Deer Hunting and Fishing Tips

 
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Autumn offers best Fishing of Year

This is a spectacular article I found in the Detroit News on Autumn fishing, if you’ve never fished in the fall, you have to read this fishing article. It’s one of the best times of the year to fish, the fish are on a feeding frenzy before winter and they’ll hit anything. There’s also a small write up on fluorocarbon, I guarantee you’ll enjoy the article…

When Gerry Glostenik predicted that we were “gonna catch 50 bass today” as we left the ramp at Lake Erie Metropark, I just grinned and nodded.  We’d enjoyed several 50-bass days over the years.


When we headed for home 5 hours later, the tally was 42, eight short of the prediction.  But that was our fault.  We landed 32 in the first 2 hours before leaving a great hotspot and heading for another, where the numbers were fewer but where Gostenik thought we had a good shot at landing some 5-pounders.

Had we stayed in the first spot, on a protected shoreline about a half-mile long, we easily would have hit 50, perhaps 100.

The water temperature in the lower Detroit River was 50-51 degrees, about 5 degrees warmer than the air.  But the sunshine felt warm when we reached our spot out of the wind, blowing out of the northwest about 12mph.

“November probably offers the best bass fishing of the year.  The fish are just stuffing themselves, getting ready for winter.  But there are two keys to fishing this time of year,” said Gostenik, one of the area’s best-known bass guides.  “The first is the weather.  All you can do is hope you get some decent days when you can get out, and I’ve seen some Novembers when we’ve been lucky to get four or five days.  You have to dress for it, with warm clothes and waterproof, foul-weather gear, and you have to be willing to put up with tough conditions.

“The other is finding the fish.  This when they start to stack up in the places where they’ll spend the winter.  If you can find them, you can have an incredible day.  But sometimes you can spend a lot of time going over water where you won’t get a single bite.”

Because of the wind, we concentrated on largemouths.  They have moved into wintering spots in the lower Detroit River, where deeper flats with 8-20 feet of water lie off a steeply sloping bank.

“If you can find some rock piles in a place like that, the fish usually will be all around them.  Sometimes you can catch 20 without moving the boat.  They’re feeding all the time in November, and the’ll hit about anything that swims in front of them,” Gostenik said.

At the first spot we fished, we caught several bass that went 3 1/4 – 4 pounds, enough to put together a five-fish limit of 18 pounds that would have guaranteed a high place in a bass tournament.  Most of the others were 2-3 pounds.  What we didn’t land was a 5-pounder like some he’d caught a few days earlier, so we left to try another spot.  It didn’t pan out.

Gostenik’s favorite lures for late-season fishing are blade baits like the Silver Buddy and olive-colored, rubber-skirted quarter-ounce jigs with craw-fish-shaped plastic trailers.


“Even though they’re feeding, the bite usually is pretty subtle.  You’ll feel a tap, tap, like a bluegill was hitting at it, or maybe just some wieght like the lure was hanging up on a week,” he said.  “We’ve also missed a bunch of fish that picked up the lure and dropped it.  I think what happens a lot of the time is that they pick up the plastic (trailer) but don’t inhale the hook.  Then, when you strike, you take it away from them.”

Gostenik is a believer in fluorocarbon line, spooling the entire reel with it rather than using 6-8 feet as a leader.

“If you use a fluorocarbon leader, it will help you get more bites because the fish can’t see it as easily.  But it doesn’t let you feel the bottom the way a full fluorocarbon line does.  I buy the Seaguar in 1,000-yard spools.  It’s expensive, but it helps the customers get fish,” he said.

Gostenik was confident when we left the ramp because he and his clients had landed about 240 bass in four days the previous week.  The largemouths came from the river and the smallmouths from Lake St. Clair.

“We have great largemouth fishing in the river all year, if you know where to go,” Gostenik said, “But my customers don’t want to waste time on them, especially the people who come from other states.  They’ve all heard about the great smallmouth fishing in the Detroit area, and that’s what they want to catch.

“The best place to go for smallmouths in November is Colchester Reef” – about 30 miles of Detroit, about a mile off the Canadian shoreline of Lake Erie.