Fishing tip of the week

Fall search baits
by Mike Gerry

As we approach fall fishing everything you were doing in the summer may have changed and the time is here to learn to search for fish using what has become commonly known as search baits.
The great news is that, generally, bass are becoming active, allowing you to cover water quickly until you find active fish. Use of your trolling motor speed to cover water becomes key in the fall.

First and foremost, I believe that search baits are not always created equal. If you are looking for just the number of bites, it is different than searching for the big bites, especially in the fall! My keys are big fish use big search baits; small fish use smaller search baits. I also feel strongly that searching for fish in the fall is different than searching in the summer, or even the spring. The difference is that in the fall one of your best search baits is searching via top water; where we hardly ever search for bass on top any other time of year. It’s also well known that the bass move shallow and searching over the top of shallow grass may very well win you a tournament.

One of the most versatile baits ever made is the Zara Spook. It allows you, in the fall, to search on top and use different sized search baits in finding fish. If you’re looking for tournament-size fish, you can search with their full-size spook, or if you’re just fishing for bites, you can downsize your spook and go smaller very easily and with the same presentation. Be a bank fisherman. At least start out in the day in the shallow water because the bass move in much shallower in the fall than many realize.

I also like searching with swim baits in the fall as it allows you to follow the same philosophy, easily using big swim baits to find bigger fish and downsize to find bites. It is also a great presentation to search different depths as swim baits are easily counted down to different depths to find fish that will react while suspending.
Search baits are a big part of fall fishing. There are many different ways, and baits, to search with that can make your fishing day very successful.
Captain Mike

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