November fishing

What Is The Best Way To Fish For Bass In November?

A swimbait on a jighead is one of the best lures in November, and they work well for all bass species.
A swimbait on a jighead is one of the best lures in November, and they work well for all bass species.

November is one of the best months of the year to be bass fishing. It's a time when things are finally cooling down in the southern states, and fishing in northern regions can be lights out as bass know that winter will soon be here. Add that many of your fellow anglers will have deer hunting on the mind, and you can often have the lake to yourself.

With all that being said, there are plenty of ways to approach bass fishing in November, and much of it will depend on where you live, but there are some common themes. Here are three lures and approaches that will work everywhere.


Most think of swimbaits as huge lures that require heavy tackle and giant rods to fish, but smaller swimbaits are much more manageable and some of the best lures you can use in November. No matter what kind of baitfish the bass are eating, you can perfectly imitate them with swimbaits.

Some of the best are small boot tail swimbaits like the Keitech Swing Impact FAT. They come in a rainbow of different colors to perfectly imitate the forage in your local waters and plenty of sizes.

Rig them up on a jighead, and depending on the weight you choose, you can fish them at virtually any depth. Deciding on the correct weight depends on how deep and where you are fishing. For shallower areas or when fishing for suspended bass, a round ball jighead weighing 1/8 to 1/4-ounce is a good start, and you can go much heavier for plying deeper waters.

For the most part, swimbaits can be fished everywhere, but with the open hook of a jighead, they are best suited for open water without cover. Some great places to fish them in November are around main lake points, bluff walls, rocky banks, and other areas that bass use as transitional stops as they move from shallow to deeper water for the winter.

They also work anywhere you find baitfish activity, which can be just about anywhere in the water column, as shad and other small fish often move in November; their location can change by the hour. This month is a time when your electronics become essential to locate baitfish. Still, you can also find them simply by paying attention to surface activity and the presence of fish-eating birds. If you see baitfish, chances are that bass will be nearby, and a swimbait will be one of the best ways to catch these fish.

Alabama Rig

Whether you love it or hate it, it's hard to argue with how well this crazy rig works. November is usually the kickoff for when it starts to get going, and a lot of that is because the shad begin to group up this time of year, and this looks just like a ball of baitfish moving through the water. Like a single swimbait, they are very effective in transitional areas and places with baitfish.

Alabama Rigs come with various configurations with blades and different numbers of snaps.
Alabama Rigs come with various configurations with blades and different numbers of snaps. 

One consideration with your Alabama rig is choosing the right swimbait and jighead size. Both of these can have a significant impact on how the rig performs, how easy it is to cast, and how quickly you can get it down in the water column. This requires some experimentation and may need to be adjusted daily based on the situation.

A good starting point is a combination of 2.8 or 3.3-inch swimbaits on 1/8-ounce jigheads, but you can always go to bigger swimbaits and heavier heads if needed. Another thing to consider is the regulations for your state and knowing how many hooks you can use. Thankfully, there are versions on the market that will keep you legal, even if your state only allows two or three hooks. 

One company making these is G-Funk, and they have options for different rigs with springs to add "dummy" baits without hooks. The G-Funk "Desert Rig" has snaps for two jig heads and three springs, making it legal for states allowing only two hooks at a time. It gives you the same effect as a swimming school of baitfish while staying perfectly legal.


Another great way to get in on the November bass fishing action is with crankbaits. There are many baits in the crankbait family, and depending on the one you choose, you can cover any part of the water column.

For shallow water, some of the best November action can be found along the shoreline as shad (and bass) gather around rocks, laydowns, and cover in the backs or creeks and tributaries. It's hard to beat a squarebill crankbait for crashing into this cover and triggering reaction bites. Some great squarebill crankbaits are on the market, and two of the most popular and effective are the Strike King KVD 1.5 and Lucky Craft 1.5, both of which have proven themselves as some of the best baits for November bass fishing.

A fat November bass that fell for a Strike King 6XD.
A fat November bass that fell for a Strike King 6XD.

The mid-depth water column can be another great option, and fishing a crankbait that dives down between 6 and 12 feet of water can be the place to be on secondary points, grass lines, and other areas.

A final option is fishing deeper with deep-diving crankbaits like a Strike King 6XD, which will hit depths of 20 feet. A crankbait like this is a great way to fish deep rock piles, humps, and other structure and cover that bass gravitate to during the fall. They can be especially deadly for catching bass that are schooled up, feeding on deeper schools of baitfish.

November is a great time to be on the water, and no matter where you live, it can be some of the best fishing you'll experience all year. The main thing for fishing this time of year is baitfish, and these three lure styles and approaches will ensure you are in the right areas and ready to capitalize on some excellent bass fishing.