Fishing on a Boston Whaler is great at any time of year, but fall is a special time for anglers. This is when predators put on the feed bag in a big way, and a rod, reel, and maybe a few fall fishing tips are all it takes to fill the cooler with fresh fish dinners. This fall fishing guide by region will point out some top options.
Northeast Fall Fishing
Striped bass are the most popular saltwater fish in the northeast, and fall is prime time to get them. As menhaden and other small baitfish migrate out of coastal bays and rivers and into the ocean, those stripers will be ready and waiting. Fall Fishing Tip: Try using lures with a large profile like bunker spoons and parachute rigs, which imitate the striper’s favorite food — those migrating menhaden.
Southeast Fall Fishing
If you’ve ever dreamed of pulling a true monster pelagic out of the deep and over the gunwale of your Boston Whaler boat, you’ll want to know that fall is the ideal season for swordfish in southern waters. You need to gear up with the big guns and run to the edge of the Continental shelf, but a battle with these gladiators of the deep will make all the effort worthwhile. Fall Fishing Tip: Look for sea mounds, edges, and pinnacles in 1,200 to 2,000 feet of water, and drift your baits over the depth changes.
Gulf Coast Fall Fishing
Big bull redfish migrate along the Gulf Coast in the fall as they head from estuaries to open water for the winter. If you want to catch monster over-slot-sized reds, now’s the chance. Fall Fishing Tip: Focus your efforts on the passes and inlets. These areas create bottlenecks that concentrate the fish, as they head for the Gulf.
West Coast Fall Fishing
While there are plenty of finfish around in the fall, October marks the beginning of California’s lobster season. Sure, “fishing” for them means trading in that rod and reel for a hoop net. But are you going to argue about having lobsters boiling in the pot? We didn’t think so! Fall Fishing Tip: California spiny lobsters are mostly nocturnal, so you’ll catch a lot more if you target them after dark.
Great Lakes Fall Fishing
When is the best time to catch a Great Lakes salmon? Any time you can, but fall offers one of the best opportunities as these fish migrate from the depths of open waters into the rivers to spawn. That not only concentrates the fish, but also means they’re in relatively shallow water where it’s easier to target them without special gear. Fall Fishing Tip: Watch the weather and the water temperature. When a west wind blows and is followed by rain, then water temps drop below the 60-degree mark, expect the river mouths to begin swarming with fish.
Okay: are you ready to get in on some red-hot fall fishing action? We certainly hope so. Because whatever corner of the nation you may live in, this is the season when fishing goes from good to great — and now’s your chance to fill that cooler.