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IgotWood

My bite is garbage this fall

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This is my first season for LMB. I had a great summer, with lots of big numbers in quantity, and quality. July and the early half of August was absolutely spectacular. Once the middle of August was here, my bite slowed tremendously. September was a complete bust, except for one big fish. I noticed that by late August, the fish weren't biting well in the normal spots I was finding them (trees/laydowns). I started seeing fish moving around in open water, on flats, and near drop-offs. I have been trying some hard baits, and topwaters, and some soft plastic swimbaits and chatters. 

The past two times I was out, I was able to locate several good sized pods of bait (probably gizzards), and a good number of fish pushing them around. To my limited knowledge, this is typical of fall, and many fishermen anticipate this part of the season. I'm lucky to catch 1-2 fish per outing, and the fish seem to be much smaller than usual, less then 2lbs. Yesterday, I was able to get on top some bait and fish. They seemed aggressive as they were chasing my bait to the side of my kayak, but wouldn't bite. I tried everything, cranks, topwater, chatters, worms/creatures, etc. I got frustrated and moved to a promising flat. There was plenty of bait and fish. I was able to draw a couple of short strikes on a fluke. I must be doing something wrong. Any tips? 

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I do well with crakbaits in the fall ,when the bass are aggressively hitting shad ,  dont know why you are having trouble . The Rapala Fat Rap in perch or gold foil work well for me . I also like the Luck E Strike RC's from Walmart  , Bomber Model A is good too .

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Spinner baits and crank baits are a good bet but remember that you are competing with live bait and that is always tough to compete with. 

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For me today, when they were chasing but not taking, I started to burn it for 4-5 cranks without stopping and slowing it down real slow for a few more cranks (like the bait was escaping danger). This was with lipless cranks and it was working great.

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They are probably eating very small sized bait right now. Try using something very small like a little jerkbait.

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I have been having the same problem where I fish. Last week I never even had a hit in 3 hours of fishing where I had been catching some nice largemouth. I tried spiinerbaits, swim baits, crankbaits, worms, crawdads and salamanders and nothing. I will try some smaller lures and see what happens.

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I think I may try an A-rig this week. I don't have the proper rid for it, but I'm curious to see the fish will react. It's so frustrating to get into fish, knowing that they are active, and can't get a bite. Something else I haven't tried is a wake bait. 

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I always forget to use spoons, but when I remember to use them, they work best when fish are chasing bait and have them balled up and picking them off....a 1/4-1/2 ounce casting spoon or flutter spoon often works well as it falls. A simple Kastmaster can do the trick, or weedless silver Minnow, Luhr-Jensen Pet Spoon if weeds are present.

If you let it sink to the bottom several times you should know if that will work, otherwise try fishing much faster than usual, Sometimes as I am changing baits like a lunatic around schooling fish I get bit while reeling fast to change baits....Then I start tossing a Small Crankbait and burning it and I get bit but usually they are smaller fish...

Fall is tricky because the fish are often moving and hard to pin down, even if you find large schools of bait, the Bass may not be feeding, but I like to approach fall with a moving bait before slowing down...Water is clear at times in the fall so color and size becomes more important, slow falling baits may not work as well in fall since they see it better when not in cover....

Sometimes nothing works, and it can be frustrating. I often feel that if too much bait is present than catching them may be harder since the lure is going to look out of place, that is why I like a lure like a spoon that flashes as it falls so they don't get a good look, but it is hit or miss. Spoons are the most under fished lure and I am guilty of not using them enough, but Some days you can catch a ton of fish throwing a cheap spoon and just reeling.

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Strike King RES and Rapala DT4/6 are my favorite fall crankbaits. Spinnerbaits are definitely a must too. Depending on water clarity you can get on a good jerkbait bite in the fall too.

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Welcome to a sport that can drive you nuts.  Part of seasonal fishing is understanding seasonal patterns.  A big part of that is understanding your local forage.  If your lakes support batfish (you mention shad), finding schools and knowing how to fish them is huge in the fall. I don't have shad on most bodies of water I fish, but I do have alewives and lots of other batfish species.  These fish are going to be larger in the fall than any other time of year. My success has always been (very much the opposite of above advice, and I think the general consensus would agree) that larger baits are much, much more effective at replicating forage.  Throw bigger cranks, jerkbaits, flukes, swim jigs (4-6" trailers), etc.  Typically, by late summer and early fall, I'm already throwing larger baitfish and crayfish imitations because in most waters the forage has already grown considerably and something like a keel weighted 5-7" fluke "dieing" looks like a more efficient dinner option than chasing 4-6" baitfish that are still full of life.  The thing is, once you find feeding schools, by keeping a variety of similar baits on deck and ready to throw, you can reactivate fish and keep bites going for a long time. A good start would be a swim jig, spinnerbait, jerkbait, and fluke matching the forage.  

You seem to have figured out more than most in one season.  Stay patient and do your homework on fall patterns and it may become your favorite season. 

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Mine's been tough too save for a couple good days here and there. I just keep telling myself that the cooler it gets the better it will get. My best days seem to be the ones that are at the tail end of fall, when the weeds are dying off and the bass are scrounging for fill-ups before winter. Some of those days it's like I can't throw a buzzbait on shallow flats fast enough for them. I'm betting I'll have crazy success with a Whopper Plopper come that time. Before that though I'll try spinnerbaits, especially finesse spinnerbaits on a spinning rig. If that's too much for them I'll start throwing Spybaits, that usually does the trick.

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I've been having success on spinnerbaits, shallow cranks, jerk baits, and buzzbaits. 

The baits that I was killing them on just a month ago - senkos (both T-rigged and wacky), soft swimbaits, Ned rig, Neko rig - have completely died.

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Went yesterday expecting a hot bite .Water temp 69 degrees and cloudy with light winds , perfect .Took  four rods and started out with crankbaits on three and a t-rigged worm on the other . Did not catch a single fish on a crank and only 2 from the worm . Managed about 25 fish total with 4 barely over 15 inches .  Most came on a little 1/4 ounce ,single willow-leaf  , home-made spinnerbait .   . The fish were very tight in lay downs and accurate cast were needed in minuscule  places . Make a good cast and bass were all over it .

 

 

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The season just changed and the water temps are starting to drop. It's that late summer/early fall transition around here. Another couple of weeks and it should be really good fall fishing. Fingers crossed.

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went out today from around noon til 4:30 or so. surface water temps still in the mid 70's here and I'm still seeing a thermocline on the Garmin. stroked/swam texas rigged worms in gp and june bug. i managed to get 18 spots, mostly dinks. the key was finding them. i would cruise an area looking for activity or bait balls on the sonar and start casting once i found them. 

today was easy. tomorrow may be totally different.

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Fall fishes so much different than summer. I went out Monday and caught my first fish on a deep crankbait, jig, shaky head, A-rig, and jerk bait in months. I couldn't get anything on a drop shot, shortened my leader from 18" to 8" and started catching them like crazy.

They bite the same year round, they just don't bite the same stuff in the same way year round. 

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