Fall is finally here. The dog days of summer are long gone, and the majority of the fisherman are hunting leaving the lakes wide open for you, me, and the duck hunters. With falling water temps bass put their feed bags on in preparation for winter. Something else happens that a lot of fisherman don't realize. That is that the bass start bunching up. There are several reasons for this.
First is that as the shad migrate to the backs of coves and creek channels they pick up hungry bass along the way that are feeding on them. Second vegetation is dying off and many bass are loosing there hunting grounds and are off searching for new ones. Also because of the dying vegetation and the lake being in a state of turn over (colder surface water falling and warmer water rising), oxygen levels are not plentiful like in the summer. So where will I find the majority of bass? Well on the shallow cypress tree lakes that we have around here there are not many tributaries for the migration to follow, so what I like to look for is wind blown banks. The wind blowing in on a bank does two things for you. First it pushes those balls of migrating shad up on them, and second it stirs oxygen into the water. Now the third key is cover. Find a bank with wind blowing on it, that has cover (green grass is best) such as grass or wood, add a few bait fish and Walla you have bass. Now all you have to do is catch them.
My favorite method is to put the trolling motor on medium and cover some water. Remember I said earlier that the bass start bunching up, well with that happening there will be a lot of water that the fish have already moved off of, some of it looks perfect to you or me but to the fish it has lost it's appeal (or survivability qualities). So cover water, when you come across an area that has shad and you catch a couple fish on the faster moving reaction baits, then it is time to slow down and work the area thoroughly. At this point I like a big worm or a jig. During the fall I like to use larger baits, simply because the only bait fish that will survive the cooling water are the larger stronger ones.
Just a quick note: if you are fishing post front blue bird skies I will then scale down my presentation to give them a slower fall and a easier meal.
There will be days that you never have to slow down, meaning you can catch fish all day on the reaction baits. The most important key for me on how to present a bait to the fish is the weather. If we have had stable weather for a couple days in a row then I will cover as much water as I can looking for actively feeding fish (these are the days that you catch 20-30 fish). Now if a cold front just moved threw I will start with the reaction baits, until I hit a fish or two and then I will slow down and work the area. During the fall fish bunch up, and if you catch one or two there is a reason they are there and with the lake in an uproar there will most certainly be more. Watch your boat control, pay attention to the surrounding (I.E. weather, water current, water clarity) and load the boat.
Get the Net it's a Hawg