North country fall bass fishing tactics: Not just for deep water anymore!
Mid-October has arrived that means the heart of fall fishing. Let’s discuss some fishing secrets as they apply to bass fishing before the hard water arrives.
I love pike and walleyes in the fall, but bass remain on my agenda. Bass maintain a distinctive fall pattern, and this is a great time for both quantities of bass, and quality fish. We just need to go look for these fish. The biggest ingredient in aiding that search right now is green weeds – cabbage and coontail.
Regarding hard structure, look for steep locations, especially adjacent to flats with green weeds on the back side. Rock piles can hold these bass, too, especially if green weeds are beginning to deteriorate.
Inside turns, for example, are dynamite for fall bass. If you can combine rocks, weeds, and inside turns of a point running into deep water, that’s a dynamite location.
I don’t mean to overemphasize deep water because fishing shallow for fall bass can be productive. Those fish will move into warm shallows to chase prey, even in two feet of water. Big bass will be up there feeding heavily, especially in a lake with shiners, shad, or sunfish and crappies. Lakes with a shiner or shad prey base are my favorite this time of year.
By the way, I’ll sometimes hear comments about fish not relating to dead weeds – that dead weeds give off a gas or heat that fish will avoid. This is not true! I have caught lots of bass in dead weed flats in the fall.
As for my top fall bass techniques, some of the most productive ways of catching bass in the fall are crankbaits. In the shallows, use shallow-running crankbaits, and off a flat or breakline, use a diver. The depth and wobble is a big factor. Bottom line, run them where the bass are located.
And vary your retrieves! Use a slower retrieve to get a good vibration out of that crankbait. Finally, Texas- and wacky-rigged worms, and spinnerbaits are productive, too. When casting to these fish, use a long rod so you can cast from a long distance and avoid spooking fish.
Always remember with bass: You can go out one day and have fabulous fishing, the next not so good. That’s fall fishing.