Take Advantage of Fall Bass Fishing While You Can
The fall can be one of the best times of the year for fishing as bass start to fatten themselves up before winter sets in. However, it’s important to know how they react to temperature changes in the water. Temperature transitions impact everything from their level of activity to where they feed and what they eat. Let’s take a quick look at some things to consider as you try and take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy some late-season fishing.
Temperature and Daylight Changes
Bass will start to move in from deeper waters as temperatures drop to find food. They know that the fall is prime spawning season for many baitfish, and bass will eat almost anything that they can get into their mouths. The most common type of baitfish that bass go after is shad, but they will feast on anything from perch to crayfish and frogs as they all become active in the shallows. This is because warmer water supports a wide-range of species that are also feeding. Consequently, focus more on the shallow waters near shore as bass will undoubtedly be drawn into these areas.
While bass are very active in the fall, the best time to catch them is during the middle of the day when temperatures are at their warmest. Again, there is strong connection between temperature and baitfish activity, because this is also the time when their sources of food are most active as well.
While bass will come closer to shore, they will still seek out cover for a couple of reasons. First, they want to hide themselves from both prey and attracting the attention of fish they are stalking. Second, cover is where most eggs hatch and growing fish prefer to congregate. Not only does it give them protection, but these areas are also loaded with a steady supply of food to support their growth. Consequently, bass will be attracted and lurk near these areas.
However, bass will also be much more aggressive, active and mobile during the fall. There are a lot of theories as to why they are so jumpy, but the fact is they spend a lot of time chasing fish and moving from spot to spot until they find easy prey. Consequently, you also have to be prepared to be mobile and try and stay one step ahead of the bass.
One good rule of thumb is to look for areas where the baitfish are congregating. Chances are that there are bass nearby. If the area is a dead zone, simply move to another. You don’t want to be in one spot for the entire day unless you know that it will be active. Keep moving around until you find the bass chasing the baitfish whenever possible.
Lures and Techniques
You also want to modify the types of lures that you’re using. The fall is the time to use lures that mimic the baitfish the bass are after. Crankbaits and spinners tend to be the preferred option. You can also trap and use some of the fish the bass are feeding on, and use them for bait as well.
Since baitfish are active, your fishing technique should also reflect this behavior. Forget about casting a line and waiting, but start to use spinners that you can cast and reel in time and time again. Bass are on the hunt during the fall, and they tend to give chase more frequently. Remember that the goal of the bass is to fatten up for the winter, so they are less-discriminatory and less-cautious than during other times of the year.
The more you’re able to think like a bass, the more you will be able to catch. Follow these suggestions, do a little more research, and take advantage of this opportunity to join in on the fall feeding frenzy that occurs in lakes across the country.