As seasons change, so do the conditions on the water. Temperatures alter and fish behave differently, water clarity varies, and the change the weather can have drastic effects on the water itself. One such change occurs when autumn arrives and the rain becomes less and less prevalent. With this scarcity comes a decrease in vegetation, which leads to clearer water. When this happens it can be tempting to throw finesse baits, but experienced bass anglers will tell you that their go-to tactic in such a situation is flipping.
Jigs, creatures, and tube baits are ideal for the fall, when submerged plant cover is few and far between. Flipping such lures in and around holes in the vegetation will entice strikes from bass lying in wait within the plants. With such clear, more open water in the fall, your bait will reach the bottom faster, which also means it will reach the bass hiding in the grass quicker. No matter how thick the vegetation may be or how well the bass are hiding, there will always be holes and when you flip a lure to them, you’ll be surprised at how ferociously a bass can strike.
Some of the best areas to seek out bass lying in ambush this fall are the mouths of creeks. Once the temperatures start to drop to the 50-degree range, bass will move to creek mouths and stage there during the chilly weeks.
To get the optimal presentation and performance when flipping for fall bass, you’ll need to make sure your bait is heavy and large enough to reach the bottom quickly. One common mistake is using a large bait, but not a heavy enough one. Large jigs or creatures are great, but anglers often forget that a large profile slows down the drop of your lure. You’ll need to match the large size with a heavy weight to compensate for this. Also, you’ll want to be sure to use natural color patterns, such as pumpkinseed, green pumpkin, or black and blue. Flip the bait to a hole, give it a few twitches, and then hold on tight.
When the waters clear and the temperatures drop this fall, fight the urge to use flash and finesse only. With the vegetation thinning out, pick apart what’s left by flipping a jig to holes in the grass and watch your line tighten cast after cast.