By Josh Boyd
With fall just around the corner, bass anglers from every corner of the nation will soon set out to capitalize upon excellent fishing that often presents itself during this time of year. On most bodies of water, predatory bass key in on spawning shad, with a feeding frenzy of sorts coming as a result. The fall undoubtedly offers some of the best bass fishing of any season, if only an angler can key in on the pattern change at hand.
One angler who is ever-keen to this seasonal shift in bass behavior is 2013 Bassmaster Classic Champion, Cliff Pace. To Pace, the fall of the year is all about understanding the intricacies of the particular body of water that is being fished and employing the most applicable strategies in order to find success.
Where to Find Fall Bass
When fishing in the fall, Pace feels that bass can most often be found in one of two ways. “On most man-made reservoirs in the fall, I typically like to do one of two things. I am either looking for fish out deep, or I am covering a lot of shallow water,” says Pace.
Pace also says that the use of quality electronics is indispensable when attempting to locate pockets of bass during the fall. As an avid proponent of Garmin electronics, Pace feels that the company’s Livescope technology has revolutionized the way that anglers find bass during this particular time of year. “Livescope gives me the ability to cover a lot of water and see things much faster than with any other form of electronics,” Pace continued.
Different Tactics for Different Bodies of Water
Pace is quick to emphasize that tactics for catching fall bass differ both regionally, and from one particular lake to the next. He bases much of his approach upon knowledge of how bass react in a seasonal manner to their environment.
“I like to fish the Louisiana Delta during the fall. It is a shallow, grass filled body of water. When fishing there in the fall, I typically throw a lot of shallow, fast moving baits. Buzzbaits, frogs, and swim jigs are some of my favorites,” says Pace.
According to Pace, fishing deep, clear reservoirs during the fall is another thing entirely. “If you have a lot of spotted bass on a clear lake, they will often school up out deep. You will also generally have resident populations of largemouth that live on whatever shallow cover is on the lake, whether that be boat docks or isolated lay-down trees. On those types of lakes, the fall is a time of year where you really have to pick your poison,” states Pace.
When fishing deep, clear water lakes, Pace says that he utilizes a multi-faceted approach to find success, based upon the time of day. “In the fall, I try to capitalize on the early morning topwater bite. Then I begin looking for those resident largemouths up in the rivers and creeks. This is especially true when there has been any recent rain that has caused water stain. If there has been no rain in the previous days, I will focus on targeting deep, suspended fish,” Pace says.
When fishing for suspended bass during the fall of the year, Pace has several lures that he favors over others for their ability to put fish in the boat. “In these situations, I prefer topwater, jerkbaits, and swimbaits. On clear water lakes, I stick to small profile baits that feature natural colors,” Pace states.
Diversifying to Capitalize on the Fall Bass Bite
By studying the particular body of water that you are fishing and employing the use of multiple high-impact tactics, you will be well on your way to a fall full of bass fishing success. Above all else, do not find yourself so fixated on a single technique, that you overlook any number of other worthwhile tactics. As Cliff Pace says, “There are a lot of different things that can work in the fall.”