Fall Fishing Strategies

Fall Bass Fishing Videos
Discover the secrets of fall bass fishing with Wes Logan's expert tips! Dive into the nuances of the fall transition, understand bass and baitfish behavior, and explore effective tactics for catching more and bigger bass. Master the art of fall angling! 🎣✨

All right guys, Wes Logan here, BassResource. Gonna be talking about fall fishing and everything that comes with it. You know, it's that time of year where, you know, your late summer, water temperatures starting to fall a little bit. You know, it's probably been in the 80s or 90s depending on where you're at. You know, you'll get those couple of cool nights and it starts feeling good outside. You know, you're wanting to get out there and fish. And I'm just going to break it down the way that I like to approach it and maybe you can, you know, apply it to wherever you fish and what lake you like to go to.

So everybody knows, anybody that fishes, knows about the fall transition. And basically what I think the fall transition is, is those fish start feeling that, you know, that the weather change or, you know, the pressure will be changing. And even before the fish realize it, the bait fish that they feed on, know it before more than anything and they'll start doing their migration basically. So, and wherever those bait fish go, whatever kind of forage you have in your lake, wherever they go that the bass feed on, the bass are right behind them. I mean, again, it's just like deer hunting, that they have to live to eat. So wherever the food's at, that's where the deer is going to be. Well, wherever the bait's at, that's where the bass are going to be, whether they want to be in 60 foot or 6 inches.

So most of the time, you know, in that fall deal, the shad or threadfin shad, gizzard shad, you know, most of it's going to be a shad-forage type based deal. They really start feeding heavy on it and they'll start pushing to the backs of little coves or pockets or creeks because they want to get back there in the evening at night when it cools off, that water cools off faster back there. So that's where you want to kind of start focusing. But I don't really like to do that until the water falls, you know, probably 8 or 10 degrees from where it was in the summertime.

That early fall deal, it's hard to make that transition bite work because there's just not a lot of fish there yet. I've seen in the past where I thought it was late enough for that to be a deal, like, running way in the backs of pockets on the flats and stuff. You know, the random isolated cover is a really big deal that time of year. And you may run in there and it's the middle of September and you're trying to force the issue and you catch, you know, you catch one really good one and then, you know, you try and push it for the next three or four hours and it's just not time yet. Well, when you start seeing that and I'm guilty of it myself, I'll try and beat a dead horse and just it not work. What is happening is they're not just not biting most of the time, they're not there yet. If you see that kind of come up in a situation, you might want to back off and, you know, pick back up on your late summertime deal and just wait maybe, you know, two weeks ahead, a week and a half ahead of the fish and they're just not quite there yet. But when they do get there, it becomes a really fun time to fish.

But it can be fun and aggravating at the same time because you'll get those big schools of, you know, little bitty shad from the shad spawn and you know, middle of May, they will be 1.5 to 2 inches long, which is a really small bait. But they will get, a lot of times, they will get so keyed in on that, that they won't really touch anything else. And you can get in the backs of one of those flats or something and just see hundreds of bass schooling and you can't get any of them to bite. You may get one random one here and one random one there, but for the sheer amount of fish that a lot of times you see in that fall time, it is kind of hard to catch them. 

And at this point in time is where I really like to downsize my bait because again, they get so dialed in to how small those shad or, you know, whatever type of forage they're after in that time of year. And a lot of forage is small that time of year because, you know, you've had the shad spawn, you've had the bluegill spawn, you've had the crayfish spawn, so everything's, you know, kind of growing. And now, it's big enough for them to actually eat and it makes it harder on you because from a schooling standpoint on the forage, it's hard to get baits out there to them that are small enough, that are heavy enough to cast far enough.

So you really have to try and tone down your tackle, lightweight stuff. And kind of what I like to do is I'll find some small topwaters, 2 to 3 inches long. And sometimes I like to put them on a spinning rod. I despise a spinning rod. I'm not a huge fan, but this is a time where you can kind of throw it out there, get a little bit more distance, get on those fish kind of quick. And a lot of times if you can get that real natural or even a clear smaller topwater on those fish, when they're chasing those little baits, a lot of times you can get them to bite just out of reaction while they're up there just feeding really fast.

Another thing you can do is get on those flats with that isolated cover. And a lot of times the best ones are the ones that have, let's just say there's a creek actually flowing into it. It's not just a dead end bowl. You actually have a little creek channel coming in that may have a little bit more depth. The most ideal, perfect scenario would be able to find a lot of bait on a flat in the back of a creek where a creek runs in and have a lot of cover, an isolated cover, big logs, random stumps, isolated patches of grass if there's grass in your lake. Just something that those fish can ambush those shad on and not have to just swim around there, just nothing to sit on. 

Because bass are opportunistic feeders. They like vantage points. That's why you normally catch them on little corners and stuff like that. So they wanna hold on something and just wait for those balls of shad to come by them or balls of whatever forage you might be dealing with. But they'll get on those flats. And again, those fish just wanna sit on something.

