Fishin’ with Capt. Gus

Fall Fishing


The transition from summer to fall is almost complete, and with it comes the color change, cooling air and water temperatures, and excellent fishing on area lakes.


Some say that it’s the cool weather and low humidity that makes fishing so good in October, while others suggest it’s because there is less boat traffic.


A better explanation is that fish are hungry after spending much of the summer in deep water where food is hard to find. History shows that when surface water temperatures dip into the seventies, the fish go on a feeding frenzy.


How long this heightened feeding activity will last depends on how fast they gain body weight for the winter. In the meantime, grab your tackle, and enjoy some of the finest fishing of the year.

If it’s bass that you’re targeting, look for bait schools swimming on the surface, particularly in protected coves and backs of creek runs. The more bait present, the higher the probability of largemouth and spotted bass feeding in the area. Since baitfish are small, it’s best to cast lures that replicate their size.


 Lightweight lures can be difficult to cast with bait casting tackle. That is why spinning outfits, loaded with 6- to 10-pound test line, are used for long casts. Not all bass will be feeding on the surface or swimming the shallows. Anglers fishing deep docks, points and submerged brush will find that soft plastic lures bumped along the bottom will entice lots of strikes from tournament size bass.


 In the fall, perch will continue to please fishermen. As a rule, they are larger in size than during the spring and summer months.


 While shiny jigging spoons, Sabiki rigs and small minnows catch a large number of perch, small pieces of worms will also tempt these feisty swimmers. Since perch swim in schools, stay put once a fish or two are caught, and wait for others to swim under the boat. Chumming with small pieces of cut white perch will help keep them feeding for long periods.


 October also marks the beginning of the cool weather crappie fishing season. Not only are crappie more plentiful than in years past, but they are considerably larger. Manmade habitat, such as submerged brush, bridge pilings, boat houses and deep water attractors made of PVC are great places to drop crappie minnows.


Black Crappie. US Bureau of

Reclamation Illustration.

Capt. Gus Gustafson is an outdoor columnist and a full-time professional fishing guide.


Visit or call 704-617-6812 for more information or to book a trip.




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