fall colors on the lake

Explode Your Fall Bass Fishing With These 6 Baits

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 10, 2022. It has since been updated with improved pictures and product links.

The water surface erupts, broken by eye popping numbers of shad and other baitfish.

Pinned against the surface, the humongous school of fish embodies a water-churning panic.

The school is easy pickings for the hunting predators that follow.

Bass, hungry and preparing for winter, buddy up into wolf packs and go on the prowl.

Working together, these bass have pushed this school of baitfish to the surface and are now gorging themselves until they can eat no more.

These bass eat unspeakable amounts of food in the fall. This fact makes fall one of the most lucrative times of year to bass fish!

With that said, there are a handful of baits in particular that turn good fall fishing expeditions into great fall fishing expeditions.

Welcome back to Jig Is Up Lurecraft! Today I will be unveiling 6 fantastic lures that can elevate your fall fishing success!

Bass Fishing In Fall – Match The Hatch

Net full of silver shad

As the bright green leaves turn into flaming hues of crimson and orange, baitfish slowly migrate to shallower water.

Like the school of baitfish mentioned in the introduction, these baitfish enjoy the cooler temperatures the shallow water brings.

Bass take advantage of these conditions, pinning baitfish against the shore or against the water surface.

For bass, this buffet is just the food supply they need as they prepare for the long winter months.

In fact, bass eat so voraciously in the fall that practically any lure will catch them.

However, the lures that catch the most bass mimic the schooling baitfish the bass are focused on.

The following 6 lures mimic baitfish in this manner, and represent the most effective presentations for bass in the fall.

6 Great Baits For Fall Bass Fishing

👉 Paddle-tail Swimbaits

Shad paddle tail swimbait

The first effective lure for fall fishing is the paddle-tail swimbait. 

Characterized by the paddle-tail on the bait, these lures perfectly imitate a swimming baitfish via the natural swimming action imparted by the paddle-tail. 

This effect is further accentuated when the angler uses a silver or white swimbait.

Silver and white are both natural baitfish colors, and are particularly effective in the fall. In fact, most of the lures in this list are optimally fished with these colors.

When fishing paddle-tail swimbaits, I typically thread the swimbait onto a 1/16-3/16 oz jig head with an open hook. Then, I fish the swimbait back to me with a steady retrieve, mixing in occasional twitches and jerks meant to mimic a fleeing baitfish.

👉 Jerkbaits

Green hard bait

No fall fishing list would be complete without mentioning the ever-effective jerkbait.

They remain one of the most versatile lures an angler could put in their tackle box.

Jerkbaits are typically fished with aggressive jerks and twitches (hence the name “jerkbait”). 

These quick twitches trigger the natural instincts in fish to hammer a fleeing baitfish. This triggering of their natural instincts remains one of the most effective ways to induce bass to commit, even on days when they aren’t biting.

Jerkbaits are incredibly underrated and remarkably deadly, even in the professional fishing industry. In fact, Kevin Van Dam, the winningest bass fisherman in history, built his career on jerkbait fishing.

You simply can’t go wrong by loading up your fall tackle box with shimmering silver jerkbaits. They flat out catch fish!

👉 Crankbaits

red crankbait with a craw pattern

Next on the list of effective fall baits is one of the easiest lures you can fish – the crankbait.

Crankbaits are great in the fall due to their ability to cover large stretches of water quickly. 

This is particularly helpful for finding active bass in the fall. The odds are good that if you are fishing a crankbait and find one bass, there are probably several others within the same vicinity.

Crankbait anglers advocate that long casts are key to covering lots of water. Use the lightest line you can for the setup you are fishing – this helps improve casting distance and in many cases also gives your crankbaits more depth as you reel them in.

Cast the crankbait out and steadily reel it back in. Don’t be afraid to bump the crankbait against wood or rock. 

The bill on the front helps keep it from hanging up and many times the erratic deflection off of cover triggers inactive bass to bite.

Once again, stock your tackle box full of white- and silver-hued crankbaits. 

One particular color I love is a Blue Shad crankbait , which has bright blue and yellow on top and white on the bottom.

👉 Spinnerbaits

A chartreuse and white Seam Ripper Spinnerbait
Custom Spinnerbait by JIUL

Next comes the flashiest fall lure presented in this article; the spinnerbait!

I love spinnerbaits for multiple reasons.

One reason they’re great is because they cover a lot of water, very similar to how a crankbait does.

In some situations, however, I like spinnerbaits better than crankbaits. For one thing, the design of spinnerbaits allow them to go through heavy cover easier than crankbaits. For anglers fishing around lots of wood, this makes spinnerbaits particularly appealing.

Spinnerbaits are also fantastic at mimicking fleeing baitfish. The flash and thump of the spinner blades resembles a small school of baitfish, which is exactly what you want during the fall months.

Most anglers fish ¼-½ oz spinner baits with success in the fall. Since I do a lot of finesse fishing, I use a lot of ⅛ oz and 3/16 oz spinnerbaits as well.

You simply can’t go wrong fishing a spinnerbait in the fall for bass!

👉 Topwaters

Silver topwater hard bait

Ah, topwaters. Topwater fishing generates the most adrenaline-filled moments in all of bass fishing!

As mentioned previously in this article, bass push and trap baitfish up against the water’s surface. This is the perfect time to throw a topwater lure!

These lures closely resemble a fleeing baitfish on the water’s surface.

To fire up big hungry bass, work the topwater aggressively by rapidly twitching it back to further. In essence, this creates the illusion that a trapped baitfish is trying to escape being eaten. 

Once a bass strikes, all mayhem ensues.

The most vicious strikes I’ve ever experienced have come on topwater lures. Bass strike so ferociously, they may even miss the bait altogether!

Quick tip 👉 don’t set the hook when you see the bass blow up on the topwater. Wait a split second after the blow up, to feel if the bass has taken it!

👉 Jigs

Surely you saw this coming. Readers familiar with this blog can attest that I love bass jigs (check out this article to learn why). 

Renowned for their ability to catch fish year-round, jigs are particularly effective when targeting hungry bass in the fall.

When covering lots of water or when fishing around lots of grass, swim jigs are a first-rate choice. Choose a white, baitfish-hued color and swim the jig to your heart’s content. 

Like spinnerbaits and crankbaits, swim jigs are excellent for locating aggressive bass on the body of water you’re fishing.

For those fall days when the bite is slow, I tempt inactive bass with finesse jigs, like my Tiny Terror Jig

Natural brown colors can still be effective in fall, and sometimes it’s worthwhile to change up colors and give fish a different look. 

When I’m fishing a finesse jig, I use natural browns and blacks to mimic any bluegill or crawfish bass may be eating.

Simply put, jigs offer tons of flexibility when bass fishing in the fall. This is part of why I love jigs and always have several in my tackle box.

Conclusion: Top 6 Fall Baits For Bass Fishing Success

Fall is an amazing time of year for bass fishing. You can catch bass with virtually every lure in the fall!

But there are a handful of baits that can turn good fall fishing into great fall fishing.

Here’s a quick recap to speed you on your way 👇

Want to cover lots of open water ➡️ start with a topwater or crankbait! These baits cover plenty of water, hook bass very easily, and are super easy to fish with.

Fishing around wood ➡️ throw a spinnerbait or a jig! Both weave marvelously through wood and are very appealing to bass in the fall months.

Bass not biting aggressively ➡️ Throw a jerkbait or a jig! These baits are perfect for triggering lock jawed bass to bite as the temperatures cool.

What are your favorite fall baits for bass fishing? Does one fishing lure out produce all others for you? Leave a comment below!

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