Merwin: What's Your Fall Fishing Game Plan?

Tomorrow is September 1, and a good thing, too. After the summer doldrums, we're getting back into a prime fishing interval just about everywhere.

There will be wonderful blue-winged olive hatches on local trout rivers where brown and brook trout are chowing down before late-fall spawning. Equinoctial line storms will stir the lakes, where bass, pickerel, and pike will feed more aggressively as waters begin to cool. Along the coast, striped bass are stirring, and I'm reminded of past fall blitzes when schools of stripers were feeding so hard they were bumping into the side of my boat. Just dapping a lure over the side almost guaranteed a fish.

Another good thing this month is less competition. Many of those who were fishing in the spring are hunting instead during the fall. There will be a few days when I'll grab a rifle or a shotgun, but for the most part I'll be on the water somewhere. The fishing is just too good to miss.

Perhaps September is best described as a month of tough choices. Hunting or fishing? And if fishing, bass or trout? Salmon or stripers? It's all good, and it's all going to be happening very soon. What's your game plan this fall?