Fall color

In the last couple of blogs we went heavy and got inside my head. I hope hearing about my demons, and how I deal with them, helps you in some way. That was my intent, anyway.

I think sometimes as anglers, and maybe as human beings, we're too fearful when it comes to admitting our faults and our shortcomings. We think confessing that we're not perfect makes us look weak. In my opinion, that's nonsense. We all have a short side. My thinking is that we should admit it and move on. Life's too short to do otherwise. But we've talked enough about that.

Let's spend this week talking about fun fishing in September, October and November. It's my favorite time of the year, and for good reason. I know a lot of bass anglers think that spring is the time for big numbers and big weights. In my experience, that's not always the case.

The fall bite is more predictable and more reliable than anything you'll see in the springtime — or any other time of the year for that matter. For one thing the weather is more stable. That tends to keep the fish in predictable places and in predictable feeding patterns. It also makes it easier to plan a day off work with the confidence that your day of fishing won't be ruined by an unpredictable Mother Nature. The biggest weather problem, cold fronts, isn't really a problem at all at this time of the year. In fact, fall cold fronts often turn bass on, especially smallmouth.

If you doubt what I'm saying, try fishing one. You'll be amazed at what you discover. Along with that is the fact that the waters are less crowded and more beautiful, especially in the central part of the country east of the Mississippi River. In Ohio the leaves are just starting to turn and most anglers are now looking for spots to hang their deer stands. "Real anglers" have most of the water all to ourselves. Fall bass aren't hard to find. Look for isolated cover on the shallow side of the lake or in the backs of the creeks, coves and cuts. Pay particular attention to anywhere that's near a spawning area or along a path into deep water.

Once you've found a good spot, look around, find what their feeding on and then match it as best you can. From there, it's a matter of casting, cranking and fighting them to the boat. They'll bite anything that matches the hatch. While you're having all this fun, don't forget to document your catch with a few photos. Pick a spot with lots of fall color and hold your bass up proud with a big smile on your face. In future years, it'll mean a lot to you. Go have some fun!

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