When the seasonal changes set in, and begin to effect fish behavior, some anglers can be left scratching their heads in frustration. Autmn brings cooler weather and the decline of available vegetation in the water, which makes finding the edges of weeds your top priority if you want to bring fish to the boat.
In the autumn months, a variety of fish—bass and crappie, for example—can be found lurking along the weedline. There are a few different techniques that will take fish here, but I would start with a jig and soft bait or live bait combo. If largemouth are what you’re after, start by tying on a big jig and attach a sizeable plastic trailer such as a beaver. A big jig, along with a beaver or creature trailer, will appeal to larger fish due to their bulkier size. Work the combo along the deep edge of the weeds to find big fish.
If you’re fishing for crappie, and start fishing late in the afternoon, or even into the early evening, and you see fish breaking the surface near a weedline, move very quietly towards them and throw a 1/16-ounce jig tipped with a very small plastic trailer. Swim it slowly through the area and you’ll get hit after hit. The surface action is created by crappie sucking bugs off the surface, and since the crappie are feeding on the surface, you’ll want to swim your bait just a couple of feet below the surface of the water to get bites.
The key to capitalizing on the weedling in the fall is to make sure you’re fishing healthy, green weeds. Also, it’s important to keep moving until you find the fish, no matter how attractive a spot may be. Catch a few, then when the action slows down, move farther along the weedline until you find more.
If you’re looking for strikes during the fall, the weedlines at your local lake can provide lots of action if you know how to work them. Match your presentation to the species you’re after and you’ll get results time and time again.