Why is fall fishing tough?
There’s probably no time of year that fishermen struggle more than they do during the fall, and every lake is different as to why this occurs.

The reasons are many. Just like the lakes are all different, deep water lakes set up differently than shallow lakes do, and grassy lakes are structurally different than hard cover lakes. All have their differences, and all change as fall progresses toward winter.
The most prevalent reason this occurs is centered around oxygen levels. Every lake loses its oxygen as you progress to fall, and the bass, especially the big bass, are forced to find areas of oxygen. Deep lakes go through thermocline issues and what’s called turn-over, while shallow lakes with grass are burdened with the oxygen being eaten up by the grass as well as deep thermocline concerns. Along with the changes in the oxygen levels, you also have the enormous amount of bait fish on most lakes in the fall increasing the food levels and making the feeding fish turn on and off like light switches. You combine these changes to your lake with suspending fish, or fish just sitting in grass where there is more oxygen, and you have tough days on most lakes in the fall until the water temperature starts to erode the grass or move the thermocline levels around and spread oxygen throughout the lake.
The issue becomes how can you get a fish to bite or feed when your lake is going through this fall transition? The problem is there is no clear answer; however, I do have a little advice. What I try to do is keep moving until I find some things that trigger a bite. Bait fish moving in an area or top water movement around structure all have some bearing on getting a bite, so look hard for the signs and move quickly if they’re not there. That old saying, “fish where the fish are” has no better story than the fall of the year. Find the signs, fish those areas thoroughly, and try to find a bait that will resemble the enormous amount of bait fish roaming about. Try to match the size of the natural bait with your choices, and be alert for subtle bites.

Captain Mike

Dunham's Sports

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