My favorite bass baits for my favorite time of year!
People who know me know I love to hunt almost as much as I love to fish. But being that I don’t bow hunt, I’m not being torn between wanting to be on stand and wanting to fish during October. The bass are chompin’ right now, packing on the pounds for the winter. Some of them are so gorged that their bellies feel like they won’t stretch any further without tearing. This is precisely why I love fishing in the fall more than any other time of year. If you can find time to get on the water, these baits will help you score some monster bags!
This was arguably the year of the chatterbait. While it’s not new to some, it became a household item when it dominated so many events this year. In fact I bet if you do your research you could easily make the case that it more than any other was the bait that delivered high finishes one event after another. Part of that is the limitless versatility that it makes available to you. Rip it, pop it, burn it, slow roll it. Sometimes it looks so good coming through the water, I even have to keep myself from eating it! Fall is one giant bass feeding frenzy. Throwing a chatterbait is a must.
Jig ‘n Pig
Lots of people think of this as predominantly a summer bait, but big fish tend to look for one big meal in the fall, and few things deliver that like a Jig ‘n Pig. Black and Blue is always solid, but it’s dynamite right now! I like to use a pork trailer in colder water because it slows the fall of the jig and it is so heavily salted. Throw it around structure and look for the transition areas near deep water and you can catch big girls for days!
Big smallmouth will eat a tube more than any other bait. But largemouth will eat it just as good. The crayfish are really vulnerable this time of year, and bass love eating them. Concentrate on rock piles, bridge pilings, creek beds, or shoals. I throw mine with an 1/8 ounce jig head. I have had the most success with a lighter head because of the slower fall. Active fish will tend to attack it on the drop, but you can also drag it, snap it, or flip it.
This is a great way to locate fish. The size, color, and blade combination really depends on the weather, water clarity, cloud cover, and depth. If I’m targeting schooling fish out deep I use a bigger bait, with bigger tandem blades. But if I’m fishing around docks or grass I’ll throw something a little smaller to reduce my hangups. Chartreuse, silver flash, or white are my top picks. A word of advice: I always run a trailer hook to reduce the amount of fish that will come off. It really increases my catch rate. Don’t be afraid to get creative with this bait.
So there you have it. Now you know my secrets for fall fishing! Well… maybe not all my secrets!