Once you find the school and catch that first fish, they will usually scatter. Not to worry, remain in the same location, pick up bottom bait like a tube or jig and catch around the area. They are still there and will usually bite your offering while they are trying to re-school.
The biggest problem with fall fishing is the wind, especially in the North Country. It can be challenging and requires determination, but the rewards are great! Just remember to wear a rain suit to keep dry and keep your life jacket on as a rogue wave can put you in the drink. What is really nice is I usually have the lake to myself, as only the diehards are out this time of year.
As we get deeper into fall the fish move shallower following the schools of bait. Where one day you are fishing on a deep weed line the next day they maybe schooled on shallow reefs like Motte’s or Point a Fur. Be careful with the water levels in the mid 94’s many of these reefs have only a few inches of water. l have been asked what to do about the thick weeds; it’s simple, fish horizontal. Use floating topwater baits like a frog or swimbait. Even the old Sluggo still works great, rigging them weedless you can work your bait over top of the weeds. A hungry bass will find its way thru the weeds to explode on your offering.
With winter coming and my fall tournament schedule, this will be my last column for the year. I hope the column has been educational and raised your interest in our great North Country fishery.
Howard Hammonds is a guide and experienced bass fisherman living in Westport. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.