Early Fall Transition Bass Fishing Tips
As summer gives way to the cooler days of fall, the temperature isn’t the only thing that changes. So does bass behavior. If you fish the same honey holes you did during the heat of summer and use the same techniques, chances are you won’t put many bass in the livewell. So where should you concentrate your efforts and what tactics should you apply? Boomerang Tool Company, maker of The Snip and other quality retractable fishing tools, along with Boomerang Pro Staffer Russ Lane, offer the following tips for bassin’ success during the summer to fall transition period.
When to Start Changing Your Strategy
According to Lane, when the days start to shorten, its time to make the switch from summer strategies to fall techniques. “The water temps will still be high, but the shorter duration of daylight always corresponds with fall patterns,” he said. On most lakes, a good time to start employing fall tactics is late August to early September. That’s when the water temps begin to cool and bass move from their deeper summer haunts to shallower water.”
Where to Find ‘em
Lane points out that there are two primary patterns during late summer and early fall. “Bass on the main body of a lake will suspend and school around shad and alewives near long points, humps and breaks,” he noted. “The depth of these suspended schools will be relative to the water color. Typically, the clearer the water, the deeper the schools of bait and bass will suspend.
Good numbers of bass can also be found toward the backs of major feeder creeks at this time of year. Concentrate on stained water near the creeks and depths of one to four feet. That’s where the threadfin and gizzard shad tend to bunch up.”
What to Throw
Lane likes to use bladed swimjigs to entice bass during the summer/fall transition. “The bass are usually very aggressive, said Lane. “All of their habits and movements are based around pursuing baitfish, so I like to work a Chatterbait with a fast, erratic retrieve.” That’s not to say this technique works in every situation. If it doesn’t produce, experiment and let the fish tell you what type of retrieve best gets their attention.”
Stay Focused on the Bait
“Remember, for bass, it’s all about chasing schools of bait during this period,” said Lane. “And since baitfish are constantly on the move, you’ll need to cover a lot of water to find and keep up with them. Don’t waste your time working areas with no signs of forage fish. If the shad aren’t around, you probably won’t put any fish in the boat.”