Everything about jerkbaits makes them a particularly great fall fishing lure. Their resemblance to forage species like shad, minnows and perch makes them a prime target during the “fall feedbag” period. Beyond appearance, the subtle, twitchy nature of jerkbaits can help turn negative or neutral fall fish into aggressive ones. Throw jerkbaits all fall long and remember that varying and pausing your retrieve is the best way to garner strikes. Staff Picks: Rapala RipStop
Jerkbaits are a signature fall fishing lure that excel in imitating baitfish.
No matter the circumstances, it pays to have some spinnerbaits in your tackle box during the fall fishing season. The flashy blades of a spinnerbait compare visually to baitfish that bass key in on during the fall. They are also extremely versatile, which is important in a great fall fishing lure. In early fall when water temperatures are warmer, burning a spinnerbait on the surface is an effective method. As water temperatures drop, slow rolling a spinnerbait near bottom can be deadly. Staff Picks: Googan Squad Zinger
3. Topwater Lures
Contrary to popular belief, topwater season doesn’t end when summer does. During the early parts of fall, bass will key in on baitfish schools to fill up on. These schools will often situate near the water’s surface, and the ensuing surface commotion tends to set off hungry bass. Baits like the Googan Squad Revolver or River2Sea Whopper Plopper can be great fall fishing lures when used properly. Staff Picks: River2Sea Whopper Plopper
Spinnerbaits like the 10,000 Fish Cyclebait excel throughout the fall.
If you weren’t aware by now, fish like to eat a lot during the fall. Putting on some weight before winter is the main goal, and big meals can help fish reach that goal quickly. That is why big swimbaits are truly effective fall fishing lures. Everything from larger soft swimbaits to jointed hard swimbaits can help you stand out, and while you may not score nearly as many bites, you can rest assured that you are targeting big fish. Staff Picks: Catch Co. Mike Bucca Baby Bull Shad
5. Medium/Deep-Diving Crankbaits
As the fall season continues and water temperatures begin to cool down, fishing truly becomes a game of inches. Bass will begin to suspend at certain depths of the water column as temperatures drop. Because of this, many anglers will throw medium or deep-diving crankbaits that swim at these depths. To do this, use your electronics to locate where fish are suspending, and make sure that the crankbait you are using is graded to dive to that specific depth. By doing this, you aren't requiring the fish to swim out of their comfort zone and increasing your chances of getting bit. Staff Picks: Rapala DT Series
Medium and deep-diving crankbaits are the best way to target suspended fish throughout the fall.
At any given point during the fall, fish can stage in anywhere from 10 inches to 30 feet of water. Because a jig can be fished in either of these situations and any in between, it is a fall fishing lure go-to. Everything from skipping docks to dragging deep rock can be in play, and a jig is ready for it all. For the sake of versatility, having a few different jig styles on hand will allow you to dial things in. Swim jigs, football jigs, casting jigs and flipping jigs are all great fall styles that you need to be throwing. Staff Picks: Hard Hat Jigs Diesel Jigs
7. Drop Shot
As fall progresses, fish will begin moving into deeper water where they will spend the winter. Targeting transition areas between shallow and deep water with a drop shot is a smart idea when fish push deep. With the rig, you can fish your bait slowly, which is key when fish are lethargic. Baits with twitchy tails like the Googan Baits Drag N Drop and 10,000 Fish Yoto Worm make for perfect fall fishing lures. Staff Picks: 10,000 Fish Yoto Worm
Bladed jigs like the Z-Man Chatterbait Jackhammer do well at mimicking shad and other baitfish that bass feed on during the fall. Don't forget the swimbait trailer!
8. Inline Spinners
Bass fishing is not the only game in town come fall. In fact, some would even go as far to say that species like Northern Pike, Trout and Crappie are more signature to the season. Regardless, if there is one bait that is effective and garnishing strikes from those species, and bass to boot, it’s an inline spinner. Baits like the Mepps Aglia and Panther Martin Deluxe Spinner have caught millions of fall fish over the last 50 years, and still stand as fall fishing lure staples. Staff Picks: Mepps Dressed Aglia Inline Spinnerbait
Buzzbaits have become the fall fishing lure of choice for anglers for the same reason as other topwater baits: they make a large commotion which bass mistake for schooling baitfish. While that is undoubtedly good, it is important to remember that there is one other thing about buzzbaits that makes them even more enticing, they sink. The only thing that fish want more than a big meal this time of year is an easy one, and a buzzbait sinking following a retrieve looks a lot like a dying baitfish falling away from a school, which no bass will pass up. Staff Picks: Strike King Tour Grade Buzzbait
10. Plastic Worms
Perhaps the most versatile of all soft plastics, plastic worms have carved out as much of a niche in the fall as they have the rest of the year. Come fall, you may need to add weight to your worm, as many do with Carolina or Texas Rigs. Still, you can throw wacky worms and other weightless rigs when fish are up shallow. Doing so can help you imitate not only worms, but baitfish and other creatures that bass fill up on. Staff Picks: Roboworm Straight Tail Worm
Updated September 28th, 2022 at 11:03 AM CT