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Hightekrednek

What should I use?

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 I may be going on one last bass trip this weekend, I haven't been out since late August, and I'm not sure what they will want.  I'll be fishing on a lake in northeastern washington, and the water is starting to get pretty cold.  Any general suggestions on what lures, structure, techniques to fish?  I got a feelin that a stickbait right under the docks might be the trick, with the bass slowing down for the year.   Thanks!

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Even in Washington I'm guessing the fish will still be on a fall pattern meaning they will be fattening up for winter. Those fall pattern fish are gourging on shad so any shad type lure is a good start.  Rattletraps, Spinnerbaits, Crankbaits, white Jigs, pearl Senkos, etc. If you find the baitfish you will find the bass. Long points are a great place to start looking.

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I agree with senko on this one. Also If theres smallies in the water pick up some x-raps. The smallies will kill them.

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x rap, jigs,crank and pause with cranks, walkthe dog type topwater lures and senkos. Spinnerbaits do the trick but are sometimes to fast for what the bass want where i live. Im guessing you could also fish shallow any dark spots in the water such as stumps and riprap shoudl be great places wince they absorb heat from the sun and bass tend to draw near to them for comfort and heat. You cant go wrong with the senko any depth just let if fall then reel it in, i normally fish the senko fast since 90% of my strikes are on the fall i just wait till i hit the right spot. Fat ikas would be a good idea for smallies since your up north.

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Hightekredneck, how cold is your water?  Everything mentioned so far is good in the fall.  If your water is down in the lower fifties or even the upper forties I'd be looking at jerkbaits like the Xrap, husky jerk, or Smithwick Rogue.  I'd also have some jigs and trailers onhand.  

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 I believe the water is in the low fifties, but I'm not sure.  The air temp. has been down to 20 degrees in the mornings for the last week, so I hope to get out there soon.

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Even in Washington I'm guessing the fish will still be on a fall pattern meaning they will be fattening up for winter. Those fall pattern fish are gourging on shad so any shad type lure is a good start. Spinnerbaits, Crankbaits, white Jigs, pearl Senkos, etc. If you find the baitfish you will find the bass. Long points are a great place to start looking.

 What sucks is, a bass in these lakes wouldn't know what a shad is if it swam right past his nose.  There aren't any in most of these lakes.  Sunfish, baby tench(carp), baby crappie, and perch, with the fingerling trout plants that are due any time now, make up the foodfish in these lakes.  The same tactics will probably work, but I really wish there was a steady supply of small baitfish, such as shad.

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When the water begins to become cold I usually put away my softbaits and use rapalas. So that is my recommendation to you, try rapala lures, particularly huskjerks. Also the colors I suggest are shad, golden shiner, and perch. These work pretty good around the lakes I fish in these colder months. And the lakes im fishing have the same fish living in them as you listed. The only difference is im fishing in Nj. But good luck out there, and give rapala huskyjerks a try, you'll be surprised how good they work when the water is cold.

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Even if there are no shad in your lakes, bass will hit shad crankbaits.

There are no shad in the pond across the street, but that bass tear up shad baits.

It's just another food to the bass.

Everything in the lake will be feeding up for fall.

Standard fall baits for me are crankbaits, jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits and jigs.  I always look in the backs of coves now and work my way out.

Good luck!

Brad

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Senko and others are right.I lean toward anything that may draw a reaction strike this time of year.It may be fall feed but you may find bass on the sluggish side(ecspecially quality fish).Spinnerbaits have been my #1 go to lure this time of year.I have also found that I have had to aggrivate some bass with it to draw a strike.A couple of problem factors that I have ran into during fall feed:

Fish gorge themselves on shad which are readily availible especially on the shallow flats.When there are thousands of shad and you are throwing only one lure you may need to stay away from the "match the hatch"theory.In other words,don't be scared to show them something they haven't seen.It may be what saves the day.

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Hightekredneck, how cold is your water? Everything mentioned so far is good in the fall. If your water is down in the lower fifties or even the upper forties I'd be looking at jerkbaits like the Xrap, husky jerk, or Smithwick Rogue. I'd also have some jigs and trailers onhand.

I agree, but I'd also try the untraditional stuff if the traditional stuff doesn't work.

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If bluegill is the main forage in the lake and you can't seem to catch any on shad type lures then try a swim jig.  Strike King makes a good one.  Get the bluegill color in 1/2oz and take a 5" grub and put it on the jig with the tail going down.  This is real important because the tail helps keep the bait on a horizontal track the whole way in.  If not, the 1/2oz body will sink as you reel.  Keep the jig moving and dancing.  Work it like a constant jerkbait.  You can throw swim jigs in the nastiest cover so just keep chunking it and I'm sure it will work.

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