Fish migrate to shallower water to eat baitfish
As the water temperatures continue to drop, baitfish will begin to migrate toward the banks. Once this occurs, predator fish will follow. This allows bank anglers to present baits to game fish in shallow water. These fish will then follow the baitfish, feeding on them.
Yellow perch will also begin to move to shallower waters as the water temperatures fall. They will feed on schools of small baitfish and are especially drawn to muddy areas. You can attract them with a small minnow bait or a vibrating lure. Bright colors or lures with flashing blades are also effective.
Bass move to points
In the fall, bass will move to points near cover to feed on prey. This can be a good time to fish feeder creeks. These creeks often have shallow wood cover that attracts bass to them. In particular, look for laydown logs and other structures that bass use to hold.
Bass migrate to points in their home ranges for two reasons. First, they seek cooler water and shade. Second, they will migrate at least twice a day during the warm months. This allows them to avoid bright light. The migration can take as little as an hour or less.
Bass move to brush piles
Brush piles are perfect places for bass to feed in the fall. These locations are often accessible from deep water and contain ample forage. Bass will be more active when they’re moving from one brush pile to another, and they’re easy to spot with a live bait. Use moving baits such as ribbon-tailed worms, crankbaits, and swim baits to catch these fish. Jigs are also good options. Be sure to move the bait in a yo-yo fashion.
Brush piles are particularly productive in November, when fewer anglers and pleasure boats are on the water. It’s a good idea to plant these piles in shallower water, preferably at least 15 feet deep, off a point or shelf. Guides such as Inky Davis and Jackie Thompson on the Santee Cooper Lakes in South Carolina and Lake Marion in Alabama often place brush piles at different depths in the lake. Keeping track of these locations is just as important as planting them.
Bass move to back coves
Bass migrate, or move to deeper waters, during the fall and winter. They migrate in short bursts of two hours or less. During the colder months, they migrate just once a day, usually at noon. This migration occurs in a horizontal plane, and bass travel from deeper waters to shallow shorelines.
As water temperature drops, bass move shallower in order to find food. Baitfish start to group in schools, making it easier for bass to corral them. These schools can contain anywhere from a few bass to a pack of dozens.
Bass move to shallow flats
The fall season is a great time to fish shallow flats. Bass are not as dispersed as they are in the summer, and will be schooling up for a meal. You can use your crankbait in shallow flats to lure them to bite. The trick is knowing where to look for the fish and how to distinguish between them.
Smallmouth bass will be moving to shallow flats in search of feeding grounds and structure. This is where their pre-winter feeding takes place. They feed on the preyfish that congregate around structure, and they will only feed in the area where these baitfish are congregated.
Bass move to tributaries
Bass move to tributaries in the autumn in search of food. This means they will gather along the bars that cross tributary mouths and upstream in creeks. They may also gather along the banks of the main river. This migration is triggered by warmer water flowing into the lake.
Fall is one of the best times of the year to fish for bass in tributaries. As the water cools, bass will migrate shallow to feed on shad and other forage fish that are moving into shallower water. This means you should target areas with long tributaries and shallow flats. You will also want to look for large schools of prey, as bass will be hunting for these.
Fishing with topwater lures
In the early fall, fishing with topwater lures is a great way to catch a variety of bass. These lures stay visible to predators longer, and they wobble seductively to attract strikes. Cooler water temperatures make top predators more mobile. Schools of bass and stripers are also active during the fall, and they’re looking for shad.
To get the best results, start walking your bait on the water’s surface. This action has been proven time again to attract bass. It originated over 75 years ago with the invention of the Heddon “Zara Spook.” Since then, hundreds of imitations have been created, but the Zara Spook remains the king. You can choose to walk your lure slowly or quickly. The speed of your retrieve will determine whether or not your bait will be caught.