Fall Bass Fishing Tips: Easy Tricks to Catch More Bass

It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or beginner you can catch a ton of fish during the fall. The cooler weather gives anglers of all skill levels plenty of opportunities to catch bass.

Unfortunately not everybody knows what they’re doing during the fall. We make things way more difficult than they actually need to be. With only a few basic presentations you’ll be sure to reel in a ton of fall bass.

Check out my post on the best fall bass fishing lures.

Fall Bass Fishing Tips and Tricks

When the water temperatures drop bass start to get ready for winter. They start feeding like crazy all day long.

All you really need to do is figure just what they’re foraging on. From there you’re going to want to choose between one of the following 5 presentations. Be sure to check out a few of my favorite fall bass fishing lures.

Check Out My Full List of Fall Bass Fishing Lures

What’s The First Thing to Remember About Fall Fishing?

So what’s the first thing to remember about fishing for bass in the early fall? Just forget that it’s fall for the first couple weeks and continue your summer patterns.

Bass will remain in their summer patterns well into the fall months. They only fall into their fall feeding patterns after the water temperature drops.

Fall Fishing Doesn’t Have To Be Tough

Fall fishing tends to be tough for a lot of fisherman. The main reason it’s so tough is that things are changing.

It’s a time of change so the fish are constantly moving during the fall. Fish aren’t planted like they are during the spring and summer. During the fall temperatures quickly change so bass will be on the move.

Signs You Should Transition to Fall Techniques
  • Falling Water Temperature
  • Air Temperature Drops
  • Shorter Fishing Days
  • Leaves are Changing and Grass Dies
  • Less Fishing Pressure
  • Bait Starts to Move
It’s That Magical Time of Year

Fall is that magical time of year where you can do anything you want and still be successful. You can actually pick the way you want to fish morning day and night.

You have your choice between topwaters, spinnerbaits, lipless crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits and even drop shot rigs. With free reign to bring out all your favorite lures fall is all about trying out new things.

Locating and Catching Fall Bass

As the weather starts to cool down and summer transitions into fall I love fishing small to medium sized lakes. Going into the hunting season here in Ohio I don’t have as much time for fishing. So I like to go in with a purpose and catch them quick.

I start off looking for those natural lakes with good grasslines and weedlines. Those are the lakes that you’re going to find those big clumps of fall largemouth.

You really need to concentrate on finding a good defined grass edge. It doesn’t matter what type of grass it is bass are going to hold nearby. Just find a big flat with a lot of grass.

Bait Starts To Move

Throughout most of the summer baitfish are going to holdout in very specific ares. You probably found them in deep water, near current etc.. When you got out into deep water you probably saw balls of baitfish.

Now during the fall all that bait that was in deeper water transitions to shallower water. You’ll start seeing the bait move from mid depth to the shallow water. When the bait starts to move every other fish transitions into the fall feed.

Summer bass start traveling from the main lake out towards transition points. Start moving towards those creeks making your way deeper and deeper.

Look For Natural Curves

When you have a big patch of natural grass coming out into the lake keep an eye out for those natural curves. Look for grass lines that branch out into the water and look for that soft curve heading towards the shore.

This is where bass tend to school. Try casting in your Red Eye Shad or Booyah Pad Crasher. Work the grassline hard drawing in those big strikes.

Other Ways To Spot Bass

There are several easy ways to find baitfish. You don’t hear it all that frequently, but I always follow the birds. Don’t get me wrong, I still use my electronics, but you can spot birds diving into the lake from a mile away. With a great vantage point birds know exactly where those baitfish are schooling.

Once you’re nearby use your electronics to find those large clumps of baitfish. It can be a little bit challenging for beginners, but keep an eye out for that large dark mass just off the bottom. Almost looks like an underwater tree, but it won’t be touching the bottom.

Once you’ve found the bait look for nearby cover where bass are hiding in wait, ready to strike. By targeting these ambush points you’re almost guaranteed to reel in a few big ones.

Fishing The Early Fall Feed

During the early fall you’ll have some of the best fishing days of your life. Bass are absolutely ravenous feeding on everything they see. There’s nothing like fishing during the fall feeding period.

