I have to admit that, as September gets closer and closer, I become just about as excited as I have on some Christmas mornings. Finally, the hot temperatures are about to cool off, and the fish are about to be more active than they have been in months!
It is during these four weeks that we will see the day high temperatures in the 80s and the night temperatures in the 60s, which will ultimately place the lake water temperature in the 70s. As the water cools off, expect to see changes in bass and crappie locations and feeding habits. As the oxygen level in the water rises in the shallow depths, so do the baitfish in the lake, and believe me, the bass and crappie will be right behind them.
The first two weeks of September can be very similar to the summer months of fishing, but the last two weeks are usually when the transition begins. A good rule of thumb to use each year is to head to the bank when the water drops into the 70s. When I see the 7-day forecast with lows at night in the 60s, I know that the transition is taking place.
The first action you should take when targeting these fish is to go to an area where you have caught bass in the summer and move closer to the bank. I try to target 3-6′ during the first few weeks of fall. This is also true for the crappie. During the summer, I have been catching fish from 12-20′, but will now target 6-12′.
September is a month that is great for so many reasons. Not only does the oxygen level rise in the shallows and the bait become more prevalent making it easier for us fishermen to catch fish, but finally anglers can get out in the morning and fish until they are tired, rather than being run off by the heat around 10 a.m. Whether you get out on the water once a week or three times a week, remember that the fish are in a transition. This will save you time and money on your next fishing venture. If you do not catch a fish in a area where you have been catching fish, then you need to change locations, fishing closer to the bank or in a different shallow cove where there is bait.
I hope these tips will help you catch more fish this month. I will be back next month with specific lures and techniques for catching bass and crappie during the fall.