Fall Bass - When The Temp Starts To Drop The Bite Can Heat Up!
A perfect fall day usually calls for highs in the 70's with lows in the 50's. I prefer baby blue skies, unlike the blazing midsummer sun, in the fall you can catch bass through out the day with the added bonus of some much needed warmth.
Some of my favorite lures to use in the fall are swim baits, matching the size of bait to the size of the water I'm fishing. Here in S. E. Missouri I usually throw a 3 to 4 inch paddle tail but if the bite is hot, I'll up it to a 5 or even 6 inch bait hoping to trigger a strike by a "Big Boy". If the bite is slow I'll drop the size down to a 2 inch bait. Storm Lures Wild Eye Swim Shad makes a great 2 inch bait that is inexpensive and has never let me down. They come in an assortment of patterns and can be bought in 3pks or 6pks. Most of the bass pictured where caught on a 3 inch Storm Swim Shad in the Fire Tiger pattern, a perfect sunfish nock off. Other great fall lures that wont break the bank...spinners. I was also throwing a Blue Fox Vibrax #2 gold color and caught several crappie as a bonus. The Vibrax is one of my all time favorite lures and will catch almost every type of fresh water game fish. The Vibrax is small but don't hesitate to throw a traditional spinner bait with one or two blades and a skirt, you can buy these in smaller versions but they usually tend to be larger than an inline spinner. These larger spinners will catch trophy fish when the conditions are right.
Presentation is key to catching fall bass. I like the "slow and low" method. Slow as in the retrieve and low as in the water column. The water temp is dropping due to the cooler days and longer nights. Bass are on a feeding frenzy to add on that extra weight for winter but the cooler temps still have an effect on the fish's metabolism. The slower you can fish these baits, the deeper you will get them. If you can feel the paddle tail or blade "throbbing" on a swim bait or spinner then the lure is doing it's job. The deeper the better, if you can get those swim baits to bounce off the bottom or deep cover now and then you'll know your "low". I was using Power Pro Braid in the eight pound class along with a 15 pound fluorocarbon leader. I can cast a country mile and the finer line dimension not only helps me feel the lures movement but also any subtle bites that I might otherwise miss. When using braid always use a fluorocarbon leader in the 2 to 3 ft range and a few pounds larger than your regular line. Fluorocarbon is nearly invisible in water and extremely strong, I prefer Seaguar 100% Fluorocarbon but there are several manufactures to choose from. I was throwing medium spinning outfits this trip, Okuma and Shimano are my go to rigs but I'll save that for another discussion.
Following these simple fall tools will help you put more fish on shore, in the boat, kayak, or freezer. The nights are getting longer and the days colder, winter is coming...better get outside and go fishing!