Early fall can be a very challenging time to find fish. Each year I learn a little more about finding fish through a little trial and error. This year has been no exception.
The local lake I was fishing can produce decent numbers of bass and pike. I had fished it a number of times before in summer so I wasn't going in totally blind.
With water temps in the mid to upper 50's I figured fish would be found relating to a weed edge with an adjacent so drop as the gusty winds were pushing up against the edge. My searches were not fruitful, yielding only a couple of small fish.
When I'm not putting together any repeatable pattern, I turn to covering as much water as I can. Since the deeper edges didn't yield the results I was hoping for, I pushed up on the shallow flats ranging from 3-8 feet of water. My primary choice for covering water on the this trip is the Yo-Zuri Rattl'n One Knock. This lure is slick, rattles, and flashes perfectly for the job I was doing – lots of great colours to choose from too. It's the perfect lure for burning on a straight retrieve, ticking the tops of weeds to trigger strikes.
A key part of this presentation is that these baits falls straight when I stop reeling, without turning over on itself. On the pause, if the bait gets hung up on some weeds, a quick snap breaks the weeds off, clearing the hooks – the act of snapping the weeds off the hook is often what generates the strike. Other times the fish were instantly alerted and smashed the bait right away when it hit the water. This was the case for both bass and pike.
My choice of combo for this presentation is a medium heavy casting rod, high speed retrieve baitcaster spooled up with 40lb Yo-Zuri Super Braid. In order to avoid losing baits to the inevitable toothy gator, I make my own heavy Yo-Zuri 50lb HD Flourocarbon leaders. I tie braid direct to the leader. These homemade leaders can save the day on our local waters where northern pike abound.
In short, fall fishing can be some of the most challenging, and the most rewarding times of the year. Success is only One Knock away.