October 19, 2006

Curtain call for warm water fish

As fall progresses, open water fishing for warm water fish closes down. But just like in a good play, the cast always comes out for a final curtain call or two.

Bluegill
Bluegill - Photo by Ron Stewart

In northern Utah, the curtain calls are usually in October while in southern Utah, they might stretch into November.

Near surface and in the shallows

As the weather cools the surface of the water, bass, walleye, bluegill and other warm water predators move back into the shallows to feed on minnows, the last of the summer insects, crayfish and other prey. This gives anglers one last opportunity for some fast fishing for warm water fish.

"During the end of the summer, the surface waters on many of our lakes and reservoirs gets a bit too warm," says Ron Stewart, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) regional conservation outreach manager. "Fish usually respond by going deeper to reach cooler waters, making it more difficult for anglers to find them. In the fall the surface waters cool, allowing these fish to come back up and making them more accessible to anglers.

"These fish are generally quite aggressive in their search for food and can often be found in the shallows in search of prey. The combination of an aggressive predator, in close to shore, is an opportunity for anglers of all ages."

Tips:

by Ron Stewart