Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fishing September 28 2009

Days like this weather wise don’t come that often when we get this late into September, light and variable winds, air temps going to the mid 70’s and high sunshine all around. Not many more trips will be had till ice season for fishing north but made probably the last run up to New Hampshire till ice covers the lakes.

I wanted to fish a lake that I frequent quite a bit and had a little surprise upon arriving at the landing. They had lowered the lake around 6 feet for repairs to the dam and this made it impossible to launch a bass boat there. Pulled out and headed south to another lake in search of finding the smallmouth and largemouth that swim there.

One thing about fishing this time of year is that arriving at the landing, there is usually only a couple of trailers compared to the summer months. Lakes especially during the week are void of any activity and this is allowing you to go to any location to fish that you want.

This particular lake after a long idle ride from the landing to the lake, decisions are always tough in where to start. Water temps were anywhere from 60 to a little under 64 and the clarity is definitely getting clearer as the waters cool. With the wind picking up and blowing into the left side of the lake, I figured that I would concentrate on the windy side to see if the fish are searching for baitfish.

Areas of concentration were going to be deep shorelines as well as long deep points and working these with crankbaits. This time of year I am looking for active feeding fish and crankbaits allow me to cover a lot of water looking for actively biting fish. Starting on a point and then working down a deep shoreline wasn’t producing anything until I hit a little shallower water and a 15 inch largemouth nailed the deep diving crankbait.

Continued to do this same thing on similar shorelines with no success and moved into an arm that comes off of the main lake. The front side is somewhat deep but as you go further back into this arm it gets shallower to the 5 foot depth. Switched over to a rattle trap style bait and fan casted and caught another 13 inch largemouth bass.

Moved back out into the main lake and back to the deep shorelines and points and hit one area that was a little shallower and caught a very small smallmouth. Since seeing that the fish that were caught were coming from shallower water worked a small shallow finger with a wacky rigged BearPaw Hippie Stick to no avail.

Moved around the main lake to similar areas and just couldn’t coax anything into biting and decided to call it a day. Only three fish were caught with 2 on the deep diving crank and one on the rattle trap. Days like this are going to be far and few in between and the fall bite really hasn’t kicked in yet but shouldn’t be long.

Most water temps are still hanging in the low to mid 60’s and for fall fishing that is still a little warm. Once we get the waters to the low to mid 50’s this is when the fish really start putting on the feed bag especially once we get through the fall turnover. Any fast moving bait will catch these fish and take a look at their stomachs when you do as they are going to be very fat as well. Take advantage of these fall days while you have the lakes all to yourself, the fish will also be all yours.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall is Here

The fall season is upon us in full force and the waters are cooling very quickly even with the warming sunny days, but the nights are getting very cool. This in turn activates the fish to start moving towards their fall feeding spree and some good fishing will be in store soon. Of course there will be days that you might not get a bite but then the other days that you will catch a number of very nice fish. Fish start schooling this time of year and once they are found, work the area thoroughly as one fish caught may get the rest of the school very excited. Fast moving lures, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, rattle trap style baits as well as in-line spinners are great producers this time of year. The waters are void of activity now and many times out you will have the whole lake to yourself. If you are not a hunter, get out there and enjoy some of the best fishing of the season as you may have the best trip of your life.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fishing September 22 2009

Fall is here but this week seems like summer has come back for a brief encounter and allowing us New Englander’s a little longer summer season. Air temperatures were in the mid 70’s but the water temps are dropping fairly quickly with mid 60’s for the warmest temps. Winds were howling as a front is pushing through and making it tough to gain boat position no matter where I fished.

I went back to the previous lake in hopes of finding some more nice fish that swim in these waters. Since the last trip yielded some fish on the wacky rigged BearPaws Hippie Stick in the coon tail, decided to try that once again in a few other areas.

Started in the back of a couple of coves that has a good coontail beds on the backside. Fished these areas as best I could as the winds were howling into both coves and wasn’t able to locate any active fish. Moved back to a lily pad and coontail covered hump that produced a few fish last time to come up short handed.

I tried one last cove that had coontail in it as well and came up with the same results of nothing biting. Decided to abandon that technique and went to the deep running crankbait and followed the 10-12 foot depths out of this cove, as well as the channel between the two lakes with no fish responding to this technique as well.

Since the winds were howling and fish were not cooperating decided to call it a day and head on out. This particular lake is decent for me early in the season as well as late in the season. The middle section of the season is always a tough one and last weeks catch apparently gave me some false hope for this week. Things will improve as the temperatures drop and can only get better and this time of year will and can be full of surprises.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fishing September 14 2009

Fall is in the air but summer has come back for a few days before fall takes over. An angler needs to take advantage of these days as they are going to be far and few between as the days pass by. Waters are cooling, leaves are changing and the best time of the season is right ahead of us.

