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Andrew Coleman

Fall, same as Spring?

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First year fishing and i don't really know what happens in the transition from summer to fall, and in fall itself.

So, would my techniques for spring work for fall?

I've heard fall is as good as spring or better, so im gettting pretty anxious ;D

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well i don't know what bed fishing is so ya...

but what produced for me was a lightly weighted worm and i casted paralelle(spelling) to weeds or rip rap and it worked everytime!

So do the fish go shallow?

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I wouldn't exactly say they go shallow but they move into back creek channel coves following bait fish.

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No. Spring and fall are different -should be no surprise. Bass may be found shallow both seasons, but not necessarily for the same reasons.

In summer, most bass are oriented to the main water body, which puts a lot of them (but not all) away from shorelines. This summer pattern maintains itself into fall, almost as if the bass don't want to give it up.

The first big change I'm presently aware of comes following cooling, when prey and bass may heat seek in the shallows during substantial warming days. I find them under cover tight to the shoreline -so tight a lot of people miss them. Under these circumstances, it may seem spring-like sort of. At least mature bass may be shoreline related.

The next big change comes in late fall when vegetation beds die, exposing previously hidden prey. The shoreline in many waters, especially small waters, becomes the "next available cover" for preyfish -more accurately, bluegills, as this appears to be a bluegill pattern. A feeding spree ensues and the bass begin getting fat bellies again.

In larger natural lakes, shallow weed beds die first, and many mature bass will follow the remaining live weeds out, as these areas continue to produce food for preyfish. The fall in natural lakes is a great lunker time because when vegetation dies back, mature bass become exposed and feed aggressively on exposed prey in cooler water (from summer).

In reservoirs with shad, it seems the shad movements are key for a lot of bass. Shad come into creek arms in fall and bass follow. This isn't my world so I don't know why (and therefore when) this happens. Others here can probably address this.

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I wouldn't exactly say they go shallow but they move into back creek channel coves following bait fish.

My thought exactly!! ;)

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No. Spring and fall are different -should be no surprise. Bass may be found shallow both seasons, but not necessarily for the same reasons.

In summer, most bass are oriented to the main water body, which puts a lot of them (but not all) away from shorelines. This summer pattern maintains itself into fall, almost as if the bass don't want to give it up.

The first big change I'm presently aware of comes following cooling, when prey and bass may heat seek in the shallows during substantial warming days. I find them under cover tight to the shoreline -so tight a lot of people miss them. Under these circumstances, it may seem spring-like sort of. At least mature bass may be shoreline related.

The next big change comes in late fall when vegetation beds die, exposing previously hidden prey. The shoreline in many waters, especially small waters, becomes the "next available cover" for preyfish -more accurately, bluegills, as this appears to be a bluegill pattern. A feeding spree ensues and the bass begin getting fat bellies again. In larger natural lakes, shallow weed beds die first, and many mature bass will follow the remaining live weeds out, as these areas continue to produce food for preyfish. The fall in natural lakes is a great lunker time because when vegetation dies back, mature bass become exposed and feed aggressively on exposed prey in cooler water (from summer).

In reservoirs with shad, it seems the shad movements are key for a lot of bass. Shad come into creek arms in fall and bass follow. This isn't my world so I don't know why (and therefore when) this happens. Others here can probably address this.

so somthing that i should mabey do is look for weed beds now in creeks and channels and in coves, and then when they start to disapper throw in a fluke/spinner/crank or any other minnow mimicing bait?

And will it be more easy to catch fish from shor, cuz i aint got no boat! :'(

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First, what kind of water are you fishing: Reservoirs, natural lakes, ponds? What is the major cover type: Weeds, Wood? What preyfish live there: shad, bluegills, perch?

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Well im fishing in a little canal off of lake st. claire. Recently a lot of cotton from cottonwood trees clogged up the river creating a lot of mats of just nasty stuff.

Well today i has floping a 5 inch senko on top of these mats just messing around and a 15 inch bass explode out the mat!

Also there some bass that i saw that were no more than 2 inches away from shore, and when i droped in the wacky senko they exploded!

It was quite amazing watching the wake, for they were in no more than 6 inches of water.

Anyone know why they were holding so so close to the shore?

Also we have an abundance of shad in my water. along with small, skinny, 5-6in perch. lots of lilypads along with that nasty stuff.

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Yeah, I've fished through cottonwood fluff -it can be really annoying. That stuff weaves itself into little balls that can be a project to pick off. >:(

I used to fish some lagoons and associated canals connected to the much larger Finger Lakes in NY. These places loaded up with bass (both LM and some SM) in spring, to feed, then to spawn. The number of largemouths during these movements were astounding, if you hit them right. These lagoons had decent cover (weeds and wood) and held LM through the summer, but in nowhere near the numbers that came in spring. Most of those bass headed back out into the main lake after the spawn. There are always some shoreline related bass though, more in some waters than others (owing to cover and food).

Sounds like you have the makings of good summer/fall mature bass habitat in that canal. My guess is that a lot of mature bass leave the area by summer, but some stay there as residents, owing to the diversity of cover you mentioned.  How many is determined by the sheer acreage of good habitat. My guess is the bass at shore you found are, at this point, summer residents and probably they are there more often than you may have realized (?).

Shorelines didn't seem to have the draw in fall that they did in spring in those lagoons and associated canals I fished back in NY similar to what I see in the small-ish ponds and reservoirs I fish now (these don't have shad). The majority of bass prefer main lake areas and stay there until freeze-up. The to-the-shoreline movements I've been aware of are those I mentioned: re-heating of shallows, and the later weed die-off. Again, I don't have the autumn in-shore movements of shad where I fish.

