Fall fishing on Sand Lake: what a great time of the year to be out on the water. The colors of the leaves, the smell of fall in the air, and the fish are usually active this time of the year.
When I am fishing Sand in the fall for walleyes I usually look for big flats and bars that drop off into deep water. The structure needs to drop fast, not the usual slow sloping drops you would look for in the summer. I like both weeds and rock this time of the year. The weeds should be starting to die off and if you can find some still green they should hold fish. Sand Lake has a bunch of structure like this and sometimes you have to cover a lot of ground to find some active fish.
The nice thing about fall fishing is that when you are targeting these areas for walleye you will also catch northern pike and perch. When you find a perch or two stick to that area awhile, there will usually be more. The perch in Sand are world class, with lots of them coming in at 10-12 inches and some in the 13 inch range. The northern will be cruising the flats looking for food and you will catch a few of these on every outing.
What to use for bait on Sand Lake in the fall: I will always start with a jig and minnow. Am 1/8 oz. Northland Gumball will be my first choice. I like the longer shank hook in the fall. If we have lots of wind or I am going real deep I will switch to a 1/4 oz. I will pick a color that has a little flash to it, my favorite being Glow/Blue. I will try and find a shiner but as we all know that can be difficult, so I would go to a rainbow, lite sucker or a chub. Just remember fall the baitfish will be bigger so you want to use a bigger bait if at all possible. You can also use a crawler in the fall. Tie up a lindy rig with a crawler, sometimes the crawler is a deadly bait.
We now know where to catch walleye, perch and northern in the fall, now lets talk about one of my favorite fish to target in the fall: the cappie. They are schooling up this time of the year in the deep water off humps and deep-water drops. You can cruise around on the edge of the deep-water drops or the multiple humps on Sand and look for the schools of crappies on your dept finder. When you find them just throw out a marker and try and stay on them.
Vertical jigging is the key here. Drop down a 1/32, 1/16, or even as heavy as a 1/8 oz. jig tipped with a crappie minnow and let the fun begin. In the fall these fish are active; if you get the bait to them they will bite. When you are jigging for those crappies you just never know what you will bring in, walleye, northern and even some rock bass will be schooled up in that deep water.
So there you have it fall fishing on Sand, the best there is.
Good luck fishing!
Walleye & Northern Pike - May 11, 2019
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2019 Fishing RegulationsMN DNR Fishing Regulation Handbook for 2019
Charlie Worrath talks early season walleye for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)
Jason Boser appearing on an episode for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)
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