Mix up tactics during the fall

In the early to mid autumn period of the year, fishing can be very hit or miss. If you go fishing and don't get bit, and if you don't change tactics, catching could be pretty slow.

In the early to mid autumn period of the year, fishing can be very hit or miss. If you go fishing and don't get bit, and if you don't change tactics, catching could be pretty slow.

If you're out there and they're not interested in what you're doing, you need to do something else. I was fishing with some friends last week. We started out employing a technique in a certain type of area and didn't catch much.

After a couple of hours of minimal action, we made a minor area switch and a major presentation switch and ended up doing pretty well. Here's how it went.

We were fishing West Lake Okoboji in northwest Iowa. West Lake is a deep, clear water lake that sees lots of fishing and boating pressure. It is home to lots of fish, big and small. Due to the fishing pressure and clear water, they can be finicky at times.

I was fishing with Clay Norris and Joe Meyer. Our mission was two-fold. We wanted to catch some fish, and I wanted to learn more about Berkley's new NanoFil line. Clay and Joe and their team were instrumental in developing NanoFil.


We started off fishing the deep weedline with soft bait on jigs. The boat was in about 18 feet of water and we were casting to the edge of the weeds. We encountered one small pod of bass, caught a couple, then nothing. We fished several similar areas with no success. A change in technique was due.

We were pretty sure the bass were somewhere on the weedline and probably scattered. We moved a little shallower, putting the boat in about 10 feet of water.

We wanted a faster moving bait so we could cover the water faster.

A crankbait is great for covering water, so we tied on No. 7 Flicker Shad cranks. Action picked up. We took nice bass that were scattered all along the weedline.

Not fast action, but definitely a lot better than earlier.

This was one of those days when the fish wanted a specific color: Black Gold Sunset was notably better than anything else.

Now a bit about NanoFil. I've been using it, when conditions warrant, since this spring. It's not a monofilament line for sure. It has no stretch, so it's very sensitive and hooksets are very solid. It's kind of like FireLine, but on the other hand, it isn't. It has a different shape and different feel: It's kind of slippery. It also casts much farther than traditional superlines.

The longer casting can be a big deal. When we were throwing the crankbaits, we wanted to make long casts. Long casts reduced the possibility of spooking the fish, and they also allowed us to keep the bait in the fish zone longer.


The sensitivity of NanoFil enabled us to know when our baits were ticking the tops of the weeds, and the no-stretch feature allowed us to rip our baits free from the weeds.

We also got great hooksets when the bass hit our bait a long way from the boat.

When using NanoFil, you must tie the appropriate knot. The knots are easy to tie and diagrammed on the line container. NanoFil was designed to be used on spinning tackle.

The sensitivity of NanoFil is amazing. When dragging a jig for walleyes, you know immediately when you go from a sand to pebble bottom.

When you go fishing this fall, be prepared to try different tactics and different areas. If you do, you'll greatly increase your chances for fishing success.

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