Fishing Fall Bass - Early Fall Fishing for Bass in the Northwest as the Seasons Change
You have just rolled out of bed, poured you coffee and there it is. You knew it was coming, but it is real, it is here. What am I talking about? It's not taxes, the Grim Reaper or even your in-laws coming for an extended stay. It is the first foggy Fall morning. If you have spent any time in the Northwest you know what that means. From here on out the weather will never get quite as hot as it did all summer, and the nights will be cooler. Sure, we may get an Indian Summer and some nice days, but the fact is, things are cooling off. Now it is time to start thinking about what that means for our Bass fishing.
With the falling temperatures, Bass will start to build up their Winter reserves. This can offer some fantastic fishing opportunities if you know what to look for. Big Bass that have been hiding deep all Summer are now moving up and looking for as much food as they can. Their feeding periods will also lengthen as the Sun drops to lower angles. All the better for us!
Most experts would agree that Fall Bass are suckers for the right crank bait. This means you probably will grab lures that are a little bigger than you have been using all Summer. The Bass that have made it to Fall are smart and will be looking for lures that closely match the size and color of the prey fish that spawned in the Spring. Check out what is in your lake and match up to that. Another good choice is to grab your top water lures. Again, the big Bass are looking to load up on food and will be watching for any easy meals above them.
Finding the Bass is of course key. But where are they? The simple answer is, where the bait fish are. These are most likely going to be found in closer to shore than they previously were, hanging out in the shallows and around the green plants. My favorite tactic to find bait fish is to bring along an extra pole rigged with a small jig and bobber and when I am exploring a lake, drop it out in front of me and let it sit on a hole before I start throwing my Bass hooks at it. I also toss it out when I am changing or re-tying lures. If there are bait fish there, then odds are, the Bass are lurking near by.
Important things to look for are areas where there is cover for the Bass to move between their deeper holding areas to the shallow feeding areas. Also remember on cloudy and windy days or in stained water, the Bass may not retreat at all to their holding areas, but may spend the day feeding in the shallows. Pay attention to water that is shallower than you would normally expect to find big fish. I have seen large Bass lurking in water as shallow as one foot.
On bright days or after a cold front has moved in, you will have to go back to their mid-day holding areas to find the Bass. Remember that a cold front will affect the shallow water first and the Bass will most likely hold to the deeper water and its more stable temperatures. In this case, it is time to finesse fish a little bit and work the deeper structure. Remember drop shotting?
Don't think that the falling temperatures means a let up in the Bass fishing. Lunker Bass are waiting for you. Grab yourself an extra pull over and get out there on the water, the fish are waiting!