Fall Fins and Feathers

Fall Fins and Feathers
Fall Fins and Feathers

For most outdoorsmen and women, October means hunting season, time to put the rods away and pull out the shotguns. A few of the more hard-core anglers will hold out until the days grow even shorter, and colder. Nothing says you can’t do both. In fact, early fall is a great time to double up on your outdoor opportunities.

First Light

Riding out to the back country for a morning of upland hunting? Many of those backwoods bird covers run along remote streams that receive less fishing pressure, especially in the fall. Rather than turning the dogs loose at first light, spend an hour drifting flies across an eddy pool or stripping streamers up a riffle. That will give the birds more time to move about, leaving more scent for the dogs to pick up later.

Mid Morning

Early season puddle duck hunts tend to be brief affairs with the action tapering off quickly as the sun and temperatures rise. No need to head right back to the launch. Pull out a fishing pole and make a few casts into the weedy shallows you’ve been hunting over all morning. With the fall turnover, predators like bass, pickerel and pick have moved back out of deep waters in search of abundant minnows, crayfish and aquatic insects that have hatched and grown over the summer. Plugs, spoons and live bait are all good options.

Late Morning

Skip the post-hunt brunch. Water and kennel the dogs, grab a quick snack and hit the farm ponds and creeks you’ve been hunting around all morning. Before the first killing frosts, terrestrial insects are still around in abundance, and hungry trout, bass and panfish lie in wait for any hapless hopper whose over enthusiastic jumping lands it in the shallows. Tossing live bait or hopper imitations are both good options.


Early Afternoon

The action may be a bit slower now, but any of the above still apply to kill an hour or two before the birds start moving and it’s time to put the dogs out again or paddle to the blind.


Dusk

Duck hunters will want to be in the blind, gun in hand at twilight, but upland hunters will probably be calling it a day, giving the birds a chance to move to roost. And the last hour is still the best hour for fishing. Who knows, you may catch a late hatch you can match with dry flies, or hit a farm pond feeding frenzy.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Yo-Zuri

Yo-Zuri's 3DB Pencil Popper, 3DB Jerkbait 110 & 110 Deep

Bass pro Clent Davis gives the inside info on Yo-Zuri's new-for-ICAST lures.

Lew

Lew's Kevin VanDam Fishing Tools

The bass-fishing legend talks about Lew's new tools with In-Fisherman's Todd Ceisner as part of the 2020 ICAST New Fishing Gear Guide.

MLF Pros: What

MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.

VMC Crossover Pliers and Rings

VMC Crossover Pliers and Rings

Quick and easy Neko and whacky rigging; ICAST Fishing Gear Guide.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies can be profound, even when fishing the same lake or river. Fishing How-To

How to Catch Catfish Day and Night

Terry Madewell

While catfish are still catfish, the difference between day and night tactics and strategies...

Shad are a big part of the catfish angler's arsenal, as long as you can catch a few that is. Fishing How-To

How to Use Electronics to Catch Baitfish

Game & Fish Staff

Shad are a big part of the catfish angler's arsenal, as long as you can catch a few that is.

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

It was a difficult question for a young hunter to ask, and the answer didn't come any easier. Stories

Deer Camp Lesson Learned the Hard Way

Jeff Johnston - February 04, 2020

It was a difficult question for a young hunter to ask, and the answer didn't come any easier.

Last year alone, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act was responsible for $100 million in funding to benefit game, fish and other wildlife in the United States. Conservation & Politics

At Issue: Greenbacks for Greenheads (and Other Game)

Andrew McKean - August 04, 2020

Last year alone, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act was responsible for $100 million...

Midwestern turkey hunters and others are hitting the woods. So are a variety of harmful tick species. Conservation & Politics

Tick Talk: What You Need to Know Pre-Hunt

Patrick Durkin - May 14, 2020

Midwestern turkey hunters and others are hitting the woods. So are a variety of harmful tick...

This wildlife-rescue story has a cool ending. Conservation & Politics

Game Warden Stories: Duck Day Afternoon for N.Y. Officer

Game & Fish Staff - June 15, 2020

This wildlife-rescue story has a cool ending.

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now