Boating

5 Tips for Boating in the Fall

leaves changing colors on the shores of a lake

A lot of us think of “boating season” as the summer. Letting the sun drench us, enjoying icy beverages in the heat, jumping in the water to cool off.

But fall is still a great time to hit the water. In fact, with fewer people around and the changing colors of the leaves, taking the boat out in fall is every bit as enjoyable as getting out during the summer.

Sure, you’re probably not going to do much water skiing in the middle of leaf season, but there are any number of reasons to keep boating into the autumn months—and a few things to keep in mind as you do.

Leaf Peeping from Your Boat

boats docked on a body of water during the fall
Image by Christophe Schindler from Pixabay.

We all love looking at the leaves changing colors, and if you deny it you’re lying. That said, the tourists often get a bad rap for clogging up otherwise quiet roads with their cars.

But you can avoid that, see all the leaves your heart desires, and get a view that many other leafers won’t ever see. On quiet lakes and other waterways, you’ve got views that are already naturally beautiful, with the added benefit of fall reds, oranges, and yellows.

Fall Fishing

two anglers fishing on a lake
Image by Robert Jones from Pixabay.

Fishing in the fall is virtually unparalleled. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are feeding, preparing for the winter and fattening themselves up.

Walleye and the odd northern pike are moving and chasing baitfish. Cooler water temps mean more patience, but it pays off.

Cooler, Less Crowded Cruising

The vacationers have gone home. School has started. The temperatures are falling. The cruising is more comfortable than during the height of the summer months. In fact, pack a jacket. And be prepared to cruise without running into much traffic.

You’re looking at less time to launch, more time to enjoy the cruise, and having more real estate to yourself.

Shorter Days

A mooring of sailing boats during fall at sunset
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Less a perk and more something to be aware of, those long summer days that seem to creep endlessly into the night simply don’t happen during the fall.

Night can come quickly if you aren’t paying attention. You’ll obviously want your navigation lights on, but keeping a headlamp and high-powered spotlight on board are also good ideas.

Changing Weather Patterns

fall storm approaching a boater on a lake
Image by 1778011 from Pixabay.

The weather gets weird in the fall. Storms sneak up on you. Rains, strong winds, fast temperature drops—they’ve gotten the better of a lot of boaters.

Come prepared with warm clothes and rain slicks. And as always, keep an eye out for dark clouds. Or better yet, keep a radio or a cell phone (as long as you have service) handy.


Ready to extend your boating season? Check out the selection of boating accessories at Overton’s.

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