It’s that time of the year again: fall. For anglers, that means inconsistent temperatures and changes in fish habits. As a result, fishermen must change their tactics and adjust to suit the season.
Bass anglers already know how picky bass can be on a given day, but it’s not difficult to capitalize on bass behavior as the waters cool and fill the livewell.
We all have dozens of lures in our tackle boxes, but when fall arrives, it’s time to use the sure-fire baits that will produce this season. Here are a handful of go-to lures for the fall that will keep your lines tight and the bass biting.
Since bass are voraciously feeding in the fall to store nutrients and fatten up for the coming winter, appealing to this behavior is the way to pull more fish to the boat. More often than not, in the fall, this means using slower and larger lures that will look like an entrée and not just an appetizer.
One of the most popular bass lures is the jig and pig, and for good reason. This highly-effective bait is a dead ringer for bottom-foraging prey such as crayfish and when outfitted with a rattle chamber, drives bass wild. During the fall, jig and pigs work wonders when fished deep and slowly. Color patterns that work best in the fall include dark, natural colors, such as black, olive, and dark brown. Subtle twitches and slow retrieves that make subtle impacts with structure and objects along the bottom will produce strikes consistently. The key here is patience.
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Tubes, much like jigs, are great lures for the bottom. They’re smaller than jigs, which makes them a little more versatile. A slow and subtle retrieve is smart, but feel free to speed things up a bit on warmer days.
Senko worms are another great option for fall bass fishing. Tie on a big, dark-colored Senko, fish it slow and deep, and hold on tight. There’s a reason these soft plastic worms are the most popular worm style for bass.
To speed things up and use a little different presentation, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits are two lures that work well. In the morning and late afternoon, black spinnerbaits worked along shorelines, edges of weed beds, and drop-offs are amazing. Slow-rolling a spinnerbait is a great way to maintain the bait’s action while allowing the sometimes lethargic fish an opportunity to strike. Plastic jerkbaits, like flukes, imitate baitfish perfectly, and since bass are chasing such prey into shallow waters during the fall, working these beauties along shorelines will capitalize on bass’ hunger.
While bass are storing energy and feeding actively during the fall, you can still count on them to be a little sporadic with strikes on cooler days. As always, some lures will work like a charm one day, but will have no effect on the fish the next. You can always experiment with different presentations, especially crankbaits, since more aggressive fish will strike these lures when you work them around structure or bump them off objects. Many lures will entice bass but in the fall, no angler should be without the ones listed above. These have proven to be go-to lures during the cooling autumn months and they’ll be sure to help you bring fish to the boat as well.