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> Fall Fishing, Whereís Waldo ???
ZzzAngler
Posted: Oct 08, 2019 - 06:34 am


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Hey Folks, I have always heard how fall fishing was supposed to be great. Been out a few times but havenít been having a lot of luck. Tried all my usual summer spots along the South Shore and not even marking fish on my fish finder. Mostly 15 - 22 FOW. Water temp is in he mid 50ís. Itís supposed to be a nice week and I was Hoping to get out a few more times. Anyone have any suggestions? Should I be trying shallower or deeper? Thanks.

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Grumpa
Posted: Oct 08, 2019 - 10:42 am


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Hey Zzz.
Glad to hear you're still fishing. Unfortunately, I'm done, pulled my boat and lift. But I know what you're saying...this time of the year, approaching the middle of Oct on Nip can, at times, be more challenging then fishing in the summer or winter.
The lake's starting to approach and experience fall turnover.
Once water temps approach 50F, the oxygen rich surface layer (epilimnion) begins to cool and become denser. As water becomes denser it begins to sink and mix with the colder subsurface layers that are oxygen depleted. The summer thermal stratification starts to break down. Oxygen levels start to mix throughout the water column....fish and the bait fish they're following, sense this change...start to scatter and can be found anywhere. Fish are no longer limited to where they can go for food. Bait fish are now willing to seek deeper depths then they've inhabited most of the summer and early fall, as the oxygen levels are starting to rise in those deeper levels again. The weedbeds are starting to die and consume oxygen as they decay, instead of producing oxygen as they do most of the summer.
Turnover doesn't always happen at the same time, same speed, all over a lake with varying depths and size of Nipissing. You can sometimes tell if the areas you're fishing are starting to turnover as the water can become cloudy, with minimal visibility, maybe even a scent or smell of decaying vegetations...as the nutrients from the bottom of the lake are being brought to the surface.
Cold fronts, rain and heavy winds can increase the turnover rate. Once the water temps gets to 39F/4C, clarity improves and you can see deeper....turnover's done.
When I've fished before, approaching and during the turnover on Nipissing...we've had to run and gun, move around a lot. Work any weed lines continuing to exhibit good green weeds that are still giving off oxygen. Look for 'any' sign of bait fish I can find on the fish finder...use deeper diving search baits and troll more often...covering water looking for any fish.
Sitting on structure or a spot and simply vertical fishing, as you can do with success at times during the summer and winter, sometimes doesn't work as well during and approaching fall turnover. You may not find big concentrations of fish like the summer, as fish can be widely scattered. When I've found fish, I work those areas and depths over hard for any more that might be there.
You may have to move around more and work a bit harder during this time of year.
Good luck Zzz and let us know what you have any consistency and success with. I'm envious you're still fishing.

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FatRap
Posted: Oct 08, 2019 - 11:48 am


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I always feel so much smarter after reading your posts Grumpa

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Grumpa
Posted: Oct 08, 2019 - 02:06 pm


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QUOTE (FatRap @ Oct 08, 2019 - 11:48 am)
I always feel so much smarter after reading your posts Grumpa

FatRap...I'm just so old and been on the water so long...I've pretty much seen everything nature can throw at you.
You don't always see evidence of a fall turnover in progress....sometimes it happens slowly, gradually and subtly.
First time I actually saw clear evidence that fall turnover was physically happening, was back in the 80's when we were fishing 5 km's out in Georgian Bay.
We saw what looked like a fuel dump on the surface of the water. When you scooped it up and examined it....ended up being broken down silt and debris from the bottom....it was getting 'turned over' and coming back up to the surface as the upper water column was cooling and sinking.
Last time I witnessed it was a few years ago in October near our place on the south shore. There was a football field sized debris drift caught up in the current line curling around Deep Water Point. Water was a milky colour that day and there was all this stuff from the lake bottom, decomposing leafs and pieces of weeds etc., floating on the surface....like you'd see an outboard stir up from the bottom in a shallow mucky bay.
Interesting phenomenon to observe....but can be a bit challenging finding fish if you continue to concentrate on only those locations you found fish all summer.
Nature at its baffling best.

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ZzzAngler
Posted: Oct 08, 2019 - 09:04 pm


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Thanks once again Grumpa for the informative post. I was aware of the fall turnover but didnít know the science behind it. I am fortunate to still be fishing especially with a great forecast the next few days. I managed to get out today and did a little better. I spent quite a bit of time just cruising the lake trying to mark some fish. I did find some marks in deeper water (28-35 ft) and was able to land 4 walleye (no keepers), 2 bass and a sheep head. As you mentioned, I didnít catch any vertically jigging with a jig head and worm. I had the best luck fishing more aggressively with a jigging rap. Hope to get out again and fine tune the pattern a bit more. Will keep you posted.

