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It’s that time of the year again where temperatures begin to cool off and your summer fishing patterns no longer work as expected. Yup, you guessed it, fall has arrived here in the mountains. The arrival of fall means that fishing begins to change and, in some ways, can become more complex. Today, we will be looking into the five baits that you should be throwing this fall season.
The Effects of Temperature
Before we dive into what baits we should be throwing, we wanted to spend some time on what the local waters are doing and how this affects the fish. Craig Gorton, owner of Found 'Em Kayak Fishing Guides, said bass migrate to different areas of the lake based on the temperature of the water. Because all fish are cold-blooded, the temperature will vastly change their activity in the water. In the summer and winter months, you will generally find bass in deeper locations all around the lake. In spring and fall, the water temperature mixes, causing the fish to spread out sporadically throughout the lake. This can make Fall fishing difficult as the fish are all over the place.
Let's Talk Tactics
When it comes to fall fishing, you might be scratching your head as to how we should target these fish. Let’s face it, nobody likes being skunked. We believe, with Craig's tactics, you can minimize those days. The best tactic Craig has found is to cover lots of water in an efficient and strategic manner. Craig does this by configuring his kayak with multiple rods so he can minimize rigging time and maximize bait in the water.
In addition, it can be a great idea to create a mental road map of what areas you want to target before you ever get in the water. A good rule of thumb is to start with the main points on the lake, then secondary points, and eventually coves if you are not seeing any fish activity. Craig will start his personal mental map with certain targets on the lake he knows have worked before, looking for activity or a possible catch along the way before focusing in on a spot. We have found that, with a mental road map, we are able to stay on track and minimize time wasted on the water.
No. 1 Jerk Baits
The number one go-to bait you will see Craig throwing during the fall season has to be the Jerk Bait. Water temperature will be your friend or enemy when it comes to fishing the Jerk Bait efficiently. Craig has found that you will want to slow down your pause when the water temperatures drop.
No. 2 Poppers
The second bait Craig always has rigged up would have to be poppers. We all love a good popper eat, and sometimes the fish really key in on the surface. It may not be every day, but it’s a go-to pattern for Craig and many anglers around the region.
No. 3 Spooks
The third bait you will find Craig throwing are spooks. Spooks can be tricky from time to time. Craig will reserve this for special days on the water. Ultimately, this is great to have for those warmer days you may find in Fall.
No. 4 Spinner Bait
The fourth, and maybe our favorite bait in the entire lineup, would have to be the Spinner Bait. Let’s face it, these baits generally put fish in the boat. A great note to research is how fast a specific spinner bait retrieves. They make spinner baits that spin and retrieve. A good spinner with a slow retrieve will be your ticket to success on those colder mornings.
No. 5 Jigs
You can never leave shore without having a jig rigged up or in your tackle box. The jig is a staple in bass fishing and a great fallback rig to use when the fishing gets tough. For those that do not know, it rides with the hook facing up, which keeps you from getting snags as frequently. They make jigs in all sizes, colors and weights, so make sure you find what works best in your local fishery.
A Few Tips
Colder Weather, Slower Retrieves
It can be easy when you get to the first spot to get excited and with excitement comes extremely fast retrieves. We want you to slow down that retrieve and pause down. We believe a majority of everyone will be surprised when they see when the fish takes and runs.
Size Down for Success
This is a general rule of thumb for all fishing seasons. If you see a fish trailing your bait but not committing, then we generally recommend sizing down on your lure.
Bright Day, Bright Lure; Dark Day, Darker Lure
Well not entirely, the biggest thing we can say here is on the darker side we have found that off-white colors have been becoming our go to lure colors for overcast days. We find that fish are looking up and towards the light in the water columns and see the off-white colors a little easier…. Or so we think!
Observation is Key
The power of observation overrules any tactic discussed in the article. Keep an eye out for what mother nature and those fish are telling you.
Book a Trip With Craig HERE
Craigs Go To Baits HERE
Craigs Fishing Setup Below:
- Jake Smith