Fall fishing in the south can be challenging but it’s also the time of the year when some of the biggest fish are caught. The first frost has cooled the waters and beckoned baitfish to the shallows. Bass soon follow the forage and a feeding frenzy begins. This same scenario plays out each fall as bass fishing excels when the water continues to cool after a long, hot Southern summer. Anglers can enjoy weeks of excellent fishing if the cooler weather keeps dropping the water temperature. However, autumns in the South frequently experience a weather phenomenon known as Indian Summer that slows this whole process. After a couple of weeks or a month of cooler temperatures, a spell of hot weather returns warming up the water again.
Bass get hung up in transition during this time with the fish scattering and suspending. During this funky fall period, bass can still be caught if you try some of these tips.
1. Fall Fishing In The South: Stay Shallow
Try the same places that you fish early in the fall such as the backs of creeks and other shallow, dingy water areas. There is usually a shallow pattern that you can establish during Indian Summer. Shallow bass are scattered then so try to cover a lot of water with a topwater lure, spinnerbait or flipping and pitching tactics.
2.Fall Fishing In The South: Go Deep
During the calm, sunny days of Indian Summer, you can leave the bank and target the closest available structure such as a little ditch or in a creek channel near the back of a cove. Try a medium-diving crankbait or a Carolina-rigged soft plastic to catch the fish that have moved out of the shallows.
3.Fall Fishing In The South: Slow Down
An ultra-slow presentation seems to work best in the fall even if the bass are running around chasing shad. Try a slow presentation for fishing in stained water around hydrilla, riprap banks, points, and boat docks, but a faster retrieve works best in clear water. Slowly wind crankbaits at a pace where you can barely feel the lure vibrating if bass continue to ignore a faster retrieve.
4. Fall Fishing In The South: Scale Down
The bright skies and slick water of autumn days sometimes require downsizing lures. If the baitfish are a good size and the water has some color, you can go with a larger bait. But if you are using the larger lure and not getting strikes then you need to start dropping down in size. Try scaling down from a 3/8-ounce spinnerbait to a 1/4-ounce model or a 1/2-ounce flipping jig to a 5/16-ounce finesse jig.