As the Waters Start to Cool, the Fishing Starts to Heat-up.
Great Bass Lures By Ben Team
After months spent trying to tempt stubborn summer bass into biting, the arrival of fall is well-received by most southern anglers. Whereas summer bass are content to keep a low profile and snatch up just enough food to remain healthy, autumn bass chase baitfish like it’s their last day on Earth.
Abandoning their finicky ways, fall bass begin feeding heavily in order to put on extra reserves to sustain them through the long, cold winter, when food is scarce and difficult to catch. Fish represent the most attractive food source for bass at this time, and a variety of minnow- or panfish-imitating lures work well for slaying salmoides.
Five Great Bass Lures
Spinnerbaits work in most water conditions and through most seasons, but they are especially effective in the autumn, when bass are actively chasing fish. The flash and vibration created by the spinning blades is simply irresistible for many bass and strikes often come in bunches.
Because you can fish them just under the surface or roll them along the bottom at a variety of speeds, spinnerbaits are great bass lures to use when trying to discern the best pattern for the day. Try a variety of speeds, cadences, depths and color combinations until you hit on the flavor of the day.
Few lures can match the lifelike movement of a quality paddle-tail swimbait, and few times of the year are better suited to their use than fall. “Match the hatch” when selecting a color and size, but don’t be afraid to add a little more color to the lure when working in low-visibility ponds and lakes.
A straight retrieve is often the most effective approach, but you can also use a vertical presentation to target isolated cover. If you rig the bait with a jig-head, it will drop in a nose-down manner; if you rig it with a weighted swimbait hook, it will tend to fall while sitting horizontally.
If you are looking to land a leviathan-sized fish, larger, joint-bodied swimbaits can also be effective during this time of year.
A variety of crankbait styles, sizes and colors work in the fall, but the wide, erratic wobble of a square billed crankbait is often the best bet. Rattling, lipless styles are also effective, particularly if the water is muddy, and you need some help attracting bass through the soup.
If you’ve been using deep-diving models to target bass in the Summer, consider switching to shallower-diving models as the weather cools. Because shad tend to move out of the main lake or channel and back into the feeder creeks and rivers, you should concentrate working such areas.
4. Buzz Baits
The dropping water temperatures and shifting feeding habits of fall largemouth often combine to improve the surface bite, which is often tentative at best during the summer heat. Bluegill and shad color schemes work most effectively in clear or stained waters, whereas the superior silhouette provided by dark blue or black models provides the bass with a good target in muddy water.
Experiment with the speed of your retrieve when trying to pattern the fish. If you are having trouble keeping the lure at the surface while retrieving it slowly, experiment with different trailers. Bulky trailers create more resistance (drag) and the added plastic helps to increase the lures buoyancy.
5. Swim Jigs
Most jig designs – casting, flipping, football and finesse – work for catching fall bass (when don’t jigs work?), but given their tendency to feast upon fish at this time, swim jigs are definitely worthy of special consideration. Swim jigs feature slightly “pinched” or cone-shaped noses, they have thinner weed guards and they are often constructed to produce a slightly subtler profile than other jigs do – all of which help to better mimic a baitfish or bluegill.
Standard jig colors – black, blue and combinations thereof – work, but try to mimic whatever species the bass are chasing if these old standbys don’t elicit strikes. Pumpkinseed, watermelon and bluegill patterns are great if the bass are chasing panfish, while whites, grays, silvers and blues help to mimic shad.
Try out some of these great bass lures over the next few weeks and let us know how they work for you. Did we leave anything off the list? Let us know in the comments below. We’d also love to see what you’ve landed lately, so tweet us (or me) your best catch photos!