Its that time when anglers need to be thinking about shifting tactics from summer to fall seasonal patterns.
If you live in the north, early stages of fall patterns may already be developing. In the south, it may not occur until October. In either case, its triggered by the first successive nights of cool weather, cooling water temperatures and shorter days.
Those changes send the lakes forage toward shallower water and the bass follow them. The gamefish know winter is coming and they have to eat as much as they can before it arrives.
Where to look:Bait and bass often head back to the same places you found them in early spring, but they dont go there overnight. During the transition, look for them moving along lake contours that lead from summer hideouts to the shallower feeding areas. On natural lakes, they may follow a drop-off separating big flats and deeper water while on reservoirs it will be channels and ditches leading into creeks.
Im always looking for signs of baitfish. If I dont see them dimpling the surface, Ill idle through a creek and study my Lowrance StructureScan for large pods of suspended bait. If theres no sign of minnows, the bass wont be there, either.
Heres another clue: backwater areas receiving freshwater run-off tend to attract more fish than those without feeder creeks and ditches. Fresh flowing water brings deliver tiny organisms that minnows eat and thats what draws the bait and the bass.
Lure choices:I employ a one-two punch when fishing in the fall, opting for either search baits or finesse lures.
Search baits (crankbaits, jerkbaits, and spinnerbaits) allow me to cover water quickly. Finesse lures (Carolina rig, shaky head worm, drop-shot rig or grub) come into play once I locate a school or if they stop biting the search bait.
Fall bass are aggressive and eager to chase down a fast mover, so search baits work very well. However, fall often brings cold fronts that send bass into a snit. The...
OhioGameFishing is a member of the Outdoor Hub network