Today was going to find me fishing a lake that I tend to only fish in the spring and fall only. Summer on this particular lake is heavily used by pleasure boaters pulling skiers and tubers most days so we usually tend to frequent other lakes at this time. But now the days are quieter on these waters as those users tend to not frequent the same as the days of summer.

The conditions today were bright sunny skies and a brisk wind that was coming from all directions. Air temps were in the 70 degree range and water temps now are 67 degrees. Vegetation is still very green as the nights have not cooled enough yet to start the dying of the vegetation yet.

Started the day fishing the same technique as the last trip out and that was to target shoreline lily pads with the frog bait. Tried a numerous amount of pad fields and there wasn’t anything that was willing to showing itself. Fished the windy pads as well as the calm water pads but for this lake these fish haven’t moved into the shallow locations yet.

Time had come to start covering some water to locate some fish and started throwing the crankbait on deep water shorelines. That didn’t seem to do the trick as well and covered a few areas that have produced many times in the past to no avail.

In the middle of the back part of this lake, there is a lily pad field in the middle of the bay and started working that. Didn’t realize but behind the pads there is a shallow gravel hump that is lined all around with coontail. Casting the crankbait through the coontail wasn’t doing much as I was snagging the weeds.

As I ripped the crank out of the last weeds a bass pounded the bait and it dug its way into and around the coontail but lost the battle. This largemouth was a nice chunky 18” clean and beautiful fish and was caught, photo’d and released to swim another day. Worked around this hump with the crank but wasn’t able to find another fish for this bait.

Since there was a ring of coontail in water depths from 3 out to 6 feet of water figured that these weeds may be worth throwing some plastics into them. So using a Bearpaw Hippie stick and wacky rigging it, this allowed me to work the weeds and find any fish that may be lying in them. Wasn’t long and the first largemouth was caught and a very feisty 13.5” at that with another 13” a few casts later.

Worked around this weedbed a couple of times with this bait combination but wasn’t able to find any other willing fish to bite. So decided to try one last location and fish the area between the two main lakes. Keeping the boat in 12 feet of water and casting towards shore with a crankbait, wasn’t long and the rod was bending with another 18" largemouth that was refusing to come to the boat but finally lost the battle.

This is really my time of the year to fish from now till November as the fish generally keep getting bigger and the fishing pressure getting less. The landings are becoming void of boats, waters void of tubers and solitude is coming back over the lakes and ponds and time on the waters are going to those that are willing to take on the conditions that mother nature throws at us.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fall Brings Fish to Shore

The fall season is upon us now and this is cooling the waters that we fish. In turn, the fish are going to start their trends of heavy feeding as they prepare themselves for the winter season ahead. In this preparation, fish start migrating towards the shorelines looking for prey. Fall time has many creatures heading to the shorelines, frogs in particular. Frogs start their migration back to the shallow mud bottom lakes and ponds for their yearly hibernation. Fish know that these tasty morsels are on their way to do this. The fish will start positioning themselves in prime locations to intercept the frogs and other prey as they enter the waters. Fishing this time of the year should involve some topwater frog baits or any sort of topwater lure to seek out these waiting fish.
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fishing September 9 2009

Fall is definitely in the air the last few days with temps at night getting down into the 40’s and air temps staying in the 60’s. This in turn is going to start dropping the water temps very quickly and that is going to start the fall migration for the fish to start heading towards the shorelines once again.

With the waters cooling off the migration of frogs will start heading for the shorelines in preparation for their hibernation in the shallow mud. In turn the fish know about this and start preparing themselves in getting into the prime locations to intercept the tasty little morsels.

That was going to be the theme for this trip. I headed to a small local pond that has good sized fish and see if I can get this pattern to work. About half of the shoreline has some vegetation in the form of lily pads and the lure of choice was to be the Bearpaw LOAD Frog. This is a frog imitation plastic bait that is rigged on a 4/0 hook and casted into and through the pads or any sort of vegetation long the shoreline.

Started working the pads and wasn’t long and the first fish hit but missed on the blowup. One thing about these types of baits that the hookup rates are about 50/50 as the fish either misses the bait all together or you set the hook too soon. Hooksets have to have a hesitation to make sure that the fish has the bait in its mouth.

Moved down to the corner of the pond and there is a small creek that comes in here and there is a path in the lily pads to work through. Made the cast and as it was worked back a small fish swiped and missed the bait. Within a few cranks of the handle another fish attacked the bait and this one definitely wasn’t getting away. The fight was one of the better ones that I have had this season and when it was finally over a very nice 4 pound largemouth was lipped, photographed and released.

The winds were definitely picking up big time and making it tough to work certain shorelines. I moved to the side of the lake that was a little calmer and right away had a fish blowup and missed and snagged the bait on the pads. This end of the lake doesn’t have as many pad fields so I skipped portions of the shoreline. The end of the lake has a small weed flat and a small largemouth was caught there.

