Most people love to talk fishing, and they’ll be more than open to telling you. Based out of Michigan, Ben hosts a YouTube channel called The Smallmouth Experience where he uploads weekly videos sharing his experiences of catching smallmouth bass, as well as helpful tips for anglers out there who want to find more success on the water. Works wonders.”. When fly fishing in mid to late fall, consider fishing with a sinktip or a 250 grain full sinking line in the deeper riffles and pools on our larger rivers. Water temperatures are cool enough to drive smallies to concentrate over offshore humps … When the temperature dips down, the bass slow down, and their habits change – it’s important that you know how to respond. I’ve introduced a few so far, and you’ll see them come up again here. Right before a rain event or cold front, fishing can be incredible too. It was 20 degrees below zero at my house last week. Amato often sets up on the deepest, coolest, clearest and structure-filled lakes he can access by boat. Fish that deep are usually not active, and harder to trigger, so you’d be wasting effort on fish you have a much bigger chance of harming anyway,” advises Amato. During this time, the bass start to huddle up and stay together more frequently, and if you see this happening or you see them leaping out of the water a lot, you’ll want to get a soft jerkbait and give it a go. The reason I recommend going with a lipless crank is that it can move through vegetation better, and you don’t need the noise or vibration of the lip in this case. Amato and I are proponents of mandatory usage of circle hooks and specialty live bait hooks that eliminate/minimize the probability of gut hooked fish. “On another lake, on a good day the action seems to go non-stop all day from just a few different areas,” he says. By Kyle Peterson & Mitch Anderson •Sep 27, 2020 Seth Feider takes the guesswork out of choosing the best lures for smallmouth bass fishing from late summer through late fall. Door County Smallmouth Bass Fishing October 29, 2020 Fishing Reports late-eyes The fall weather has definitely settled in and the temperatures have been below normal for quite some time which has really helped drop the water temps. Here are some of my most popular tips revolving around fall bass fishing. Don’t do it so much that it screws up your presentation, but maybe increase one size and see if that helps. Most well-stocked bait shops in the north will carry these minnows, making them an ideal fall option. If you’ve read any of my blog articles, you know I’m one of those anglers who has the same lure in 25 different colors in my tackle box. In this fall is when the shad migration occurs, so they’ll eat a lot of those and other similar baitfish to bulk up for the winter. This question also depends a lot on your location. You don’t want to use a fast action rod because every little movement you make will move the lure around, and that doesn’t always provide the most natural appearance for what you’re trying to do. Let’s talk about that and some actionable steps you can take to improve your chances of catching bass this fall. Over the years Amato has acquired the skill and knowledge to identify likely wintering locations through mapping and applying his success from one lake on to another. Drifting with the wind with a semi-tight line being dragged on the bottom, holding the line against your rod with an open bail is key. But when fish turn off working those same spots with live bait often transforms a non-bite into a bite, many times a good one for him. Fishing live bait in October and November, prepare to catch some of the fattest fish of the year. While never a problem for Amato and I, barotrauma is a dangerous silent killer in summer and autumn when fish congregate in depths of 30 feet and greater. “I use the wind and current to move the boat, and only use the trolling motor with small bursts to help stay on course. Days of personal bests have happened in autumn too, including a monster surpassing 6 pounds caught and released with yours truly. Bronzebacks pile into dense schools come autumn. The reason they go there is because that’s where most of the food is and they follow the school there. Ideally, what you want to look for is a frog lure that is weedless because you’ll be moving through the densest of vegetation on the lake. With a lot of deep structure and potential locations, Amato is forced to jump spots back and forth as activity slows and picks up again on these locations. Besides deep structure-laden flats, mid-lake humps can be productive also but lack the size and many of them don’t feature points and extensions that drop into deep water. Experts like Amato have learned to fish basic presentations. If you’re fishing with this strategy in mind, you want to change everything completely: Here is where you really want to look for things like downed logs or underwater debris. When Amato and I fish together aboard my Ranger 681VS, we frequently utilize my Lowrance HDS 12 electronics and side-imaging to pinpoint the deep ledges and rocks smallmouths congregate on. Pre-spawn smallmouth bass has yet to arrive but the weather is breaking enough to hit the water. He finds most smallmouth in deep water — 40 to 50 feet where he’s fishing — about Labor Day. That’s because I believe color is critically important to the success of your fall bass fishing. Then it slows again until they either return to the area, or one fish bites and they get active again.” The oligotrophic lake Amato describes features many steep drop-offs that lead to multiple wintering holes. The temperature of the water will determine how deep the bass go during the fall and winter. Every fall Amato and I fish, 90% of the lake’s smallmouths are located in 10% or less of the lake. I assure you that barotraumas and burst swim bladders will rarely happen. Big smallmouths get harvested in the fall months, usually from walleye anglers and pan fishermen, and people looking for a trophy on the wall. “I usually look for long shallow bars like this that extend out to deep drop-offs and lead to deep flats, usually a good distance from shore. When it’s cloudy (which is common in the fall), you’ll want to use more neutral earthy colors. I like to use spinnerbaits in the fall as a search lure. However, it’s not an easy presentation to deliver when dealing with deep coontail or sandgrass. You also want one that looks as real as possible. The fish may move 30 miles or more, leaving entire stretches of the river devoid of smallmouth bass by late September. For every big female smallmouth that gets clubbed over the head the action done is irreplaceable for the next 20+ years. If you live in a place that experiences all four seasons, you’ll want to fish closer to midday than you’re used to. On calm fall days, I’ll fish off the back of the boat and use the transom mount trolling motor with little bursts to keep the boat somewhat moving. They’re in the deep, they’re in the shallow, they’re everywhere. No need to set it too hard, it’s more of a medium hookset. I’ll explain what they are, why you should use them, and why they’re the best fall bass baits. Smallmouth bass often identify their locations with pieces of structure. Comments comments. “These fish still can’t resist a sucker minnow that flies past them while foraging for crays,” grins Amato. But when crayfish burrow deep in fall, they are no longer the preferred smallmouth menu item of choice. If a fish has taken the bait, you will see your line slowly going away. It seems one fish bites, turns on the pack, and you will get a few in a row. But now that we know how smallmouths behave in late fall, "stacked like smallmouths" is an even better analogy. Lindy walking sinker with a size 1 Gamakatsu Octopus hook. In shallower waterways across the northern portions of the species’ range, smallmouth actually migrate. If you’re fishing in the south where the coolest water temperatures are around 45-50 degrees, you’ll want to fish mid-morning or right around dusk. Bass are going to start hugging the shores and especially where creek channels are pouring into larger bodies of water. Smallmouth bass will bite all day but generally speaking, the best time of day to catch bass are in the reduced light hours or early morning and late afternoon. Not enough live bait anglers are using these types of hooks and it poses a serious problem for catch and release intentions and conservation. Shallow cranks, spinner baits and traps will fill the bass fishing bill before turnover. Late fall is one of the best times of the year to catch giant smallmouth bass. Wintering smallmouth are no different in their habitat preferences than the shallow oriented fish we catch during spring through summer. The bait should technically be about 5-15 feet in front of you on the bottom, getting dragged by the boat,” he says. Just a hook and a fresh lively minnow like the sucker minnows he prefers. To me, it’s almost as bad as taking a big bass off of a bed and keeping it,” says Amato. 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