Earlier this fall on a chilled Sunday morning, Dave and I hurriedly packed up our fishing gear into the truck and loaded up the boat.

We were anxious to soak up every minute of good weather left and get the boat in the water for what might be the last time before tucking it in for the winter.

Photo Credit Dave Reilly, @the_lifeofreilly

We deemed the weather forecast exceptional, it was shaping up to be the quintessential perfect fall day without a cloud in the sky. The day seemed promising, so we made our way north along the Elk River towards one of favorite fishing lakes.

By the time we were over halfway to water the weather just 45 minutes north of town was drastically different. A combination of strong winds and rapidly building storm clouds surrounded us. Regardless, we proceeded to the boat ramp while each of us wondered if the other had brought any extra clothing. This was going to be one chilly boat ride.

Fortunately, the bite was on early! We hooked up and caught a couple fish not long after motoring out to our secluded cove. But the weather eventually came in full force, leaving us with no choice but to cut our day short.

Photo Credit Jean-Marie Bousquet, @thejeanbug

Fewer people, feisty fish, and 360-degree leaf-peeping views from a lake or down a river—these are just a few reasons why people love fall fishing! There is still plenty of time, but with autumn comes shorter days and unpredictable weather. And there’s nothing worse on a fishing trip than getting caught unprepared and having to turn in early—like we did! That’s why I’ve outlined a few fall fishing tips to ensure safety and fun on the water this Fall.


This one seems like a no-brainer, but don’t get caught by surprise like we did and end your late fall fishing day too soon. There is nothing and I mean nothing worse than having to cut your day short, especially when the fish are biting! Even if it’s sunny when you’re packing up your rig, the weather can change in an instant so show up prepared and check the forecast before heading out of the day.

Layer Up

The temperature might be a balmy fifty or sixty degrees but that all changes as soon as you step foot on a moving boat. Layer up, bring extra layers and dry socks in a pack, and make sure you have a raincoat or heavy-duty windbreaker when fall fishing.

Photo Credit Jean-Marie Bousquet, @thejeanbug

Get Kitted

Keep an emergency kit with you that contains the essentials and then some. In mine, I keep a multitool, snacks, and first aid supplies.

Photo Credit Jean-Marie Bousquet, @thejeanbug