Fall bass fishing can be feast or famine for anglers. The bite is sometimes tricky and tough, but it also can yield big numbers in both quantity and quality, if you know what you’re doing. “Knowing what you’re doing” is the tough part, though, which is where we come in.
What baits to throw, where to throw them, and what water to throw them in all make a big difference between a big day and a boring day. Here are 5 tips for fall bass fishing that will make this your favorite season for years to come.
1. GO LIPLESS
Crankbaits are moneymakers in the fall, when bass are constantly feeding on shad to pack their tummies before the winter. Lipless crankbaits with a tight wobble like the River2Sea Ruckus are the best of the best when bass are up feeding. As bass wait in the shallow grass to strike on shad, rip a lipless crank through the vegetation and get ready for a fight.
Ladies and gentleman, simply put, fall bass fishing is jerkbait season. When you see fish jumping out of the water, breaching the surface to grab a bite of shad, grab your jerkbait rod and get to fishing. Realistic soft plastic jerkbaits like the Castaic Jerky J are the belle of the ball, and will fill the livewell in a hurry. Work your twitch-twitch-pause cadence until you are getting bites, and especially look to shallow stained water.
3. JUST KEEP SWIMMING
Again, the fall is all about the shad. No baits imitate a fleeing baitfish like a swimbait burning right in front of a school. Tie on a Charlie’s Worms Baby Juke. Your best bet with a swimbait for fall bass fishing is in the shallows. When you can spot a school of shad in a few feet of water, hungry bass can likely spot it too. Give a steady retrieve and don’t be afraid to cover as much water as possible with a swimbait.
Spinnerbaits are perfect when bass are transitioning into creeks for the fall. A fall bass fishing weapon of mass destruction, spinnerbaits like the Nichols Lures Metal Flake Single Willow Spinnerbait are great shad imitators. Slow roll a spinnerbait around laydowns, docks or other structure, and the strikes will follow.
5. GONE FROGGIN
Buzzfrogs are another great fall bass fishing essential. As we mentioned, fish are up feeding in the shallows and on the top of the water for much of the fall transition period. Frogs you can drag through the slop like the Rage Tail Rage Toad can dominate the shallows in the fall. Fall bass fishing can also be the season for explosive topwater strikes, you’ll just have to tie it on and try for yourself!
MORE FALL TURNOVER TIPS (FROM SCIENCE)
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