While spring often offers some of the year's heaviest stringers, most diehard bass anglers would contend that there's no better time of the year for numbers than the fall.
Legendary Elite Series pro Denny Brauer would be among the foremost fans of fall fishing; however, he cautions that like any other time of the year, anglers must pay attention to the seasonal cues. "One of the things that happens a lot of times is that when an angler first gets to a new lake, he is confused about where to start," he explains.
"The very first thing you should always consider is the season you're in. That will shorten the learning curve dramatically." During fall, the veteran pro points out, bass are intently focused on their primary food source. The bait migration toward warmer water will dictate where bass will be positioned. "Bass are moving to the shorelines, to the creeks, and to the backs of pockets because as the water cools down, that's where the bait is headed," he notes.
"Bass are simply going to follow the food source." Brauer recommends that anglers focus their attention on ambush points along these shallower-water routes. "Bass will position this time of year anywhere there's an ambush point," he reveals. "Places like isolated timber, or a dock, or even a stick-up along a mud flat will be your high-percentage spots to target."
With so many types of cover readily available in most fisheries, how does an angler decide which type to focus on? "Really, the type of the target is not very important," Brauer says, explaining that almost any object can be a bass hideout. "Something as simple as an isolated lily pad on the outside of a clump of grass, or the end of a laydown along a creek channel, can hold a fish this time of the year."
As for his "go to" baits in the fall, Brauer keeps it simple. "I lean toward baits that mimic shad," he reveals. "Things like shallow-running crankbaits and spinnerbaits are excellent choices right now, but you can even pick up some fish on a buzzbait."
Although he's proficient in any style of bait, Brauer is widely known for his devotion to jig fishing. While the jig may be more effective at other times of the year when fished vertically, he says it also can be deadly in the fall — when presented properly.
"You have to adjust your retrieve to mimic the bait during the fall," he explains. "I'm going to be moving it horizontally, as opposed to vertically, in the fall. I do this because the fish are nearer to the surface and will be keying on horizontal movement more than something moving vertically."
Brauer contends that about the only way you can have a terrible outing in the fall is by staying at home, provided you're paying attention to the clues nature is providing. "Really, about the biggest tip I give to anybody is to pay attention to the season," he says.
"Just use a little common sense and ask yourself where the fish should be. It will make your day a lot more productive and enjoyable."
(Provided by Z3 Media)