Fall can sometimes be one of the most challenging times of the year to consistently locate and catch bass. Yes, fish can be very aggressive in the fall, but there’s so much bait in the water this time of year, it’s sometimes hard to get them to bite.
Fall fish can be fickle. That said, this is one of my favorite times of the year to crank a medium to shallow crankbait like the HOWELLER DMC and the HOWELLER DMC PLUS.
A couple of things to keep in mind in October and November: baitfish are pretty visible, and everything – both bait and bass – are progressively moving shallower. Understanding where fish are laying and then getting your cranks down to the right depth are really important.
When you’re looking for these transitioning fish, keep in mind that they’re not super shallow yet. They will be soon – this is where a bait like the HOWELLER DMC SQ or PRIMETYME CB 1.5 will shine – but for now, the Howeller and Howeller Plus hit the depth ranges you want to focus on: 5 to 9 feet for the Howeller, 8 to 10 feet for the Howeller Plus.
FALL FISH CAN BE FICKLE. THAT SAID, THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE TIMES OF THE YEAR TO CRANK A MEDIUM TO SHALLOW CRANKBAIT LIKE THE HOWELLER DMC AND THE HOWELLER DMC PLUS – Randy Howell
1. The EBS difference: Start out with your baits set on Electronic Baitfish Sounds (EBS) Shad™. That’s the third setting on your Team Livingston EBS MultiTouch™ baits – it’s a very intense sound that I think works best this time of year. No matter where in the country you’re fishing, the added attraction of EBS will give you an automatic advantage.
2. Focus on creek arms: Work your way into creek arms first. Look for shad visibly popping on the surface, or on your electronis as you idle in. Start with creek channel pockets that have access to deep water. Baitfish and bass will move into these areas first before they get up shallow.
3. Cover water: The best thing about a crankbait is that you can cover a lot of water as you look for fish. I like to fan cast along creek channel shorelines with rock, wood or grass, and I’ll focus on drainages where the water goes from a channel to a flat.
4. Fish deeper for bigger fish: The Howeller Plus is especially effective for bigger fish for two reasons: it’s a bigger bait, and it gets down a little deeper, to where bigger fish tend to hold in the fall. A lot of the time, those bigger fish don’t want to commit to moving up onto those shallow flats yet, so they’ll stay down on a piece of wood or rock in that 8- to 10-foot zone. They like the bigger profile of the Howeller Plus, with all the wobble and vibration and EBS sound.
5. Stick with shad colors: Sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating. Fish something like Beauty Shad or Clearwater Shad in clear water, and brighter shad patterns like Melon Shad and Chartreuse Sunrise Shad if water is stained.
FALL CRANKING TERMINAL TACKLE
I prefer a 7-0 medium light rod, 7.3:1 reel and 12-pound fluorocarbon for fall cranking. Good luck and God bless!
photo credit: BASS