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Chasing Fall Bass

What you need to know about fishing large and smallmouth bass in the fall



When temperatures start to drop and the leaves begin to change, most people are thinking about putting their boats away. When it comes to the fall, that’s the last thing I am thinking about. This time of year is when you have the best chance of catching a fish of a lifetime. A time I look forward to all year. Not to mention that not only can you catch a true giant, but you can catch them in great numbers.

Chasing largemouth and smallmouth bass in the fall starts with knowing about their movements throughout the year and prime locations where they will winter during the ice season. Whether you are chasing smallmouth or largemouth, the difference in migration patterns are significant.


(Photo credit: Angling Algoma)

(Photo credit: Angling Algoma and Tyler Dunn Guiding)

Largemouth that primarily use shallow water and hang around heavily vegetated areas will group up and vacate to primary points on the main lake, or the deepest weedlines when rock is not abundant. They like to school together on points with rocky, hard-bottomed structure where bait will tend to always be feeding through. You can also still find largemouth shallow throughout the fall following bait and hanging on the last green areas they can find, but this tends to be on shallower lakes where shallow vegetation is prominent.

Smallmouth bass on the other hand always seem to move to the deepest offshore structures they can find, like rock piles and shoals.


(Photo credit: Angling Algoma and Tyler Dunn Guiding)

In early to mid-fall, you can use much more aggressive and reaction-style baits, as their strike zones are much larger and they will still chase a bait a good distance. Late fall is a time when you have to slow down and use baits that can stay in the strike zone a lot longer, as they will barely move to hit a bait. Earlier in fall, good bait selections include spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and lipless crankbaits. Later in fall, it's all about bottom baits like jigs, tubes, and drop-shot style baits.


(Photo credit: Tyler Dunn Guiding)

When it comes to fall here in Algoma Country, this is the time be in your boat, enjoying the beautiful scenery along with the best fishing of the year. Dress appropriately and be sure to bring the camera, because you don't want to miss out on capturing your best view or moment of the season.

(Photo credits: Kevin King)

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