Fall Bass Fishing Tips: Everything You Should Know

fishing for fall bass

Fall brings a vibrant display of colors to the land.

There’s magic in the air, but there’s also something special happening underwater.

The bass population that had gone into a lethargic mode in the late summer months, begin to shake it off and swim out of the deeper waters in search of food.

As an angler, the first thing you learn is that fall is the prime time for bass fishing.

This is when most anglers come home with bigger fish.

To effectively make the best use of this time, you must have all the fall bass fishing tips in your arsenal.

Even in the fall, the wrong execution of bass fishing can end up in failure.

We don’t want that. Therefore, this guide lists down all the best fall fishing tips you’d need by the end of the summer.

Bass Fishing Behavior

The first thing you need to find out is the right spot to catch bass. And to find that, you’d need to understand how it all works.

Every year, as the summer comes to an end, the air temperature decreases, and water temps begin to drop.

This is when the bass changes their position in the water.

In the summer, the surface of the water receives direct sunlight and is much warmer. Exposure to sunlight also affects the distribution of oxygen in the water.

Cooler waters are more oxygen-rich than warmer waters.

This drives the fish population to swim a few feet deeper in the water to look for cooler places. The deeper they go, the cooler it gets, and the more oxygen there is.

The Best Tips For Bass Fishing In Fall

fall bass

Since bass is a predatory fish species, they go where the prey goes. The schools of bass follow baitfish where the water temperatures are cooler and stay there until the fall transition.

As soon as the water cools and small fish begin to swim upstream, the bass follow.

This is the time when the fish population starts preparing for the upcoming cold winters and cooler nights.

This makes fishing for bass in the fall a rewarding experience for the outdoor enthusiast.

Anglers who are familiar with the river can easily figure out where the baitfish are and where the bass will appear every fall; year after year.

If you are new to a water body, look for signs of small fish while fishing. It might take you a day to figure out the best spot, but once you do, you’d have schools of bass to fish from.

Around late fall, when water temperatures begin to drop even further, fish will head back to deep water.

If you live in a place where the water surface tends to freeze during winter, it is likely the fish are swimming at much deeper levels and would require specialized fishing gear in order to catch.

Knowing these bits about the local river helps the anglers adjust their fishing technique, choose the right lures, and more importantly, find the right spot to catch more bass.

Top Tip: Follow baitfish such as shiners, minnows, shad, and crawfish, in the fall, and they will lead you to where your bass is. Fortunately, during fall fishing bass is less concerned about hiding and more concerned about feeding.

This is the best scenario for anglers as the fish are a lot more likely to take the bait!

Change Your Bass Fishing Method According To The Weather 

Your method of fishing bass in the summers will not work in the fall. That’s because changing weather also leads to changes in bass behavior.

Like all fish, largemouth is also cold-blooded. The change in weather leads to a shift in their feeding behavior, swimming behavior, etc.

Anglers who successfully catch bass are the ones who change their methods according to changes in water temperature.

The Best Spots

In peak summer months, schools of bass tend to swim in much deeper waters. However, in the fall, the bass starts making their way toward shallow areas.

They are found in huge numbers around ledges, drop-offs, canals, lakes, and rivers. This is because fall is the time when bass are constantly feeding to bulk up before water temperatures drop even lower.

In winters, fish metabolism is at its lowest and they become entirely inactive for long periods.

Fly Fishing Tips For Bass

Fall provides this small window of opportunity for bass to bulk up on food and for anglers to fly fish for bass.

Fly fishing requires fish to be swimming in shallow water and as such, you can only fly fish for bass during particular times of the year.

The best method for fall bass fishing is to cast a line in creek arms that flow past an ambush point. For instance, if there’s flowing water around thick vegetation, place your lure in a spot that drifts past that vegetation, where bass can potentially ambush it, and take the bite.

Choose The Right Kind Of Fall Bass Fishing Lures

Like us humans, fish crave different types of foods in different seasons.

The smartest way to catch bass in the fall is to match your lure to whatever is more prevalent in the water at the time.

In many areas, crawfish and shad are prevalent in the fall, and schools of bass tend to feed on them the most.

In this case, your best bet for fishing bass is to use lures (live or artificial) that bear a close resemblance to crawfish and shad.

With the cold winter ahead, bass start preparing for the spawning season by filling up on food in the fall.

This is your best chance for some action.

Observe the feeding and hunting behavior of the fall bass closely, and choose one of the following fall bass fishing lures accordingly:

1) Jigs

Jigs are excellent for largemouth bass fishing in the fall, especially when you can’t seem to find them in the water and have to draw them in.

Jigs are also excellent for covering a lot of water as you can allow the lure to drift and sink to the desired level.

