3 treats for Halloween bass fishing

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Alan McGuckin

When the temperature hit 95 degrees on an early season goose hunting trip in Kentucky a few weeks ago, I realized how desperate I was for fall’s first good shot of cool weather, along with all the good things that come with it – and that includes great bass fishing.

Sure, I love to watch college football and scout for ducks and geese right now, but I absolutely love to be on the water when the cool wind is blowing and kids (as well as some adults I know) are planning their perfect Halloween costume. 

I’ve picked out three lures I never leave home without this time of year to make your fishing trips as fun as scoring a king-size pack of Reese’s peanut butter cups from a generous neighbor on Halloween night.

Black skirted buzzbait

This is absolutely my first choice any fall morning – and all day long for that matter. I like a big 1/2-ounce model I can cast easily in the wind with plenty of distance. And I throw it at everything from rocky points to boat docks and shallow wood habitat too. 

From mid October to late November, a black buzzbait is as good as Saturday night SEC football. In fact, my buddy Bradley Dunagan and I caught ‘em good yesterday on a black buzzbait here in Kentucky. You can cover a ton of water with it – and the big ones love it.

Bladed jig – ChatterBait

This is the star of my Halloween lure line up anytime there’s aquatic vegetation present. A ChatterBait doesn’t hang up as bad in vegetation as a spinnerbait or crankbait, and when it does contact vegetation it seems to trigger bites. It’s also a great lure to run down the side of a boat dock to catch bass that may be suspended under the floats.

Shallow crankbait

You might notice all three lures I’ve picked for this time of year are those that move horizontal through the water column versus a jig or Texas rigged lure. That’s largely because cool temps and less hours of daylight put bass in a "chase and eat" mode – and if fall fishing had a lure for a mascot – it might just be a squarebill crankbait. 

The Berkley Wild Thang is a great compliment to a buzzbait all the way down to when water temps finally hit the low 50s. I throw a shad color if shad are obviously present: a “brown mustard” chartreuse color if the water is pretty dirty – and a crawdad colored shallow crankbait is pretty hard to beat in the fall too. Whatever the color, I use 15-pound line, and I like a rod with plenty of flex in the tip – built primarily of fiberglass. 

Keep these three lures handy at this time of year and you’re going to win bass fishing’s equivalent of king sized candy bars and the county fair’s largest pumpkin award, all rolled into one refreshingly comfortable and fun day on the water.