Larry's Fishing Hole

Fall Fishing Season

  After this hot summer, us anglers had to endure to fish, we are so ready for one of our favorite seasons for fishing. Fall is when fish move into shallow water where they can be caught as they become more concentrated feeding and get ready for the coming winter. For us it is a pleasurable experience to be outdoors with cooler weather, no bugs, fewer anglers and some of the best fishing.
  As Central Illinois anglers we not only have fishing seasons but we can break each season into stages. Most anglers are aware of the stages during the spawn such as pre-spawn, the spawn or bedding, and post-spawn making spring a favorite of anglers. But many seem to group fall fishing into just fall fishing when it is a season that lasts for about three months. We feel it is due to the large number of anglers who are hanging up their rods and reels for their shotguns and bows.
  As dedicated anglers, we find fall offers a variety of unique fishing conditions and the chance for some of the fastest action of the year. Fall fishing is a time to catch big fish as all fish species are getting active and feeding more to prepare for the winter but be aware this is a transition period and fish will be moving or adjusting as conditions change and we too need to continually adjust to conditions.
  With this said, we can break fall into stages such as early, mid and late fall and for us in Central Illinois this is Sept – Nov.
  Early Fall - 1st realize that early fall as it begins can still deliver some unpleasantly hot weather. This is a time when shad move shallower causing most all fish to move in from their offshore summer spots. This is a good time to use a small or shallow-running crankbait around shallow cover while keeping other rods handy with a jig or plastics.
  Mid Fall - is a time to fish those flats with weeds or grass with pockets and in backs of creeks as shad migrating up creeks where most all game fish will follow. Look for any small piece of cover fish can use to ambush shad as they swim past. This is when small spinners and small lipless crankbaits work well. And the Fall Trout Season opens at 5am on 3rd Saturday in Oct. requiring a trout stamp throughout Illinois. These stocked fish are catchable and a small spinner, corn or trout paste will work as well as trolled small crankbaits.
  Late Fall - occurs as winter approaches and the shallow bite still take place on those warm days clear into December. Shad are large in late fall and will begin moving out of the creeks, so imitate them with flashy baits such as willow-leaf spinnerbaits. As winter sets in go more to fishing vertically.
  Fall Fishing can be rewarding and a great time outdoors, and remember what worked during spring and areas you found fish will work again in the fall. Since fish are holding nearer to shore during fall, shore fishing is also a good option and fun.

  I wrote this article in fall of 2011 just after we made a trip to fish Rend Lake with our great friends, Russ and Janice Nash of Hoss’s Hawg Bait for some Catfishing at this catfish factory and we cannot wait to share our wonderful experience. As always, their bait rewarded us with a lot of nice catfish on our first afternoon there for which we took advantage of and even had a fish fry that evening. But the real reward was our accommodations and our gracious host Ric Barth at his family´s new Gun Creek Fin, Fur & Feather Sportsmens Club on Highway 37 in Whittington at Rend Lake. Ric apologized for some construction of new additions and remodeling at that time but we all found it to be no issue and cannot wait to go back to see the completed project. Our second day started with a great breakfast and then another Catfish bonanza. Our third day we all targeted Crappie and fourth day we again caught Crappie in morning, with better success, and more Catfishing later, man that Hoss´s Hawg Bait will catch the Catfish. And that evening a fish fry of Crappie and Catfish on Ric´s new large covered patio with good friends to celebrate a great weekend while ending the day around the fire pit..
  We send a Big Thank You to Ric for allowing us the opportunity to spend an awesome weekend with him and we highly recommend you check out Gun Creek Fin, Fur & Feather Sportsmens Club in Southern Illinois at Rend Lake for your fishing or hunting outfitter in the future. You can contact Ric Barth at (618) 218-1446 or email Or visit them on the web at .
* Since the writing of this article, there have been many, many improvements to Gun Creek Fin, Fur & Feather Sportsmens Club and we continue to make many re-visits spending some Great times with him and family, along with some Good Fishing..!

  Visit us at for current fishing reports, product reviews, or read our Places To Go page and watch as we will be making additional trips there and will share more info and photos on the new Gun Creek Fin, Fur & Feather Sportsmens Club.
  Till Next Time, GOD BLESS & GOOD FISHING.!

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