And I've even seen, it kinda just popped in my head, I was in a pocket on Logan Martin Lake in Alabama on the Coosa River and the water had already drawed down and it was a lot of red clay type stuff. And the water was fairly clear, but not great. But there was actually little dark spots. And I'm still not sure what they were. They may have just been depressions in the bottom. But a lot of them had a fish on them. Like, you were able to target that. So just kinda anything different or any irregularity that they can get on those flats is a really good deal. 

But again, the small top water is really hard to beat a Zoom Super Fluke. If you get those fish that are not near dialed in on the small stuff and they actually wanna feed, a lot of times that can be a big bite getter for sure.

And one thing you can do that I've seen work a handful of times, it doesn't work all the time, but it's worth trying, is throwing a lot bigger bait out there like the Art Outlaw. Like, it's a 5.5-inch walking bait. Well, if you're dealing with 2-inch shad, a lot of times, if they're keyed in on it, that's one thing. But sometimes that can get one of the bigger fish in the group to fire cause they just think it's just so big and they just gotta have it. Because a lot of times bigger fish, just like in the summertime, want a bigger meal. So that's one thing that they can key on. But it's just always something to keep in your back pocket to throw out there. It doesn't hurt to throw it out there 10 or 12 times and see what happens.

Another deal that I've caught them on doing that is, you know, burning like a 1/4 -ounce lipless bait, like, you know, keeping your rod tip high, because you're only going to be dealing with probably 2 foot of water. Sometimes you can get some reactions on that, especially if you're dealing with the small mouth, spotted bass situation.

Doing a complete 180 on that deal, let's just...because fall fishing on a grass lake can be really good. I did really well in a Guntersville elite tournament my rookie year, and it was the end of September. There was a lot of fish schooling on little bitty bait, and I tried to make it work, and they were just so pressured and so hard to get to bite. It was really tough, so I completely avoided those fish, and actually went and flipped, you know, isolated hydrilla mats, or, you know, trash mats, stuff like that. So if you have that option to go be able to try something completely different, it doesn't have to be flipping grass, but just try something completely off the wall if you're just beating your head against the wall, trying to get those schooling fish to bite. Sometimes it's just not gonna happen, whether they've been fished for, you know, three or four weeks, or the bait's just too small, or it's the wrong day, like, maybe you need a cloudy day and it's sunny. Just go try something different. I mean, go fish some shady banks with a frog, or, you know, go flip some boat houses if you've got that available.

Really like to run shade that late summer, fall deal if I'm not chasing, you know, the schooling fish. That's a really good deal. And you're not gonna catch near as many, but it is a way to get a bite or two to, you know, if you're in a tournament situation, calm you down. Then maybe you can circle back later on those fish. Maybe they've repositioned or, you know, they've kind of calmed down a little bit. They've set back up where they need to be to be able to catch them.

But the fall really is a fun time to fish if you can find those fish feeding actively and maybe they're not pressured too much and you can get a, you know, a bait on them and really catch some. So, I've had some of my best days fishing in the fall as far as numbers and size, but it can be really hit and miss. And the later in the fall you get going into winter, it does get a lot better. You get those really cold nights, the fish really think they need to start eating because they know that winter's coming and that's when it really gets good. But they're still gonna be on that same pattern. They just are more likely to eat on those flats or in the very backs, you know, on the isolated cover with like a, you know, a square bill or a vibrating jig and stuff like that. Lot of reaction baits that time of year.

Trying to see if I missed anything. You know, fronts that you're dealing with in the fall can actually help you a lot more than I feel like any other time of year because it's gonna have that weather change and it may ignite those fish to be biting. 

And another thing about fall fishing that the fronts do help is these fish have been caught all year. You know, this is the most pressure time they're gonna be that two-and-a-half-month period there. They've seen every bait, most of them have been caught a couple of times if you're on a really pressured fishery or, you know, well known. And what those fronts can do is you get a little front coming in, maybe a little cold front, doesn't have to be anything crazy, just a little temperature drop or a weather change or a few cloudy days. It can really ignite those fish to get to biting and just because it's something different. The pressure changes, you know, that barometric pressure plays a huge deal with bass fishing or any type of fishing for that matter. And when you get those low pressure fronts coming in, those fish really will turn on. So if you ever have days that you can pick to go fishing and you know that a front's coming in, right before it and right in the middle of it can be some of your best fishing in the fall, just because it's a little bit different, the fish haven't been accustomed to it. Because a lot of times in the fall, and I'm not trying to ramble, but you'll have those bluebird days for like two and a half weeks and then all of a sudden you've got three days of a little bit of rain and some wind and stuff like that. And it just really, you know, turns those fish on and it's a really good time to be out there.

So just be sure to keep a good eye on the weather and if you can really take advantage of those fronts, you can have some really good days on the water. 

Now, it's basically, it's all about the shad or whatever forage might be in your lake. You just need to try and figure out where they like to congregate the most in the gist of it and, you know, kind of try and figure out how to get a bite. So hope that helps from your fall fishing. And, go catch 'em.