The spring and summer are magical times for bass fishing. The warm waters speed up the fish's metabolism, which in turn heats up their appetite. Fish that wouldn't eat even the most enticing finesse baits in the winter will bite crudely presented baits attached to 60lb bright yellow mono. In the summer preceding the cold months, this feeding frenzy becomes even more heated; the fish need to stock up on fat reserves to outlast the barren winter months, when the prey becomes sparse and their metabolism becomes very slow. Cold blooded animals, such as fish and their prey, rely on the water temperature to control their metabolism, which in turns controls their movement and appetite for food.
Above: A more subtle style of fishing is needed in the fall. Don't jack up your motor and speed around the lack if you have a boat. Pic from FINSnTALES.com
The early days of fall are usually very productive, as the water is still warm but more importantly, the fish sense that winter is just ahead and they need to stock up on food. In those days, anything you would use in the summer would work. 5 inch senkos are still very productive (keep in mind that senkos, especially when wacky rigged, are mostly a warm water bait). However, when those cold snaps start to begin, and you start to see frost on the ground in the mornings, it is a good time to change your strategy.
Above: Many other species of fish, such as trout and salmon, are more receptive in the colder waters. In fact, they prefer colder waters. Many bass fishermen switch to trout fishing in the fall. Pic from www.state.nj.u
Start with smaller baits. Downsize everything. If you fish 10 inch worms, fish 6 or 7 inch worms. If those baits have frills, get baits with less frills. The coldwater bass want smaller but easier to catch food items. Due to their slow metabolism and the need to conserve precious energy, they aren't in the mood to chase or tussle with large and frisky food items. Your big and frilly baits appear that way.
However, you would also make your bait appear less frisky. Fish slower, as slow as you would need to get a reliable bite. If you twitched your bait every 6 seconds in the fall make it 12 secs in the winter, or experiment to find the best action. If you fish with weights make those weights smaller as well. And you would also need thinner and more invisible line. Fall water is usually clearer, and the fish are more easily spooked. But there are also less weeds to nick your line, so lighter lines may be a better idea.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.