As we make our way into the month of September I can only venture a guess as to what kind of fall we have in store. There have been many falls that are absolutely picturesque and almost postcard like. On the other hand, there have been cold, rainy and windy falls where the leaves seemed to turn colors and end up on the ground before a person even had a chance to take a mental picture.
For many years I would take fall vacations at Spider Lake north of Grand Rapids and while I was there for the fishing, the crisp fall air and the beautiful colors were really what it was all about. Spending time on this beautiful lake in the fall was, to me, an experience like no other. I love fishing on any lake in the fall and in all honesty I am not strictly a meat fisherman so the experience of time enjoyed is what is really important to me.
I can envision myself cruising down the lake with the wind causing a slight spray to whip against my face. This is a feeling that I have been lucky enough to experience many times over. Cruising to a destination where I just know the fish will be more than willing to attack my lure is part of the magic of fishing. On this particular lake I will visit a few places where I have caught fish before and will hopefully find them again.
My way of fishing is not an exact science so there is truly a little mystery involved every time I am on the water. One of the things that keeps me coming back to this area of northern Minnesota is the abundance of lakes to fish and the many forests that surround most lakes in the area. I have always liked to explore new lakes and although it can sometimes pay dividends it can also make fishing just a little bit tougher.
Spider Lake, for example, is pretty much typical of the many lakes in the area. There is so much structure that it makes you feel as if everywhere you look should be holding fish. In the fall when a lake has turned over, following the bait fish will usually lead you to the bigger fish. Once the PH level in the lake has become consistent throughout the bigger fish feel comfortable at any depth so they will follow the food hoping to fatten up for the winter that lies ahead.
A couple of years ago I was at the cabin in October with my grandson Dylan and we had pretty good luck fishing northern. I had gotten a tip from my neighbor about fishing this one nearby lake that he and I both loved to frequent for northern. He is strictly a catch and release guy when it comes to those toothy predators. He said that he would put on deep running crank baits and troll right down the middle of the lake which was 80 ft. at its deepest point. He also told me that the fish were suspended at 12-18 ft. over much deeper water.
With this information in mind Dylan and I decided to give it a try. We started trolling the deepest part of the lake; as we came out of the 70+ part and entered the 40-ft. range we would get a hit. On this particular day we boated five dandy pike, all of which were much larger than most of the fish that we usually caught on this lake. Eventually Dylan caught what would be his own personal best northern. This is what made the whole trip more than worthwhile for me.
The nice thing about modern technology is having a camera on your phone so that you can catch and release fish and still have a record of it. We not only fished a familiar lake but we also tried one that we had not fished before. Although the second lake didn’t yield any big pike we did catch some smaller ones which still makes fall fishing fun.
Until next time: there is still plenty of open water fishing to experience so it’s a great time to take advantage of the many area lakes we have available to us right here in our area.
Please take some time to honor those who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms that we enjoy today. Also take a little extra time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who served and those troops that are serving today.