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Fishing the Fall Turnover
By Chad  Brauer

The fall season always brings about one of the toughest times of the year to catch a fish: the turnover. You get to the lake and see water with a strange green tint to it. Sometimes there may even be a green slime floating on the surface. These are signs of a surefire tough day on the water. My first response to this situation is to go hunting, but inevitably we hit a turnover during a tournament and don’t have that option. Here are some things I do to try and make the best of these conditions:

1. Understand and recognize what is happening. The fall turnover is basically a time of mixing in the water. During the summer a water body may develop two distinct layers in the water column. The lower of these two layers is cool, void of oxygen, and rich in nutrients. The upper layer is hot, rich in oxygen, and low in nutrients. In the fall, the upper layer cools and when it becomes colder than the lower layer it sinks. This creates a good situation for algae growth which is why the water looks green. The water column becomes almost uniform from top to bottom. This allows fish to venture anywhere and find similar water conditions. That factor combined with the quick change in water conditions are why I feel this is such a tough time to catch fish.

2. Stick with your strengths. When all else fails, fish the way you enjoy the most and have the most confidence doing. This will keep you in a positive state of mind and allow you to stay focused on fishing. For me this means picking up a Team Daiwa Flipping Rod with a Strike King Pro Model Jig and finding some shallow, heavy cover. When I am doing that I always feel like I will catch some fish and that allows me to stick with it all day without getting disgusted or discouraged.

3. Change areas of the lake. Turnover rarely happens simultaneously






  throughout a water body. You can often escape the turnover by just traveling to the other end of the water body. On a couple of occasions I have left take-off at a tournament, traveled to my best area and found turnover conditions. I will usually just sit back down, start my Evinrude, and leave, knowing my chances of catching a winning stringer in that spot have diminished.

Fall turnover is one of the toughest times of the year to catch fish. If you have a choice I would recommend going hunting or watching football. But if you must endure these conditions, try these things to make the best of a bad situation.


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