"If I am on a man-made reservoir in the fall, without a doubt I am going to have a spinning rod and 6-pound-test line rigged up," Bassmaster Elite Series pro angler Gary Klein says. "In the fall, the water is usually clearer than it is any other time of the year. The water tables on man-made reservoirs are usually drawn down because of the summer power usage, and the boat traffic has slowed so the water really cleans up.
"When the thermocline dissipates, it really opens up a lot of the water column for the fish to use, and those fish love to suspend."
When shad wrap up in balls in creeks and river arms, Klein tempts bass near the surface with a finesse topwater trick. He opts for a LuckyCraft Sammy 65 in a ghost minnow or herring hue and walks the tiny topwater over the bait balls with a 7-foot medium Quantum PT rod and a Quantum Catalyst PT30 spinning reel.
He throws the Sammy on 10-pound SpiderWire Stealth braid when he needs to make long-distance deliveries, but he also works the topwater on 6- or 8-pound test Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon.
"It is a great bait that flicks on top like a shad and catches all three species of bass," he says.
While Klein has the most fun catching autumn bass on the tiny topwater lure, the Texas pro acknowledges that his most effective finesse tactic in the fall is "doodling" a Texas rigged small, straight-tail worm.