Fall Reservoir Fishing Scenarios / Learn to Fish Reservoirs

Fishing Fall Muddy Water Reservoirs

The leaves look like a red, orange & yellow quilt against the bluebird sky.

It’s a subtle reminder that the days will be getting shorter soon. Darker. The evenings cooler.

Hoodie weather again. Maybe tonight would be a good night for some toasty s’mores with the kids.

Yeah… yeah let’s make it a point to set aside some quality time for family.

Vacation Wild Rice Lake Wisconsin Smores S'mores after Fishing

Fall in Reservoirs

Some of our friends are hanging up their rods for hunting gear and tree stands. Certainly nothing wrong with that… but this could be a great time to catch a trophy now that the fish are putting on the feedbag in preparation of winter. Not to mention the reduced fishing pressure, which will only continue to decline as the weather becomes even more “uncomfortable”.

The water temperatures are dropping as well; below the optimal temperature range for bass. The young shad have grown up to a size that is very interesting and appetizing, and the bass have taken notice. They’re schooled up tight and moving towards shore, to the shallows.

Fishing Muddy, Rising Water with Sharp Temperature Drops

While these are certainly tough conditions, the general consensus is that the changes do not actually displace the bass. Some anglers will switch to baits that cover the bottom, and slow down. Others prefer to tie on a muddy water bait and cover water; looking to stumps, hard cover of some sort, grasslines or submerged grassbeds.

Another option is to seek out the food. Where are the shad? Where is the forage? Find them, and be on the lookout for suspended fish. If you mark them, tie on a lipless crankbait and use it to cover water while following these moving shad.

Strike King Lipless Crankbait
My Strike King Lipless Crankbait – Similar to a Rat-L-Trap 1/2 oz Crankbait – Has Been to War

If you find good looking hard cover, attack it using crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and vibrating jigs. Look around to see if you can locate incoming water as well. Fishing around the source of inflowing water can be a solid strategy, and at the very least it is worth your inspection.

Fishing Falling Water with Sharp Temperature Drops

If the water clarity has stabilized – meaning the water clarity is “normal” – then your primary variable will be either the water temperature, or the water level. Pay close attention to both.

If the water is falling you can expect the bass to relocate to the ends of laydowns, and to back off of shallow water areas. If they are in the backs of creeks and bays for example, the falling water may push them back out to the main lake. They may even suspend.

Don’t shy away from main lake structure, and try to seek out areas that can funnel fish. Say a channel under a bridge, or the opening in a causeway (a causeway is a raised road or track across low or wet ground).

Since the water clarity is “normal”, don’t be afraid to fish fast with topwaters, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, crankbaits, vibrating jigs & swimbaits.

Moving Forward

Graham crackers are so crumbly.

Gosh.. they get everywhere.

That’s one nice thing about eating our s’mores outside by the lake. Let the bugs & the birds have the crumbs. Let the kids make a mess. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

And let’s be honest here – the main attraction is that marshmallow… which… has somehow ended up on the little dude’s forehead.

Vacation Wild Rice Lake Wisconsin Smores S'mores after Fishing

The fishing has been good this year, and there is still no end in sight. So even though we’re in the Midwest and the changing seasons can be frustrating, and yes – a bit sad – it’s hard to be grumpy when you have cool air and a fire going in the evening, surrounded by sticky, laughing children.

Thanks God.

Tight lines.

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