Pros Weigh In: Catching Fall Bass
Fall bass fishing can be incredible or it can be brutal. As water temperatures cool down, bass feel a biological instinct to start feeding more to put on weight for winter, however, in Western Canada those same cool temperatures can majorly put fish off feeding, or at the very least make them difficult to find. With that in mind, here are some tips from professional bass fishermen to help you put more fish in the boat this autumn:Dwain Batey of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, is the Owner/Operator of Bait Works LLC where he is quickly becoming famous for the amazing custom paint jobs he gives to fishing lures, especially crankbaits. You can check out his website at www.baitwerks.com
."Follow the shad as they move shallow, and match the size of the shad and their color. No other time of year are the fish so focused on their targets. Just downsizing or up-sizing to match the hatch can make the day."
While Dwain is talking about southern bass, this information is also huge for us northern anglers, as "match the hatch" is a phrase most of us generally associate with fly fishermen. We forget sometimes that bass can be tuned into a specific type of bait as well, and by making these adjustments it can really pay off.Shad-coloured baits have been all the rage the past few years. While we don't have any shad in B.C., this colour is a great match for our shiners, pikeminnow and sunfish that bass love to feast on. Dwain painted these himself.And this one too.
Brett Richardson has been a contributor to In-Fisherman magazine and has been posting videos of monster open-water bass for awhile now. He notes that fall is a great time to catch these 'pelagic' bass and has this to say:"As water temperatures drop from 60 (16 Celsius) to 52 (11 Celsius), bass consolidate on certain small structures in any body of water."
He recommends, "Fishing suspending pelagic bass during turnover through the consolidation time frame."
Here in British Columbia, most bass lakes are currently right around that 60 degree mark and should be in that consolidation time frame throughout the month of October. That means, move away from the shallow water structure and bottom bouncing, and try to catch some of those suspended fish on deep structure. Sunken trees, rocky cliffs, deep weedlines, and even concrete structures offer good examples of these structures.Dennis Tietje is a professional bass fisherman on the Bassmaster Elite Series who regularly dukes it out with the Kevin Van Dams and Skeet Reeses of the world, so you can bet he knows a thing or two about catching fall bass."Fall can be the easiest time to find active fish. As the water cools and schools of bait fish move to the backs of creeks and pockets, they also move up in the water column. That means you can visually look for the schools of bait and the bass will be very close. Top water, burning a spinnerbait, and stick baits can be awesome!!!!"
Follow Dennis and the rest of the 2012 Elite Series anglers at www.bassmaster.com
. 'Nuff said!