Fall fishing is dictated by the weather

Courtesy of Brent Chapman
My brother-in-law Chris and my nephew Carter pose with a nice fall striped bass.

About the author

Brent Chapman

Brent Chapman

Brent Chapman is the 2012 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year.

During the fall I find myself spending most of my outdoors time in a tree, but I still take the opportunity to get a few fishing trips in. By paying attention to the weather I can determine the best days to fish and the best days to stay home or climb up in a tree stand.

Weather is by far the biggest factor in fall fishing. Fish are the most active during pre-frontal conditions, meaning the storm is on the way. You’ll want to focus on times just before a front and the first part of a storm for the best fishing. Stay away from the first few days following a storm. I like to use the saying — and I don’t remember where I first heard it — Wind from the west/Fish bite the best; Wind from the east/Fish bite the least. While this isn’t always the case, it is a good rule of thumb for fall fishing.

During pre-frontal conditions or thunderstorms, the winds generally blow from the south or west, which generally turns the bite on. During this time, the fish can be aggressive and I will target them with fast moving baits. My choice for fast moving fall baits are a Livingston Lures Dive Master Jr. or Dive Master 14, a War Eagle spinnerbait or buzzbait or a Mesu Bait Company wobble head jig.

I will continue to fish the same during the storm as I do during pre-frontal conditions. The only exception is I will mix in a War Eagle buzzbait. A fall storm buzzbait bite can be a lot of fun, but you’ll never find it unless you try it. During the fall, with a storm looming, I always have a buzzbait on the deck. One thing to note is that after a storm, the bite continue for as much as a full day.

Post-frontal conditions are the toughest time to fish. With temperatures dropping 30 degrees seemingly overnight, the fish are apt to become more lethargic. Should you encounter this, simply slow down and fish more methodically. A big jig, like the flippin’ jig from Mesu Baits with a large creature bait trailer (Tightlines UV Bubba Craw) is a great option. One key feature to the new Mesu Baits flippin’ jig is it has a heavy duty, surgically sharp Trokar hook in it.

Fall is a great time for fishing with family and friends. Pay attention to the weather and enjoy the water, but remember to be safe out there.

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