Fall is coming
by Mike Gerry
The inevitable is on its way again – there are some August signs that fall is coming.
It is not hard to see some leaves dropping from the dry weather, some cool northern breezes early in the day, and August quickly coming to an end. When this occurs, fish shallow, as there are many obstacles to overcome in the deep. When every bite counts, as it does in a tournament, you cannot afford any mistakes. Missing fish is, unfortunately, part of bass fishing, but when every fish counts and when bites are hard to come by, like the fall season, then there are some things you can do to protect against some of those misses.
First, you must be rigged correctly for the shallow bite, so matching your bait to the proper rod and line strength is a must. I want to be able to get a strong hook-set, not worry about the line breaking, and get as sensitive a rod as I can find. I also generally rig with at least a 1/4 oz. weight, and sometimes even a 3/8 oz. because a bullet weight that is a little heavier than the one you would use in the spring helps you detect every bite regardless of whether the bass hits it hard or just lightly picks it up.
It is also important, in the fall, that you can locate the grass edges. As the grass dies off and hangs underneath the water, it is not always easy to see. So, I use a good pair of polarized sunglasses that are equipped with extremely clear polarized lenses that will let you to see the grass lines, even though they are underwater, allowing you to work your bait directly on the edges.
The fall is a time of year where we get several blue bird days, and being able to see the grass edge is imperative. The closer you work the bait to the grass line the better chance you have of getting bites, as that is where the oxygen is located.
Fish shallow, work grass, rig correctly, look for bait balls. Be persistent with these tactics in the fall, and you will be successful during one of the toughest times of the year!