Fall fishing frenzy

Published 9:03 pm Thursday, September 29, 2011

Selma tournament angler Corey Cole picks out some fall baits at Rountree Outdoors recently. Cole and a number of other fishermen flock to local lakes and rivers during the fall to try to land trophy bass and panfish. -- Rick Couch

As fall approaches and waters begin to cool, fishing action for anglers of all kinds begins to heat up.

Bass and crappie anglers flock to the waters each fall with high hopes, and usually come home with a full stringer.

Tournament anglers agree when the water hits 72 to 73 degrees the bass become much more aggressive.

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Rountree Outdoors owner Chet Chappelle said during this season, larger fish often move closer to the bank.

“When the water cools off the big fish will move in,” he said. “In July and August all of the big fish get sluggish and they feed late in the afternoon. Now, with the cooler temperatures, the more oxygen there is in the water, the better.”

Many fishermen begin to hit the mouths of creeks with crankbaits and jigs. In the early morning hours, topwater baits are often the first choice.

In addition to creek mouths, some anglers have also reported success in sloughs lately.

For those who pursue panfish, Chappelle said fall can be equally rewarding.

“Crappie fishing is great in the fall,” he said. “People are putting jigs on corks and having a lot of success.”

During the fall, crappie are usually found between 6 and 7 feet of water. After the first cold front, crappie congregate at the first drop off from the bank.

Many people prefer to spider rig jigs on corks to explore different depths. Others use minnows through the same spider technique.

Many bass fishermen in the fall turn to bigger baits because the baitfish that were small in the spring are now much larger.

First and foremost, it is important for all fishermen to judge the water.

Changing weather conditions also means changes underwater. Water that is normally clear can become stained or dark after heavy rains. This determines the color and the type of baits that should be used.

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