Fishing tips from the pros

Bill Lowen’s favorite fall lures

Fall fishing means following bass back from their deeper summer haunts into shallower areas, and Bill Lowen said there are lures he never leaves the dock without. Here are his Top 12 lures for catching bass in the fall.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Fall fishing means following bass back from their deeper summer haunts into shallower areas, and Bill Lowen said there are lures he never leaves the dock without. Here are his Top 12 lures for catching bass in the fall.
PH Custom Lures Sub-P — I use this to fish around shallow grass in the fall. Typically that time of year, bass are going shallow and that’s just a good crankbait that sheds the grass really well. It doesn’t seem to get fouled up in the grass.
Photo: Andy Crawford - PH Custom Lures Sub-P — I use this to fish around shallow grass in the fall. Typically that time of year, bass are going shallow and that’s just a good crankbait that sheds the grass really well. It doesn’t seem to get fouled up in the grass.
Ima Square Bill — You know, it’s hard to beat a squarebill in the fall. It’s just one of those go-to baits all time for me in the fall. That’s one I helped design for fishing in extremely shallow wood cover — kind of what I’m know for doing. It deflects off cover and gets that reaction bite. I always say it’s like a little baby dump truck: You throw it in there, and it’s going to come out.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Ima Square Bill — You know, it’s hard to beat a squarebill in the fall. It’s just one of those go-to baits all time for me in the fall. That’s one I helped design for fishing in extremely shallow wood cover — kind of what I’m know for doing. It deflects off cover and gets that reaction bite. I always say it’s like a little baby dump truck: You throw it in there, and it’s going to come out.
Ima Skimmer Grande — What’s really unique about this bait is that you can work it really slow, walk the dog, or you can work it as fast as you want and never lose the bait. Always in the fall, there’s a lot of schooling going on and things like that. Topwater baits really excel at then.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Ima Skimmer Grande — What’s really unique about this bait is that you can work it really slow, walk the dog, or you can work it as fast as you want and never lose the bait. Always in the fall, there’s a lot of schooling going on and things like that. Topwater baits really excel at then.
Optimum Boom Boom Swimbait — Really, for me, I’m not a big fan of big swimbaits. As you can see, that’s a big swim bait, but that’s one that I catch a lot of fish on — and a lot of 2-pound fish. So just because it’s a big bait doesn’t mean it doesn’t catch little ones. In the fall, I tend to catch really good-sized fish on that. I think a lot of that has to do with maybe the fish haven’t seen a lot of (big swimbaits). Guys throw it in the beginning of the year, but they shy away from it in the fall.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Optimum Boom Boom Swimbait — Really, for me, I’m not a big fan of big swimbaits. As you can see, that’s a big swim bait, but that’s one that I catch a lot of fish on — and a lot of 2-pound fish. So just because it’s a big bait doesn’t mean it doesn’t catch little ones. In the fall, I tend to catch really good-sized fish on that. I think a lot of that has to do with maybe the fish haven’t seen a lot of (big swimbaits). Guys throw it in the beginning of the year, but they shy away from it in the fall.
Lure Parts Online Buzz Bait — For me, in the fall, typically I’m always fishing up there in the shallows around the junk. A buzz bait, you always have to have one tied on. There’s just no way in the fall that you can’t have a buzz bait tied. And colors are simple: either black or white. I don’t modify it at all. It comes bent like this. Lure Parts is a component company. A lot of guys work on their buzz baits to make them squeak, but this one squeaks right off the bat. When you put it together, it sounds just exactly like (it needs to). So I don’t do any modifications, because you don’t need to.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Lure Parts Online Buzz Bait — For me, in the fall, typically I’m always fishing up there in the shallows around the junk. A buzz bait, you always have to have one tied on. There’s just no way in the fall that you can’t have a buzz bait tied. And colors are simple: either black or white. I don’t modify it at all. It comes bent like this. Lure Parts is a component company. A lot of guys work on their buzz baits to make them squeak, but this one squeaks right off the bat. When you put it together, it sounds just exactly like (it needs to). So I don’t do any modifications, because you don’t need to.
