There's no better time to chase largemouth bass than fall. As the days grow shorter, water cools and leaves change to a brilliant crimson hue up here in the north, largemouths go on a feeding binge — storing up fat reserves (and extending their waistline) for the long winter that lies ahead.
Tune in to productive spots and get ready to harvest some of the biggest bass of the season — they are ripe for the picking.
Green vegetation is a fundamental factor for locating fall largemouth. As the water cools, shallow weeds begin to die and decay. This reverses the oxygen properties they once held, making them less favourable to both baitfish and predator largemouth. Steer clear of brown or slime coated vegetation, instead seeking out lush, vibrant green weeds. Go one step further and concentrate on vegetation that is holding baitfish.
Begin your search for healthy green weeds directly out from productive summer haunts. Largemouth bass won't travel far, preferring to stick close to a home range. This often means a simple shift away from shore to deeper water and more attractive foliage.
Wood offers a largemouth bass shelter, heat, and a concealed ambush point for feeding — all attractive features.
Bright, sunny days will see me do a "milk run" of wood on my favorite lakes. Since wood is a conductor of heat, it will hold warmth during those chilly but bright days, thereby acting as a magnet for largemouth bass. It also offers shade, which can be inviting for cruising fish if no other structure areas are within wandering distance.
Single logs, stumps, fallen trees and crib docks all deserve some probing during this period.
Rocks Reign Supreme
Slab rock and boulders draw and hold fish due to the presence of crayfish and for the radiant warmth they provide. Bass patrol rocky areas in search of these high-protein crustaceans, but can also be found hovering stationary and simply soaking up the sun. This holds true during bluebird days when the sun is high and beating down intensely.
Fall is a great time to break out the cranking stick. Shallow and medium-sized shad-style crankbaits trigger a feeding response in largemouths, while also offering an easy target to chase down. Bumping the wood, stop-and-go retrieves, and slow crawling are proven retrieves.
An underwater finger of structure is a basic definition for a point. No matter how you word it, though, rock or sand formations attract fall bass.
They utilize these underwater highways to roam throughout the day, corralling bait pushed onto these prime pieces of real estate. Feeding runs can vary, so hit points multiple times during an outing.
Depending on wind and wave action, which often dictates bait placement, largemouths can position themselves on top of the finger or on either side. Fish all of it, unless one spot is clearly holding more bass.