October, it’s the month where the season and the schedules have passed. Mother Nature is at her finest in October giving us a wide variety of conditions that triggers animals of all types to enter a sense of urgency. The month tends to start warm before the stout northern winds set in to drive down the cooler temps by month’s end. For me it’s the month I live to fish. I typically get pretty lax on my day to day responsibilities in October because the only thing I can focus on is where I am fishing next. This past October we did a great deal of exploring on some unseen water hunting for smallmouth which added a lot of fuel to the fire.
By the end of our season we found ourselves fishing the same lakes and the same stumps we had all year. With that we decided that it was time to get out and explore some new opportunities. The quest started with tons of time on Google Earth and the Indiana DNR website looking at the different options on rivers throughout our state. We had been in contact with our local fish and wildlife biologist for results they had taken from the surveys done during the summer as well. This yielded us enough factual information to make sure the drive was going to be worth our time to fish water we had never even considered let alone seen.
Upon arrival we noticed the waters clarity before ever taking our Jackson Kayaks off the trailer. We had been pretty dry through September in Indiana and the waterways had pretty well reached that low flow mark on the Hydro gages. This put me shuffling the heavy line bait casters back into the rod tube on the trailer and pulling out my lighter line spinning combos I keep in the hull of my Big Rig. It was a situation where I knew the light fluorocarbon would be one of the main keys to any type of success that we was going to have. When it came to selecting my lures I went as basic as basic can get lacing up a Texas rig craw and a 3.5 412 Bait Company Yoda. Those 2 baits gave me the option to present the fish with 2 of the food sources most available in a subtitle way. The last thing we wanted to do was drop in on clear water chucking oversized baits spooking the fish back up into heavy cover to hide.
Exploring the water further from home base led us to only having a single way of transportation, this meant we would be fishing up river rather than floating. On a new body of water you are not familiar with, fishing up stream is always a good option as it lets you see the lay of the land before you float back down. For me and having more of a bass boat back ground in my roots I like fishing up stream, I feel like I read the water a little better and am more productive. Is it more work? Yes. But I’m kind of hard headed so I like that extra work dragging my kayak up riffles and over different structures. All the extra work gives me that feeling of adventure that I so crave.
Within the first 3 cast or so I managed to strike brown gold in an eddy along a fallen log. We spent the day picking apart the structure features dialing in the perfect size of craw. It was the type of fishing that before you know it you’ve spent 5 hours on the water and it only felt like we’d been out maybe an hour.
After we sampled the area we decided we needed more and drove back up 3 weekends in a row trying different stretches of the same river. October was well in play by the time things rounded out. During the 1st weekend the water was warm and by the last weekend the water had started to cool. We seen the fish starting to hang deeper in the early hours and move up shallow as the sun got high. It was just that perfect fall fishing where you stay on a working pattern and follow the fish.
Like most hunters that take to the woods in October patterning deer for the hunt, fishing in the fall is much the same for anglers. Again, it’s that season of change that just sparks change in the animal kingdom. I guess it sparks something in me as well since I now have a bunch of neglected leafs in the yard I should probably take care of. I mean the fact I am writing about October in November should be pretty good evidence on its own. But you can bet come next October I am going to throw it to the wind and be on the water every at available opportunity. There’s just no better time to be an angler than in the fall.