Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Feeding frenzy is on its way

Crappies are a top target of fall anglers
             There is no doubt that fall is in the air; cool crisp breezes, nighttime temperatures dipping into the forties and fifties, and leaves are beginning to change colors.  If you haven’t noticed these things, you must be one of those people that are trying to hang on to summer as long as you can.  The signs are there, and fall is here.  These signs from Mother Nature also bring on some migrations that we cannot over look.  I am speaking of the panfish migration and the feeding frenzy that follows.
               As many of you know, I am a die-hard bass fisherman.  However, this time of year as the bass tournament trails wind down, my focus starts thinking about that panfish migration that occurs in area lakes.  Besides early May, the rest of September and a few weeks into October can be the best panfishing you can find all year long.  In Central Iowa, the crappies and bluegills go into a feeding frenzy, knowing that winter is just around the corner. 
                When we really start to dissect and try to understand fish, then this migration really becomes just a matter of eating.  All summer long bluegills and crappies have been feeding on insects, their larvae, small crayfish, minnows and other small fish.  As the weather cools the insects disappear, and the crayfish hibernate, leaving the panfish only one option to feed on.  I believe that this is the major factor of why panfish go into a long feeding pattern before the winter months, they know their time of eating a buffet all day long is almost gone.  This is one reason why fishing this time of year makes perfect sense.
                Another reason why panfish begin to feed is the water temperature.  Again, they know that winter is coming, and they know that the long days spent under the ice will result in little food.  Like a squirrel in October, they prepare for the long Iowa winter.  All fish are cold=-blooded creatures, so their bodies react to the water around them.  As they start feeling the cooler water temperatures they know that they should start to eat everything in site. 
                This mental state they have, to eat anything and everything, brings the panfish up shallow where there are sticks, rocks and weeds to find food in.  This is the main reason why people are very successful this time of year too.  Fish are much easier to catch when they are shallow, and fall is a time that they come back to the shorelines.    
For baits/tactics/and top fall fishing areas click HERE for the full article on the Times Republican Newspaper Wesite.

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