The fall period is always bittersweet for me. I know it signals some of the best and most consistent musky fishing of the year, but it also signals that the end of the season is near. In my early years, I didn’t really embrace the fall period. I struggled making that transition from my summer strategies to finding solid success in fall. Over the years I fine-tuned my approach and presentations. Now it is certainly one of my most productive time periods.
One of the first concepts that really changes with the dropping water temperatures of fall is fish position. In general there is a transition to deeper water, but also the fish position deeper in the water column regardless of depth. This simply means our lures need to get deeper than they did in summer to get a response. This is where soft plastics come into play and really begin to shine. Fishing with soft plastics has become very popular over the years, and they do catch fish all season when applied properly. However, once the fall period has arrived, fishing with soft plastics is imperative.
There are a few changes to your presentations that can increase your odds. Most avid musky hunters are familiar with the tactic of ripping rubber. During summer this can be a great way to trigger bites, but once the water cools — especially into the 50s and lower — you need to slow things down a bit.
Bull Dawgs and Medussas are the go-to lures for this tactic. The proper retrieve for the fall ofte