This cooler weather is getting me ready for fall! This is my favorite time of the year.
Hunting season is fast approaching. Squirrel season starts in only 2 weeks! The water temperature will be dropping soon too.
This weather signals some great fishing. As the water cools the fish move to shallow water. Fish have to put on the “feed bag” for the winter. Some of the best fishing of the year will happen during the late fall. Many anglers miss out on this because they have a hard time juggling both hunting and fishing.
I understand this struggle, too! On a perfect day I’d spend the morning hunting, the afternoon in the boat, and back in a tree by sunset. To an outdoorsman the fall truly is the best time of the year.
Two casts, two catfish! Third cast, lesson learned!
Admittedly, I’m not an expert catfisherman so I made a rookie mistake today. I have spent quite a few times fishing for catfish, but have never had this happen to me before.
When catfishing from the bank most people will use a rod holder or at least a Y shaped twig. There are two good reasons for this. First, it is easier to see when you get a strike. Second, they keep your rod from going in the water. Unfortunately, I didn’t take my own advice.
I was fishing in a pond with my son, and I wasn’t using the tip I just mentioned. Sure enough, a catfish dragged my pole straight into the water in a split second! I was sitting right next to it and all of a sudden I heard it scrape across the rocks and into the water. Gone! Just like that, I lost a St. Croix rod and Shimano reel!
The sad thing about this is I did have a broken Y shape twig sitting right next to me. Unfortunatley, I had the rod just laying on the ground. I spent the next hour trying to catch the line with a treble hook and sinker, but no such luck. I couldn’t find it!
So not only did I miss catching 3 fish in 3 casts, I also lost a great rod and reel. So in reality I learned two lessons. One, use a rod holder. Two, don’t use an expensive bass combo while catfishing! I won’t let this happen again!
It’s HOT outside! Many of us want to continue fishing, but are afraid that all the fish have moved into deep water. In my opinion this is false. Yes, many fish do move deep, but there will still be a large concentration of fish in shallow water. I want to share with you some proven techniques I have used in many different lakes and ponds for catching bluegills in the summertime.
First, pay attention to the moon phase. If there is a full moon, there is a big chance you can find bluegills on their nest. Bluegills will spawn throughout the late spring and summer. If there is in fact a full moon, target flat areas of the lake. Look at the slope of the banks for this. A long slow sloping bank into the water is perfect for spawning bluegills as long as there is a hard bottom where they can make a nest. If the water is too silty then move to another area of the lake because they will not spawn in silt. One mistake people make is not fishing shallow enough. I have caught many bluegills in 12 inches of water!
Are there weeds in the lake? If so target these areas. Bluegill love to prey on insects, larva, and minnows. Find irregularities in the weeds. This could be holes in the weeds, points where the weeds stick out further, rocks, brush, or boat docks. Many times bluegill will congregate in one area, so don’t spend too much time sitting in one place. Move along the weed line until you start catching fish.
Use your electronics while fishing from a boat. Target humps and drop offs. Again, I have caught bluegills where the water depth may drop from 2 to 5 feet. Anywhere you can find structure along these drops such as brush, rocks, or weeds will make the chances of having a school of bluegills much better.
Remember it is much easier to catch shallow fish than it is to catch deep fish. Try these suggested areas and I think you will be happy with the results.