Bass Angler Magazine

Fall Fishing With Bill Lowen

Fall Lures and Baits
Fall Fishing With Bill Lowen

Bill Lowen 7-Time Bassmaster Classic qualifier knows that fall fishing can be a challenge. He shares with us his fall lures choices. His go to bait was the jerkbait.

Early Fall:

“Early Fall (65-75 water temperatures) can be a really difficult time to catch fish on the Ohio River due to the transition of baitfish from the main river to the creeks,” said the Brookville, IN pro. “The presence of bait is obviously the key and here on the Ohio the bass target shad in the early Fall. With the water still being relatively warm I fish fast and try and cover a lot of water using a jerkbait. I target current breaks along the bank (stumps, laydowns, and big rocks) and use a very hard, erratic cadence to get a reaction bite with a jerkbait this time of year.”
“For bait selection I like the IMA Flit 120 in shad colors in the clearer water and add in some chartreuse colors if there is more stain to the water. The fish tend to be spread out this time of year so covering water and hitting as many current breaks is the key,” said Lowen.

Mid Fall:

As water temperatures in the Midwest begin to fall into that 55-65 range Lowen suggests a change in the retrieve and an eye on the water color. He adjusts his cadence by making it slower with longer pauses and pays close attention to the water clarity. Rains in October are a common occurrence in the Ohio River valley and with more color in the water he will eliminate water that is too dirty for his jerkbait. “I look for the best color water on the river system I can find this time of year and the jerkbait bite only gets stronger and stronger as the water cools,” Lowen added.

Late Fall:

Late Fall is when Lowen can’t wait to hit the water with the jerkbait. “The water settles down in late Fall and once the temperatures fall below 55 degrees we catch some quality stringers on the Ohio. I use the same colors, and continue to look for shad, but the big key in late Fall is targeting the mouths of creeks. The fish start coming into the creeks in order to get out of the current. The baitfish and the bass will winter in the creeks and the mouths.
The best creeks have 6-8 feet of depth and then drop sharply to 20 feet or so according to Lowen. “All the creeks will have fish on them but the creeks with 6-8 feet depth in the mouths are the best. We catch limits of three pound spotted bass that time of year from the creek mouths and then we never can figure out where they go the rest of the year! If anyone knows where they go please let me know! It is the craziest thing,” Lowen joked.
As the water continues to cool Lowen will switch between the IMA Flit 120 and the smaller Flit 100. He will also continue to slow down his cadence with the jerkbait with pauses usually between three and five seconds at most.

Jerkbait Gear:

Lowen’s setup for the jerkbaits remains constant during all three parts of the Fall. He employs a 6’10” CastAway “Spinnerbait Special” rod paired with a Team Lew’s Lite 6.8:1 baitcast reel. He spools up with 10-12 pound Hi-Seas fluorocarbon. Lowen often replaces the front hook with a red Mustad #4 or #6 round bend treble in an effort to attract an extra strike or two during the day.

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Get On Em In Autumn Fall 2015 Bass Angler Magazine (Alex Vandelaar pg. 27 – 30)

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