October 23, 2013 by Mike Surman
Bass are wandering all over lakes now, fattening up for winter. During fall, the bass tend to get more scattered and that's when a rattle bait becomes a good search bait. Keep the trolling motor running and cover a lot of water quickly. Then, if you do get on a bunch of fish, you can slow down and fish something else if it calls for it.
Personally, I like a 5/8-ounce Yo-Zuri Rattlin Vibe in one of the classic colors: chrome with a blue back or chrome with a green back and an orange belly. If the water is really dirty, I'll go with firetiger.
One of the best things about a rattling lipless crankbait is that it will work in extremely shallow water or in deep water. When I'm fishing deeper water, I like to use fluorocarbon line and yo-yo the bait more. But where it really shines is in shallower water. On Lake Okeechobee, for instance, bass will hem bait up in water that's only a foot or so deep. Here I'll use a lighter lure and 20-pound-test monofilament line, because it doesn't sink as fast. We're talking about water shallow enough for the trolling motor to sling mud, so I'll hold the rod up high and bring the rattle bait back pretty quickly.
From now until spring, give rattlebaiting a try whenever you see or suspect that bass are feeding up against the banks or on shallow flats.
---- Castrol pro Mike Surman, Boca Raton, Florida