Longtime Bassmaster Elite Series Tour roommates Terry Scroggins and Gerald Swindle agree on a lot of things. Including the same brand of tow vehicle, The SEC being college footballâs strongest conference, and that nothing makes for a better evening than a marinated rib eye grilled among friends.
They also agree on three basic rules regarding fall bass fishing.
Fast retrieve: âFish seem to want a lure thatâs moving quickly through the water in the fall,â says Swindle. âEven the jig I have tied on is going to be used mostly as a swim jig. Of course, if I come to an isolated shallow dock or laydown, itâs gonna be handy to skip or pitch. But again, mostly, I swim a jig horizontally in the fall.â
Small, fast moving lures: Scroggins agrees that speed is the answer to autumn success, but the lures need to be relatively small. âUse lures you can fish fast, but maintain a compact profile like a Â¼ ounce spinnerbait, a Zell Pop on the surface, or an XRK50 XCalibur One Knocker lipless bait.â
âFor the most part, youâre trying to mimic the schools of shad that hatched this previous spring. Theyâre not that big. So keep your lures relatively small too,â adds Swindle. âYou canât hardly go wrong with a Â¼ ounce double willow spinnerbait in natural shad colors,â he adds.
Swindle uses a 6.6:1 Quantum Smoke baitcasting reel built with a sizeable 150 spool in order to make long casts and maximize speed of retrieve when fishing spinnerbaits.
Shad in the Creeks: Youâve likely been told to follow the shad migration toward the backs of creeks in the fall more times than your momma told you not to chew with your mouth open. Mom was right, and Scroggins and Swindle both say the âfollow the shad to the backs of the creeksâ theory still holds true as autumnâs bassinâ gospel.
âBass are going to be eating shad toward the back of a creek somewhere on whatever reservoir youâre fishing, but it may not be the first creek you choose, so move around from one creek to another, and burn a little gas until you find the creek where theyâre actively feeding,â says âBig Showâ.
âI usually start looking about one-third or halfway back into the creek, but I ainât making the first cast until I see the shad on the surface or spot them on my Humminbird,â says Swindle. âYou ainât never seen Peter T hanging around an empty buffet, have yaâ? Well, I ainât fishing in the fall, if I donât see shad.â