Don’t put away those fishing rods
The meteorological summer is over, and the autumnal equinox lies ahead. That means the average sportsman is likely preparing for hunting season, or perhaps even enjoying some early-season goose or gray squirrel hunting and anticipating the opening a number of other seasons (bear, grouse, archery deer, waterfowl and turkeys) in the weeks ahead.
Versatile sportsmen, meaning those who hunt, fish and perhaps trap, often put away the fishing gear this time of year in lieu of hunting pursuits. This writer says to not be in such a hurry.
As much as I prefer to chase whitetails, I lose my luster for it when the mercury is high. In September (sometimes even early October), I will take advantage of any summer-like weather that coincides with my free time and get on the water.
We all know how hot it’s been this summer, and how long it’s been hot. The result is warm water temperatures that are now just starting to cool as daylight decreases. Like to bass fish? Chances are the bass will still be active, perhaps even in their summer patterns, while salmonids like salmon and trout, along with other trout species, will become more active as the water cools, making them hard to pass up.
In my area, the fourth annual King George Fishing Tournament is about to take place on Lake George. After being held in July the first two years, it was moved to September last year and will take place Sept. 14-16. The result of the move didn’t seem to affect the bass take last year, but it sure showed some improvement in the lake trout division in both quantity and quality. Everyone seemed happy with the move as both warm and cold water species were active.
Last year, when the Northern Zone archery season for deer began on Sept. 27, the temperatures were in the 80s all week long. I took the day off and went out opening morning wearing a mesh gillie suit over shorts and a T-shirt. It was not all that enjoyable and I wondered what would happen if I found myself in a tracking situation or even that of having to process a deer if successful.
That afternoon I put my kayak in Lake George and did some smallmouth fishing. This is not the first time I’ve done so early in the deer season. In fact, one year I went to my favorite bass pond and tossed my bow in the canoe with my fishing tackle, just in case.
Over Labor Day weekend, a buddy and I fished a lake in the northern Adirondacks known for it’s lake trout and salmon production. The water was 72 degrees on the surface and we had no action. All we talked about was how good it should be in a few weeks, assuming the water temps drop into the 50s. I told my buddy I hope it happens sooner than later so I can go before bow season starts. But then again, if the weather stays summer-like, as it did last year, it might take a while to cool down.
The transition from summer to fall, and from fishing season to hunting season, can present the open-minded sportsmen with both choices and opportunities alike.