Multispecies bonanza: the feedbag fishing of fall

I’m not complaining about my job, I’m really not. But if I had one gripe to make, and it’s a small one, it would be that when big game seasons open up, my fishing equipment goes into storage and the boat goes into the garage for another winter.

Anyone who has spent some time on the water in September and at least the first week of October knows why this is somewhat of a bummer. The shorter days and dropping water temperatures let our finned quarry know it’s time to put on the feedbags. And they do.

Of particular interest to me are the roving schools of smallmouth that will start snapping, but I’m not too good to pursue walleyes or panfish. Last weekend, we did just that, and while we didn’t set any records, my brother-in-law and I scrounged up quite a few crappies.

Better yet, we had a revolving crew of youngsters with us throughout the day and they experienced the first hints of the fall bite. Where we found crappies, in suspended schools and tight to the timber, will probably be where they are for most of the fall. If I can manage to fill a few deer tags quickly, I might slip back out there and see if that’s true. That is, of course, if I can set down the topwaters and other smallmouth baits long enough to find any schools of crappies.

If you’re not going to spend your time in a treestand or a duck blind this month, consider getting on the water. The recreational boat and jet ski traffic will be minimal, and the fishing – for multiple species – is the best of the year.

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