Talk to five anglers about fall bass fishing, and you’ll get five opinions. Some hate it, avoiding it altogether in deference to donning camouflage for hunting. Others think fall can be the best fishing of the year, but only if you catch the conditions just right. But at least one angler will likely share that fall is his favorite time of the year to fish, detailing how fall provides a perfect opportunity to more easily find aggressively feeding fish.
It’s widely known that in the fall, the bass are following the baitfish, which are migrating from the main body of water and into the creeks, tributaries. While this migration is ongoing, it’s common to see bass schooling throughout the day as they gorge on these balls of baitfish.
Now that you know where they are, or should be, what do you use to catch them? We’ve got that covered. Here are three techniques successfully employed by Zoom anglers nationwide:
- Super Fluke: Main-lake points are a frequent site for feeding bass in fall. When the sun gets high, heating up the shallower water in these locales, these become locations become baitfish rest stops. The bass are not far behind. This a great location to have a Zoom Super Fluke tied on. Many anglers position their boats directly off the end of the point and make long casts right up the bank, then aggressive twitch the lure back to the boat. If there are no takers, make the same cast but allow the lure to work deeper in the water column while using a more subtle twitching motion. When the fish do come up schooling, anglers simply cast the lure, rigged weightless on a 3/0 to 5/0 widegap hook, right into the action, allowing it to fall just like a dying baitfish. There really is no wrong way or place to fish a fluke, and this time of the year is no different. Select the best colors based on preference, but White Ice, Albino and Glimmer Blue are popular favorites across the country.
- Centipede: The main reason anglers loathe fall fishing is that when there is no feeding activity; the bite can be brutally tough. This is when a seldom-talked-about killer can work magic. The Centipede is the anti-thesis of a sexy lure. It looks like a dried-up french fry, has no tail or appendages and no one ever talks about the lure. That’s all part of the plan. The Centipede is designed to catch fish that aren’t actively feeding and thus aren’t in the mood for an offering with a lot of action. It just glides along appearing as an easy morsel, too tempting to ignore. There’s another reason you don’t hear about this lure: Many pros consider it their secret weapon for catching bass in tough conditions. Fished on a Carolina-rig, the Centipede is ideal for working main-lake points appearing to have no activity. And as the bass make their way further into the creeks, casting the rig to secondary points can prove just as fruitful. It’s hard to go wrong by having a Green Pumpkin-colored Centipede tied on in the fall months.
- Super Chunk (and Horny Toad): So you’ve checked the main-lake and secondary points, and you feel confident that the fish are farther up the creeks. This is when a Black or Pumpkin Pearl-colored Horny Toad can really shine. Worked around shallow water grass and wood, the lure has few equals, with many pros considering it superior to a buzzbait, which is another fall killer. Several well-placed casts upon entering the creek can tell you if the fish are there and if they are and actively feeding. But don’t assume that no takers means no fish. Often, bass will cling tight to cover after a front, and once in this position, it’s all but impossible to get them to bite, lest something falls right in front of their noses. A Flippin’ Blue Salty Super Chunk on the back of a black jig could be just what the doctor ordered. Flip the jig around any cover you come into contact with, especially wood.
If there is one key to fall bass fishing it’s that anglers need to keep moving. Starting with main-lake points, then work you way farther into the creeks. Bass, like humans, are creatures of habit, so you know where they should be. With these Zoom lures tied on, you can feel good about giving yourself the best chance of success