The fall is one of the best times to go bass fishing. The water is usually clear and the fish are active and feeding. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to have a successful fishing trip. Here are some tips for fall bass fishing.
Fall bass fishing is an opportunity for anglers to target these fish in shallow water. During the summer, baitfish will stage in the deepest parts of the lake, but as the fall months approach, they will emerge from their deeper haunts and move to shallower areas. During this time, they will be searching for crayfish, or crawfish depending on where you are, minnows and frogs.
While baitfish are the primary prey of bass during the fall, they will also feed on crawfish, goby, bluegill, and other fish. You can use almost any bait to target these fish, but presentations that mimic small baitfish are the best way to attract them. Changing up your presentation is key to catching bass during the fall.
Water temperature is another factor to consider when fall bass fishing. In some locations, water temperatures are in the 50's or even lower. As a result, you need to adjust your tactics to compensate for the lowering metabolism of bass. They won't be as aggressive in chasing baits, so you'll want to experiment with a slower retrieve. Try smaller baits like swimbaits, plastic worms or a favorite of some Bassmaster Elite Series pros, the Marabou Jig.
Putting On The Feedbag
During the fall months, bass feed heavily and utilize their leftover appetites to put on fat to survive the colder months. Bass are opportunistic feeders and will eat a variety of food items. In the fall, bass will begin to feed more on a variety of fish, crayfish, insects, and other small animals. Bass will also consume plant material, such as algae and aquatic plants. So even though their metabolism drops late in the year, they are still feeding pretty aggressively.
If You Don't Succeed, Change Your Bait!
It's a simple concept but sometimes you can get married to one type of lure and keep exhausting yourself with cast after cast with no luck. If this happens, switch you damn bait! A silvery crankbait can look like a baitfish, which is what you want. If it's not working, change color and/or size. And then to really shake it up, you can try topwater. Often just a little change in bait action can make a huge difference. You just have to make the switch until you find something that works.
Target Up Shallow
Bass like to move out of the deeper water in the fall, hopefully to escape to warmer water where they can chase baitfish and grab some sunshine. Concentrate in areas of about 3 to 6 feet of water where there may be differences in the bottom such as a change from sand to rock or sand to thinning weedlines. And if there's a creek intake nearby, all the better. A shallow jerkbait or plastic worm texas rigged would be a good option here. Also, keep an eye out for ledges, points, and drop-offs where bass like to congregate.
Work Fast, Cover Water
You can use a topwater or crankbait for long casts so you can cover more water faster. You're using these baits basically as a "search bait" so you can cast quickly and retrieve quickly, in a 360 pattern around your boat, or a 180 pattern off a dock or shoreline. Basically its work fast, cast fast. When you find a fish, cast back to the same area to see if there may be a few hanging out. If not, keep going in the 360 or 180 pattern. If there are no bites after a while, move to a new spot and repeat the process. It's the "shampoo method" - it's lather, rinse and repeat.
Practice Patience And Stealth
Be patient. Fall bass fishing can be challenging at times, but it's important to stay patient and keep at it even when they're not chewing. Remember, it only takes one fish to make your day a success.
And stay stealthy. As the water gets cooler, bass become more sluggish and less likely to chase after bait that's moving too fast. Slow down your presentation and make sure you're not making too much noise when you're fishing. The quieter you are, the better your chances of success.
Fall Bass Fishing Tips - The Last Cast
Fall bass fishing can be tough, but there are a few things you can do to up your chances of success. First, be patient and stealthy when approaching potential fishing spots. Second, cover more water to increase the odds of finding fish. Third, target the shallows where fish are likely to be feeding. And finally, change your bait often to keep the fish interested. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to a great fall bass fishing season.
Cheers to the outdoors,