Fall is not peak time for big trout. In fact in many areas, the truly big fish seemingly disappear.
The most popular fall tactic is catching trout under birds and while it is a game of catching large numbers of fish there is hope.
If you simply prefer fishing under the birds, there is a way to catch the larger fish there. You won’t get many 25 inches and over but this strategy is great for those 18-22 inchers.
Search out the smaller schools of trout that hang closer to the shorelines and slow down. Using a drift stock enables you to drift over these areas and fish a soft plastic slowly along the bottom or throw a popping cork rigged with a Gulp.
This also works good on the main lake with the bigger groups of birds, especially when you have the flock to yourself. Drift slowly through the feeding action or simply around baitfish you have located and fish with lures that stay close to the bottom like a Gulp or soft plastic on a jighead fished on a ¼-ounce jighead or a silver spoon.
A drift sock can be an invaluable tool by enabling you to drift far slower than you would under normal circumstances. They were first used by walleye fishermen up north but are in the boats of many local anglers who know the importance of slowing down to catch big specks.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with chasing birds and catching a bunch of small trout to get to a few keepers. I do it every year and have a good time doing so. However, I get bored with it quick and turn my attention to methods that will get me trout worthy of posting on social media.
The action is not as fast and furious but the rewards are far richer.