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Fantastic Fall Fishing

a boat in a lake with forest

People often ask me, “When is the best time to go fishing?” and my usual reply is, “Anytime you can!”

And I mean it. I can’t remember a time I came back after a day of fishing and wished I had never gone. Not all trips are spectacular, but every trip is a learning experience and time on the water is how you learn.

With that said there ARE times that I am extra excited to get on the water and fall is one of those times. Fall fishing is great because the fishing crowds are almost non-existent, the pleasure craft boats have moved into hibernation and there is nothing more impressive than the fall colours reflecting off the water. All those reasons are great, but in reality the number one reason I love fall fishing is the smallmouth fishing can be incredible.

man holding 2 fish

Case in point was last year on Rice Lake one of my favorite smallmouth bass lakes in the Kawarthas.

It was late October and I hit the lake after getting the kids to school. I fished around the lake and tried a dozen spots and only had a couple fish to show for my efforts. This typical in the fall, as the smallmouth school up and gorge on bait before the winter sets in. You can’t catch them everywhere, but when you find a couple there is probably more nearby. Just keep moving until you find the school and that’s exactly what I did this day. It wasn’t until I hit the last spot of the day, that I found the mother lode.

guy holding a fish

I immediately caught several bass on consecutive casts and over the course of the next hour landed 20-25 bass before I had to get off the water and get home.

On my drive home all I could think about was when I could get back out there. I was so pumped I called my regular Rice Lake fishing partner to see when we could get out there ASAP. We planned to meet at noon early the following week. Of course I was so excited I got to the lake before noon and hit “the spot” just to test if they were still there. Two casts and two fish in the three pound range confirmed they were still home. I decided to leave it until my buddy could join me and I hit a few other spots to kill some time until he arrived (which seemed like an eternity). Finally I picked him up at the boat launch and we raced to the spot. I wouldn’t call the next hour really fishing, because it was more like catching. We lost track of how many fish we caught that day, but I remember multiple double-headers and several fish caught on consecutive casts. The action was almost non-stop until we had to leave. I’m sure we didn’t catch all the bass in that spot, but we sure tried.

guy holding 4 fish

So don’t put the boat away quite yet, there are lots of crisp yet comfortable fishing days left in October and November.

Plan to get out this fall to enjoy some of this non-stop smallmouth bass action. You need to work hard and cover lots of water as not all spots are going to produce but I can guarantee you I will be out there this fall, trying to duplicate that special day.

What Worked?

  • Lure – Jackall Squadminnow 115 SP Chartreuse Striped Ayu
  • Line – Power Pro High-Vis Yellow in 15 lb test with a 5′ leader of 12 lb Trilene 100% Flourocarbon
  • Rod – Shimano Crucial 6’8″ medium power extra-fast action
  • Reel – Shimano Stradic CI4+ 2500FA

After a fun day of fishing on Rice Lake, I hardly ever miss an opportunity to drop into Three Roads Farms to stock up my freezer. Also, another great place to stop for a post-fishing snack and discussion is Marty Moos.