The fall is a great time for bass fishing. As the water cools, it triggers the feeding frenzy that gives anglers nearly effortless fishing.
With the right techniques, you can make the fall fishing season your best time for catching heavy-hitting, hard-fighting bass.
During the fall, the water starts to cool, but rocks and boulders, which store heat better than any other structure in the lake, will hold schools of fish. Both bass and baitfish want to be near the warmer water, so any area with lot of rocks is a great place to start your fishing. Rock piles, erosion barriers, and other stone structures can give you plenty of action from bass that are looking to warm their bodies and catch a meal.
Sticking to the same warm-water principle as before, looking for shallower waters is often a smart practice for fall bass fishing. Shallow waters will warm faster, so bass will swim out of the deep spots and into the shallow areas, usually spots that are three to five feet deep.
Bass love the shallow waters in fall, but they also want to be near deeper waters, which can hold available food. Areas that have a shallow spot with a steep ledge nearby will produce some of the best bass fishing in the fall. Use your depth finder to identify steep drop offs, and then use large billed crankbaits to run a lure along the ledge.
During the hot days of summer, bass will slow down their activity to conserve energy, so slowing down your retrieve is often a good technique. The fall, however, calls for a faster retrieve. This will give the lure more action, attracting the attention of bass, who have lots of feeding options in the fall. Bass are going to be more aggressive in the fall, so you really don’t have to worry about losing one because your retrieve was too fast.
Crankbaits are a great choice for catching fall bass. They resemble the fish that bass eat in the fall, especially wide-bodies shad, and they give off plenty of noise and vibrations, attracting the attention of aggressive bass from yards away. Crankbaits can be difficult to use in the summer, when weeds get caught on the numerous hooks, but these weeds recede in the fall, opening up the waters for a rattling crankbait.
Most seasons, bass don’t school together, so when you catch one it’s best to move on to a different spot. Throw that piece of wisdom out in the fall. Bass will actually congregate together during the autumn, so when you catch one, continue to hit that spot and you’ll likely catch another, and another, and another...
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