the lake, you could be reeling in some wild bass. Bass like to hangout in weed beds during this time, so see if there are a few good ones on the lake you’re on and go try them all.
Pickerel, or walleye as they are commonly known, become more active as the water in the lakes turn over. This means they put up a great fight, though they can be a bit trickier to find. Early in the fall, they can be found in shallower parts of the lake, but as the season progresses they travel to deeper depths, as they follow the movements of the baitfish in the lake. Generally, walleye like the rockier parts of the lakes, as well as the breaks near deep water. This equates to a bit of trial and error, as you’ll have to move around the lake just to look for them, but if you are able to find a sweet spot, the reward can be fantastic.
Pike, or northerns, offer a great fight due to their large sizes. Though they may not be as desirable as walleye, they still offer a fun fishing experience. During the mid to late fall, pike fishing can be phenomenal. They will go nuts for large-sized minnows, such as suckers. Pike can be found in shallower waters during this time, often sharing locations in which they can be found during the spring spawn.
There are a few techniques and tricks you can use during the fall to help you catch fish. During the fall, the fish prefer bigger baits, especially minnows. They want something that will provide them with a lot of sustenance, without having to use too much energy to get it. Some good minnows to use are suckers, chubs, and shiners. In terms of lures, most people prefer jigs to anything else, although depending on what you are going for, swimbaits and jerkbaits are solid choices as well.
So if you’ve never gone fishing in the fall, go give it a try. Dress warm, check the regulations, go out there and have a great time!