Fall Fishing At Its Best

Fishing West Point with Ed Sheppard a few years ago reminded me again why fall fishing can’t be beat. We had a beautiful day with bright sun, clear calm water, bank trees beginning to show some color and air temperatures in the upper 70’s. To make it even better, we didn’t see a dozen other boats on the lake.

Although Ed was showing me some holes for a Georgia Outdoor News article, we stumbled on something that might interest you. While in the back of Turkey Creek above the boat ramp, a big school of hybrids surfaced around a small island. They stayed on top for almost an hour, feeding on the schools of shad that were everywhere.

Ed caught a couple on a Rat-L-Trap while I stubbornly casted a spinnerbait and bumped it on the bottom, trying to find a big largemouth feeding under the hybrids. I didn’t have any light equipment and I needed a big largemouth for a picture. I didn’t get one.

If you go to West Point, carry an ultralight and tie on a quarter ounce jig. White or yellow should be good. You probably can catch hybrid after hybrid weighing a pound to a pound and a half. They will give you a super fight on light tackle.

Shad were on top everywhere we fished late in the afternoon. Check backs of creeks as well as open water. Watch for schools on top the last couple of hours of light. They are easy to spot if there is no wind. With or without wind, keep your gas motor off and listen. You can often get the direction of a school by hearing them when the hybrids start hitting. When you find a school, ease up to them and don’t spook them. If they go down, wait a while and they will probably return.

We also enjoyed watching a couple of osprey diving and picking up shad off the top. They would fly back to a tree, eat the shad and return for another. These majestic brown and white birds are firmly re-established in our state. When I was growing up, there were not any to watch. They add to a day’s fishing.