Friday, 16 September 2011

Brown Bass n Blades in Fall

Yes folks, it is that time of year once again when the leaves begin to turn to orange & red, the water temps begin to dip real fast (due to those nasty cool nights) and the smalmouth bass of cottage country decide to group up a little tighter and hunt in packs like wolves.

A big part of my fall fishing for smallmouth bass depends on the weather.
If its sunny, calm and light winds, but still cool, I`ll experiment with fast moving baits like spinnerbaits, tight wobbling crankbaits and jerkbaits to gauge the mood of the fish. If I`m missing strikes or feeling that "bump" and run from short striking fish, I`ll put down the spinnerbaits and cranks and pick up my "go to" baits which are Strike King Zero stick worms and coffee tubes and work those same areas, except a bit slower or use a "rip and die" approach, which is jerking the bait upward while it is falling in the water column, then let the bait free fall back down.
This presentation can trigger the laziest and biggest smallmouth of Autumn.

If its rainy, cold and wet with a strong north wind, I`ll stick with the spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and crank`s a bit longer and choose locations that groups of fish might use as ambush locations like rocky points, sharp drop offs, ledges and edges from shallow to deeper water, shoals and deeper eel grass.
Getting bit on a fast moving spinnerbait by a big fall smallmouth leaves you breathless.
There is no warning, one minute your cranking your bait back to the boat, the next second something is jerking the rod almost of out your hand. Are fall smallmouth violent, YES!
As for retrieve speeds, its all up the fish, some days they want it quick, some days they want it slow rolled thru the heavier cover like eel grass, deeper cabbage weed or thru shallow lily pads.
Change up if your not getting bit or missing strikes...those bass are telling you something.
I`ll use a St.Croix medium action Legend Xtreme 6'6" rod with an Ardent Fishouflage reel and either 14-17 pound test fluorocarbon line or 20 lbs Spider Thread micro braid if I`m fishing in the real heavy messy stuff and the fish are big.

And last but certainly not least, when mother nature is real nice to me and the water temps have dropped, the fish are packed up and eating heavily in the shallows and its sunny with calm conditions, then I`ll tie on a Strike King Z-too and have a blast casting this little soft shad bait to some of the skinniest water I can float my boat in and make longer casts to any object, edge or submerged piece of cover I can find and HOLD ON!
The strikes are usually the traditional "toilet flush" with no splashing or rod jerking motions, it is usually a visible boil under the bait or all of a sudden their is weight on the end of your line that you know is not a weed or stick, but rather four plus pounds of big brown bass who will go crazy the instant you set hook.
Have fun this fall with those big brown bass up in cottage country but be safe, wear warm clothes and fish with a friend, take care and remember, release the lunkers to live and spawn another day!

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