ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — While summer may be coming to an end, don’t pack up your fishing gear just yet! Autumn is an ideal time to take out your rod as gamefish become more active as they feed while preparing for the winter.

According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, forage can be plentiful, especially as yellow perch, sunfish, gizzard shad, and alewives reach desirable sizes. Fall anglers are encouraged to follow these tips from the DEC:

  • Start shallow and then work deeper until you start catching fish. Fish will often be in very shallow water in the early fall so it’s a good starting point.
  • Use moving lures like crankbaits, stickbaits, spinnerbaits, and swimbaits to cover water looking for active fish.
  • Keep an eye out for feeding activity. If you notice fish jumping on the surface or birds diving, get to that area quickly and cast into it.
  • With the cooler water temperatures, fall can be a good time to visit your favorite trout stream. Most streams would have seen little fishing activity during the warm summer months.
  • Follow trends. If you catch fish in an area one fall, try that spot again next fall.
    • A good example is the shore walleye bite on Oneida Lake. Gizzard shad move near shore in the fall, and anglers casting stickbaits from shore just before and after dark often do well. This happens almost every fall on the lake.
  • Gamefish often use transitional areas between deep and shallow water for staging and foraging in the fall—target areas such as tributary mouths, drop-offs, weed edges, and underwater structures.

To purchase a fishing license, visit the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website. You can also fish for free on September 23 and November 11.