TAMARACK

Football Anticipation

Luke Wagner
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In Green Bay, the coming of fall means a few things. First and foremost in our culture is Packer season. Nothing beats the vibe and the energy in this town of 100,000 than a Packer home game. Eight weekends per year (plus two preseason games) and any possible playoff games bring a life force to Green Bay like no other.

There is another reason to get excited tho with the onset of September in the North. The fall bite is on.

There is no better time of year to fish in Wisconsin than in the coming weeks. While the spring signals the first opportunity for open water in months with both numbers and size available, and summer to many has the best weather, autumn is in my mind at least, the pinnacle. Students are back in school and the lakes which were just a few weeks earlier covered in all sorts of vacationers become empty. Add in dropping temps, the colors changing, and a sense of urgency, and this time of year creates the perfect storm.

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Urgency. Urgency in two ways. First is of course for the angler who can see dwindling light in the evening and the inevitable onset of winter. But more important to why I love the fall is the urgency of the our aquatic quarry. The dropping temps give rise to a primal urge, an insatiable need in fact, to feed. Like all animals in the Northwoods the fish, be they bass, pike, muskie, walleye, panfish or even trout, need to prepare for the coming harsh winter. The shorter days help to drive home the urgency. For someone who often struggles with patience on the water, fall is ideal. Moving baits be they trebled like lipless baits, jerkbaits or squarebills or bladed like a spinnerbait, bladed jig, or of course Moondancer all result in crushing strikes and flurries of activity that can at a minimum entertain and at their most extreme threaten to overwhelm, not that I'm complaining. If moving baits aren't your cup of tea, most presentations will put fish in the boat this time of year. Whether you are after size, numbers or just a good time, autumn in Wisconsin delivers.

So do yourself a favor. Get on the water this football season, put on the radio and enjoy the best fishing of the year. I know I will.

-Luke