Those fish instinctively know that they’ve gotta eat. They have to fatten up before winter rolls around.

When those first couple cold fronts come through and baits start moving shallow you know the feeding period is coming through. Just follow the bait and you’re guaranteed to catch a ton of largemouth.

How do You Find The Bait?

It’s pretty obvious that the key to fall fishing is finding the bait. The problem is they’re constantly on the move and when the bait moves the fish moves.

They’re feeding like hungry wolves following the bait. Those days that you find them are absolutely magical, but it isn’t easy.

When the cold fronts start coming through the baitfish that were out deep start pushing back into the shallows. They start moving back into those shallow water creeks and pockets.

Look in those same places you had success fishing during the spring spawn. More than 80% of the time you’ll have success fishing those spots during the fall.

Use Crankbaits and Traps

You just aren’t going to be able to beat a crankbait during the early fall. They cover water fast and draw a lot of attention.

I’m a huge fan of the Strike King Square Bills during the fall. The erratic action really draws in a ton of strikes and the 6ft depth is perfect. It’s the perfect lure for power fishing shallow water.

Work The Water Fast

Fishing the early fall is a game of trial and error. Even with the use of electronics it’s going to be hard to find those schools of bass.

So you’re going to want to work the water as fast as possible. This is when I like to throw my Strike King Midnight Special Spinnerbait and Booyah Buzzbait. You can really cover a lot of water fast and really work those transition areas.

Once you’ve found those largemouth pockets you can transition into some of my other fall favorites. I’ll start throwing out my topwaters and Lipless crankbaits to thoroughly work the area.

Early Fall Fishing Lures

Fast Power Fishing Lures

  • Crankbaits: Crankbaits cover a lot of water and bring in those reaction strikes.
  • Spinnerbaits: Spinnerbaits cover a ton of water and look like schooling shad. In muddy fall water choose those flashy lures with multiple blades.
  • Topwaters: This is the perfect time of year to use walking baits and buzzbaits.
  • Swimbaits: When the fish are feeding on shad it’s going to be hard to beat a swimbait.

Finesse Lures

  • Flukes
  • Wacky Rigs
  • Grubs

Early Fall Fishing Tips

  • When choosing the first place to start keep an eye out for small creeks and runs. Bait is going to be attracted to that warm oxygenated water.
  • Look for the presence of bait using your electronics. You should be able to see large schools of shad covering your screen. Match the hatch and go where the bait is.
  • Always fish slightly stained and dirty water. The bait is drawn to that stained water close to those inflowing creeks.
  • Start off matching the hatch, but if that’s not working try something else. When there’s so much bait you can get lost among thousands of shad. Switch to a shocking color(pink/orange) that stands out from other baitfish.

Fishing The Late Fall Transition

During the late fall the days are getting shorter and fishing gets a lot tougher. Late fall is going to be boom or bust. I’ve had days where I’m left scratching my head wondering where all the fish have gone.

How do You Know it’s Late Fall?
  • The days are getting shorter
  • Both water and air temperature plummet (40-50 degree water)
  • Vegetation is completely gone.
  • You’ll probably start to see frost on boats in the morning.
  • Bait starts heading back out towards deeper water
  • Bass start moving towards their winter bedding areas

Bass are Still Feeding Late Fall

During the late fall period shallow water starts to get a little too cool for baitfish. The bait starts heading back out towards the deep water warmth. Don’t worry bass are still feeding, but they’ll be a little harder to find.

All of a sudden the bass start transitioning to their winter bedding areas. They focus less on the bait and more on where they’re going to winter.

Look For Those Massive Clumps

Fall fishing is going to be a little bit tough, but when you’re successful you’ve hit the motherload. Those bass clump up into massive groups near their wintering areas. You could have a small stump with 100 fish surrounding it.

Return To Secondary and Main Points

On their way back to the final bedding location there will be plenty of stops along the way. They follow the contours of the lake back out towards deeper water stopping in those secondary branch points.

