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fall can be a great time of year to catch bass, but unfortunately it
can also be a very frustrating time of year to fish.
During the fall season several patterns can emerge at any given
time, which can make the fish hard to locate.
Whether anglers are dealing with shallow or deep ďresidentĒ
fish, or schooling fish that tend to roam and suspend in open water,
starting the day with a plan of attack is essential.
a shallow water angler, so my first plan of attack is to determine
what the lake has to offer in the form of vegetation and cover. This
time of year I throw conventional wisdom out the window and just look
for bites. When the bites
come, whether itís in vegetation or shallow around docks, I pay
attention because there are clues to why the fish are there.
Itís really important to identify the clues, and key in on
what each piece of the puzzle means.
The fish could be holding in a particular location because of
current, bait fish, shade, or cover.
Iíve expanded what I like to call a ďmilk runĒ by keying in on
certain clues, next I determine how to approach each location.
Itís important to remember when fishing shallow itís easy
to ďfish outĒ an area. Anglers
can quickly remove the resident fish to the point where they wonít
replenish fast enough. It
can take sometime before other bass move into an area if it was fished
thoroughly, so keep that in mind.
donít usually get tied-up in bait selection when Iím targeting
shallow water fish. I
really prefer to use just a few types. If
Iím around vegetation I like to start the morning off with a top
water bait such as a Reaction Innovations Shark, or Swamp Donkey.
If itís still early when I move into open water I like to tie
on a Reaction Innovations Vixen using a ďwalk the dogĒ
the day progresses Iíll move in the direction of jigs and soft
plastics for targeting shallow water fish .
Iíll pitch and flip to cover using a Lunker Lure Grass
Monster or a Triple Rattleback jig. If
the bite gets tough Iíll drop down in line size and use 6 to 8 pound
Maxima Fluorocarbon line. With lighter line, Iíll tie on a 1/8oz
Shakey Head and a Flirt finesse worm.
pattern is to locate the deeper fish.
At this time of year bass like to hang out in brush piles
located around boat docks. In addition, look for weeds or vegetation
in 8 to 10 foot of water, or even deeper. These
are always some good alternatives.
like to use soft plastics when Iím trying to locate fish in deeper
structure. Iíll start
off by using a fast moving bait such as a crank bait to see if I can
generate a bite. If
a crank bait doesnít create a strike then Iíll revisit the
same structure with a soft plastic bait, such as a 10 inch worm or a
jig. Donít count it out,
Texas Rig the worm and probe the structure very carefully.
This is a good back up pattern for a shallow water angler, and
it enables anglers to catch multiple fish off of one particular piece
of structure. For
instance, a brush pile located at the edge of a dock might hold three
or four nice fish. It
might be a small school rather than just singles, which is typically
found with shallow water patters.
some time with your electronics.
I prefer Lowranceís units because of their high pixel
count, which allows for a great picture.
When fishing deep itís important to have a really good image
of whatís on the bottom in order to locate brush piles and other
structure. When I locate a
deep brush pile, I use the quick save feature on my LCX 113CHD.
By pressing the ďway pointĒ button twice Iíve saved my
position and can easily return at any time.
the fall schooling fish can be extremely difficult to tackle.
They seem to pointlessly roam in open water only relating to
bait fish and donít seem to have a pattern of any kind. Itís
typical for schooling fish to bust off of a point three or four times,
but when an angler eases over to get close enough for a cast, they
move away. For this reason
I do not like to target schooling fish, period. They are my last
resort for fall fishing because itís very hard to base a pattern on
schooling fish, but if the opportunity arises to catch a few, Iím
ready. When fall fishing I
always have a bait tied on just in case I see schooling fish close by.
If youíre lucky enough to be in the right place at the right
time, hang on because it can be a lot of fun.
schooling fish I really like to use a bait that resembles a minnow
such as a Zoom Fluke in white, or any bait fish color.
Iíll tie on a 1/2 or 3/8 ounce Blade and Shad by Lunker Lure.
The bait head resembles a minnow head with a little spinner attached.
I make long casts into the schooling fish using a Kistler Helium
LTA 7í Medium Heavy action rod with 10 pound Maxima fluorocarbon
is everything with schooling fish.
When the fish start to bust, react and react quickly.
The ability to make a long cast without spooking the fish is
Have a top water bait handy such as a heavy Spook or a Reaction
Innovations Vixen. These baits have a lot of weight and the
ability to cast a long distance.
fishing in the fall just remember to keep an open mind because things
can change very rapidly.
Pay particular attention to the clues and piece together a
pattern thatís working for that particular day.
Once a pattern is established then try to duplicate it in
similar areas around the lake.
Regardless of the outcome, have a great day on the lake.
sure and log onto my web site www.chadmorgenthaler.com
and signup for my fan club. E-newsletters
are forwarded monthly and one lucky winner each month receives a
summaries are posted after each tournament and pro tips are updated
often. Itís a great
source of bass fishing information.