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About Fishing: Fall fishing primer a good chance for trophy fish

October holds the best fishing of the season for all game fish. In my opinion, it's a prime time for catching quantity and quality of freshwater game fish. Lakes transition from summer warmer water temperatures of 70 degrees to cooler water with temps in the 50s. Game fish become easier to find this time of year. They are active, eager to take anglers' offerings, then actually move out of the weed beds and edges looking for food into deeper water and easier for anglers to catch.

In the first weeks of October preference for best fishing activity is early morning or late afternoon and evenings. Anglers looking for a trophy sized walleye should not overlook the mid- October full moon phase. Action peaks around midnight into the early morning hours along shallow shoreline breaks.

I can't think of a better time than the present until freeze up to use your electronics to find fish. Matter of fact, I would not stop to fish an area until I see the tell-tale hooks on the locator screen. After the fish are spotted and found, fishing methods vary and all are very good. A perennial favorite is a live bait rig tipped with a red tail, creek chub and even a night crawler. Additionally, jigs tipped with a rainbow minnow are always a sure producer. As far as jig colors, I tend to choose and find any color productive, as long as it is green. For walleyes, I always like to keep moving my bait either by casting or trolling to cover likely fish producing areas. Water temperatures cooled into the 50s, I prefer a jig and minnow fished vertically first then second a live bait rig tipped with a five to six inch creek chub or red tail. Late evening and after dark try trolling the shallow break lines with artificial lures. For example, four and one half-inch Rapalas, bombers or bandits; gold and silver or perch colored patterns. Use braided lines to troll these lures five to six feet down at night or by day. Switch to lead core lines to get the lures into the 25 to 45 foot zone during the daylight hours.

As water temps edge into the low 50s we find walleyes in the deep water and look for these schools of walleye on your electronics. Once seen and pinpointed, drop a number nine jigging Rapala on braided line with monofilament leader to the fish. Raise the lure up and down slowly to entice a strike. Action unique to a jigging Rapala is as the lure is raised and lowered it will swing around in a wide circle, arriving at vertical when you pause. This is action that covers more area and an action that walleyes just cannot resist.

Fishing at night, a good choice is to focus on flowing water areas caused by river inlets or outlets. Anglers wearing waders are highly successful slowly wading the shoreline, casting and retrieving small artificial plugs.

The days of October are a great time to get in a few more fishing trips and a few filets for the table, and genuinely the best chance for a trophy.