As fall approaches, some anglers think that bass fishing season is coming to an end, but that could not be further from the truth. Using the right fall bass lures can keep bass fishing rolling strong right into the start of winter.
Of course it’s general knowledge that bass get less aggressive in colder-water temperatures. But when cooling down from the extreme heat of summer, conditions actually become more favorable for bass.
Depending where you’re fishing, water temperatures can reach as high as eighty and ninety degrees during the summer. These extreme water temperatures cause bass to get sluggish and have less of an appetite.
As a result they bury themselves in thick vegetation or find cooler temperatures in deeper water. But as the fall air slowly cools the waters, bass become less lethargic and get lured out to the more comfortable open water.
The cooling water not only brings the bass out of hiding, but it also signals them that winter is coming. This means that it’s time to start bulking up for the cold winter months. Which is great news for bass fishermen.
If you’ve always been one to store your rods away at the end of summer then you’ve been missing out. Between the increase in bass feeding activity and the decrease of fishing pressure on most lakes, this is a great time of year to catch a huge bass.
Top 3 Fall Lures
BiCO Original Jig
Strike King Buzz
Spro BBZ Rat
Best Bass Lures For Fall
There are certain lures that are especially great for fall bass fishing. Of course lure selection should be based more on actual water temperature than the date on the calendar. But you can almost always rely on these lures to produce in the cooling water temperatures of the fall.
There is no overall better performing lure for fall bass fishing than a jig. Jigs perform all year long because of how versatile they are. And it’s their versatility that plays the major role when you are trying to dial in on the fall pattern. Listen to any professional bass fisherman talk about fall fishing and they will always mention a jig.
When bass are feeding aggressively for the winter they tend to get dialed into a pattern of targeting a particular prey. In most cases this will be either crayfish and/or some specie of baitfish. By rigging a jig with either a craw trailer or paddle-tail swimbait trailer, you can easily match the profile and action of either type of prey.
You also have full control of the color combinations on a jig. Between being able to select the color of the head, the skirt, and the trailer, you have the ability to blend whatever colors you want to zero-in on whatever best represents the prey you want to match.
So between the customization of the action, the profile, and the color, jigs are the perfect lure for mimicking the prey bass are feeding on. We recommend BiCO Original Jigs, because you can fish them as flipping jigs or swim jigs.
But another big reason jigs are one of the best fall bass lures is their flexibility in retrieve speed. You can burn a swim jig when bass are active or slow them down when they’re not. The end of fall brings much cooler water temperatures, making bass more sluggish and less aggressive. This is when working a jig slowly on the bottom is your best bet.
Buzzbaits have a strong reputation for being a springtime bait, and this is because spring is a time when bass are feeding aggressively and the water temps are favorable for fast-moving topwater baits. Well, fall brings with it very similar conditions, especially in early fall.
Often times fall bass are feeding on shad and other baitfish, which is what a buzzbait is designed to represent. The sputtering and splashing from the blade creates a similar noise and appearance that a distressed baitfish swimming erratically along the surface would make
Like most topwater lures, buzzbaits work great in overcast conditions, but especially when there is a light chop on the surface. You should always have a buzzbait like a Strike King Buzz on hand when these conditions arise.
If you’re not looking for numbers and mostly want to target big bass, then swimbaits are what you should be throwing. This time of year bass are gorging on other fish, and a swimbait makes an excellent choice for anglers pursuing the bass of a lifetime.
As the swimbait craze continues, with it comes new designs of extraordinarily detailed baits. Whether bass are feeding on bluegill or rainbow trout, the wide selection out there gives you the ability to almost identically match the species you’re looking to match.
Waking a big swimbait like a Spro Rat on a rippled surface, or slow-rolling a soft paddle-tail swimbait like a Huddleston Trout along the bottom are both effective methods for getting a big bass to bite in the fall. Most of these big baits are slow-moving, and not only represent an easy meal but a filling one too.
Fall Bass Fishing
Although spring is a much more complex season for bass fishing, it’s actually not all that different from fall. Mostly because both seasons introduce more favorable water temperatures to bass. The difference being that in spring the waters are warming up towards optimal temp and in the fall the they are cooling down towards optimal temp.
Bass behavior is highly affected by water temperature, they are typically most comfortable and active in 60 to 75 degree water. In temperatures above or below than that range, bass begin to get more lethargic.
Naturally, a lethargic bass is more difficult to catch than an active one. That’s what makes this temperature range a highly sought after window for bass anglers.
As these more comfortable water temps move in, and with bass sensing that winter is fast approaching, they go into what is known as “the fall feed”. This is a time when bass tend to gorge themselves in preparation for winter.
