By Steve Graf
For me, the fall is my favorite time of the year to bass fish. Those hot summer days are behind us and cooler days and nights take over. This in turn cools the water surface temperature down which helps to trigger a good feeding frenzy. Today, we’ll take a look at few of the best fall baits you need to have tied on the next time you go fishing.
First, let’s tie on an oldie but goodie, a spinnerbait! Now with this bait, you want to keep it simple. Keep in mind that bass are feeding on shad or baitfish trying to fatten up for the winter months. So, the color you choose, should be white or if the water has a little stain, use chartreuse and white combination. I have found more success by using a smaller spinnerbait like a ¼ oz. with two small 1 ½ or #2 willow leaf blades. I like double silver blades if the water is clear and a silver/gold combination if the water is stained. Again, you’re trying to imitate small shad, so smaller blades tend to look more realistic. My favorite ¼ oz. spinnerbait is called a “Humdinger” which has small blades and comes in several blade combinations, but again I like the double willow bait the best. One thing that I feel really sets the “Humdinger” apart from other spinnerbait brands, is the living rubber skirt, which has more action coming through the water than your traditional silicone skirt.
Next, a crankbait can be a great choice when targeting bass that are chasing and feeding on shad or baitfish. Again, you’re trying to match the hatch so again, keep it simple. I like a bait called a “Bandit” which comes in three different series: 100, 200 or 300. The 100 series is shallow running crankbait that runs 2 to 4 feet deep depending on what size line you’re throwing. The 200 series for me is my personal choice and runs 6 to 8 feet again depending on the size line you’re using. And the third series, is a 300 which runs 8 to 10 feet deep. When it comes to color, choose either a pearl-colored bait with a black back, a chrome with either a blue or black back and my personal choice is what Bandit calls the “splatter back” which is a white crankbait with black paint splattered across the back of the bait and has a yellow belly but sometimes I’ll alter this yellow belly with hot red fingernail polish.
One more option is a topwater bait like a chugger, prop bait or a walking style bait like a “Zara Spook”, “Chug bug”, or my personal choice, a “Yellow Magic” (Pop R type of bait). Nothing gets the blood flowing more than a bass exploding on a topwater bait! Everyday can be different; you have to let the fish tell you what they want each day. Some days they want a bait that walks from side to side, and on other days, they may want a slow retrieving prop bait like a small or medium size Whopper Plopper. Also, always, always, always make sure you a have “ SPRO” topwater frog tied on no matter what. When the bass are eating the frog, it can get very exciting really quick.
This fall when you head to the lake, I hope this will help make your decision making easier. The fall can be an awesome time to be on the lake, as bass migrate up the creeks and gorge themselves on shad. It’s also a great time for another reason, a lot of anglers are hunters and are in the woods chasing Mr. Buck; leaving the lakes less crowded. So, take the time over the next two months and lock in on some of the best bass fishing action of the year. Good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!
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