Fall is one of the best seasons of the year to freshwater fish since the air temperature starts to cool, the lakes become a bit calmer, and the changing color of the leaves makes for spectacular scenery if you are fishing in the northern states. Game fish, such as bass and crappie, also tend to become more active while seeking out abundant food sources before the winter months. Be sure to take full advantage of autumn days on the water by testing out different types of freshwater lures during this time of transition.
Here are two of my favorite types of lures to use during the fall:
Shad Crankbaits. These lipless lures are effective and versatile when targeting largemouth bass during the fall months since this is the time when the shad that the bass feed on start to head into shallow creeks. The bass follow the shad as they migrate, so it makes sense to “match the hatch” with a shad-imitating lure. Try bouncing the crankbaits off of stumps, logs or rocks so that it makes a bit of noise as it hits the water or try working the lure through areas where you find plenty of current.
Chartreuse Marabou Jigs. Marabou isn’t just for tying flies! You can find brightly colored marabou feathers on many different types of panfish jigs. Marabou jigs are ideal for attracting crappie because the feathers produce natural movement when in the water with just the slightest movement of your rod tip. 1/16 to 1/8 ounce Marabou jigs should consistently produce panfish during the fall, but you can also use them well into the winter months if make plans to do any ice fishing. I like to start with the chartreuse color since it’s easier for the fish to spot in darker or muddy water. Since crappies will usually be found near structure, drop your marabou jig near fallen trees, stumps, ledges, points and creek beds for your best chance at success.
What types of lures have you found to be most successful during a given time of year? If you keep a fishing log, remember to write down a few notes when you find that a certain lure style or color is working particularly well.