Whoa, whoa, whoa! I know you’re not tossing your fishing tackle in the garage just because it’s been a little chilly this week. Yes, football’s on and the chili is cooking, but there’s still plenty of bass fishing to be had and plenty of big fall bass to be caught for those looking to stretch their season as far as they can.
Friends, the fall season can be a rewarding time of year for bass fishermen willing to layer up and adjust their tactics. Here are three go-to techniques for pulling big fall bass to the boat during football season.
A Surface Level Conversation
Topwater lures do wonders on summer mornings and evenings, but they’re also quite effective in the fall. This time of year I like to throw a Heddon Super Spook Jr. to get those bass to strike. It may not have as large of a profile as other topwater lures, but it’s still big enough to cast a fair distance and draw attention from bass. Work the Spook Jr. along shallow banks where the bass are feeding on shad. Bonus Tip: I’ve had good results using the bone pattern on overcast days and the nickel when the sun is high.
Jigs Aren’t Just for the Irish
During the mid to late fall, when the lakes are just starting to turn over, it’s not uncommon for bass to simply turn off. This is when you’ll need to go way up into the back ends of creeks, where the bass aren’t changed as much by the seasonal transition and will still bite. When you get far back into those creeks, seek out steep banks with cover like rocks or laydowns. Here, I like a 3/8 oz Booyah jig in either green pumpkin or black and blue color patterns. Bonus Tip: I’ve found that trimming the jig’s skirt at the bottom of the hook to make it more compact seems to yield better results.
It’s Hip to Be Square
Kevin Van Dam won the 2011 Bassmaster classic using square bill crankbaits and during the fall months, these beauties get the job done. Go for smaller models, though, such as the Bandit 100, in a Tennessee shad color pattern. This bait is effective at drawing reaction strikes in a variety of conditions and water clarities. Fish your crankbait parallel to the bank and bounce it off structure or the rocky bottom as often as you can.