By Jeff Samsel
For me, it was love at first bite, and I don’t think conditions, the setting, the quality of the fishing or anything else would have prevented me from becoming a lifelong, fervent angler. That’s not the case for everyone, though, and for folks who might need things to be a bit more perfect the first few times, autumn is prime time for falling in love with fishing.
Autumn brings relief from summer heat, beginning with cooler nights and evolving into delightful days with slightly brisk air, morning fog and refreshing afternoon breezes.
Autumn also leaves many streams and lakes less crowded than they have been as school breaks end and many outdoorsmen shift sporting pursuits from fishing to hunting. When fall colors peak, many natural areas draw large numbers of leaf peepers. Many congregate on easy access trails, in parks and at roadside overlooks, though, leaving most fishing spots surprisingly uncrowded
Of course, the brilliant-colored leaves add appeal to the season. A solid argument could be made that many fishing locations offer more splendid scenery during fall than at any other time.
Most importantly, autumn brings outstanding fishing prospects to many types of areas. Bass and crappie follow shad schools shallow and feed heavily. Stripers and bluefish move within surf-casting range. Inland stripers, hybrids and white bass school at the surface. Mullet run along the Southeastern beaches, prompting frenzied multi-species action. Walleyes move up from deep summer spots and become more accessible. Salmon and steelhead move up streams from of the oceans and the Great Lakes.
The list of hot autumn bites is pretty much endless because of baitfish migrations, gamefish spawning runs, shifting habitat conditions and a broad-scale instinctive urge to feed heavily before harder times.
If you know someone who needs to fall in love with fishing or if your own angling romance needs extra spark, autumn is the perfect season.
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