Beginning of the End: The Late Fall Period

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Regretfully, the opening part of the title is true for may bass anglers!

Even so, the waning part of the fall season can be one of the best big bass periods of any given year…

When the late fall period starts, the migration patterns of the early and mid fall periods are reversed as both baitfish and bass move back out from the creek arms and bays into the main lake area.

late fall bass fishing

Bass will still be actively feeding; they are more prone to be feeding later in the day when surface water temperatures are warmest. This response is related to the actions of the baitfish whose activity is closely tied to the activity of phytoplankton in the open water environment.
During the latter mid to late parts of the day when the Sun is highest, phytoplankton activity increases in the upper portion of the water column drawing the baitfish up as well.

The concentration of baitfish near the surface again creates a situation the bass can capitalize on since the water surface becomes a barrier the bass can use to corral the baitfish making feeding more effective. During the late fall, it is quite common to see pods of baitfish suddenly busting on the surface in the main lake area as the bass are basically herding them against the surface.

Tactics to catch schooling bass include the use of topwaters and stickbaits as long as the water temperature is over 50 degrees F, lipless crankbaits, or weighted jigs and grubs.

Fall Bass Jig

Once the surface schooling action dies and bass drop back to deep creek channels or weed beds, the best approach for late fall bass turns to slow, subtle presentation techniques involving hair jigs and spoons.

When fishing hair jigs, adding small profile pork trailers and using a slow, steady and very subtle retrieve is a key factor when effectively presenting these baits. Another approach can be to use a spoon and a slow vertical jigging presentation around deep structure.

The late fall period is often the slowest and most tedious part of the fall season though bass are usually tightly schooled and some days can be truly exceptional. This is especially true when you come across those concentrations of larger bass. Even though their cold-blooded metabolisms are extremely sluggish, well executed, slow presentations of lures such as hair jigs and pork eel combinations can yield excellent results.

Late Fall Bass & Weather…

Unlike the attraction of bass to foul weather conditions in the early to mid fall periods (when water temperatures are still above the mid fifties), late fall bass are generally turned off during the same conditions. Optimum weather for enhancing late fall bass activity is associated with calm winds and afternoon sunshine which warms surface waters often triggering baitfish activity and bass activity is close behind

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