As the temperatures start to cool down from the desert summer heat, the bite you have been on a quest for all summer might have gotten intense. The fall is one of my favorite seasons to catch that giant that’s been hanging out in deep water. The quest gets hot when that water temperature begins to cool. Schools of shad will start to move up and congregate along shallow waters in and around the creek channels.
Weather, as the case with all seasons, dictates what goes on below the water causing bass behavior to change and transitions to take place as low or high pressure fronts move through. The majority of the time on those cool fall mornings, the bass will school up and move in to feed on bait fish in shallower water. It’s the perfect time to “match the hatch” and use a presentation that simulates the bait fish. Moving baits such as crank baits, spinner baits, jerk baits, flukes, swim baits, and rattletraps are a great place to start. But never rule out a topwater presentation, after all some of the best topwater fishing is actually in the fall. The list of topwater presentations is just as heavy as the other moving baits with spooks, buzz baits, poppers, and prop baits. The key is looking around at your surroundings and getting the exact pattern dialed in and simulating an injured bait fish.
Recently on a trip to Badin Lake, I noticed that most of the active fish were keying on shallow flats that were between 1-11 feet deep early that morning. I started the day throwing a Strike King KVD 1.5 catching several fish averaging 1-3 lbs.
When it does slow down, it’s important to focus on your surroundings, on what the fish are keying in on, and what colors. Sometimes when the bite gets slow it's as simple as reaching in the tackle bag and just make a quick color change to give the bass a new look. The shimmer of the bait fish will vary as the sun shines at various angles causing that color to look just a little different than it did in low light
Reel speed can be another key element that you will need to address depending on how aggressively the fish are feeding at moment. Keep casting until you’re able to find a pace that works for the fish. As the bite slows, slow your speed and you might just put yourself on a few additional fish that may be a little more sluggish.
Fall is truly a time when cold meets hot for a hook set on some aggressive feeding bass. Throw on some warmer gear and get out there. You never know if it could be your day to catch the lunker of your dreams.