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In order to make the most of your bass fishing trip, you may want to think about the time of year you plan to fish, as there can be different methods depending on the season.
The fall can be a great time for bass fishing, so we’ve put together some information on fall bass fishing tactics so you can improve your catch rate and make the most of your bass fishing excursions this fall.
Where Are The Best Places To Find Bass In The Fall?
Lakes can be a go-to spot for bass fishing no matter what time of the year it is, but fall can be as good a time as any, as this will often be when bass are beginning to move to their wintering zones.
Ideal areas of a lake to target can be marinas and docks that offer cover and vertical structures that bass seem to prefer. Islands and points in a lake that jut out can also be great places to target.
Video: Bank Fishing Tips For Bass In The Fall
Bass will often follow baitfish, such as shad, into shallower zones and during the fall this can often be close to creeks, where there is also likely to be crawfish, but the bass may still be found in deeper water next to these shallows.
Fall can be one of the best times for fishing in rivers, as fish should be actively feeding as they prepare for the winter. Because rivers can often be unpredictable, it can be a good idea to find the baitfish first and once you find those, the bass shouldn’t be too far away.
The Midwest has a lot to offer, with plenty of lakes where you can catch both largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula can be a fantastic place to fish, with access to numerous bodies of water, including three of Great Lakes (Superior, Huron and Michigan) and boasting some spectacular fall scenery.
The Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri can also be a great spot to catch bass in the fall.
Lake Champlain, with shores in New York, Vermont and Quebec, Canada is known for its bass. And the fall can be one of the best times to fish, with both largemouth and smallmouth bass being found in the lake.
Fall will often come later in the South than it will in the northern regions but it can still be a great time to fish. Fall can be one of the best times to fish at Lake Okeechobee in Florida, as this can be the time of the pre-spawn for bass, which, in northern areas often doesn’t begin until spring.
Alabama’s Lake Guntersville can also be a prime fishing spot in the fall, with plenty of vegetation and rocky cover that can be perfect hiding places for predatory fish.
How To Catch Bass In The Fall (Top Tactics And Techniques)
Find The Flats
Flats can usually be found in most bodies of water and can be good places to target in lakes and rivers when you’re looking for fall bass. These flats can often be where bass can be found when they’re waiting for migrating baitfish to swim by.
Fishfinders can often tell you the depths of the water and can locate flats in a lake or river. Spinnerbaits can be ideal for grassy flats and crawfish style lures may be a good option for rocky flats.
Target The Shallows
Because bass are likely to be actively feeding during the fall months, you will often find them in the shallows. This can mean they can be easier to catch, since they can be more likely to bite. Topwater baits can be an attractive option for bass in these areas.
Within the shallow zones, you might find bass hiding out near where there are wood piles or permanent structures, especially if the area was home to a lot of vegetation during the summer that has now gone.
Find Channel Swings
Channel swings can be where you might find bass during the fall, as this can be where they go when the temperature drops due to a cold front. Channel swings can be found in both lakes and rivers, where the water hits a bank and the current has to bend around to go back in the other direction.
These can hold areas of deep water where bass can be hiding out, as they tend to be close to shallows and banks, as well as migrating channels.
What’s The 5 Best Baits And Lures For Fall Bass Fishing?
Crankbaits can be an ideal choice for fall bass fishing, as they can imitate a struggling baitfish, such as shad, and they can offer a fast moving presentation that can appeal to feeding bass at this time of year.
Crankbaits can also offer good depth variety for when you want to target deeper waters with diving baits or if you want to cast into shallow zones with smaller, shallow diving baits.
They can also be presented fast or slow, depending on the mood of the fish.
- Weight: ¾ ounce
- Length: 3.5 inches
The Rat-L-Trap is a ¾ ounce lipless crankbait lure that features an interior rattle, designed to attract the attention of a bass and imitate a struggling baitfish. It comes in a wide range of colors for different water clarity levels and features two treble hooks.
It is designed to sink and can be used as a casting or jigging lure for bass fishing.
Video: Rat-L-Trap – Lipless Crankbait
Topwater lures can be an ideal option for fall fishing because these types of lures can often excel when you’re fishing in shallow areas.
Walk the dog style lures and poppers can be a good way to attract the attention of feeding bass.
Video: Walking Baits (Topwater) For Fall Bass
Yo-Zuri 3DB Popper Floating Lure
- Weight: ⅝ ounce
- Length: 3 inches
The Yo-Zuri Popper can be a great choice for a topwater bait, as it can mimic the actions of a dying shad, which can be what the bass are after during the fall. It’s a floating lure that is designed to be used with walking presentations as well as pop and pause style presentations.
This lure is a popping lure, which means it should create a popping noise as it’s walked across the surface of the water.
This can alert bass, letting them think there’s an injured baitfish struggling at the surface.
Jigs can be useful at most times of the year, including the fall.
These can be paired with creature trailers for added appeal and can be jigged and flipped in areas of cover, where bass might be likely to be hiding.
Terminator Pro Jig
- Weight: ¼ ounce
The Terminator Pro Jig could be a good choice for flipping and casting around cover and benefits from having a weed guard to prevent getting caught on vegetation. It comes in a range of colors, including white, and features a rattle to help draw more attention from bass.
It can be an ideal choice for pairing with a crawfish trailer.
Video: Fall Bass Fishing With A Jig
Spinnerbaits can be a choice lure when the water temperatures begin to drop in the fall. They can be fished as a fast moving bait or slowed down to match the energy under the water.
Spinnerbaits can look like natural baitfish underwater and they can create noise and vibrations that can attract the attention of bass.
Strike King Finesse KVD Spinnerbait
- Weight: ½ ounce
- Length: 6 inches
This Strike King Spinnerbait features realistic colors for a more natural appearance under the water and it has a smaller profile that is designed to encourage more strikes.
It benefits from having a premium hook and both a Colorado and willow blade for added vibration.
Jerkbaits can be useful for fishing on steep banks, such as around channel swings bluffs and points. They can also attract attention near where there are schools of baitfish and can be a good choice for fall fishing and into winter, but you may need to slow down your presentation when you come into winter.
Zoom Bait Magnum Super Fluke
- Weight: 1.4 ounces
- Length: 7 inches
The Zoom Bait Magnum Super Fluke is a 7 inch soft plastic jerkbait that comes in a pack of five. It can be a good tool to use to catch bass in the fall as it can offer the illusion of a bigger meal, which could potentially attract bigger bass.
It comes in a variety of colors to suit different conditions and water types and features a salt mixture in its body which is designed to make bass hold on to it for longer, giving you time to set your hook.
Video: How To Fish Jerkbaits For Fall & Winter Bass
There are many options for fall bass lures, so you’re spoilt for choice 🙂
Fall can be a fantastic time of year for bass fishing. Not only are the leaves changing color but it can mean temperatures are a little more comfortable and lakes and rivers can be less busy.
Bass can be in or near the shallows and actively feeding during the fall, so it can be worth checking out these areas, as well as areas around cover and structure.
Have you caught any big bass on a particular set-up during the fall? We’d love to hear about it.
Don’t forget to share this guide with your fishing pals.