In today's video game world, the more success one enjoys, the longer one gets to play and the more rewards one gets to collect.
I'm not into the cartoon characters, ogres, warriors and heroes who are the focal points of many of these fantasy adventures.
In fact, if anyone asked me to design a video game, it would be a fishing challenge. I would probably use November as the model because it's a month that keeps on giving and offers endless opportunities. It's bonus time.
My game would require players to first go shopping at the Tackle Shop, then choose a body of water (either rivers or lakes). Then they'd have an opportunity to earn more equipment and conquer increasingly difficult challenges featuring multiple species using only what they'd been able to procure before wetting a line.
That's November angling. It's a time of year when walleyes, crappies, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, white bass, northern pike, muskies, catfish and perch can all be caught - often from the same general areas using just two or three lures.
Let's go shopping. You get $150 to spend for starters. You'll have to use it wisely to cover all your bases.
The first thing you'll need is a versatile rod-and-reel combo that can handle fish ranging from a pound to 20 pounds or more. A 6-foot, medium-action Quantum Alliance spinning rod equipped with an Incyte spinning reel will cost you around $100 and is about as versatile as it gets.
It will cost you another $10 for line, and since you will be fishing from shore at the outset while trying to work your way up, you might want to consider an inexpensive net. That doesn't leave much money for lures, but you shouldn't need much more than a handful of jigs, some plastic grub tails, a couple of crankbaits and a little terminal tackle to get started. You can add to your tackle box later if your angling skills are good enough.
Now you are ready to hit the water. You've chosen the lake mode. To earn your boat and another trip to the Tackle Shop, you must catch a limit of walleyes and a minimum of three species of fish.
Fortunately, when lakes turn over, or destratify, in the fall, oxygen mixes throughout the water column. That means fish that avoided the shallows or depths during the summer months are now using the entire water column again, and that makes them available to even shore anglers.
A quick study of the lake and evaluation of the conditions should help you narrow down the best spots. In general, you'll want to focus your efforts on the wind-blown side of the lake. Then single out the edges of decaying weedbeds, rock shorelines, sloping points or any structure you can reach from shore, such as humps or rockpiles. Look for areas with deep water nearby.
November walleyes are shallow for one reason - to eat. They are aggressive when you find them, so it's not hard to catch them. Try casting 1/4-ounce jigs tipped with Uncle Josh grub tails and No. 5 or No. 7 Normark Shad Raps or Fat Raps. If it's a clear-water lake,