The dying weeds near shore pattern likely would have exposed bluegills in those lagoons too, but I wasn't hip to it at the time (didn't know to look).

The shoreline temperature draw I mentioned (probably working within the canal system itself only and not including the main lake) comes when you have weather that will offer a good 10degree difference between the shallows and the main canal. This can really draw bluegills, and bass, in to the immediate shallows. This comes during Indian summer days, after cool down. It doesn't last long (like it can in spring) because the sun gets too low in the sky to heat the water as fall progresses.

My guess is that bass won't come in from the main lake much in the fall; You'll likely be working on those residents through the fall. But, you mentioned you have shad, so you might see an inshore movement of shad into these canals. This is a notable pattern in reservoirs; You may or may not have this. A large movement of shad or any other prey fish will likely draw bass from the main lake. Keep your eyes peeled.

If you want check for movements of main lake bass, check cover areas and drop-offs closer to the mouth near the main lake if you access to such places. Who knows you might just find an autumn mother-lode.

One October, in the mouth of one of those Finger Lakes lagoons a friend of mine took a 4 and a 5.5lber from large deadfallen tree. I hadn't seen fish that size outside of spring in those lagoons. I always wondered about those fish: residents, or main lake fish?

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Most fisherman will reply with information related to their specific lake classification or regional area where they fish. The information is good for the that area and lake type.

The fact someone knowledgeable lives near the region you are fishing is very helpful.

Threadfin shad are common bass forage and I didn't realize they survived that far north, because threadfin can't tolerate water lower than 5 degrees C, they die off. One reason the baitfish may be migrating to the area you see them is looking for warmer water and plankton they feed on. In the fall; afternoons following a warming period of a few days can be excellent bass fishing in shallow protected areas. Out west where I fish, deep highland reservoirs, the fall bite is very similar to the post spawn transition period; major main lake and secondary points and underwater islands or humps are good locations because they compress the shad schools where bass can ambush the baitfish.

Good luck with fishing.

WRB

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Seems to me here the bass get ultra aggressive. We really put a hurtin on em last Thanksgiving with cranks. Yeah I said Thanksgiving!!!! Ohio late November bass still very active chasing shad. All we did was follow the baitfish around cast to em and the bass were there. Nothing mattered but the baitfish!

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Yeah, thetr20one is right on. Bass do get aggressive in fall. Several things are happening that make this so:

-Bass are beginning development of gonads.

-Baitfish are exposed and moving

-Temps drop from summer highs, meaning there is no mid-day lull.

This is when bass start getting notably fat again. And, as thetr20one says, it runs much later in the season than a lot of anglers realize. It takes a good snow to put 'em down, and then only for a while. The trick is finding them. As he says, "Follow the bait!"

Cranks, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits can be great for finding aggressive fall fish. Single-spins, jigs, and creatures can be great in surviving offshore weedbeds too.

But, in Andrews case, he may have to apply whatever lures his water will support, (with his eyes wide open looking of opportunities), 'cause without a boat, he can't chase 'em.

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It amazes me how many anglers still buy into this specific lake classification or regional area as if the bass in that lake classification or region has morphed into a new creature. Then the turn around and give you the exact same patterns that apply to almost every lake in every region in the world. If you are trying to locate bass during spring or fall you had better include in your hunt major main lake points, secondary points, major feeder creek points, underwater islands or humps.

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It's been my experience that bass behave the same regardless of where they live, however their location is dependant on the type of lake or river they live in and the prey that is available to them.

If bass live in a featureless natural lake or pond without pelagic baitfish, they become more cover oriented and target sunfish (bream) like pumpkin seeds, bluegill. crappie and crawdads, worms, salamders, frogs or whatever else they eat in and around cover. Bass don't need to migrate other then to spawn in the spring and find survivable water temperatures in the winter.

Man made impoundments are different; usually flooded areas that were at one time a river valley. Most of the reservoirs today have pelagic baitfish like shad, herring and smelt, plus sunfish, crawdads, etc. Bass in reservoirs tend to migrate to where the greatest concentration of prey is located. All the main lake structure elements become locations where bass feed, then in the spring migrate into locations to spawn. Reservoirs have main lake points, humps, underwater islands, creek channels etc.

This weekend for example a major tournament called the US Open was held at Lake Mead, Neveda. Lake Mead is a Canyon classification reservoir where the bass locate around the shoreline deep walls and back in deep river arms. Mead is almost viod of aquatic vegetation, few weeds (some sparsh short grass areas back in little cuts) and very little wood. The prey in mead is threadfin shad, bluegill and crawdads. Mead is a big lake, each river arm is like a different lake and the bass rarely migrate to different areas. The main lake basin is too deep to fish any outside structure and usually too windy to fish. You find the shad on Mead and you will find both stripers and largemouth.

Clear lake in northern CA is a large natural lake, bowl shaped, no major points, few humps, no creek arms. The bass at Clear lake relate to cover, docks and shoreline structure. The primary baitfish at Clear lake are hitch, a fresh water smelt, threadfin shad, bluegill, crappie, crawdads etc. Clear has massive weed beds, so the weedline breaks and pockets become the place where bass locate.

Mead and Clear lake are very different and the bass locate where the prey is. Once you determine what the prey is, then bass are bass and react the same to lures and presetations.

WRB

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