Autumn bass fishing equals a great day outdoors!
For many in the north east fall largemouth fishing is a hit or miss proposition and many anglers simply stow their tackle and turn their attention to reading the outdoor magazines and prepping the ice fishing equipment. But fishing for largemouth bass in the fall can be productive and quite a lot of fun and of course the smallmouth catch has barely started to slow down.
Even if the largemouth action is not as hot during the fall as it is in spring and summer there are still fish willing to be caught. It is just that, even though the water has not yet chilled significantly the largemouth become if not exactly torpid, a bit subdued and not as quick to attack bait as they might be on a misty morning in July. The angler has to adjust to his quarry accordingly.
And even if the rod is not constantly bent, the exhilaration that comes from a day on the lake in the clear, crisp autumn air with the glory of the fall foliage all around is sufficient reward in its own right.
Slow things down:
The demonically retrieved crank bait is not the optimum bait for the laid back bass of autumn. Plastic worms or eels fished slowly without a jig are very productive. Let these sink. Let them sit idle for 10, 20, even thirty seconds. Then retrieve them slowly, crawling across the bottom. A largemouth may hit on the retrieve, while the bait is sitting idle, or even on the way down.
A twister tail worm with weedless jig is another fine choice, try and get the maximum vertical travel that you can out of each “flutter” of the jig, and allow the fallen jig some idle time on the bottom.
Floating diving lures like the Rapala are still bass killers, work them slowly, allow them to sit idle on the surface until a lazy bass has ample time to sashay over for a closer look. The old model 25M jointed Mirr-o-lure, still available on Internet auction sites is deadly in the fall. It provides lethal action on a slow retrieve, dives relatively deep and then rises slowly to the surface, daring the most placid of largemouth to rise to the occasion.
Unique fall environment:
If the lake or pond is surrounded by woods, some of those blazing leaves have made their way to various current driven collection points around the lake. The floating leave beds form a ceiling over sections of the lake that receive no such cover at any other time of the year. Here, bass will frequently hang, just under the lakeside edge and out of the direct sunlight. They are waiting to see what happens by. If what happens by is your weedless jig and worm, or floating-diving plug there is apt to be a little autumn fishing magic when fish and bait hook up.
Take full advantage of the fleeting opportunity this once a year phenomenon presents. Use precision casting to find those “holes’ in the leaf cover; bass linger there as well as at the boundary between leaves and open water.
Even a weedless top water popping plug can draw a strike when fished directly through the leaves themselves, as can a plastic worm with rigged with weedless hooks.
So don’t put the rod in the closet prematurely. Working the local pond to its full potential on a splendid autumn day can bring a hefty fish to the anglers table and a beaming smile to the anglers face!