This week’s Fall Hunting and Fishing in Grand Rapids, MN blog article is from, Tom Neustrom, owner of MN Fishing Connections. Tom is an inductee of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and the MN Fishing Hall of Fame. Tom is a professional representative for many major outdoor companies that manufacture outdoor fishing and hunting goods.
Being on the water for many years has given me an opportunity to observe many of Mother Nature’s changes throughout the seasons. Fall has become my all time favorite and there are so many reasons. The freshness and crispness of the air and taking deep breathes that are almost soothing is a great way to start your day. Early morning fog from the previous cool night drips off the trees and sparks a beginning to a fall day. Sounds of geese a mile high give an echoing that only nature can produce. These are just a few of the bells that ring letting us know that fall has arrived. Some of the maple trees are starting to show color ever so slowly as nature’s paint brush begins to change the surroundings to enhance the beauty of fall.
Species of fish are also sensing that change is on the forefront of their daily lives and begin to feed more often and change locations. Their main diet is small minnows and other creatures that inhabit the bottom of the lakes. In the panfish world bloodworms that suspend daily are a target food that they will dial into. This happens simultaneously with the coming of the fall and it is just another play in the seasonal change that is about to take place. Its amazing with nature that this song is replayed every year and many times never noticed by us as individuals. Locational changes of “Here today and gone tomorrow” are something that is hard to detect. When on the water its, at times, hard to detect these changes that occur. But the fish know these far ahead of the anglers. We just have to catch up. Presentations change and the locations change allowing us to detect these fish presentations a whole lot differently. Its all about the learning curve of success. Fall is like no other time of year where change is detected by fish and also game. Going into the cold water period many species of fish and game know that weather will dictate their lives. Just a 4-6 degree water temperature change affects not only location for species such as walleyes, but it is something that anglers have been waiting for.
Fall walleye fishing is a tradition of the fall and it can be some of the best opportunities of the season to catch numbers and a trophy. The cooler water drives walleyes to feeding more often and shallower. Baitfish are also feeding on plankton and they are schooled up in masses. Not only do the walleyes seek them out but the young of the year loons left behind by the adults are feeding heavily before winter. This too can be a sign of walleyes location and other gamefish seeking easy meals this time of year. Many lakes in the Grand Rapids area provide great opportunities for fall walleyes. Pokegama, Big Winnie, Big Cutfoot, Bowstring, Jessie, and the Mississippi River all can provide great fishing for walleyes and other species. Northern Pike, Slab Crappies, Muskies, and Perch provide great fishing at this short period of time.
It doesn’t hurt to hire a fishing guide to minimize your time on the water seeking out your favorite fall species. Contact area bait shops such as Thousand Lakes in Grand Rapids, River Rat Bait in Cohasset, Fred’s Bait in Deer River, Winnie One Stop, and Max Mini Store in Squaw Lake for up to date fishing information and names of guides to contact.
Another fall ritual that is traditional as fishing is Grouse and Woodcock hunting. Many folks put their angling gear away begin the pursuit of grouse and the fast flying woodcock that abound in the woods around Grand Rapids. They both are wary of humans and noise. Walking the numerous trails north, south east and west of Grand Rapids will provide miles and miles of great habitat for both species. Having a good grouse and woodcock dog can be essential in flushing up birds especially in heavy cover. Again not a bad idea to have the guidance of a well known Grouse guide. Two of the best are Jeff(Cubby) Skelly of Deer River and Bill Heig at Bowens lodge. Can make all the difference in the world of contacting birds.