Key fall baits
by Mike Gerry
In the fall every year the bass become active and they start feeding up for the chilly winter months; they chase bait, school up, and if you can locate them at the right time of day you can have a blast. It is not always easy because you are competing against the enormous amount of bait fish moving about, and choosing the correct baits becomes your biggest challenge.
Here are a few baits that I really like in the fall. It is also the case that my choices sometime change from year to year as fishing pressure can eliminate your favorite bait easily or it can enhance it; you just must adjust.
The best way to categorize my favorite fall baits is to put them into the reaction column. Reaction baits often cause bass to strike before they have a chance to move away from your bait. That said, my first fall bait that has stood the test of time is the SPRO rattle baits. I like it small, like in a 1/2 or 3/8 ounce so you can move it above the grass and over structure. It is a bait that can be presented in many different ways, from yo-yoing to speed reeling and more. This allows you to find a presentation that the bass will strike and cause competition among them.
I also enjoy buzz baits during the fall transition. They’re noisy, they cover water, you can fish it many different ways with different add-ons as trailers, or noise makers, and keep it above the thick grass. Buzz baits can cause a fish to move 20 to 30 yards and strike viciously, without hesitation, making it a fun bait for young anglers to enjoy and be successful using. I like fishing it on braided line as this eliminates the stretch and catches the fish even if you do not get a good hook set.
Lastly, I really enjoy the versatility of a spinner bait in the fall; it is a bait that can be fished near the water surface, in the mid-range depth, or along the bottom.
Often times in the fall there are small, schooling fish tearing up the near the top of the water. Try changing to a spinner bait, roll it on the bottom, and many times you will find that big fish!