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 - 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."
- Baits, lures and flies can all work well during the fall.
- Look for signs of fish activity along the shoreline. This includes viewing fish as they cruise along the banks, fish jumping, swirls where a fish is feeding or seeing minnows scatter among the shallows (when minnows do this, it often looks like someone threw a handful of sand into the water).
- If possible, try and match what the fish are feeding on. Then cast your line out into the general area where the fish are, or out ahead of the fish.
- Make sure you get out and take advantage of this great fall fishing. It's often a play worthy of a standing ovation.
by Ron Stewart