Fall Bass Fishing Tips to Catch Giants Before Winter
Fall Bass Fishing Tips That Work Anywhere
The fall brings welcomed relief to the hot, slow days of summer bass fishing. Days begin to shorten, the water cools, and bass move into full feeding mode. The transition can happen rapidly. A degree or two in water temperature change can push bass from their deep summer homes to shallow coves and creeks. What forces them there? The fact that winter is not far off and that they need to eat as much as they can. These fall bass fishing tips break down the what, where, and how to catch bass in autumn.
Fall Bass Fishing Tips | Where Bass Live
Next to spring, fall is one of the best times of the year to go bass fishing for two reasons. First, bass are hungry. They will feed off and on throughout the day to bulk up for winter. Second, they all move to the same areas. These two factors are what makes bass fishing in the fall so great.
Bass migrate shallower to coves and creek mouths from the main lake. They do this primarily because the bait is there in the fall. Shad, alewives, and other large baitfish school up and move towards these shallow areas. Since bass have one thing on their mind, they follow and become extremely catchable.
Not every shallow cove or creek arm has schools of feeding bass, however. There are many days fishing in the fall when you will have to move around, whether in the boat or on the bank, until you find the bait. Bass will follow those schools of baitfish and so should you to consistently catch them throughout the day.
Fall Bass Fishing Tips | How to Catch Them
Location is the biggest factor in fall bass fishing success. Find the bait, you will find the fish. Catching them is no secret. The number one fall bass fishing tip is to mimic the baitfish or forage they are feeding on.
Not every lake or river will have baitfish (e.g., shad, etc.) as the dominant forage. In some river systems, crayfish are the preferred forage choice of bass. Also, some lakes are dominated more by bluegills and other panfish and bass eat them. Either way, bass will be feeding shallow this time of year. Narrow down what they are feeding on and you will hook them in numbers.
A good rule for fall bass fishing is to throw multiple baits in the same area. Many times you can catch a few in a spot, but then they stop biting. Switch up lures between one of these three fall bass fishing lures to fire up the school again.
- Shad Rap® – Nothing mimics baitfish better than a Rapala® Shad Rap®. Carry different sizes to target different water depths. Colors should be shad-like colors, such as bluegill, yellow perch, and Helsinki shad.
- Swimbait/Soft Jerkbait – Another good shad imitator is the swimbait. One of the best techniques, however, is to search areas with a soft jerkbait like a white Zoom® Fluke first. Then once you find a school, pick up a large swimbait to focus on catching the bigger fish in the school.
- Shallow Diving Crankbaits – Square-bill crankbaits are another go-to bait for fall bass fishing. You can cast these super shallow and run them through brush and off of rocks with minimal hangups. Often bigger, fully fed bass will stage in these areas until the next wave of forage moves into a location. The square-bill more times than not gets them to bite.
Finally, timing your fishing in the fall matters. The late morning to late afternoon window is the best time for catching fall bass. As the sun gets up, it warms the water and fires up the baitfish in the shallows, which in turn fires up the bass.
Take advantage of the fall transition. This will be your last time to catch them before winter sets in and you are stuck waiting for spring to arrive. The two most important fall bass fishing tips are to fish shallow and follow the bait. Remember these and you will be successful all throughout the fall months fishing for bass.