Please resist the temptation to put the boat away for the season. I realize that hunting season is drawing near; and with everything that goes on this time of year, your boat probably hasn’t seen the water for some time. All the more reason, to take a late season trip. It’s a great excuse, to burn up some of the old fuel before you winterize it. In the process, you’ll most likely experience some of the best fishing of the year. All of this can be done in an extremely relaxing setting. After Labor Day, the recreational crowd is long gone. Do you miss them? I know I won’t. Not a Jet Ski in sight, none of the antics at the ramp, etc. You won’t have to put up with any of these annoyances, at least not until next year.
What we have left is peace, quiet, tolerable weather; and of course, the lake largely to ourselves. Which in turn: Means that the fish have had a chance to settle down from all of the chaos and are much more conducive to our angling efforts.
The Dog Days of Summer are past us now and fish of all species are beginning to settle into predictable Fall Patterns. Couple this with the fact that they are tying on a serious feed bag to stock up before the onset of winter and you have all of the ingredients needed for a successful outing.
By successful, we’re not just looking at numbers, but size. By far, the best time to boat a fish of true trophy proportions. I get excited just thinking about the possibilities. In keeping with the theme of a leisurely day, we should keep our presentation options simple and straightforward. No need to carry two dozen rods rigged for every
conceivable application. Choose a couple areas known to produce in the fall and pick them apart.
There is no better way to do this than with a slip sinker rig and a large lively chub. Place this in every nook and cranny of the particular piece of structure you are working and eventually the fish will respond. Fish of all species: Walleye’s and Northerns are of course receptive, as are the biggest and baddest of the panfish.
Fish a lake with Smallmouth Bass and I challenge you to get a Chub past them. They are greedy feeders and absolutely will not allow a Chub to go by unmolested. You’ll witness some of the most violent strikes and spirited fights imaginable.
The terminal setup is quiet easy. Start out with 10/4 Fireline as your mainline. The zero stretch characteristics of this line provides great feel and the small diameter allows for using less weight to maintain bottom contact.
A walking sinker or pencil style slip bouncer helps to reduce snags. They also give us the option of dropping line, should the fish should prove to be tentative. I always start out with the bail open and the line on my index finger until the fish tell me how they want it. If you’re getting aggressive bites and fish are hooked deeply, you can adjust by dropping the rod to them slightly and then setting.
On the business end of this setup it’s hard to beat a 3 foot leader of 8 pound Berkley XL snelled to a number 2 Gamakatsu Walleye Wide Bend Hook. The supple line allows the bait to do its’ thing while the unique design of the hook ensures that there is sufficient hook gap to provide for positive hookups.