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FatRap
Posted: Oct 09, 2019 - 11:09 am


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QUOTE (Grumpa @ Oct 08, 2019 - 04:06 pm)
QUOTE (FatRap @ Oct 08, 2019 - 11:48 am)
I always feel so much smarter after reading your posts Grumpa

FatRap...I'm just so old and been on the water so long...I've pretty much seen everything nature can throw at you.
You don't always see evidence of a fall turnover in progress....sometimes it happens slowly, gradually and subtly.
First time I actually saw clear evidence that fall turnover was physically happening, was back in the 80's when we were fishing 5 km's out in Georgian Bay.
We saw what looked like a fuel dump on the surface of the water. When you scooped it up and examined it....ended up being broken down silt and debris from the bottom....it was getting 'turned over' and coming back up to the surface as the upper water column was cooling and sinking.
Last time I witnessed it was a few years ago in October near our place on the south shore. There was a football field sized debris drift caught up in the current line curling around Deep Water Point. Water was a milky colour that day and there was all this stuff from the lake bottom, decomposing leafs and pieces of weeds etc., floating on the surface....like you'd see an outboard stir up from the bottom in a shallow mucky bay.
Interesting phenomenon to observe....but can be a bit challenging finding fish if you continue to concentrate on only those locations you found fish all summer.
Nature at its baffling best.

With age comes wisdom and we really appreciate you sharing that wisdom with the rest of us

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Grumpa
Posted: Oct 09, 2019 - 03:02 pm


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QUOTE (ZzzAngler @ Oct 08, 2019 - 09:04 pm)
Thanks once again Grumpa for the informative post.† I was aware of the fall turnover but didnít know the science behind it. I am fortunate to still be fishing especially with a great forecast the next few days.† I managed to get out today and did a little better.† I spent quite a bit of time just cruising the lake trying to mark some fish. I did find some marks in deeper water (28-35 ft) and was able to land 4 walleye (no keepers), 2 bass and a sheep head.† As you mentioned, I didnít catch any vertically jigging with a jig head and worm.† I had the best luck fishing more aggressively with a jigging rap. Hope to get out again and fine tune the pattern a bit more.† Will keep you posted.

Glad you were able locate some fish Zzz.
That's exactly what you have to do...search and move if the fish aren't in their regular summer/early fall haunts.
You may not be able to score the 20-25 pickerel an hour, just sitting on a spot, like you can many times during the summer/early fall warmer water phase. The fish are often more widely scattered approaching, during and just after turnover...and can at times be a bit more difficult to entice.
Generally, once the shallower water temps start steadily dropping in the fall, invertebrates and many worm species are no longer as active, hatching and filling the water column like they do much of the summer. Their summer life cycle is over.
Fish are completely aware and sense that many of the most available, abundant and easiest to catch food options they're eating much of the summer...are becoming scarcer. Consequently, there's a shift in the prey focus for many fish.
On Nipissing, as the fall progresses and the water continues to cool, minnows and smaller fish become the more readily available and most abundant food options for many species like pickerel, bass and perch.
Not that they would pass up an easy worm, leech or larval meal if they happened upon it...they're just not expecting to find those types of food sources as much, nor are they conditioned to actively search for them later in the fall.
Usually on Nip, somewhere around the middle of September...depending on the water temps and visible evidence of invertebrates on and in the water...I'll start switching from worms/leeches etc. as one viable live bait option...to using fewer worms and more minnows...and once the water cools sufficiently, to using minnows exclusively.
I too love using jigging raps during a colder then normal spring opener and into the later fall cool down as well.
Plus from my old Erie days...I'm not opposed to using a good sized crayfish for a trophy smallie when I have the opportunity.
Good fishing this week Zzz....I'm still envious and living vicariously through your updates.

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ZzzAngler
Posted: Oct 09, 2019 - 06:47 pm


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Thanks Grumpa. Once again you were right on the money. It took a bit of extra work but felt good when my efforts were successful. Hope to get out again once more this week since the forecast is promising for the next 2 days. It will probably be the last time since season closes next week. If you are interested in joining me either Thursday or Friday I would welcome the company. I suspect we live fairly close. Just let me know or PM me.

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ZzzAngler
Posted: Oct 12, 2019 - 08:19 am


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Managed to get out a couple more times to wrap up the season. The weather and lake were spectacular. Although the fishing was tough, I did manage to net about a dozen walleye over two afternoons. No keepers though. I did get a couple more sheepshead which got my heart pounding thinking they were big walleye. Fish were fairly deep in 30+ fow. They had no interest in a jig and worm and I had the most success with a jigging rap. Boat is coming out this week along with docks and soon time to prepare for ice fishing season. Tight lines folks!

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squirrel761
Posted: Oct 13, 2019 - 12:28 pm


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A buddy and I were up to Callander Bay last week for 4 days. Caught 50 fish with 2 keepers. Fish caught were in 27-29' of water. Was tough going with regular worm harnesses. Ended up downsizing by making some new harnesses. Tied on a single True Death hook with 3 beads and a small blade. Used half a crawler on the rig and that made the difference. I caught most of our fish on this rigs until my buddy retied his and started to catch up.

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