Don’t Quit Fishing Yet!
by CPT Jon Lessmann, Pro Kayak Angler/USA Pro
As those warm summer days have past, and the cooler days of fall are upon us, most of us outdoor types are putting away the fishing gear and migrating to the woods.
But don’t be so quick to hang up the rods and reels.
Cooler temperatures mean two things: Topwater and Lipless baits. All the predator fish are getting their feedbag on for the Shad Buffett.
The best way to approach fishing in the fall and early winter is the K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) method. Don’t overthink those mean green and brown fish. Your baits of choice should be limited to a small handful. Topwater should always have a Spook, Whopper Plopper, Chompo, and that old reliable, Pop’R, tied on or ready to go at moment’s notice.
Now, where do you fish these baits? Topwater is primarily an early morning or late evening bait. Target the main lake points, riprap, schooling bait fish, and shallow water transitions. Begin fishing slow retrieves. Don’t be afraid to be fast, aggressive, and loud with your topwater baits—move some water around. This aggressive fishing can trigger the reactive bite from bass. It mimics bass feeding on the fast-moving baitfish that small bass are chasing. Bass are greedy, and the bigger ones like to get the food from the smaller fish.
Your secondary mid-day baits are the Lipless baits: Rattle Trap, Courtland, Red-eye Rattle Shad, and countless other names for the loud rattling bait that bass love. What makes this bait great is its versatility on how you use it. From the newbie to the pro, the “Chuck and Wind” gets the job done. This bait shines for covering large amounts of water fast and efficiently. It’s a great search bait that easily switches to a targeted bait. Fish this bait along banks, schooling bait fish, creeks, tail races of dams or fast-moving water.
Enjoy the cool weather that brings some amazing fishing. Remember to use caution fishing in cooler weather. Have a plan, let someone know where you are fishing, wear your lifejacket/PDF, pack a change of clothes in a dry bag, and always have an extra pair of socks in your vehicle. Those of us in the trades know how important hand warmers can be, so always carry some with you when fishing. Hand warmers have several uses.
Good luck and tight lines.