This was the case a couple of more times and couldn’t find any big sized fish as these were in the 12 inch class. On a point a little better largemouth was caught but was still only 13-14 inches long. All in all it wasn’t a bad few hours of water time with 4 bass caught with one big fish.

We are going into the prime time to be fishing as the waters are cooling; bait is migrating and looking for warm water and bigger fish are moving towards the shorelines again. Fall time on the lakes also is great for anglers as many boaters are pulling their boats out, some are hunting and the lakes are getting void of traffic and pressure. Bundle up and get out there and catch a few fish as many bigger fish will be caught this time of year.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bass Fishing Deep Shores and Shallow Bays


Fishing September 5 2009

Labor Day weekend brings family events and many go camping as this marks the end of summer to many. Many barbecues’s and get tog ether’s are going on and when the weather cooperates, that only makes the weekend that much better. Many take to the lakes in search of their favorite quarry and we were no different.

Spending the day in New Hampshire on the water is something that we always look forward to and can’t wait to hit the water. It has been a few weeks since last visiting this particular lake and thoughts of where to look for the fish begin to happen.

The last time there we had one location that was giving up a number of fish so decided to start there and hopefully pick up where we had left off. Worked the area over and couldn’t find a fish no matter what was used and pulled the plug on that area and moved on to the next.

Water temps are definitely on their way down and was around 72 degrees in most locations that we tried. Plastic baits just weren’t doing the trick so had to go back and give the crank bait a try once again.

We did pick up a decent smallmouth bass with the crank bait in 10 feet of water and also one other small largemouth bass that threw the bait before reaching the boat. All in all we had a very tough day today and not sure if the active fish were shallower as we were fishing mainly deeper water.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Fishing September 1 2009

Fall is definitely in the air here in New England and the days temps still getting into the 70’s but the evening temps are dropping into the 40’s. Leaves are starting to change a little around the lakes and the best time of the year is still to come.

Decided to head up to New Hampshire and try a lake that I have only been on a few times and never have much luck catching numbers of fish there. This lake has numbers of big largemouth and smallmouth bass swimming in its waters and wanted to give it another try.

Arrived at the landing and a cool 46 degree morning greeted me with steam rising off of the water. Launched the boat and noticed the water temps were around 63 degrees which is very cool for this time of the year. Air temps were forecasted for mid 70’s with little to light winds which were perfect for exploring the lakes depths.

After the long idle trip through the river and channel, finally made it out to the main lake and seen a boat on the area that I wanted to try first. So found a flat coming off of the shoreline and grabbed the rattle trap and also a crank bait to start covering water in search of fish.

I fished this flat without any fish showing themselves until I got to the end of the flat where a small underwater point went out into the lake. The point tip was covered with rock and dropped off into 15 feet of water and casted the deep diving crank out and slam a smallmouth was on and didn’t want to come to the boat.

Just as I was about to lip the fish it jumped and freed itself from the hooks and now I was excited to start catching some fish. Worked this area more with the crank and some plastics but couldn’t find anymore fish. I followed the adjoining shoreline and this shoreline dropped right off into the main lake. Casting the crank to shore and bringing it back to the boat, another fish hit the crank and felt like a very nice one until it freed itself without getting a glimpse at it.

Continued to the next point with a smaller largemouth getting caught and then it was time to move. I worked a number of similar looking shorelines without any strikes. Decided to make the run to the other end of the lake and see if I could find some fish down there. I worked a number of islands and also the front face of the dam without any strikes as well.

Was about to leave the area and noticed a shoreline there that was steep and figured try that with the crank bait. After a few casts to the shoreline, wham, big fish hit and the battle was on. Was waiting for the fish to jump as I thought it was probably a smallmouth but it kept digging down. After winning the battle a nice 3 pound largemouth came up and really made my day.

Worked a few other areas as well as previous areas and wasn’t able to find anymore fish. As my trip back to the landing is a long idling one, this whole back area is a swampy shallow bay and decided to give the shallow water a try.

Fishing with a wacky rigged BearPaws Hippie Stick, a small smallmouth grabbed the bait from a fallen tree. Continued down the shoreline and also working some boggy areas, there wasn’t anything wanting to bite. As I left the boggy area and headed back over to the shoreline, a scrappy 12 inch largemouth grabbed the bait.

All in all it wasn’t a bad day with 5 bass into the boat as this was probably the most that I have caught in this lake on a fishing trip. There were two patterns that had formed, first were finding steep dropping shorelines that continued into the water. Positioning the boat 20 yards off shore and casting deep diving cranks to the shore and reeling them back was very productive.

The other pattern was fishing shallow waters with a wacky rigged plastic with fallen timber and rocks along the shoreline. The waters were warming compared to the morning temps and made for a great day to be on the water. New Hampshire has so many good waters to fish that make it tough to decide where you want to fish.

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