Fall Bass Fishing: Understanding Their Habits

Fishing in the fall is one of my favorite times of year. Why? I have many reasons: the weather's cooler, schools start back up, football season starts and more. But most importantly, fishing for bass in the cool fall months is a blast!  

This article is about all things fall bass fishing and should give even novice anglers some new ideas.   Enjoy!

Fish the pre-spawn

The fall bass fishing season begins in late August and runs through mid October. At this time the fish move into shallow water to spawn. During this time, anglers can use structure such as docks or brush piles for attracting spawning fish. For example, one technique includes jigging a plunker around fallen trees for some explosive topwater action!  

Make sure your hooks are sharp

When you are fishing lures including crankbaits, it's important to have a sharp hook. Sharp hooks can mean the difference between landing and losing fish. Many anglers like using treble hooks rather than single or double because they hold on longer when pulling fish out of cover. Treble hooks also allow you to land more fish as they are not nearly as prone to coming unhooked like other types of hooks.  

Practice good drag

Dragging too hard on a fish can lead to breaking off your line, but it's important not to give a fish too much slack as this can also break your line. Being able to give a fish just the right amount of pressure is very important when you're fighting a big bass. When fighting and landing larger fish, anglers often like using braided lines which don't break as easily as other types of fishing line.  

Jig in two colors

In the fall, anglers can expect to find fish holding in various depths. When fishing deeper water it's important to jig with a heavy jig and when fishing shallow water use a lighter weight jig. This way you can effectively cover the entire depth range of your area.  

Fish moving water

In the fall, many bass will move out of deep water and into shallower areas where they live in moving water. This can include creeks, ponds or beaver dams. These are excellent places to try crankbaits and topwater baits!  

Fish under the lights

Another great time for fall fishing is after dark. Bass often feed actively during this time and may be easier to catch. Anglers like using spinnerbaits and jerk baits when fishing at night because they can create a lot of flash which attracts the fish in low light conditions.  

Fish close to fallen trees

Another great place to try during the fall is around tree tops that have recently fallen into the water. Not only can these provide a great place for fish to feed, but they can also help you cover more area in your search for active school of fish.  

Use electronics

Electronics such as FishFinder are amazing ways to find bass exactly where they live and how deep they are. This knowledge can be the key to success on the water.

Start early in the day

In the fall, it can be a good idea to start fishing as soon as possible for best results. By starting early, you may get more bites and land more fish, especially if your trying some new areas or trying out some of these tips!    

Try Just About Anything

In the fall, bass become a little more active due to them starting their spawning process so they are feed up and can afford to be picky about what they eat. This means anglers can try just about anything with hopes of catching fish, even if it's an unconventional lure or bait choice like a nightcrawler!

Fish deeper during low light conditions

The other bonus of fishing during the fall is that it's often overcast and there are fewer harsh sun rays which means you'll be able to see your lure better when fishing in shallow water. The fish will most likely be distracted by their spawning activities at this time, which can make them easier to catch.  

Use a heavier bait during colder weather

When the weather is cold, it makes sense to use a heavier bait while also throwing it deeper than usual. Many anglers like using large crankbaits in deeper water when they are fishing in colder conditions because they get down more quickly into the strike zone.  

Fish with a partner

Many anglers like to fish in pairs and one of the best times for this is during the fall because so many larger bass are on their beds. When fishing in pairs it's important that one person finds active fish while the other focuses on reeling in even the biggest of bites!  

Try a jerkbait

Another great option for fall fishing is to try a jerkbait because this type of lure can work well when the water temperature is in the high 60's or low 70's.  

Use shrimp

Another great bait option for fall bass anglers are fresh shrimps which can be found at bait shops and local grocery stores. Anglers can fish with these for a meal or catch bass right on top of their schools.  

Use a topwater bait

Topwater baits are not always the first choice for fall fishing, but in many cases they can be very effective. These lures can move jerkily through water like a real frog or other animals, which attracts feeding bass to them!  

Cast to cover and rip it back

This is a simple cast that you can make in any direction. While this may not be the most exciting way of casting, it's one of the best ways to catch fish consistently during fall when the water is colder. This cast allows your bait to move through cover without snagging which means more bites!  

Use night crawlers

Many anglers swear by fishing with worms in the fall because they are one of the most effective bait options available. Worms can be easy to catch and allow you to cover large chunks of water without having to move too much. As long as there is no ice on the water, these baits will work well.  

Run a shad rap

Some anglers prefer to use shad raps over bait when fishing for bass in the fall. This type of line can allow you to fish with ease and catch more fish since it's less likely to snag on cover. To start out, you're going to need about two feet of barrel swivel, a shad rap head, and a barrel swivel.


As you can see, fishing in the fall is a lot of fun and there are many things to try out that may be new to you! The bass will be more active at this time because they want to spawn and you'll have more chances of catching them than in other parts of the year.  

By following some or all of these tips, you'll be sure to catch bass more consistently this fall!  

Thanks again for reading.  


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