BY BRIAN G. SCHOMMER
As the temperature starts to drop on a regular basis, numerous fall phenomena begin. The leaves on the trees begin to change color and eventually tumble to the earth which has also gone from a well-manicured lush green to a dormant brown. The water temps also begin to drop alerting the fish that the change in season is here as well. For some anglers, there is no fishing like “fall fishin’” and from the talk overheard by some local anglers at a well-known watering hole, the bite is on. For transparency’s sake, this could just be a fish story, but I did see a few pictures.
On the rivers and the area lakes, from the sounds of things, Walleye and Sauger are hitting on just about any and everything you toss out there. From trolling with a Rapala to tossing a leach with a spinner, it did not matter much to the fish what was in the water… they were taking the bait. The other well-known species in the area appear to be as hungry according to the chatter going on, especially the panfish. Crappies and Sunfish alike were receiving praise among the stories being told, although there was not much mention to size and no photos to be seen, so this banter may have been more spin than fact. That is something that happens in the fall quite often as well, especially by the politicians, but I digress. I guess those would be the Sheephead, which are biting too. YUCK.
The photos I saw were of nice size Walleye in the 19-to-24-inch range and the time/ date stamp illustrated recent dates so the authenticity of the conversations should not be scrutinized too much. They seem legit enough, especially considering they were happening between several river rats. The Mississippi, the St. Croix, and the Vermillion all were talked about as areas that the Walleye action was trending upward, as was North Lake. Supposedly, the Crappies were active at North as well, but again, no pictures so not sure how valid the information is. A 12” Crappie being discussed may have been more like a 9” fish, which is an “eater” for sure but let’s be honest (as much as a fishing type can be), a 12” fish becomes a 15” fish in most stories.
No matter what, if you are a person who enjoys wetting a line and attempting to land a few slabs to filet and enjoy with some coleslaw and taters, right now might not be a bad time to make the effort to get out and do a little fishing. We get caught up in being so busy with things that we too often fail to get out and do the things we want to do. We so often here, “Life is short.” This phrase is followed up by various other comments including “eat dessert first” or “do what you enjoy before it’s too late.” This is when the “yeah but” excuses… or in some cases, actual reasons, start to come out of our mouths. “Yeah but, I need to work to provide for my family…” or “Yeah but, I just don’t have the time” tend to be the two biggest “yeah but” responses.
Here is a scenario that might be worth looking at trying in your life with anything, not just fishing. “Life is short… Do what you enjoy before it’s too late,” I say.
You reply, “Yeah but, I need to work to provide for my family AND I just don’t have the time.” (You even snuck both reasons/excuses into the mix, you sneaky little devil).
“How about you provide for your family by taking the time to make memories, before it is too late,” I ask? Here is where you begin to think about how important it is to spend time with the ones that you love doing things that you enjoy, and you remember the ones who are no longer with you that you truly did enjoy doing things with. This will give you that “AH-HA Moment” which we all need in our lives to help us to slow down and take the time to make memories with our loved ones. In advance, you’re welcome.
If not fishing, try going for a little walk around the block to take in some of the changes in colors, even if it is the neighbors lawn going from lush green to dormant brown. Maybe head down to the river and sit on one of the benches that illustrate the names of people who are only memories now and cherish the time you are having with the person or people that you love. While you are there, you can watch the boats go by and see if there are some fishing types trying to net a couple lunker Walleye. Grab a bike and go pedal around a bit. If it has been a while, be sure to grab a small First Aid Kit or at least a few Band-Aids. No matter what you decide to do, just decide to do it, and make the time. Don’t let it pass you by without making the memories. Happy Fishin’… Now, Get Out and Enjoy the Great Outdoors.