Bass Fishing

Early Fall Transition Bass Fishing Tips

Fall fishing tips
Russ Lane prepares for fall fishing.

The temperature isn't the only change, as summer gives way to cooler fall days.  So does bass behavior.  If you fish the same honey holes you did during the summer heat and use the same techniques, chances are you won’t put many bass in the livewell.  So where should you concentrate your efforts, and what tactics should you apply?  Boomerang Tool Company, maker of The Snip and other quality retractable fishing tools, along with Boomerang Pro Staffer Russ Lane, offer the following tips for bassing success during the summer-to-fall transition period.

When to Start Changing Your Strategy

According to Lane, it's time to switch from summer strategies to fall techniques when the days start to shorten. “The water temps will still be high, but the shorter duration of daylight always corresponds with fall patterns,” he said. On most lakes, a good time to start employing fall tactics is late August to early September. That’s when the water temps begin to cool, and bass move from their deeper summer haunts to shallower water.”

Where to Find Them

Lane points out two primary patterns during late summer and early fall. “Bass on the main body of a lake will suspend and school around shad and alewives near long points, humps, and breaks,” he noted. “The depth of these suspended schools will be relative to the water color. Typically, the clearer the water, the deeper the schools of bait and bass will suspend.

Good numbers of bass can also be found toward the backs of major feeder creeks at this time of year. Concentrate on stained water near the creeks and depths of one to four feet.  That’s where the threadfin and gizzard shad tend to bunch up.”

What to Throw

Lane likes to use bladed swim jigs to entice bass during the summer/fall transition.  “The bass are usually very aggressive, said Lane. “All of their habits and movements are based around pursuing baitfish, so I like to work a Chatterbait with a fast, erratic retrieve.”  That’s not to say this technique works in every situation. If it doesn’t produce, experiment and let the fish tell you what type of retrieve best gets their attention.” 

Stay Focused on the Bait

“Remember, for bass, it’s all about chasing schools of bait during this period,” said Lane. “And since baitfish are constantly moving, you’ll need to cover a lot of water to find and keep up with them. Don’t waste your time working in areas without signs of forage fish.  If the shad aren’t around, you probably won’t put any fish in the boat.”