Here’s a tip. Choose bright colors of jigs on a particularly sunny day and use natural tones for overcast cloudy days.

2) Crankbaits

When the bass in your local river is particularly drawn towards shad, crankbaits are the best kind of lures to go for.

Crankbaits in general are considered moneymakers during fall fishing. For bass, pack some lipless crankbait with a tight wobble.

When you place them right on an ambush point, near shallow grass, you’d get a bite in no time and soon find yourself fighting to maintain control.

To ensure you don’t lose your catch, make sure that you take one of the best rods for bass fishing in the fall.

As it is prime fishing time and you might have to fight some big bass, make sure your fishing rod is up for the challenge.

Where lipless crankbaits are best in shallow grass, squarebill crankbaits with a shad design and pattern are most suitable around stumps and logs.

Place your squarebill lure in the shallow where the shad population is at its highest and wait patiently for a bass to bite.

Crankbait is the best lure for drawing out fish that are waiting in cover.

If you can’t find squarebill crankbait, any kind of blade bait will work in getting a reaction strike from a big bass hiding nearby.

3) Jerkbait

If the bass in your local river isn’t the ones to wait for the ambush but more of a leaping and striking kind, go for jerkbait as your lure.

During that moment, the bass is extremely active and you need to cast realistic-looking, soft jerkbait. Make sure to twitch the lure and pause now and then.

With this combination, you’ll have a bass hooked into your lure in no time at all.

4) Swimbait

When you cast a swimbait in front of a school, it is uncanny how much it resembles a fleeing shad.

It will draw out even the sneakiest of the hungry bass in the shallow spots.

Choose swimbait when you are out for fall fishing in shallower areas with lots of shads.

You don’t even need to find bass, because chances are, if there’s shad, there is certainly a school of bass nearby.

Adopt the steady retrieve method in this scenario and try to cover a large water column to increase your chances of catching smaller bass.

5) Spinner Baits

During the fall transition period, take out a spinner bait from your tackle box and give it a slow roll in the shallower water around docks and structures.

Spinner baits are great shad imitators and will instantly trigger hard strikes from bass, leading to success.

6) Topwater

As the name suggests, topwater is for surface fishing.

Since fall bass fishing is all about shallow waters, topwater is one of the best lures to use in the season.

We strongly suggest that you pick out a buzz frog from your tackleboxes, look for vegetation or any structure in the shallow water, and cast your line there.

Drag it slowly and hold on tight because topwater causes exploding strikes.

Buzz bait is an excellent topwater lure to get active bass to strike hard and to draw lethargic bass towards the surface.

Pay Attention To Your Surroundings

The different colors of lures aren’t just for aesthetics, they serve a higher purpose.

The color you choose for your bait can define your success or failure during fall bass fishing.

You need to create the best scenario for yourself to catch the fall bass, especially during the fall transition.

Choose your bait, your fishing spot, and the color of your lure wisely. Here’s how.

In the early fall, match the color of your bait to the color of the nature around you. Do the same in the late fall.

If it is a cloudy day, pick neutral earthy hues. Such as white, grey, and black. Don’t ignore the level of water clarity either. In clear water, use subtle colors like translucent lures so that the fall bass aren’t spooked.

In dingy water, go for dense colors with a splash of brightness so they can be visible.

A large part of successful fall fishing is using the right color for the lure.

The Dos & Don’ts Of Bass Fishing

Fall is one of the best times to fish for bass.

To make sure your fall fishing is successful, keep our fishing tips in mind, and your chances of catching bass will become much higher.

Around later summer and early fall, as the water temperature drops, baitfish begin to swim out of deeper water to find food.

Observe the water closely and you’d find the exact spot where the baitfish population is at its highest. With lots of prey around predators are never too far behind.

Once you settle on the perfect spot, observe the feeding pattern of bass and take notice of water clarity.

Choose a lure that resembles the best baits in the water whether that be plastic worms, a football jig, or live bait.

Since the bass is actively feeding and always on the go, keep your lure moving. Fall fishing is no time to sit and wait. You have to walk along the bank or keep your trolling motor moving.

Cover as much water as you can to increase your chances of catching bass. Thick vegetation or anything that can provide cover to bass is the best spot to cast a line.

If one technique doesn’t work, change it. If one lure doesn’t work, change it. Also, don’t forget to use the right head on your lures for shallow waters.

Final Thoughts

Bass in the fall have a predictable nature, but they can also be unpredictable when it comes to catching them.

They can be found anywhere in shallow water, near weeds, on docks, under the rock cropping, etc.

Knowing and understanding bass behavior and the environment that they live in can make you a much better angler!