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As the leaves start to turn and the
water begins to cool, fishing is at its best in
Some really neat things start to happen
during the fall. The fish begin to migrate out of their summer pattern
and start relating more to bait fish. This
in turn will make bass easier to locate and catch.
In order to identify the beginning of the fall pattern, anglers
need to pay attention to shorter daylight hours and cooler nights.
This will result in the lake water starting to cool an average
of 5-10 degrees.
During the first part of the stage bass
migrate off of the main lake and into the mouths and secondary points
of creek channel necks. Look for areas that have the most bait fish
activity, such as secondary points.
Most likely an angler will also find some largemouth schools.
As an angler begins to locate the fall fishing pattern, stay
tuned-in to where the bait fish are located. This is a key strategy to
successful fall fishing. Bait fish will start flicking the surface of
the main lake points as well as in the back of coves. Just remember
water temperature in the coves can fluctuate greatly within a 24-hour
period, so the fish migration to these areas will not happen
In the fall I try to keep bait
selection really simple. I use baits that closely mimic the size of
the bait fish I’m following around. If the bait fish are a couple of
inches long, and they usually are, this is a great time for a small
crankbait. In clear water situations I use a Bandit 100 or 200 series
crankbait. In shallow water situations I use a Lucky Craft 1.5.or a
2.5. I’ll also try a
Bagley’s Balsa “B” in chartreuse or shad patterns/colors.
above baits displace a lot of water with their wide wobble. The
displaced water helps the bass locate the bait easier. They also have
a really unique action, which allows anglers to throw the bait right
into and around heavy cover such as lay-downs and stump areas.
Remember during the fall large fish stage in heavy cover in order to
ambush their prey.
the water is clear and bass are found in 2 to 5 foot of water, my
suggestion is to start with a shad pattern color on a spinner bait. My
favorite is the War Eagle in mouse color with tandem four and five
willow leaf blades. If the water is a little cloudy, go with one
chrome blade and one gold blade. I stick with the willow blades
because of the profile and the ability to use them at different speeds
second pattern found during fall season is schooling. The bass group
together and herd shad to the surface and literally work into a
feeding frenzy. If an angler witnesses a school of fish blowing-up on
shad, try to get to the area as quickly and quietly as possible. In my
experience this requires making a long cast, so I recommend using rigs
with 12-15lb. Maxima line. Cast just beyond or into the area where the
fish are schooling and more often than not this will result in a quick
bite. As for as baits, I
always like to have a lipless crank bait ready such as a chrome and
blue rattle trap. I also like to have a couple of top water baits
handy while targeting schooling fish, something in the white/shad
catching a few schooling fish make sure and hang around the area for
5–10 minutes. Soon the
entire school will start to move closer to the boat.
I know I’m making this type of fishing sound easy, but it can
actually be very, very difficult. Unfortunately to take advantage of
schooling fish an angler has to be in the right place at the right
the water continues to cool down I work my way into the back of creek
channel necks and pockets in order to target shallow structure. It’s
also important to remember not to count out large main lake coves.
Just because a cove doesn’t have a feeder creek doesn’t mean that
it won’t be productive. With the right type of cover, or vegetation,
main lake coves have the potential to be just as good as feeder
typically use the same type of baits for early or late fall fishing.
But during the late fall I count on top water baits for the
majority of my catches. My
favorite fall top water baits include a Pop-R and a Lucky Craft Sammy.
an angler narrows down his/her bait selection it’s time to focus on
fish movement. Remember, this is not springtime fishing; fish will not
stay in one place for very long. The fish are completely relating to
their food. Just because fish are caught in a small cove area on
Wednesday does not mean that they’ll still be there on Thursday. It
is vital that anglers keep an open mind during this time of year and
understand fish can change on a day-by-day basis. The ‘pattern’
anglers need to focus on is the ability to identify and target the
same depths, around similar structure, in several different parts of
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