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7 Great Baits for Fall Bass Fishing

Tom Redington

Ask any angler for fall fishing advice and you’ll get a predictable answer: Look for the bait. Bass follow baitfish in the fall, so finding their food will lead you to the fish.

My buddy Cody Kelley has some tips on finding baitfish and bass in the fall that’ll help you locate them. You can read them here. As for catching fish, here are my favorite baits to fool bass that are looking for minnows, shiners, shad and other fish-flavored snacks in the fall:

1. Spinnerbait – It flashes like a school of baitfish to attract attention from bass, comes through grass and wood cover well, can be fished shallow or deep, slow or fast. A spinnerbait is the perfect lure to try first. I see lots of small young-of-the-year baitfish in the fall, and a 1/4-ounce spinnerbait does a good job of mimicking them.

2. ChatterBait – A bladed jig thumps hard, and when paired with a swimbait trailer such as the Berkley PowerBait Grass Pig it mimics big bait such as gizzard shad. It excels around submerged grass and tends to catch big fish.

3. Swim Jig – When the bite is tougher and bass need something a bit subtler than the spinnerbait or ChatterBait, a swim jig with a 5-inch grub or smaller sized Grass Pig swimbait trailer will catch fish. Try a 1/4-ounce swim jig around the bank or any flooded grass or pads.

4. Lipless Crankbaits – Lipless crankbaits like the Berkley Warpig put out a ton of sound and draw in hungry fish, plus their dying flutter will trigger inactive fish on the fall if you pause the retrieve. Like spinnerbaits, I’ll try smaller 1/4-ounce sizes a lot in the fall, moving up to 1/2- or 3/4-ounce baits if I’m seeing larger baitfish. Burn these and cover lots of water if fish are feeding, or slow down with lots of pauses if the bite is tough.

5. Crankbaits – Crankbaits have the body style of minnows, so they are naturals for the fall. The Berkley SquareBull and other square-bill cranks will catch big aggressive bass in the shallows. Bang them into any piece of cover you can, like a log or dock posts, and bass will smoke them as they ricochet off. For a tough bite, little finesse cranks produce the most bites. Try chrome on sunny days and white or natural color schemes on cloudy days. Those same colors work well for lipless crankbaits.

6. Jerkbaits – These slender minnow baits, including the Berkley Cutter, are best in deeper, clearer lakes and ponds. With a few subtle twitches, jerkbaits will hang out in front of a bass’ face until the fish can’t pass up the easy meal.

7. Soft-Plastic Jerkbaits – When fish just won’t chase other baits, a soft-plastic jerkbait rigged without any weight is the perfect option. I fish the Berkley PowerBait Jerk Shad in areas where I’ve caught one or two fish with my other baits already. Soft jerkbaits will often catch a number of fish that aren’t active enough to chase the other baits.

The best bait will change daily and even hourly, so try a mix of these lures until you hook up.

You can follow Tom’s fishing tips and updates on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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