It’s a visual clue that’s impossible to miss: When peak fall colors rim lakeshores, largemouth bass are on a feed and the bite is hot. That’s a great time to throw spinnerbaits for fall largemouth bass.
Slow-Rolling Spinnerbaits for Fall Largemouth Bass
As shallow lily pads and shoreline weed cover shrivel, falling prey to increasingly colder nights, some of the largest bass in the lake begin leaving their shallow summer haunts. Much like cattle, they begin roaming deeper weed flats, putting on the feed bag in preparation for winter. Along the way, they join up with other groups of “flats bass,” forming large herds of hungry bucketmouths grazing for bluegills, minnows and other forage.
Just about the time the first leaves are about to drop, the flats bite goes full bore. The best spots tend to be moderate depth, 6- to 12-foot weedbeds featuring healthy cabbage or coontail weeds. By healthy, we mean tall, green, standing weeds, as opposed to brown, dying weeds that begin to lie down as fall progresses.
Find the green weeds, and you find the fish.
Employ a trifecta of tactics to establish prime locations:
1) Peer down into the water, using polarized sunglasses to see where weeds are healthy, and where they are not.
2) Use your electronics to judge the depth and health of the available weedgrowth, focusing on large weedflats abutting the deep basin of the lake.
3) Note the feel of the weeds that your lures contact, and the health of the weeds you occasionally bring back on your hooks. In all cases, good clumps and stands of lively green stuff equates to big bass habitat. Low-lying, brown weed remnants do not.
Fishing weed flats requires lots of fancasting as you drift or slowly move across potential areas. Use your electric trolling motor to cover prime depths ranges, like 6 to 8 feet on one drift pass, and 8 to 10 on the next. You’re looking for depths and areas that concentrate aggressive bass.
The easiest way to find them is to fancast a large, ½-ounce Terminator spinnerbait in all directions as you drift along. The best spinnerbaits for fall largemouth baits tend to have a small Colorado blade up front for vibration, and a larger willow or Oklahoma blade at the rear for increased flash.
Experiment with white, yellow, chartreuse or baitfish-pattern skirts, typically with some combination of gold and silver blades.
Once the lure contacts the water, engage your reel and begin your retrieve. Immediately, the dual blades engage, rotate, vibrate, flash and throb, making the shimmying skirt dance, wriggle and come to life. It’s too much for any self-respecting bass to ignore, especially during the fall bite.
No need to get fancy: Use fairly slow, mostly steady retrieves, with the blades either “bulging” the surface, or the lure occasional scratching across the tops of the weeds below. Try both, and let the bass tell you which retrieve style they prefer.
When fishing spinnerbaits for fall largemouth bass occasionally, pump the rod tip to pulse the blades, making the lure shoot forward. Then pause, allowing it to flutter a few seconds. The dash-and-flutter routine often triggers followers into striking.
If you get more bumps than solid bites, slip a trailer hook over the bend of the single spinnerbait hook. Sometimes, the dangling trailer nips the tasters and turns them into biters.
If fish seem to respond better on the flutter, switch to a large-bladed, short-armed single-bladed spinnerbait, which excels for slow fluttering descents. You’d think the dual blades would flutter better, but they often interfere with each other, disrupting the seductive wobble and drop.
When autumn water temperatures are in the 50 Fs, that’s your cue to throw spinnerbaits for fall largemouth bass.