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Palmer’s fall tacklebox

Bassmaster Elite Series pro Luke Palmer qualified for the Elite Series in 2018 and has since notched four Bassmaster Classic appearances.
That includes 10 Top 10 finishes, including his first Elite Series win this season at Santee Cooper Lakes.
Palmer walks us through his favorite techniques for fall fishing that should yield success all over the country.
First up for the Oklahoma pro is a jig. Jigs are versatile baits that produce big bites everywhere. “For fall, I look for a jig that can be fished in heavy cover, skipped under docks or even fished deeper.” Palmer said.
War Eagle Heavy Finesse Jig with a Yum Spine Craw. “This one is a Green Pumkin colored War Eagle Heavy Finesse Jig with a Yum Spine Craw in California 420 color. The smaller profile bait can be fished a variety of ways. This is a 1/2-ounce; it’s a smaller profile jig with a beefy hook that allows me to use a bigger rod and get fish out of cover.”
His preferred setup is a 7-foot, 3-inch heavy-action Falcon Cara Amistad rod which is extremely versatile. He pairs it with 16- or 20-pound Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon line.
Yum Wooly Bug. Next up is another flipping style bait that was relied on to earn his Bassmaster Elite Series victory earlier this season at the Santee Cooper Lakes. “The Yum Wooly Bug in Vergo Red Color is great all around the country,” Palmer said. “I fish it in the fall a lot around vegetation and shallow cover like rocks, docks and cypress trees, which was good at Santee Cooper, with a 1/2-ounce weight.”
“When the water cools off, I like to move fast and cover water. The 1/2-ounce gets in and out of cover quickly which helps trigger a reaction bite.” He fishes it with 20- or 22-pound Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon and a Falcon Expert SoCal 7 foot, 6-inch rod which has a great parabolic bend and handles that size rig well.
Heddon One-Knocker Spook. When the fish are schooling and willing to hit a topwater bait, Palmer reaches for a bait in a shad pattern.
He throws the bigger bait on a 6-foot, 10-inch Falcon Cara Head Turner Rod. “I like a little shorter rod to keep the rod tip off the water when I am twitching the bait,” Palmer said. “I throw this bait with a 40-pound Sunline SX1 Braid mainline and a 22-pound Sunline Shooter leader.”
Yum Sonar Minnow. The Elite Series Northern Swing had events at Lake St. Clair, Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence River. Palmer always relies heavily on finesse equipment. A drop shot is one he always has tied on in the fall. Palmer’s favorite setup is the Yum Sonar Minnow fished on a 7-foot medium action Falcon Cara spinning rod.
“This one is the JC Natural color and is Jason Christie’s favorite color, and mine too,” said Palmer. “I use a 5/16- up to 3/8-ounce Rougarou Tungsten and fish a 12-pound Sunline SX1 braided mainline and an 8-pound Sunline FC leader.”
Great Lakes Finesse Drop Worm. He also rigs this bait on a drop shot. Although it works for everyday applications, Palmer likes to fish it around cover such as brushpiles or docks.
“This bait is very neutral buoyant and sits horizonal in the water. When fished around cover, this is a great finesse option that bass cannot resist.” 
Yum Scottsboro Swimbait 3.5. His final choice is a big box of swimbaits with different color options for around the country.
“The 3.5 inch is probably my favorite size as its big enough to stand out against the forage the bass are keying on in most places,” Palmer said. “I stick with shad-colored baits unless the water is really dirty, and then I will use chartreuse.”