As the water temperature continues to drop by late fall, baitfish start moving out of the shallows to deeper water and bass start losing some of their aggressiveness.
While just about any lure in your tackle box caught active bass earlier in the fall, now the fish have become a little more moody with the colder water and weather conditions.
The same productive lures you threw throughout early fall and mid-autumn will continue to trigger bites by late fall as long as you slow down your presentation.
Bass still favor lures that best imitate baitfish, but which lure they prefer each day depends on the weather. Here are five lures to try in various water and weather conditions to catch late fall bass.
Square Bill Crankbaits
This lure can be thrown in any weather conditions for late fall bass in stained water. The water is still warm enough to trigger reaction strikes from bass when the crankbait deflects off of stumps, logs and rocks less than 5 feet deep. You can still run the lure at a fast pace and then pause the crankbait after it bangs into something to trigger a strike.
A 1/2-ounce chartreuse-and-white spinnerbait with tandem willow-leaf blades is great for sunny or cloudy days when the wind is blowing. Try slow-rolling the blade bait in stained water in the backs of pockets around docks, logs and laydowns about 7 to 10 feet deep.
Buzzbait (In The South)
This topwater bait can still produce big bass in late fall even when the water temperature drops into the low 50s. I throw a 1/2-ounce buzzer with a big blade, which helps keep the lure on the surface while I retrieve it slow and steady enough to make it bubble. The buzz bait works best in stained to dirty water on cloudy days with a slight chop on the surface around laydowns, rocks banks and sides of docks.
It’s hard to beat a jig for any weather or water condition in late fall, but the optimal time to throw the lure is during post-frontal conditions. The great thing about a jig is the lure produces using a variety of retrieves such as crawling, hopping or swimming it. Slowly crawling the jig along wood cover or docks works best after a cold front hits and calm, bluebird skies prevail. Match a 3/8-ounce jig with a magnum-sized plastic chunk to create a slow-falling bait to trick inactive bass into biting.