Lure Parts Online Bill Lowen Compact Spinnerbait — In the fall, I like that Indiana/Colorado blade combination because I like to keep that spinnerbait slow and around the piece of cover as long as possible. I want to almost trigger him into biting, and I feel like the longer I keep that bait in the strike zone, the better off I feel like I’m going to be, and that’s what that big blade allows me to do. I can really slow it down and keep it high in the water column where I can see it.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Lure Parts Online Bill Lowen Compact Spinnerbait — In the fall, I like that Indiana/Colorado blade combination because I like to keep that spinnerbait slow and around the piece of cover as long as possible. I want to almost trigger him into biting, and I feel like the longer I keep that bait in the strike zone, the better off I feel like I’m going to be, and that’s what that big blade allows me to do. I can really slow it down and keep it high in the water column where I can see it.
Lure Parts Online Buzz Bait with Strike King Swimming Shiner trailer — A lot of time in the fall, fish are keyed in on bait, and when they’re running that bait, you can’t beat this shad profile. It kind of gives it a different profile (than a standard skirted buzz bait). I’ve seen days when they’ll hit this one and they won’t bite one with a skirt on it, or vice versa. For me, when I’m fishing around the nasty, woody places I’ll tend to go with a skirt. When I’m fishing more grass, open water, things like that, then I’m going to go with a swimbait trailer.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Lure Parts Online Buzz Bait with Strike King Swimming Shiner trailer — A lot of time in the fall, fish are keyed in on bait, and when they’re running that bait, you can’t beat this shad profile. It kind of gives it a different profile (than a standard skirted buzz bait). I’ve seen days when they’ll hit this one and they won’t bite one with a skirt on it, or vice versa. For me, when I’m fishing around the nasty, woody places I’ll tend to go with a skirt. When I’m fishing more grass, open water, things like that, then I’m going to go with a swimbait trailer.
Strike King Ned Ocho and Strike King Baby Cutter Worm — These are basically designed to be ned-rigged, and I’ve got them rigged on a 5/32-ounce Lures Parts Online Stick-Worm Head. In the fall, fish have been pressured all year long, and these are baits that you can go behind people and get bites on when you typically might not get a bite, just because it’s that down-sized finesse presentation. I don’t care if you’re fishing for largemouth or smallmouth, these two baits right here are definitely going to excel in the fall for you.
Photo: Andy Crawford - Strike King Ned Ocho and Strike King Baby Cutter Worm — These are basically designed to be ned-rigged, and I’ve got them rigged on a 5/32-ounce Lures Parts Online Stick-Worm Head. In the fall, fish have been pressured all year long, and these are baits that you can go behind people and get bites on when you typically might not get a bite, just because it’s that down-sized finesse presentation. I don’t care if you’re fishing for largemouth or smallmouth, these two baits right here are definitely going to excel in the fall for you.
1/4-ounce black-and-blue Lure Parts Online Bill Lowen Swim Jig with Strike King Rage Craw — Once again, I like to keep my bait around the cover as long as I can, and that big, full-sized Rage Craw trailer allows me to do that. It allows me to work that jig as slow as I can and keep it in the strike zone. Typically, I always swim a 1/4-ounce jig because it allows me to keep it in the strike zone as long as I can.
Photo: Andy Crawford - 1/4-ounce black-and-blue Lure Parts Online Bill Lowen Swim Jig with Strike King Rage Craw — Once again, I like to keep my bait around the cover as long as I can, and that big, full-sized Rage Craw trailer allows me to do that. It allows me to work that jig as slow as I can and keep it in the strike zone. Typically, I always swim a 1/4-ounce jig because it allows me to keep it in the strike zone as long as I can.
