I already know what you're thinking when reading the title of this Bass Pro Shops blog. Fall Fishing? It's August and the forecast calls for highs in the 80s over the next week! I know, I know, but you must admit that these cool nights and brisk mornings do create a sense of excitement in many fishermen anticipating the impending beginning of what can be a tremendous season for fishing! Autumn brings not only picturesque views and overwhelming scenery, but also opportunities for fishermen to land numerous quality bass during a time of schooling fish and buffet style feedings.
During the Fall, nights become longer, days become cooler, and slowly the water temperature follows triggering a time of transition for most species of fish. The key forage during this time of year is generally shad or minnow type eats and treats. The shad generally make their way slowly into the backs of creeks and wherever you can find bait, you generally find the bass nearby. Bass in most areas tend to essentially gorge themselves as the weather and water cools in preparation for the winter which creates an excellent chance to catch large quantities of fish as well as quality fish. Below, I will mention just a few of the most effective baits for the Fall season!
An increasingly popular style of bait to use during the Fall is the swimbait. This type of lure definitely mimics a shad visually better than any bait on the market and they are available in hardbaits, softbaits, lipped, slow sinking, fast sinking, prerigged, single hooked, and treble hooked! The options are vast just as the potential for your day on the water with one of these tied on and with the arrival of the Alabama Rig, Deadly 5 Shad Rig, and Yumbrella Rig, you may have many more than that on the end of your line! I have listed a few of my favorites of this bait below!
A second effective approach to targeting bass in the fall is using the tried and true method of cranking! A comforting fact about fall cranking is that the fish are generally much shallower in creeks and along creek channel breaks which allows for much less effort than throwing DD22s and 6XDs in the summer. Crankbaits mimic a wounded shad or minnow very well and can be fished rather quickly which allows a fisherman to cover more water during their day on the water. It is also common for the larger fish to feed below a feeding frenzy created by smaller fish and a crankbait can be ideal for targeting those fish at a specific depth. Lipless crankbaits are also very effective as they can be counted down to a specific depth and fished at various rates of speed. These baits are incredibly popular in the fall with the most commonly fished colors being chrome blue/black, silver, or bone. I have some great fall crankbait options pictured below!
The last method of fall fishing that I will mention is definitely the most exciting and addicting way to catch any fish! I am, of course, speaking of the art of fishing topwater baits! This genre of lures continues to grow and although the majority of the topwater options available are hardbaits, softbaits, particularly soft frogs, are an ever growing trend. Topwater baits are fantastic for mimicking an injured baitfish slapping the water's surface and any active fish will surely be unable to resist such an easy meal! The strikes when fishing on top are always intriguing and exhilarating, but don't forget to wait when setting the hook or applying pressure or your bait will almost definitely be yanked out of the predator's jaws! Below are just a few of my favorite fall topwater options available here at Bass Pro Shops.
These are just a few options that are appropriate for Fall fishing. I advise every angler to take advantage of this beautiful season with the mild temperatures and aggressive fish feeding behaviors! Each person has an approach that works and gives them confidence and I encourage all of you to find that pattern this Fall!
Gary G. Garver
Fishing Team Lead