Top Five Fall Fishing Locations


Wisconsin fishing at sunrise Summer is (practically) over, and we’re ready for the cooler weather of Fall to come our way! Fish migrations have certain species on the move, while other areas are seeing a peak in spawning. Not sure about you, but we’re prepping our tackle, anticipating the great fishing the Fall season has to offer!

As you trek out across the United States, here are the Top Five Fall Fishing Locations: #5 - Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay stretches throughout the states of Virginia and Maryland. It provides fantastic fishing throughout the year, and offers a variety of species for your next excursion. There are several freshwater rivers running into the bay, which eventually finds its way to the Atlantic Ocean, this creates brackish water filled with both freshwater and saltwater species. On your Chesapeake Bay fishing trip you could find Striped Bass, Largemouth Bass, Catfish, Red Drum, Black Drum, Perch, Flounder, Trout, Croaker, and more! Many anglers fish the bay during the Fall season, as this is without a doubt its most popular season. Striped Bass (or Rockfish, as they are known locally) are feeding and spawning in the bay, creating a higher chance for you to pull one to the boat. To help protect the declining rockfish population, we strongly urge you to practice catch and release. In the fall, Rockfish can be found around the CBBT (Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel); or you can troll large deep diving plugs near the mouth of the bay.

#4 - Colorado River

This Fall season we recommend you check out the amazing fly fishing offerings of the Colorado River. If you’re unfamiliar: The Colorado River flows through seven states on its 1,450 mile trek. Whether you’re fishing the Upper Colorado, Middle Colorado, or the parts that reach all the way to Arizona, the fly fishing is just incredible. No matter where you choose to fish the Colorado River, you’re going to run into a trout. Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout are found throughout just waiting for your fly. Fly fishing is a great option for your Fall Colorado fishing excursion, as the fish are most active and feeding during this season. We recommend Mayflies, Caddis, Terrestrials, or Streamers to entice the Trout to your line. A 9-foot 5-wt fly rod with floating line is used for fishing dry flies; for larger nymphs and streamers use a 9-foot 6-wt with sink tip. A tapered 9-foot leader with 3x-6x tippet size is pretty standard.

#3 - Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is the third largest Great Lake, bordering five states. With lots of water comes lots of fish! We recommend launching your Lake Michigan fishing trip from either Milwaukee, Wisconsin or Grand Haven, Michigan. These two ports have several professional fishing charters that will troll the lake for Salmon. Whether you’re going solo, or hiring a professional, you’ll be sure to stay along the shoreline, or run into nearby rivers and streams, as this is the place to find Salmon. Fall season is when Salmon migrate and you’re certain to find them on the move. You’ll want to be on the move too, trolling crankbaits or spoons to get the Salmon’s attention. Watch your speed as your trolling, and get ready to reel in a nice keeper!

#2 - Lake of the Ozarks

Many anglers head to this Missouri reservoir known for its plentiful fishery and beautiful scenery. Lake of the Ozarks has more than 1,000 miles of shoreline and is included among the largest man-made lakes of the United States. Here you’ll find several freshwater species including Largemouth Bass, Spotted Bass, White Bass, Bluegill, Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, and more! Once the weather cools the fish start their migration and spawning. Bass are on the lookout for food, and will be found throughout the lake. Tournaments are quite popular on Lake of the Ozarks during the fall, where pitching trick worms on shaky jigheads has been the most successful technique. You can also use topwater poppers and walkers, spinnerbaits, or crankbaits.

#1 - Florida Keys

At the tip of Florida are a string of islands stretching 120 miles. Each island is unique, but all offer fantastic Fall fishing for your next Florida fishing trip. From Key Largo to Key West, you’re sure to find some great nearshore, inshore, reef, wreck, and offshore fishing opportunities. Because the Gulf Stream is just a few miles away from the Keys, you’ll have plenty of fish species to target. These include Mahi Mahi, Marlin, Snapper, Grouper, Permit, Tarpon, Cobia, Snook, and so much more! Anglers who visit the Florida Keys will first want to decide if you’re looking for inshore or offshore species. Fly fishing the shallow waters for Tarpon is a great way to spend your day; or try trolling for Mahi Mahi. We recommend a few days dedicated to fishing, then you can try a little bit of everything.

Your Fall Fishing Trip

No matter where your travels may take you this Fall season, grab your favorite rod/reel and tackle box; There’s great fishing to be found across the United States. The weather is cool and the fishing is hot! So get ready for your this year’s Fall fishing trip!

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