Friday, September 16, 2011

September Buckotage

September rolls across the landscape like a quiet hush dreaded by youth but met with subtle anticipation by the more serious anglers. For now the masses return to toils of books and agendas while leaving memories of summer behind. Crowds in our national forests subside along with the serious weekend traffic that urban areas may typically endure June through August. As parks and other wild areas breath this sigh of relief a much more complicated ballet takes place. Leaves fall from their graceful green and descend into the deep hues of fall. Colder nights and frosty mornings beckon the coming of winter. September is a time where older beasts move first into fall mode. Elk start to rut and fish will look to put on a serious feedbag before ice and snow lock everything up.

(Above: second picture try with the fish in one hand and me trying to keep the oar out of the shot with my knee. Some guys get a camera crew. I just want to fish.)

Fall bassin’ offers a fickle bite and the water will remain mostly flat compared to the hubbly-bubbly top water action of summer. The fish for me right now seem tight-lipped one minute and almost desperate the next. My guess is that the tight-lipped fish has just eaten. The desperate fish will hit almost anything. Maybe the real trick is finding that big fish before it fills the belly. This may be one special day of the week or it may simply be as easy as “it eats when it can”. Rather than trying to dial in the perfect day or even hour to fish I try to get out and cast.
(Above: Another open mouth-in the water shot. Sometimes a quick grab click and go is the best photo op option.)

Normally I rely on the big baitfish pattern in fall. I run the spinnerbait in sunfish or even bass colors before resorting to cranks and Rat-L’s. Cast and rip. Then I cast and slow flutter the situation with some loosey-goosy raise and drop. Here I am raising the blade to the top of the water and then letting it drop straight down. I typically miss a few hits here and there but this time I get nothing on the wiretap from fish city.


Grab the second rod with the black\blue creature pattern. This is a skirted jig combo with a delicious plastic grub trailer. Really this thing resembles nothing in the natural world but catches that one or two fish by surprise. These are fish that may have seen just about anything else and willing to give an ugly creature presentation a go. When a heavy bucketmouth bites down I hold my breath and fight a battle of distance and strength. One mistake could make the difference between victory or defeat. 
(Above: Looks like I got a little too close to the camera on this one.)

September also offers the last public access for some places, which is important for the spots that may have received a lot of focus early in the season but almost forgotten in fall. These are the times I dust off my spring schedule and make a cast in places possibly for the last time of the year.

Fall is not exactly my best time for bass (I’m just being honest) but it is the season where I have the chance to land fish in their heaviest condition as well as land that one big monster fish looking to bulk up. On the right hour of the right day…wow, you may pull fish out of places you never thought possible.  

 My name is Matt and I’m a fishaholic.


Cofisher said...

I know there are some good places around here to fish for bass, but I'd like to know where a fishaholic goes. Nice chunky fish.

Ohio Outdoors said...

Great pictures. You had a good day out on your boat.
Craig Ohio Outdoors
Ablaze Home Improvement

Mel said...

Thanks for sharing some fall Bass fishing tips, Matt! Now just have to find some fall Bass in my area. Probably will end up being Smallmouth for me. (Maybe)