Fall has arrived and, if you're up for fishing, autumn holds plenty of opportunities for positive experiences even in not-so-popular fishing holes. After all, fish require good eating before winter, and meteorologists are predicting a wetter, colder winter than usual thanks to El Niño.
"Fish will bite a little earlier as temperatures start to cool off," says Steve Nixon, a professional fishing guide who runs SanAntonioFishingGuides.com.
The prime bass lakes provide high numbers of large fish while they move into shallower waters. One famed bass fishing spot northwest of San Antonio is Medina Lake.
Local media showed images of a mostly dry Medina Lake early this year, following a prolonged drought that affected the state.
Then record rains fell this spring. After it had filled back up, Medina Lake was restocked with more than 204,000 largemouth bass fingerlings.
It will take another two years or so until the bass are large enough to be available high in numbers. Regardless, Labor Day weekend was a chance for many people to cast their lines into Medina Lake for other fish.
Calaveras Lake, south of San Antonio, is one of three lakes in Texas stocked with thousands of redfish, which typically spawn in the fall along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.
Nixon explains that redfish spawning is an exciting time for anglers on the coast, but the mature redfish are beneficial to freshwaters closer to town. Blue catfish can be commonly found in Calaveras Lake, too.
Braunig Lake, also south of town, has an ample supply of redfish along with largemouth bass, striped bass and channel catfish, according to FishingScout.com reports.
Scott Birnel of Red White and Blue Guide Service says on his company's Facebook page that he is particularly excited for catfish season this fall and winter.
Members of FishingScout.com say they also see rainbow trout and blue crappie in solid numbers in Canyon Lake.
Aside from the big lakes in the San Antonio area, there are less crowded fishing holes and some diamonds in the rough.
Nixon insists the San Antonio River in Brackenridge Park is a great spot for beginners and advanced fishers alike.
"It has species of perch, bream, largemouth bass. I definitely would say Brackenridge is a hidden gem," Nixon says.
According to San Antonio Fishing Forum (SAFF), Earl Scott Pond is small, yet well-liked among fishers seeking a free fishing spot amid urban sprawl.
It's located near Bamberger Nature Park, in the Babcock/DeZavala Road area. SAFF members report seeing bass and bluegill there.
Back out along Interstate 35, a wet spring means quality fishing remains in the Guadalupe and Comal rivers around San Marcos and New Braunfels.
"We're in pretty good shape. The spring rains really helped out and set things up nicely," Nixon says.
Afternoon into early evening is usually the best time to fish in autumn as the sun will have adequately warmed up surface water by then for hungry fish to appear. Happy fishing.
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