As October 1st rolls around most summer time anglers leave the water and head into the woods. Then for others there are all the things that come into play with most families during this time of year. In the Midwest fall is filled with harvest time events such as bonfires, hayrides, Halloween and several other activities. October to November is truly one of the best times of the year no matter what part of it you enjoy the most. While most are gone, I still find myself drawn to the water. It’s the time of year where the true Bass Crazy stands out.
Planning on the weather cooling down I planned our Yak Freaks Championship event in mid October to catch the fall feed. According to all my notes this should have been the perfect time to capitalize on the fall bit and see some real giants hit the boards. All great in theory, until Mother Nature changed her mind and went for highs in the 70’s to low 80’s leaving the water temps on the warm side. It really changed the day for everyone fishing the event and left most of the field scratching their head. The best part was seeing the Yak Freaks group come together camping, laughing and enjoying the fall.
After the Yak Freaks season officially ended I was contacted by myINstride.com to do a short story on kayak fishing. It would put me back at Lake Griffy for the next 2 weeks making sure I was following the fish as the pattern would start to swing. Guiding anyone during fishing is a big deal for me; I always want that individual to be successful. Those are the things that get people excited about what we do or make them loathe our sport. When you add in a local Newspaper writer is ups that stress a little.
The morning of the interview rolled around and I took off to the lake a few hours early to make sure things were in order. A few cast in and I realized the fish were super aggressive. It was one of those fun days where you could reel as fast as you wanted with moving baits and they were going to smash it at all cost. I laid out of some of my key areas just to make sure they would not be blown out when the reporter arrived.
Once the reporter and photographer arrived they opted to use the causeway to take photos to start the day. While the photo’s for the article picture a nice calm fall day the fact is it was far from that on the other side of the bride. We had a stiff northwest wind funneling its way down the main lake. As I took the reporter around the bend the gust nailed us and the chop was busting on the front of the kayak. Needless to say, it was not the ideal conditions for someone that had never kayaked before. Fortunately everything went well and it looks like there will be a kayak purchased come spring. That alone makes all the work worth the effort.
Having wrapped up the major work for the fall it was time to revisit the location we like to call the Hawg Farm for some giants. The Farm is just one of those places it’s just best to ignore during tournament season. Low fishing pressure tends to make for some amazing fun but it can also spoil a guy when the bite gets tough on tournament day. On arrival I chucked a buzzbait before the kayak ever hit the water nailing a 17” fish, something epic was about to begin.
Pushing the kayak in the water it turned out to be that special fall day you hear most of us anglers babble on about. It’s the day when you can make 10 straight cast and a fish will blow up on every one. Those big jaws explode from beneath the surface looking like a scaled down version of shark week. It’s just one heart pounding hookset after another. In just 3 hours we had a well over a limit that would make any tournament angler huff their chest with pride as they near the scales. I know it’s going to make my winter months extremely long with visions of 5, 6 and 7 pounders erupting to capture that buzzbait. Maybe I can just talk my wife into letting me sleep from the time the water freezes until it thaws in the spring.
Fall may start a little slow but when it gets here it is always epic. There really is something about being able to be out there on that water every week and seeing the colors turn from green to oranges, yellows and reds. That crisper air as it pulls down into your lungs with the spray off the bait caster as the lure fly's across that colorful landscape. How the water can be at its most viscous one day and calmest the next. There is just really no place else I’d rather be than on the water this time of year. This last month and a half has really reminded me on why this time of year is my favorite.