Shallow Crankbaits in the Fall

Fishing shallow crankbaits in the fall is one of the fastest ways I know to put a limit of bass in the livewell. Many anglers fail to stick with this type of pattern because they are looking for a mother lode or a school of bass stacked like cordwood in a single location. Both of these are possible in the fall, but anglers are more likely to piece together a decent limit by covering water versus finding the one magical spot. For me fishing shallow crankbaits in the fall means covering miles of water looking for likely targets and hungry bass.

Shallow Crankbaits in the Fall

Shallow Crankbaits in the Fall Why It Works

The key is shallow cover creating ambush or feeding zones for shallow bass. With the cooling water, bass instinctively feed heavily to put on weight to survive the lean winter months. This said, cover which looks like it should hold a bass, usually does. A bonus to anglers is these great looking pieces of cover will replenish rather quickly from the droves of roaming bass looking for their own ambush point.

My favorite way to attack shallow hungry fall bass is with a squarebill crankbait. Something with a lot of action and deflection capabilities. Bass will hide in shallow cover and with a quality squarebill crankbait, like the Storm Arashi, I can run my crankbait right through the cover. It’s no secret and we read it all the time, the key to caching bass on a crankbait is deflection.

Shallow Crankbaits in the Fall When To Start

Starting at the first significant water temperature drop I’ll start cruising the banks of my lakes and rivers with a squarebill crankbait. Scattered stumps, laydowns, and grass lines are all possible fishing holding cover and deserve several casts. The more isolated the cover is, the bigger the bass I expect to catch from it. It’s not uncommon for me to troll 30 yards out of the way to cast to a single brush top, dock piling or cypress tree.

I’d like to say anglers can travel a bank line and only concentrate on the cover, however it would be a mistake. As the water cools more and more bass hit the shallows, many times there isn’t enough cover to go around. This means there are plenty of bass roaming and looking for an ambush location. With my trolling motor on medium, I will cover miles of shoreline this time of year. I try and start on banks with plenty of shore line cover, however if I run out of cover or there are several yards before the next piece of cover, I don’t quit. I keep casting to the general depth bass have been holding and catch these roamers.

I have been known to fish several miles in a tournament and never pick up the trolling motor this time of year. In general, the only time I might stop casting, is to move back to an area where I caught several fish or the size of the fish was larger. Otherwise, it’s full steam ahead looking for a fresh piece of cover and a hungry bass.

Next time out, save some gas and put the trolling motor in the water and go fishing. Anglers who try this are always surprised, the simplest of areas hold bass this time of year. Areas which are blasted by on the big motor often hold some very large bass. I love fall fishing because it’s all about casting! More casts, means more bass.

Get the Net it’s a Hawg
Mike Cork

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