When winter sets in, bass become so lethargic that they barely need to eat at all. In fact, since their bodies burn such little energy in cold conditions they can survive on a single baitfish for an entire month.
Bass in general are on a feeding frenzy during the fall. But what makes the fall especially great for bass fishing is this when the biggest bass in the lake will be feeding aggressively. Older bass are very much aware of the changing season, and knows fully well the conditions that lie ahead.
As a result, they know how to prepare. Luckily for bass fishermen, there is no better way for a bass to prepare for winter than getting as fat as possible.
There are certain techniques for fall bass fishing that when implemented correctly can get big bites right into November. It’s all about the right lures, the right colors, and the right action. Here are few fall fishing tactics that are highly effective this time of year.
The great thing about bass jigs is they are effective year round. But they are especially well known for being one of the best fall bass lures. This is mainly because of how much control you have over their presentation, in terms of color patterns, style of retrieval, and rate of retrieval. This versatility allows you to effectively fish a jig from early fall, right up to winter just by making adjustments to your presentation.
Swimming a jig in early fall is a great method for getting the active bass that this time of year brings to bite. This is best done by rigging a swim jig with a smaller paddle tail swimbait trailer. Running a swim jig through grass and light vegetation is deadly in early fall.
As waters get colder, bass tend to slow down, so you need to slow down your presentation as well. This is when working a jig slowly on the bottom becomes an effective tactic. Hopping a jig up and down on the bottom portrays an easy meal for slow moving bass.
Burning Fall Buzzbaits
Some professional bass anglers will argue that the post-spawn phase of spring is the best time of year for buzzbaits. The other half will tell you the fall is the best. Regardless, both times of year bring the similar conditions, so buzzbaits are at their peak when fall sets in.
The best part of a buzzbait is how much water you can cover fishing them. You can blast multiple casts at a target and be on to the next one in the same time that you would cast a jig or soft plastic once. This makes the buzzbait a great way to start a fall fishing outing, and quickly determine if that’s the approach bass are looking for.
Burning these baits across the top, in and around weed cover is going to be the high percentage points for a strike. A lot of times the water’s surface is going to tell you whether or not a buzzbait is going to be successful. You should be looking for a slight ripple on the water, and/or baitfish popping on the surface. Shad and other baitfish are the primary prey for bass in the fall, so ripping a buzzbait through areas where they are is ideal.
Slow Rolling Swimbaits
This a fall fishing tactic that leverages the tendency of bass to feed heavily on other fish. It is especially designed to target big bass. This technique can be used with surface swimbaits that wake on the surface or sinking/diving swimbaits that get down deep.
In early fall, when water temps are still up, both style swimbaits can be equally effective. If there is a slight ripple on the surface with some decent cloud cover, you should lean more towards the surface presentation. If the water is rougher than a ripple and/or the sun is shining bright, go with the sinking/diving models.
When the temps get really low in the late fall, your best bet is working a sinking soft plastic paddle tail swimbait very slow on the bottom. You should only be reeling fast enough to give the tail some action, that’s it. When the water is cold, this is an ideal and easy to catch meal for a lethargic bass.
Jerkbaits: Reaction Strikes
As winter starts to turn the corner, and water temperatures are getting down into the 40’s. In temps like that a jerkbait is one of the few lures that will get a bass to bite. It’s at this point in the season that bass are so inactive that they no longer need to replenish burned energy and are barely feeding. It’s the jerkbait’s ability to get a reaction strike that gives the a bass angler hope in these cold water conditions.
Jerkbaits have always had strong reputation for being cold water baits. This makes them very effective in early spring, late fall, and even into winter. This goes for both hard and soft jerkbaits. Whichever you use, the idea is to jerk the bait sparingly, letting it stand still for short periods of time.
Those still periods should be relative to the water temp; the colder the water, the longer you should make the bait sit still. Finding the ideal action should be done through trial and error.
In extremely cold water conditions, only soft swimbaits should be used. Unweighted, they have a natural slow sink rate that is appealing to bass in these temps. Once they sink to the bottom, they look like a dead or dying minnow laying waiting to get eaten.
A major reason why bass fishing in the fall is so great is because a lot of anglers pack it in this time of year. This means lakes and ponds get way less fishing pressure. This factor alone is huge for providing good bass fishing action. Not only is it great for catching more bass, it also means less boat traffic and backed up ramps. You’ll also see less pleasure boaters flying around while you’re trying to fish.
If you’re usually an angler who puts their gear away for winter when fall comes, hopefully this information has changed your plans this year. And if there’s one thing to take away from this page, it’s that having a jig tied on in the fall is a must.