When lake temperatures change in the late season, the fish scatter and get tougher to catch—unless you know where to look
Imagine you’re a kid and your parents own a two-storey chocolate factory. During summer, you’re only allowed to play on the top floor, where some of the goodies are stored. But the door to the ground floor, where many of the finest treats are kept, is locked. Then in September, something wonderful happens: the bottom door is flung open and you’re allowed to roam throughout the building, stuffing your face with candy. It would be heaven. Well, that’s similar to what sportfish such as bass, black crappies, lake trout, muskies, northern pike, yellow perch and walleye experience in the fall. Just like the chocolate factory, when autumn rolls around, the entire lake becomes their playground—and their buffet.
With the fish so scattered, however, this change often makes locating them downright difficult for anglers. But that doesn’t have to be the case. To figure out how to find the fish, and how to change your fishing strategies accordingly, you need to understand the science of lakes.