Beginner’s Tacklebox: Todd Auten

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Todd Auten takes a specific approach when choosing his tackle for a fishing trip in the fall. When it comes to fall fishing, Lake Murray is usually his top choice when he isn’t tournament fishing.  
Auten understands that fishing during the fall can mean anything. Fish can be a lot less predictable and harder to come by. To navigate this, he has six essential lures used for locating fish, searching different environments and hitting every level of the water column. “Once I find an area or depth that seems to hold fish, I can focus more on that area and start figuring out the most effective way to catch them.”
Take a look at Auten’s top six picks for fall fishing and searching for those hard-to-get bass.
Auten’s first pick is a jerkbait for fishing deeper channel swing banks towards the back of creeks. This allows him to cover a lot of water and search for those fish that haven’t moved out yet.
His jerkbait of choice is a Livingston Jerkmaster, using colors that mimic the baitfish in that area.
His second pick is a topwater walking bait. “This is a killer bait in the fall when the water hasn’t gotten too cold, and the fish are still schooling. This is another lure that allows me to cover a lot of water on points and in the back of pockets.”
This is a Livingston Walking Boss in the pure bone shad color.
Pick three is a spinnerbait. This is a lure that can be very versatile and used in various levels of the water column. “This is one of my favorite ways to catch them, especially when using it to fish the edges of grass beds.”
This is a 1/2-ounce War Eagle spinnerbait in the blue herring color.
Pick four is a ChatterBait. “I use this around wood structures and docks, especially when the water is stained. I also prefer using a gold blade a lot of the time.”
This is a 1/2-ounce gold bladed ChatterBait. He uses white and chartreuse colors in stained water and moves towards more translucent colors in clearer water. 
Pick number five is a jig. “This is something I have tied on at all times of the year, and I use it a lot in the fall.” This is his primary choice for dock fishing and covering shallow water structures with a slower approach.  
This is a 1/2-ounce Shooter Lures jig with an arkie style head in the crawdaddy color. He usually pairs this with a Zoom Z Craw Jr. trailer.
Auten’s final pick is a Water Wood crankbait. “This lure allows me to easily explore different depth ranges and colors. I use them a lot around creek bends and different structures.”
The Water Wood crankbaits have a depth range of 3 to 5 feet. He switches between colors, using shad colors when he knows fish are schooling and crawfish colors when notices the fish feeding on crawfish. Auten sells Water Wood Custom crankbaits on his new online tackle store at
That wraps up Auten’s beginner’s tacklebox.
This selection of lures is everything you need to get started fishing in the fall.