Fall Turnover

By Captain James McManus

Fall is in the air; summertime busyness is behind us; leaves are starting to turn—it’s a perfect place to be up here in the hills. Also happens to be when the fish start really fattening up for the winter.

The only chink in the period is the turnover, but after a week or so of slow fishing what’s past that is worth the wait. Young of the year bait is larger now so you don’t have to go micro to produce. Top water action picks up, which is always welcome with some of the most exciting bites we have all year. A lot of points will hold big schools of fish and that will be added to as the month progresses.

As mentioned before there will be top water bites, but jigs, jerkbaits, cranks and live bait will also get bit. Look for bait and fish on points on the main channel, they may still be 45 or 50 feet deep, but they will usually move up at least early and late in the day or on cloudy, rainy days. Trolling will still produce, and I like the areas above and below Chambers Creek on Fontana. There seems to be less bait down that way, and I think the fish are a little more willing to hit with less selection. Areas with several grouped points always produce more as schools migrate around the shoreline and hang on various points as they move around.

As I mentioned before at some point we will have the turnover after the first severe cool down and the water will have a tannin look with foam on top. May as well put some miles on the boat because there is usually clearer water somewhere since not all the lake turns over at the same time and some years it isn’t as intense.

If you can’t find pretty water go home, get on the couch and watch the Braves as they add another pennant to their bag. At least venture out and see for yourself what shape the lake’s in, because what’s above the water will knock your eyes out with the fall colors.

Be safe, enjoy God’s blessings and catch you later.

Capt. James.

Capt. James McManus owns 153 Charters. Give him a call for a great day on the water at (828) 421-8125