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Fall tactics

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Fall is one of those magical times when darn near everything in your tacklebox can catch fish at any given time.  ;)

I like using shallow cranks (1-6ft), shad colored swim jigs, crawfish colored jigs around rocks. Fun stuffs.

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I'll be spending less time on the river and more time at my local reservoir. My home lake has one major feeder creek that I plan on spending most of my time in but I'll also hit the upper end of the lake some. I usually will use super flukes, shallow cranks, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits, but as Valascus pointed out nearly anything in your tackle box can work at this time. It's a great time to fish and I'm looking forward to having some outstanding days on the water, Lord willing.

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Shallow to medium crankbaits with some topwater poppers and walk the dog lures. in early fall.  As temperatures cool I'll switch to jigs on channel banks and on the rocks and riprap which will hold heat.  

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For those who use flukes in the fall, on average, how deep do you usually work these things?  I know that you have to "follow the baitfish" and such, but if I don't have a decent fishfinder to find the baitfish, how deep should I be working them?  I haven't really used these very much but I want to this fall because from what I hear, they work really well during that season.  Thanks.

Colin

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Guest ouachitabassangler

I let flukes spiral down as though a dying shad. Let it go to bottom then yank up, fall again on a semi tight line.

I find Fall bassing to resemble first pre-spawn then post-spawn, finding bass in the typical places for those seasonal movements, taking the same baits I'd use in spring. The only difference is higher water temp and increased vigor of bass on a last feeding binge, so speed up the retrieve.

Jim

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I use search baits in the fall like spinnerbaits or lipless cranks.  Fish will bunch up more in the fall.  When I find them I'll slow down a bit more and catch more than one in a location.  Larger fish will move shallower than during the summer months making them more likely to be caught.  My local lake has tons of hydrilla along the banks so I fish the hydrilla edge and try to cover water.  I key on points and inside turns especially.  I know a lot of people say to head to the tributaries cause the bait will migrate that way but my local lake is too loaded with hydrilla to do that (the shallower areas are not navigable).  So I work on steeper banks and points mostly.  Had a good fall season last year...hope to do the same this year.

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I let flukes spiral down as though a dying shad. Let it go to bottom then yank up, fall again

Jim

So how do you rig the flukes?  C rig, T rig, or do you let them fall under their own weight?  I haven't used them at all.  Seems to me like if you wanted them to fall slowly they should fall under their own weight.  Something most people don't have the patience for!  Me included  LOL

Thanks

Jon

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I let flukes spiral down as though a dying shad. Let it go to bottom then yank up, fall again

Jim

So how do you rig the flukes? C rig, T rig, or do you let them fall under their own weight? I haven't used them at all. Seems to me like if you wanted them to fall slowly they should fall under their own weight. Something most people don't have the patience for! Me included LOL

Thanks

Jon

A weightless super fluke is killer. I don't mind waiting for a super fluke to fall to the bottom. A regular fluke on the other hand just doesn't fall fast enough for my taste. Weightless on a 4/0 or 5/0 EWG hook is the way to go. If I can find a school of shad I will cast it into the shad or a little bit behind them and work it back into the school. Then as it is right in the middle of 'em all I'll kill it and just let it sink (although I will say this didn't work for me some reason last Saturday :-/). Bass like to hold underneath the schools and pick of stunned or dying shad as they sink. I am not an expert on the C-rig or anything, but if the schools of baitfish are holding close to or right on the bottom, then I could see how the C-rig would be an effective presentation for the super fluke.

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I use spinnerbaits,cranks,jigs and some topwaters in the fall......and all baits will be a shad color.

Also senko's (shad colored) on docks in creeks.

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Shad Rap #5 , TD Minnow, Shad Rap #5, 1/8 Buckeye Buzz Bait, Shad Rap #5, Rat-L Trap, Shad Rap #5, White Ice Super Fluke and Double Fluke Rig,, Shad Rap #5, 3/8 Buckeye Mop Jig, Floating Worm. Did I say Shad Rap #5.

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Cant go wrong with a Terminator in the fall.

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Guest ouachitabassangler

Our baitfish are still scattered all over the lake, but when they do school up tight over breaks at creek channels, points, and humps in the mouth of major tributaries I go to the flukes a lot. I use fairly heavy mono to make the fluke sink slower, and weight the fluke so it barely nose-dives. Pretty often the baitfish will still be 25-30 feet down at the thermocline, which is still dropping lower, bottoming out around early October. If that deep I C-rig a deep diving crankbait a little off bottom or vertically jig spoons through the baitfish schools that could be hiding bass from my sonar. Heavy spinnerbaits with 2 #5 willow blades slow rolled under the baitfish often produce. It takes a 1 to 1.5 oz spinnerbait to get down and stay down where you need it that deep.

That's my earliest fall pattern. Some variables are whether the lake is dropping or rising Sept-Oct. If dropping slowly some baitfish as well as bass will move deeper a day or three occasionally, the bass feeding deep on schooled baitfish, then return shallow to feed, suspending deep. If rising both come way up from those deep thermocline zones longer, venturing into the creek channels where a fluke fished in 10 feet of water produces. Another factor is rain. If enough happens to cause new water to flow in, I head straight to the backs of coves or wherever I can find newly stained water. Any muddied water after a heavy fall rain is cooler and loaded with all the things baitfish and bass want right now. A spinnerbait works great there.

A fluke can be rigged to do tricks. I sometimes hook it with line eye under the chin so I can make it leap the surface. Then I let it spiral down. In clear water deep bass will first hear the leaping, then see the injured critter falling to them, then rise to eat it. You don't have to get it all the way down. Depending on water clarity just get it close enough for the bass to see it.

Use a salted Zoom Super Fluke to make it fall faster without having to add a lead sinker, but adding split shot can do that too. I also make them fall faster by trailering a fluke behind a Blakemore Roadrunner spinner with a tiny plastic or live minnow impaled on the Roadrunner hook. When tying on the Roadrunner leave plenty of tag end to tie on the fluke 6" to a foot behind it. You can also substitute with a hookless spinner rig.

To make it glide on light line set the hook perfectly straight, dead-centered through the nose and exited the rear perfectly. To make it spiral exit the hook bend a little off center. The EWG hook bend acts as a keel and makes plenty of just-right sinker. Whether you have enough patience or not, a slow descent is the best presentation, imitating a dying shad. Bass will eat those far quicker than a healthy one challenging them to a chase.

Jim

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The fluke has typically been my choice in the fall.  I normally will fish it slightly under the water at different speeds and jerk it side to side until I find the presentation they want.  Now, you guys have given me lots of other presentations, mostly slowing it down and immitating a wounded shad.  Thanks for the fluke info.  I look forward to giving it a try!

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Spinnerbaits and shallow to medium crankbaits will be my main arsenal.I'll also fish floating and suspending jerkbaits,tubes and jigs.Anytime is the right time for a C-rig,so I'll have it handy.

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