Essential Baits for the Fall Transition
While summer is still hanging on, we have seen some glimpses of changing seasons and that means being prepared for bass to migrate away from those summer haunts you’ve had marked for a few months and start following new patterns. Changing pattern can create some less-than-ideal days, but with the right “know how”, magic can be created really quick and livewells can be filled in a hurry! So, now is the time to grab some classic falls staples and have them in the boat and ready for the new season ahead.
Skirts & Blades
The summer bluegill spawn maybe wrapping up, but the shad that spawned in early Spring have had time to grow and they are making their way to shallow pockets and creeks in mass. “Skirts and blades” have been a Fall staple for decades, and they continue to be some of the best options for targeting shallow, isolated cover. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, and in more recent years bladed jigs like the Z-Man Jackhammer are a mandatory staple on the deck of your boat this time of year. Each of these allow you to cover plenty of water, remain relatively snagless, and offer a very baitfish like imitation to draw strikes from bass feeding up before the cold months.
Hard & Soft Jerkbaits
This is a personal favorite of mine that I don’t leave the house without. When it comes to imitating bait, a jerkbait of any kind may be the very best option available. And, at a time of year where imitating bait is at it’s peak, these options stay rigged and ready. Both a hard jerkbait and a soft jerkbait can turn a slow day around quickly when you can locate pods of bait in shallow and even medium to deep depths.
Old School Crankin’
Crankbaits have become some of the most beloved tools in most anglers tacklebox. They are known for firing up big bass on offshore ledges during the hotter months of the year, but as the water cools down it’s time to start cranking like you grandaddy does! Big balsa and “balsa like” square bills are king in the fall. With the shad and other bait having all summer to grow, it’s time to throw a large shallow-diving crankbait around shallow targets like laydowns.
Overall, many people find fall to be a tough time to track down where the fish are moving and why. But the key is to cover plenty water in search of bait, and then being able to pick that area apart. This could very well become your favorite time of year to fish!