If you are anything like me, you look forward to the shortening days and the changing of leaf colors that so beautifully marks the fall season. And the reason we love this time of year so much is that the fish put the feedback on in preparation for a long winter's slowdown.
October marks some of the best fishing of the year for us. We love targeting walleyes, smallies, and perch on some of our favorite northern Michigan inland lakes. This year was no different. We ended up catching hundreds of walleyes, perch, and smallies. This year we played with lots of nuances and made some awesome discoveries:
1. Fish leeches even when you can't buy them in bait shops in Michigan. We caught tons of gorgeous fish on leeches fished under slip bobbers. Some call it cheating, we call it incredibly fun.
2. Downsized plastics and jigheads. Did best this fall on an 1/8oz jighead and a 2 3/4" or 3" plastic. Go to's continue to be Charlie Brewer's 3" Slider Grub. Pick some up here. Love the Old Fart Lure's walleye jig that Carl and I designed. We have a new design out for fishing under slip bobbers. You can see those here.
3. Rod choice can have huge effect on success. I have been so impressed by the FavoriteUSA Summit in the 6'10" L version. I threw this with like 6lb Gamma Torque with a 8lb Gamma Edge flouro leader and whacked the fish. This rod is so sweet and sensitive that you would swear you could feel the fish breathe on your jig.
4. Don't be afraid to fish shallow. We caught a lot of fish in 4-6' of water. You will hear this over and over again - start shallow because fish that are up there are there for a reason - to feed!
5. Boat control is the name of the game! I will never regret spending the money on my Minn Kota Talons or on my trolling motor. Boat positioning and control helped us catch tons of fish and made the fishing fun for me as well as my clients.
6. Play the wind. The more you can make wind your friend, the more fish you will catch. We played the wind anytime we could and found that wind regularly concentrates bait and fish in certain locations. But to the play the wind effectively, you need the aforementioned ability to control the boat.
We are no where close to putting the boat away for the winter with some of the best fishing still in front of us. We had a great fall and want to thank all of our clients for a great fall season!
We'd love to hear what you've learned this season! Feel free to comment if you get a chance!