Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Tuesday, 19 November 2013 20:53

Mid-November Fishing in the Midwest

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The bite has become more challenging as Old Man Winter approaches. Anglers in the northern states are facing obstacles of rapidly dropping temps (we have had lows in the upper teens the last two days) and shorter windows of sunlight. With the Daylight Savings Time change, it is typically dark by the time you get off work. However, plenty of good fishing opportunities exist in the Midwest during November.

While the bite is more challenging, fish are still feeding. This is a time of year to consider all variables if you know you are on fish. Depth, retrieval speed, lure action, and wind are all factors that need to be taken into account. I will change a variable much more quickly if the fish are not biting in late fall then I would in the spring or summer.

20131112203748 MidNovMain

I have found that trolling in the kayak is a great way to find fish, while being able to control depth and cover lots of water in relatively short time. Rattle lures, crank baits, and swim baits allow for a variety of depths to be explored while paddling across the water. Trolling in a kayak, however, is not the most precise way to control lure speed or action.

20131112203748 Crappie

An angler can take advantage of these variables with casting or jigging while drifting to utilize the strength of the wind. I have had nice success in the past month while drifting - using one rod to “drag” a lure (usually a crank or swim bait) while jigging or casting with another (usually an in-line spinner). This has worked well on days when the wind is not overpowering.

20131112203748 LMB InLine Spinner

On the days when the wind is so strong that you spend more time repositioning then fishing, I have used one of two strategies. The first is to allow Mother Nature to work you to the wind-blown side of the water. One big advantage is this places you where the forage is as well, and that is often where you can find the fish. Another good option on a windy day is to find an area protected from the wind and work the calmer waters. While this can make for smoother paddling, it can also limit the amount of water you have available to fish. With my poor paddling skills, I often select this option instead of battling the whitecaps.

20131112203748 Rainbow On My Fly November

Regardless of the challenges of fishing in late fall in the Midwest, an angler can still get out and experience some success. However, soon the only way to fish with a kayak is to use it to drag an auger and tip-ups onto the ice.

Read 7029 times Last modified on Wednesday, 20 November 2013 09:29
Jim Ryan

Longtime angler, relatively new to kayaking.  Love the combination of the two.  The past year  (2013) has brought the two greatest fishing days of my life.  First, on Father's Day, our young son & I went fishing - he caught a 20" channel catfish, a couple of largemouth bass over 12", and about 15 bluegills.  Then in September, my Dad & I took a guided trip at Gavin's Point Dam on the Missouri River.  We caught 10 different species that day & shared a special time together on the water.  Looking forward to more of these days in 2014.

Diverse work experience - college & high school football coach, a high school math teacher, a software developer, and a technology/operations director at a pharmacy.

Enjoy family time with wife, two kids, and large extended family.  If not working or with family, I like to fish, hunt upland birds, read, cook, follow sports, make artificial lures/flies/jigs, and watch NCIS and reruns of the Spanish Fly.  Have a lot of interests, but am not very interesting.

Currently serving as secretary for the Heartland Chapter of Heroes On The Water. 


+1 # InlandYaker 2013-11-20 09:34
Great article. I am not done until it freezes.

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