Fall Transition Fishing
Fall is an awesome time of the year for fishing and generally being in the great outdoors. Whether you are heading for a high mountain stream, boating on a lake, or surf fishing at the beach, fall offers great opportunities to enjoy fishing. Whatever your choice or method one thing is certain, the fish will be hungry. With dropping air and water temperatures, combined with shorter days, the fish will be loading up on food to store up fat for winter. Now is the time for the Department of Fish and Game to begin stocking trout. You can visit their website to find out if they have stocked your favorite lake or stream. So pack up and head out to take full advantage of this.
If you prefer multi-species fishing on lakes, this is an exceptionally ideal time. If the lake has a large population of Largemouth Bass and or Striper, the trout stockings are a major dinner bell for them. Bass love trout as part of their diet and will readily take trout swim baits, when presented. One issue with trout swim baits is that you will need your heavier gear. Typically, a rod with 25lb - 40lb rating, lined with 25 to 30 lb test mono or 80lb braid with a mono leader is the norm for casting these behemoth lures.
You might make over 100 casts without a bite, but when you get a hit; expect a Largemouth Bass upwards of 8 to 20 pounds in some lakes. I have friends who have caught Stripers up to 40 pounds on these large lures. To describe it as exciting is putting it mildly! Please be advised that California Fish and Game regulations state you cannot use live or dead trout as bait for Bass. If trout is your game then there are a myriad of lures and baits in which to entice the fish to you. I myself love to fly-fish, but I also love to use spinning gear and floats for trout. Watching a float being pulled under is as much fun as a trout taking a fly off the surface.
A word of caution: Before you head out, check your line, especially if you have been summer fishing. Monofilament does not do well after a few trips on hot bright sunny days. It breaks down and becomes weak. If you take that line and start fishing it in cold water, it becomes stiff and brittle. This translates to line breakage and lost fish. Make a trip to the sporting goods store and have new line put on.
This is also a good time to do some reel maintenance. Cleaning and re-greasing your reels will ensure better performance. Colder temperatures tend to make reels a little sluggish if the grease has melted away in summer heat. I also check hooks on lures to be sure that they are sharp and in good condition. Replace rusted or damaged hooks, its cheap insurance.
If you like the beach but have never surf fished, I would highly recommend it. Surfperch pull hard and can be within 20 yards from the beach, and you can use your trout equipment. Six-pound mono, a 3/8 oz bullet weight and an 18-inch leader are all you will need. Add a 2" grub for a lure and you are in business. Check the tides for the area you plan on fishing. An hour before high tide is usually best, and fish until they stop biting. Move up or down the beach, perch move with the bait, which includes sand crabs.
If you have any questions concerning places to go, techniques to use or address a specific problem, do not hesitate to call or stop in at Treasures eConsignment in the Old Towne Shopping Center (see our ad below for location and store information).
I would be happy to talk with you. I might even be able to show you ways to improve your fishing. Who knows, you might even find a winter coat or boots to make your next trip more comfortable! As always, be safe and tight lines!