Top lure and bait options for autumn crappies and bass
Now’s the time when I hear a lot of chatter about autumn baits for lunker bass. Here’s how I approach that.
Work skirted jigs with or without an added soft trailers around docks, edges of deep-water flats, and weedlines. Cast small crankbaits into inside turns with rock and green foliage and vary your retrieves. Cover a lot of water looking for reaction bites when bass are not cooperating. I toss 1/4- or 3/8-ounce white or white chartreuse small-bladed spinnerbaits to any deep or shallow cover.
On overcast days, buzzbaits are an alternative. Wacky and Texas rigs are always an option in shallow flat green or dead weed locations. Use fluorocarbon line. Water temperatures will determine fish locations – either shallow or deep. Look for baitfish: That is where bass will be!
Recently, a reader asked if I use minnows or plastics fishing for fall crappies.
Well, plastics are very productive, but we must address profile, retrieves and color. Live bait rigs trolled with minnows work for deep scattered crappies and bobbers for those that refuse to bite.
I recently fished crappies on the river in 2 to 6 feet of water using jigs and plastics with good results. Use 1/32- or 1/16-ounce jigs to sink slow. Avoid 1/8-ouncers because of not only the drop rate but fish will expel the unnatural feel. Heavier jigs can be used if rough water or deep depths are factors.
Cast to targets with 4-pound Nanofil, long fast taper rods and retrieve at a crawl. Employ the stop and go to allow jig to reach fish that are deeper on retrieve. Experiment with color : white, white-pink, red or chartreuse-white are starting choices. Under most conditions plastics in the 1½- to 2½-inch range with various profiles are options. There is no doubt plastics are more proficient than live bait under most conditions. We also eliminate lost time from constant re-baiting.