Where Bass Go in the Fall

Cody Kelley

As summer begins to come to an end, things start to move. Kids go back to school. Ducks and geese begin to fly south. And bass – and the baitfish they eat – make a few unique moves as well. For the majority of the summer, fishing structure in deeper water is the most common technique for catching bass. However, everything starts to change in the fall.


Follow the food

The No. 1 rule in fishing is to follow the food. This is the absolute easiest way to keep up with the fish. If you went to the cafeteria to eat lunch like normal, but they moved all the lunches to a different building, you would naturally go where the food is.

The big key to following the bait is, of course, understanding the different bait movements. Most nights the shad will move up into shallow areas to feed around shoreline cover. This is why there is often good fishing in the very early morning hours as the bait and bass are still there. As the water begins to cool off in the fall these baitfish will stay up in the shallow areas longer and longer every day. At some point, the water will be cool enough that the baitfish will stay up shallow for the entire day. I like to begin looking for these shallow fish as early as September.


Where to fish

The good news about fall fishing is that the bass will be in areas that can be fished from the bank. I like to focus on what are referred to as “flats.” These are exactly like they sound: large flat areas in creeks. The baitfish will often use the old creek channels to move into the creeks and then spread out onto the flat areas. Most of these areas that you want to fish will be in the 3- to 5-foot-deep range, but you really can’t fish too shallow in the fall. The most common pattern is to fish any and all pieces of wood, vegetation and rock on the flats.


What to fish

In general, you want to use smaller lures in the fall to mimic any young shad that were spawned late in the season. These small shad are a favorite of bass that are gorging before winter. For more information on good fall baits, look at past articles that Tom and I have done.

Try out these tips this fall to help you catch more fish.


Tags: fall-fishing  -buzzbait  -shallow-fishing  -feed-bag  -baitfish  fishing-tips-advanced  cody-kelley 


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