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Late fall can be a rough period of fishing because the bass are in transition in most areas and sometimes difficult to find. But in many places, the bass are targeting schools of spawning shad in backs of coves. And while the bass might not be actively gorging on the schools all day long, they will never pass up an opportunity for an easy meal.
When it comes to catching fish, there are a lot of different ways to do so. In the past twenty years there have been numerous lure and lure presentation developments. Many of these new lures and presentation ideas have resulted in anglers catching more fish. However, there are days when the fish are finicky and want just a plain presentation.
Whether I'm watching one of those med shows like ER or my experience is more firsthand, I'm always amazed at the number of tools surgeons need to work. Bass anglers should relate to these extravagant instrumental needs quite well. After all, when it comes to having a lure for all occasions, we share the same mentality as surgeons.
Among all the different factors that affect bass behavior, none has more impact than the seasons. Fish – especially bass – are ruled by the weather.
In the summer, predator fish like walleyes, pike, bass, and crappies will be wherever their food is. If there isn't something for them to eat in an area, they simply won't be there, or at least they won't be there very long.
If you spend time at the lake, either at the marina or around the boat slips, undoubtedly you’ve noticed bass cruising around. You’ve probably been on the water since before sunrise, made a long run to an end of the lake and all the while there are bass within a short walk of a hot cup of coffee and an indoor restroom. It can be frustrating.
By this time of year, throughout many parts of the country, bass have seen a fair amount of fishing pressure. Common sense tells us that bass in this situation can become harder to catch and luring them to bite requires downsizing both line and bait. While this may be a good tactic for most places, targeting pressured bass in summer doesn’t always require picking up a spinning rod and a finesse bait.
It’s not unusual for people to equate bass fishing with the shallow-water flipping and pitching that goes on so many places throughout the country. True, largemouth bass, when they inhabit structure-filled water sheds, will be found regularly around the bank, near blown-down trees, hydrilla, lilipads and other places that provide them outstanding places to both forage and hide.
Even without a calendar and temperature changes, there’s an easy way to mark the arrival of summer: the massive quantities of pleasure boaters taking to local lakes. Now don’t get me wrong, I love being out on the water as much as anybody and I understand that people would want to ski or tube or just enjoy the scenery. But if you are like me and trying to catch a fish, you’d prefer to avoid the traffic.
Shorter days, cool temperatures and buck fever go a long ways toward calming many an avid angler’s desire to put the boat in the water and go fishing for trophy bass. But for everyone who already has the tarp over the boat and the rods and reels in the closet, know this: autumn – especially mid-November to mid-December – offers some terrific opportunities to catch bass. In fact, it may be one of the best times of the year.