1/4-ounce shad-colored Lure Parts Online Bill Lowen Swim Jig with a Strike King Baby Rage Craw — A lot of times in the fall, you have really good water clarity, so I like that downsized profile and that natural-looking color. It’s going to be one of those deals where you’re really kind of burning it. You’re really scooting it around the cover trying to trigger the reaction bite. Once again, they’re feeding on shad in the fall, so you can’t go wrong with a shad color combination. A lot of times in the fall, I’ve noticed that down-sized profile gets a lot of bites. They’ve seen everything under sun, so when you can do something a little bit different, it’s going to get you a few extra bits.
Photo: Andy Crawford - 1/4-ounce shad-colored Lure Parts Online Bill Lowen Swim Jig with a Strike King Baby Rage Craw — A lot of times in the fall, you have really good water clarity, so I like that downsized profile and that natural-looking color. It’s going to be one of those deals where you’re really kind of burning it. You’re really scooting it around the cover trying to trigger the reaction bite. Once again, they’re feeding on shad in the fall, so you can’t go wrong with a shad color combination. A lot of times in the fall, I’ve noticed that down-sized profile gets a lot of bites. They’ve seen everything under sun, so when you can do something a little bit different, it’s going to get you a few extra bits.
5/16-ounce Lure Parts Online Bill Lowen Finesse Jig with a 3-inch Strike King jig chunk — I hate to say it’s a finesse jig, because it’s more like a finesse flipping jig. The reason I like this is the 5/16-ounce weight gives it a little faster fall; it triggers a reaction bite. And, once again, I typically like that small, compact lure. It gets a lot of bites. It has 3-inch Strike King Jig Chunk trailer because in the fall I want to keep that profile small. As for color, in the fall I like black-and-blue with a green pumpkin trailer: It’s just a different combination other people don’t throw. I keep stressing how important it is that, in the fall, the fish have seen everything under the sun, so you want to do something a little bit different to try to get yourself some more bites.
Photo: Andy Crawford - 5/16-ounce Lure Parts Online Bill Lowen Finesse Jig with a 3-inch Strike King jig chunk — I hate to say it’s a finesse jig, because it’s more like a finesse flipping jig. The reason I like this is the 5/16-ounce weight gives it a little faster fall; it triggers a reaction bite. And, once again, I typically like that small, compact lure. It gets a lot of bites. It has 3-inch Strike King Jig Chunk trailer because in the fall I want to keep that profile small. As for color, in the fall I like black-and-blue with a green pumpkin trailer: It’s just a different combination other people don’t throw. I keep stressing how important it is that, in the fall, the fish have seen everything under the sun, so you want to do something a little bit different to try to get yourself some more bites.
1/2-ounce Lure Parts Online Bill Lowen Flipping Jig with a full-sized Strike King Jig Chunk Trailer — This goes against everything I just talked about. I keep stressing how important it is that the fish have seen everything there is all year long, so the natural thing is to downsize. The other thing I like to do is, once I know everybody’s done that and they’re downsizing, I like to go the other direction. A lot of guys aren’t throwing a big jig that time of year, and what I like about this is that fast rate of fall. Even though it’s got a big chunk and it looks big, it’s a 1/2-ounce so it’s going to fall fast. It’s going to give you a different look; it’s going to help you trigger that reaction bite. In the fall, they’re always eating bream, they’re always eating crawfish and this imitates that perfectly. And let’s face it: A jig gets big bites, and at the end of the day we’re all about catching big fish.
Photo: Andy Crawford - 1/2-ounce Lure Parts Online Bill Lowen Flipping Jig with a full-sized Strike King Jig Chunk Trailer — This goes against everything I just talked about. I keep stressing how important it is that the fish have seen everything there is all year long, so the natural thing is to downsize. The other thing I like to do is, once I know everybody’s done that and they’re downsizing, I like to go the other direction. A lot of guys aren’t throwing a big jig that time of year, and what I like about this is that fast rate of fall. Even though it’s got a big chunk and it looks big, it’s a 1/2-ounce so it’s going to fall fast. It’s going to give you a different look; it’s going to help you trigger that reaction bite. In the fall, they’re always eating bream, they’re always eating crawfish and this imitates that perfectly. And let’s face it: A jig gets big bites, and at the end of the day we’re all about catching big fish.