As we ease into autumn, largemouth bass all across the country are priming up to feed. Here, some of our top Power-Pole pros provide insights into their favorite baits to throw when targeting the largest of the brawny bucketmouth bass:
“All the conditions start to change in fall,” says tournament pro Dean Rojas. “Water temps start dropping down into the 50s, and that sparks gizzard shad to move up into the shallows to feed on algae. The run of shad really sets off bass fishing.”
Rojas’ top big-bass lure is the Spro Squarebill Crankbait.
“I throw the Squarebill with a 6:1 ratio reel and present a moderate retrieve. I’ll focus on fishing areas of transition where banks slide down into deeper water,” Rojas says. “As well, the lure works anywhere in the low country and around rock piles.”
“In fall, big fish are lookin’ for big baits,” notes 2012 Bassmaster Classic winner Chris Lane. “The gizzard shad are really running in October, and they tend to hang all up on the banks around the grasslines — and that’s where you’ll intercept bass.”
Lane’s go-to offering to mimic gizzard shad is the River2Sea Top Notch and Big Mistake lures, notably in the Terminator and Pac-man color patterns. The boisterous prop bait garners aggressive strikes from bigmouths, as its commotion attracts fish from afar to inspect its noise.
“Fish are definitely keying in on topwater baits in fall,” says Bassmaster pro Bobby Lane. “This time of year, they are roaming from the shallows into the depths, and I need something that can cover a ton of water. That’s when I throw the Berkley Choppo. Usually, I go with bone or black color patterns and work it on a heavy rod and reel with an 8:1 retrieve ratio.”
“I can throw the Choppo in 2 feet of water or 50 feet of water — it works to attract fish from all around to strike,” he says. “I literally just got off the water right now from throwing it. It’s the perfect bait for fall bass.”