Unlocking the Secrets to Locating Fall Bass: 3 Sneaky Techniques
The time for fall fishing is arriving fast in some areas while it may be a month or two away in others. Nothing is more exciting than the fall fishery for bass…well maybe except the spawning period, but more on that another day. In the fall, bass begin to fatten up for the winter months where they become a little more lethargic and don't so much eat less, but eat a lot more sporadically. Fall bass fishing can also be one of the most frustrating times for anglers as the fish are transitioning, moving in different patterns and basically are running amok, just searching for an easy meal. Even though the title alludes to sneaky techniques for catching bass while fall fishing, there are really no sneaky ones, but definitely three I like that will aid in you scoring as the waters cool down, and the fish become a little sporadic. My three favorite bass fishing tips are topwater baits on points, big baits and to keep moving. Last but not least is the back of creeks and coves. Although I will not dive into this tip as most bass anglers already know it is a hot area, oxygen will always be higher, and with this, there will always be baitfish.
Topwater on Points
On any lake, there are always areas where bait will congregate. You can always find bait in the summer in the channels, mouths of creeks, along rocky shoreline etc. While fall fishing, one prominent place I have always found bait is the backs of creeks and canals. As the waters cool, these shallower areas will be more oxygen rich which bodes well for the baitfish. Virtually every creek or canal has a point at the beginning. And these points are where I have found a good bite in the fall while bass fishing. The baitfish must pass these points to get to the "better water."
I have found the key to success on these points is a topwater Zara Spook or Berkley Drift Walker 110. I feel the key to this fishery is long casts. These two lures cast like missiles, so long casts are very obtainable. The right rod, reel and line combination is critical to your success. For me, I use the KastKing Spirale Casting Rod / 7'3" / Moderate-Medium-1Pc and KastKing Deadbolt baitcasting reel. I like the deadbolt as the no drag option gives me instant hookups from afar. On the line end, 10-pound KastKing 13X braid and 20-pound test monofilament leader round out the gear.
The next sneaky trick for bass fishing in the fall is big baits. Like I said earlier, these bass are fattening up for the winter months and nothing beats a large offering to satisfy their need. Large swimbaits, glide baits and jigs with large profiles all make for the opportunity to score big bass in the fall. Big baits can be fished in all situations but where I feel they shine is in areas where baitfish gathers. Backs of coves, drop offs near weed lines and just outside lily pad fields.
For these baits you need a big stick – KastKing Speed Demon Pro Casting / 7'11" / Fast-Heavy-Punchin Rod-1PC works great. I like the new KastKing Megatron 200 spooled fishing reels with 25-pound KK Kovert fluorocarbon. Work the two swimming baits at various speeds while fall fishing until the fish tell you what they want. As for the jig, the large profile will imitate most forage so a steady retrieve of moderate speed, and allowing it to hit bottom during the retrieve is best.
Location, location, location. Bass are on the move. Fall bass fishing is totally unlike the spring and summer months where they will hang out under logs, along channel edges and grass and lily pad fields. These fish are on the move and searching for the meals they need for the winter months. The last trick is to keep moving and utilize "search" baits to find the fish. Once you use the search baits and find the fish, then you can bring out the big baits, or make long casts to points with topwater offerings.
For search baits I use what I call speed baits. Lipless crankbaits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits all make great search baits. You can cover a lot of water, and keep the boat moving until you find the fish. As the boat is moving, male long casts to the left, right and center towards where you are heading. I keep the trolling motor on 4 and move parallel to the shoreline, changing depths from 5-10, 10-15 and 15 -25 feet of water.
I have found the best rod and reel combo for this is the KastKing Verus Baitcasting Reel paired to the KastKing Speed Demon Pro Casting / 7'6" / Fast-Medium Heavy-Swimbait rod. At 7-foot, 6-inches, this rod gives you the added length to make long casts if needed. I spool the reel with 15-pound Kovert fluorocarbon. Even though the fluoro sinks, I still like it for the buzzbait as I feel it does not alter the way the bait works.
These tips should give you a little advantage while bass fishing this fall while searching out bass in your area. Keep in mind, that bass will always follow bait, so if you can find bait, then you will definitely find some fish. Be patient as the fall is a good time to score your largest bass of the year, or even the largest bass you have ever caught.