By David MacDonald Founder of Lunkerhunt
Summer may be ending, but that doesn’t mean your fishing season has to end, too. In fact, fall fishing can offer some of the best action of the season. If you’re already starting to pack away your gear, stop!
As the daylight hours shorten and weather temperatures drop, both largemouth and smallmouth bass will put on the feedbag in an attempt to get ready for the leaner winter months ahead.
The key to catching northern bass in the fall is to understand that they’ve likely moved from their summertime locations. Each season is different and summers may run long or short, depending on where you live. The trick to successful fall fishing lies in understanding where to look as bass migrate to their winter time locations.
It is important to note that not all fish will move to their winter time locations at the same time. They could be foraging just off shore on the rocky slopes, or taking a break on transition areas.
The following are a couple of suggestions for locating early to late fall largemouth:
Where northern bass can be found in the fall
Bass will cruise along rocky, sloping shorelines that lead into deep lake points. Swim jigs, bladed jigs, jerkbaits, and crankbaits are great tools to look for actively feeding cruisers. Look for baitfish or signs of forage as you search the shoreline.
Remember: fish are on the feed, and forage is the key to locating bass.
If you see that forage is present in a certain area or signs that bass are eating crawfish, you can change things up a bit and throw tubes and Lunker Sticks in the area.
Secondary points and troughs are another great place to look for largemouth in the fall. They are good staging areas that hold fish that are making their way out to deeper water. You can fish these areas like you would fish the sloping banks, by using reaction baits as well as soft plastics.
Aside from the cold mornings you may have to endure, it can be tricky to find largemouth bass late in the fall. When you do find them, however, they’re often large and are usually not alone.
When the largemouth move to the final stages of the fall transition and set up deep, you can flip and dunk any deep weed that you can find. Look for healthy weeds near or on a main lake point that lead to a bay where they will spawn in the spring.
When everyone else has packed it in for the season and are at home watching football, throw on a few extra layers of clothing and hit the lake. It could result in some of the best bass fishing of the season.