Fall can be as productive as any other time of the year for anglers who know how to put the right lures to use. With the water temperatures cooling down, bass behavior might change slightly. You can take advantage of the cooler weather in the early fall to catch hungry fish as they feed heavily in preparation for the winter season when they will slow down considerably.
Read on to learn about some of the best fall bass lures and how each one can play a role in your overall success throughout this season.
Best Fall Bass Lures by Category:
Some types of bait are known to work better than others during this season. Each type of fall bass fishing bait has its own advantages and potential drawbacks. Here are some of the most important types of bait that are proven to be effective during the fall.
Jigs are a staple among the many different lures you can use during the fall season. They serve a variety of purposes during this time and are one of the most versatile types of bait you can use. You can’t go wrong fishing a jig at any time of the season through shallow grass or around tough cover where bait like to hold up.
The Picasso Straight Shooter jig is specially designed by the professional bass angler and jig guru Hank Cherry. This jig is quite different from most others you’ll find today as it features a unique conical design that helps it punch through vegetation and easily bounce through cover. You can fish this with whatever trailer you like as well. The line ties directly into the center of the head, which makes it easier to work the jig and make those subtle twitches that entice bass to strike.
Professional bass anglers know the value of fishing a jig during the fall. Strike King has crafted its Pro-Model jig with just the right design that allows you to fish it in a huge variety of ways. From flipping to pitching and even fishing it in timber and heavy cover, this jig is made to draw fish in and get them to bite.
During the fall, bass will begin looking to feed on shad as much as possible as they prepare for the long, slow winter season, when they will be more lethargic. Jerkbaits are a great way to tap into the largemouth’s instinctive drive to attack a lone bait fish in open water or near cover. Fishing this bait in the fall season is one of the tips that professional anglers strongly adhere to.
The Megabass Ito Vision ONETEN+1 is unlike any other jerkbait on the market right now. It is designed to suspend in the water instead of floating upward toward the surface when you pause your retrieve. This works wonders in the fall by allowing you to keep the bait in the strike zone longer. The Ito Vision ONETEN+1 also has a body that’s perfectly designed to give the lure realistic action as it darts and dives through the water.
Shad are one of the top menu items for largemouth during the fall. Most fish will chase after schools of shad when the water temperature drops, making certain baits like swimbaits the ideal choice for this time of year.
The JOHNCOO Shad is easily one of the most realistic-looking swimbaits you’ll find. The lure is specially designed after a 3-D scan of an actual shad, which means it has the exact body shape and build for the kind of prey bass are searching for in the fall. You can rig this with a weighted hook or as a shaky-head to get down into deeper water and catch bass near the end of the season.
Topwater Lures and Buzzbaits
It’s no secret that topwater lures like buzzbaits and poppers are excellent choices during the warm summer months. However, these types of bait can also be extremely productive during the fall as well. Whether it’s a single-blade or a two-blade model, buzzbaits could be the best method to target fish feeding on topwater prey at this time.
Most buzzbaits are designed to resemble a small baitfish swimming at the surface of the water. Bass typically can’t resist this presentation and will vigorously chase after a quality buzzbait that’s retrieved at the right speed and angle. The Terminator Tandem Buzz features two blades and creates a distinctive action in the water that is extremely effective when it comes to catching bass in the fall.
Buzzbaits are often a great lure choice, but they might be too big and disruptive for some finicky bass that are looking for something more natural. The Strike King Mini Pro-Buzz is a solid choice for this time of year as it is smaller than other models and still creates that churning motion on the water that bass will want to feed on.
When the water temperature drops, you can bet that bass will start to look for lone baitfish that are swimming around near cover and structure. The right kind of crankbait with good color is usually the ticket to drawing bass out from their hiding spot throughout the fall.
Many times in the middle of fall, bigger bass will start to make their way down to the deep water, where they will remain through the winter. The Megabass Deep-X 300 is the perfect bait to target these fish and meet them on their turf. This lure comes in a variety of different color options for all water conditions and has an unmistakably realistic wobble that bass can’t resist.
A crankbait that can dive down into the water column and catch the attention of bass in the fall is what you want when the water temperature cools down. This bait has a similar bill as the Megabass Deep-X, so it's a similar style crank compared to others. The Rapala Shad Rap RS Suspending is an outstanding option because it lets you keep this lure down deep for longer periods when using a slow, periodic retrieve. This is also great for clear water as the lure is designed with an extremely realistic appearance.
Your objective in the fall should be to use baits that mimic the motion of a shad, whether it’s swimming, darting around, or even suspended. Spinnerbaits are perfect for targeting bass that are a bit more active during the autumn season.
It’s important that your spinnerbait closely resembles a shad that’s swimming through the water. The Terminator Super Stainless Double Willow is one of the most realistic-looking spinnerbaits on the market today. The willow blades provide you with premium performance, and the lure’s durability is outstanding.
Plastic worms can also be highly useful when it comes to fall fishing. You can use a variety of rigs that include Texas, Carolina, wacky, and even shaky-head to catch bass with a little more finesse. This type of bait is great for summer fish but will also produce bites in the fall.
There really is no limit to what you can do with a Zoom 6” Trick Worm. This bait is known as a classic among bass fishing lures and should be part of any angler’s tackle arsenal. You can dip the tail in some fish attractant like J.J.’s Magic to add a little extra appeal to the sense of smell that fish rely on.
Fall Bass Fishing Tactics
Fall is a time of year that calls for particular tactics to enjoy success when bass fishing.
Target Shallow Flats
In the early fall, you can find most bass near shallow flats on many lakes. They will be searching for shad in these areas, so throwing a jerkbait, crankbait, spinnerbait, or virtually any other type of lure that resembles baitfish will prove successful right now. Look for areas with grass, as fish will usually hide in thick cover like this. Use your boat to search around until you find what type of pattern fish are showing on any given day at the particular lake you’re at.
A Little More Action
Bass in the fall will feed off of instinct, and you can usually entice them to strike by ripping the bait along and letting it fall or quickly twitching it as you steadily retrieve the bait. Doing this will usually get a reaction strike from fish and is a great fall fishing tactic. Whether you’re fishing with jerkbaits or spinnerbaits, the sudden stop of the lure is enough to grab their attention and tell them that what they’re seeing is an easy meal that they need to grab before another fish gets there first.
Don’t Underestimate Topwater
Topwater lures are often thought of as a summertime strategy, but fall is equally productive in this respect. Most professional anglers will agree that you can catch larger bass in the fall using various topwater baits like buzzbait or even poppers. This is the time to break out the smaller topwater baits you have and throw them close to structure where bass will be looking for shad and other bait fish.
Final Thoughts on Lures for Fall Bass Fishing
Bass in the fall are known to prefer a select few types of lures, such as the ones we’ve mentioned in this article. You’ll need to do a bit more work to figure out whether the bass in your lake is still in the shallows or if they have started moving out toward deeper water. When you fish an area, be sure to cast your lure thoroughly across every location, as you never know what angle will be the right approach that causes bass to strike.
Fishing in the fall can be very unique as bass will usually show a vastly different pattern than what they display in the summer or winter. If you cover lots of water and stick to the lures we noted in this article, you’ll have no problem catching a limit during the fall.