Late Fall Transition Lures

Power Baits

  • Crankbaits: You’re going to want to use those medium to deep diving crankbaits. The Strike King Deep Diver Squarebill is about perfect at 10ft. You might need to go a little bit deeper on larger lakes.
  • Jigs: During the late fall bass tend to quit going after baitfish and return to craws. This is when jigs start to really come back into play.

Finesse Baits

  • Shaky Head
  • Hair Jig
  • Drop Shot
  • Blade Bait

How to Fish Fall Fishing Lures

You get to try a little bit of everything during the fall. Even beginners can catch dozens if not hundreds of bass on a good day. Just remember to focus on these 4 fishing lures and you should be well on your way to success.

  1. Crankbaits
  2. Topwaters
  3. Lipless Crankbaits
  4. Swimbaits

Shallow and Mid Depth Crankbaits

Crankbaits are going to be your bread and butter during the fall. Use shallow square bills(my favorite) and mid depth crankbaits to cover a lot of water fast. Just remember that you really want to dig your crankbait into the bottom so deeper models work best.

  • Target Shallow Flats: During the early to late fall most of the big bass are going to be in shallow water. You might find a few holding back in deeper water, but the majority will be in 3-6 feet of water. Try focusing on those shallow flats nearby creek and river inlets.
  • Quickly Cover Water: Actually finding bass is a major problem during the fall. To make things easier use a crankbait to quickly cover water. Fish hang out in groups so move quickly until you find bass actively feeding.
  • Check Water Clarity and Temperature: In dirty water bass tend to head towards the shallows. Try to target stained water nearby inlets with a squarebill crankbait. When the water temperatures drop into the low 50’s head towards shallow water
  • Stick to Shad Colors: During the fall I almost exclusively use shad color patterns. Stick to your shiny silver lures that really stand out. If you know you’re target the right area, but just can’t catch anything use a shocking pink/orange lure.


Large schools of feeding bass will eventually break the surface. Whenever you see this it’s a smart idea to throw a few topwater lures. Just remember to fish quickly with long casts.

  • Try a Popper: I absolutely love using poppers during the fall. It doesn’t take a lot, just stick to your classic Rebel Pop R. Just make long arcing casts working the popper over large areas.
  • Change Up Your Hooks: For some reason bigger hooks increase my hookup percentage when using topwaters. I put ultra sharp hooks on the back of my walking baits to really make a splash in the water. My Heddon Zara Spook works perfectly during the fall.
  • Look For Balls of Bait: Before I throw my topwater lures I always look at my electronics. I’m looking for big clumps of baitfish just under the surface.

Lipless Crankbaits

Lipless crankbaits even the playing field between pros and beginners during the fall. It’s the perfect searching bait. You can quickly move through the water without worrying about getting snagged up.

  • Use As a Searching Bait: Use your lipless crankbait just like any other searching bait. Cast out your Rat-L-Trap or Red Eye Shad and cover water like crazy.
  • Keep Your Colors Simple: During the fall you really shouldn’t have to change up your color schemes. Stick to your shad like color schemes, silvers, blues, whites and grays.


While most of the baits on this list are used primarily for covering water you’ll want to use your Swimbait after you’ve already found bass.

  • Focus on Movement: When choosing a swimbait you really need to find one with a lot of movement. The body needs to really rock side to side and move a lot of water.
  • Swimbaits Catch Larger Fish: Crankbaits and topwaters will all bring in a bunch of strikes, but they tend to attract fish of varying size. Oversized swimbaits like the 4 inch Yamamoto Swimbait is only going to attract the largest bass.

Fall Fishing Summary

  • Follow The Bait: Since fish aren’t able to feed much during the winter they try to fill up on baitfish during the fall. So if you’re able to find the baitfish you’ll find the bass.
  • Fish Fast: Throughout the fall fish are migrating fast towards their winter holding areas. Use your electronics to quickly scour the lake for large schools of bait. Make sure you look through the backs of creeks and in those tucked away shallow areas.
  • Pay Close Attention to The Weather: Fall weather is notoriously finicky which doesn’t make for consistent fishing. On windy bad weather days opt for loud and fast lures(spinnerbaits, crankbaits), cloudy days topwaters(Hollow Body Frog, prop bait), sunny days try a Texas Rigged Worm.

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