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Brandon Palaniuk’s Best Tactics for Fall Fishing

fall baitThe first bait I’ll use in October will be a giant swimbait like the Storm Arashi Glide Bait, because the temperature starts to cool down, which triggers the bass to start feeding heavily to put on weight for the winter and for the spawn. The bass know as there’s less and less daylight, and the water temperature starts to cool down, that they need to start feeding. Their metabolism is about to slow down, and there may not be as much food available in the next several weeks. Also, bass are opportunistic feeders. They will eat whatever they can find when they can find it. However, they prefer to eat a bigger bait during the fall. Then they don’t have to chase and catch as much little bait. That’s why I like a big swimbait this month, because it will move slowly through the water column. Then the bass can track it easier than they can a small bait. Also, the bass knows it gets more bang for its buck by eating a large bait rather a small bait. 

When I make a 3/4-turn on my reel handle, that big, hard plastic, jointed Arashi Glide bait swims and glides in one direction. When I twist the handle another three turns, this lure swims and glides in the opposite direction. In other words, it walks similar to a Zara Spook. I like to fish the Glide bait in open water for schooling bass or in shallow cover where I’ll twitch it to try and get a reaction strike from a big bass that’s moved up in shallow cover to hold and feed on the bait also moving into shallow water cover. This lure has a much wider glide than the Zara Spook does, and I can fish it a much slower than I will fish a Spook. If I can only choose one color to fish with, I’ll choose the blue back herring for this time of the year.

Another lure I’ll often fish with in October before very cold weather sets in is the flipping jig. I prefer a 1/2-ounce Molix Kento Jig. I will fish that jig around isolated color in the backs of creeks and adjacent to channel swings that have big flats on them. In the fall, some of the bigger bass will set up to ambush bait on that type of cover. Targets like laydowns, single docks, shallow brush piles or any other isolated targets seem to produce the best. I’ll match the color of the jig I'll fish to the color of the water where I’m fishing. My favorite colors are wild craw and black-and-blue. I will be fishing that jig on a 7-foot 6-inch heavy-action Alpha Angler Hitter rod, a Daiwa Steez A Reel, and will be using 20-pound test Seaguar Tatsu Fluorocarbon line.

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