Fall starts when the air and water temps start dropping from the summer's Mid 80's and 90's to the mid 70's. The days become shorter and there is less sun light. These are all triggers for the Bass to instinctively know the fall is here. The fish do the same thing every year. They go through the 3 stages of fall.
• Early Fall Patterns
• Mid Fall Patterns "The Feeding Frenzy"
• Late Fall transition - Fish heading to the Winter pattern
1. Early Fall Pattern:
Where are the bass at you ask? They start moving from deeper water. They are following the bait. Where the bait goes the Bass go. The bait is going to make a shallow movement upward towards creeks, pockets, shoals and humps. you want to look for the stopping places. These bass are going to stop on points, docks, lay-downs and even points of grass. Try tossing some cranks, jigs and even topwater.
2. Mid Fall Pattern: "The Feeding Frenzy"
Air and water temps are really starting to drop now. You are seeing 70's or even60's. Time to break out the hoodies and gaiters. Short days now have the bass following bait deep into the creeks, pockets, shoals, humps and flats. You should be able to grab them on spinner baits, cranks, top water. They are feasting now! But unfortunately this all comes to an end and goes into the 3rd transition. The most tricky of the 3 phases. Late fall!
3. Late Fall Transition: the water and air temps are dropping even more and the bass are heading out of the creeks and pockets and off the shoals and flats. WINTER is coming and the fish know it. This isn't sooo bad because guess what? They are coming back the same way they came in. They will stop at all the same points, lay-downs, docks and other cover they hit on the way in. The bass will not be feasting but most likely they will be all stacked up! If you find them it wont be hard to #GETHOOED. Then comes the winter pattern and I chase the big crappie and perch!
Crank baits happen to be one of my favorite ways to fish. Cranks baits are like a Rhino smashing through cover and rocks to create chaos and get that fish to bite. I like them because they are a great way to cover water and locate fish. Crank baits will dive any where from 1 - 20 feet. I personally like to fish the shallow ones and up to 10 feet deep. Here are a few...
1.5 & 2.5" Squarebills: Squarebill cranks are great for shallow water up to 5' deep. They get used with a variety of retrieves. You can burn them and get them to look like they are hunting through the rocks or give them a little reel, pause, reel technique. They will cover a lot of water and are a great fish locator.
Deep Divers: Deep Diving baits will range anywhere from 10 to 20 feet deep. I use these at the drop offs when the fish are suspended in deeper water and want to chase these off the ledges. Use these on them hot summer days when the bass are bidding down deep. You can also run them along or above the deep weeds.
Lipless: These lipless have a wide variety of ways you can use them. You can slow roll them, burn them fast, the yo-yo technique or pop them on and off the bottom. These baits produce many strikes on the move. These are another great bait to cover a bunch of water real fast. Be creative!
A few tips on tossing the jig
Flipping Jigs: You would use these baits to fish inside or outside of cover like trees, wood and laydowns. These jigs usually have a stream lined head to cut through the dense cover. You want to take short precise casts with these. Let it fall to the bottom and give it 2 bumps and burn it back to the boat. The repeat. Remember to get that precision and precise cast as to where you think the fish may be in the cover.
Football Jigs: The football jig is made for wide open fishing. If you can picture how a football would wobble from side to side then that is how this jig performs. It is great for wobbling along rocks and chunks just like a craw fish.Take long bomb casts and retrieve over 1 rock at a time. You want to feel the bottom while you are counting the rocks and such. A slow roll.
Finesse Jigs: The finesse jig has a smaller profile and bullet or round head. This bait is great for light cover, small rocks. Good for fishing small ponds ands smaller situations. It does the same job as the others with more of a softer approach.