Fall Fishing Tips
Fall fishing is that time of year to chase your last big fish. The water temperatures continue to drop as fall sets in and this activates fish—making them hungrier and usually easier to nail their patterns. Seasons are different throughout the country. And all anglers feel the impact of cooling water temps—regardless to what degree that is. So here is our guide to help you catch a few more studs this fall.
Fall Weather Patterns
Weather affects the movement of fall transition bass. Wind and clouds tend to lure baitfish and bass to the shallows. And calm sunny conditions drive the fish back to standing timber along the channel drops. Start with fishing shallow. If you are not catching bass there—work your way out to deeper water and fish for suspended bass then. When water temperatures begin to drop below 70 degrees, bass start following baitfish from the mouth of the creek to larger rock banks or any wood cover on secondary points where the fish suspend. These baitfish have had all season to grow and are much larger during the fall, so make sure to upsize your bait to match forage size. In reservoirs and flowages—dams and other ways to generate power cause the flats to shrink in the backs of creeks during the fall. So try to key on whatever wood cover is left in the water.
Fishing patterns can change throughout the day during the fall. As temperatures begin to rise and the sun starts to shine, try targeting rocks, wood, iron and concrete as it will produce heat. As the water cools, the slower your bait should be moving. Remember to slow your roll as temperatures drop.
The cooler water and the start of the lake’s turnover attract bass to the backs of the creeks. Target shallow wood cover for bass in this situation—the bigger fish are going to relate to key pieces of cover such as laydown logs. If the water cools down rapidly in the fall, highland lakes bass are unlikely to make the venture to the backs of the creeks. These fish will congregate near channel swings where the banks are mixed with chunk rock and pea gravel.
By late fall the majority of bass have pulled out of the back end or off the flats. Bass start relating to channel structure such as bluff points, channel swings or the main lake points at the mouth of the creek. Channel swings become primary staging areas when bass start moving back to the main lake in late fall. Target any transition spot where the shoreline changes from ledges to smaller rock or mixed chunk-pea gravel banks for late fall bass.
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