Fall Fishing = Deep water, right? Wrong. A common fall fishing myth is that you have to bring out the DD22s, Go2 20+ and DT20s. Don’t get me wrong, there are still fish that’ll be schooled up on offshore structures and drops, but the most aggressive and hungry fish will be in less than four feet of water.
As the water begins to cool down from the chilly autumn nights, bass begin their journey back into shallow cover and flats are filled with baitfish. Along with cooler water helping fish to become less lethargic, bass become much more active because of higher oxygen levels in the water.
There are four important things to keep in mind when you hit the water for fall fishing:
- The metabolism of a largemouth will speed up causing them to eat more and more often!
- Follow Mike Iaconelli’s advice and match the hatch. Bass relate to the natural forage that are held in that body of water, and with that in mind you should be relating that information to the types of lures that should be thrown. Size, color and retrieve speed should be the main factors to look at.
- Keep in mind the importance of areas of deep water that are close to shallow water. Bass consider these to be comfort zones and they can migrate to and from depths that the air temperature affects in a positive or negative manner. Deep water holds stable water and shallow water is less stable because it can heat up or cool down faster. Fish will move into deeper water when cold/warm fronts move in.
- Areas where aquatic plants are available are great due to the fact they hold baitfish, block the sun (fish do not have eyelids so sunlight can be a factor) and help create ambush points.
Here’s some of my favorite fall techniques and lures:
– Some of the biggest fall bass come off of topwater bites – try larger hooks for more hookups
- Lures: Heddon Spooks, Rage Shad, Zoom Horney Toad OR Mann’s Swim Toad, Buzzbaits and Rapala Skitterwalk
– Slow-rolling them or running right below the surface to look like a breaking shad
– Try running them without a plastic trailer to create a smaller profile on tough bite days
- Lures: shad colors with large willow blades is best
– Shallow, square billed crankbaits around schooling shad and cover
– Cranking deep divers on sharp drops with lay downs or other cover
– Great for cold front days
- Lures: Red Eye Shad, Super Spots and Rat-L-Traps
Try some of these lures and techniques based on the four concepts above to increase your fish-catching ability and success on the water! Oh, and don’t forget to mark all your fall catches on Fishidy.com. It’ll serve you well next fall when you need to remember what you used, where you were and what you caught.