Every bass fishing arsenal should include these five lures.
When those cold fronts are hitting consistently this time of year, bass become erratic. Some stay put in deeper water, others move in shallow, and the rest start chasing schooling shad into creeks. This means anglers will need to cover a lot of water, but also stay strategic at the same time to land big largemouth bass.
Here are my five go-to baits to get the job done for early spring and late fall bass fishing.
1. Lipless Crankbaits
Lipless crankbaits are fantastic for covering water quickly, especially in the shallows. Casting them out far along the bankline and burning them back will get some great reaction bites from hungry fish.
I like to use a 1/2 oz chrome, black/chrome, blue/chrome, or crawfish colored Rat-L-Trap brand. The noise combined with the flashing drives big bass crazy.
While baits with jigheads are effective all year, they are especially effective for early fall fishing. Crawl, hop, or swim them quickly through hard cover to entice fish.
A 1/4-ounce jig in white, bluegill or dark color skirt works best. I like to throw a white- or dark-colored creature, craw or curly tail grub on the most eye-catching action.
Jerkbaits are one of the go-to lures when fishing around schools of baitfish. The erratic action draws bass' attention as they are aggressively feeding.
My favorite jerkbait is a white or white/chartreuse Zoom Fluke. I throw it on my spinning rod, cast it out and lightly jerk it back to the boat with small pauses in between.
Tubes are a very overlooked lure, especially on days when the fishing is slow. They have a very unique spiraling fall that drives bass nuts. You can also drag or hop them across the bottom, making them very versatile.
The reason I like to use them in the fall is because they imitate crawfish very well. I like to toss them next to a laydown, and if I don't get a bite on the drop, I slowly hop them back to the boat for a more finesse approach.
Everyone should keep soft plastics at the ready, as many of them have served as anglers' fallback options for generations.
Spinnerbaits are probably the most used lure during fall. They put off a lot of vibration, imitate bait fish well and can be fished fast or slow.
My favorite is a 1/2-ounce Strike King KVD spinner in sexy shad or chartreuse. I have probably caught more bass in the fall with this than anything else.
I guarantee if you keep these five lures ready to go, you'll get onto some fall bass. Just remember the most important thing in the fall is to keep moving until you find the fish.
Now is not the time to return to your same spots during the summer and expect the same bite. Fish all over the place from shallow to deep as well as cover and open water.