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Late Fall Bass Fishing
By: Blake Ellison 

Fall is one of the most majestic seasons here in Oklahoma as we witness the hillsides surrounding our beautiful lakes suddenly change to an array of colors from yellowís to bright orangeís. However, the greatest site from my point of view is the site of a big largemouth leaping into the air in an attempt to throw a spinner bait from its mouth. The thrill is just indescribable, and to add to the fact that its a joy just to enjoy the scenery often times there will not even be a boat in sight. Well, what does this mean for anglers? It means that unlike in the spring you donít have to share your favorite bank with ten other boats and quite often the results will amaze you.

Fall is my favorite season because it brings lunker large mouths back up shallow after lurking in the depths all summer. Unlike the spring the fish are now shallow to feed and are not as finicky as the were during the spawning phases. This is the time of the year to go power fishing. In the fall it is possible to catch bass on about everything in your tackle box, so, you have to just go with what you have the most confidence in. A few baits to start with are a crank-bait, spinner bait, jig , top-water plug, or a rat-l-trap. These are all baits that you can cover a lot of water with in a short period of time. I always start with something fast and then slow down if itís necessary to get some bites. The crank-bait is a bait that can be worked quickly in all depths, as well as an effective bait for long casts. The spinner bait is my favorite because it can be fished extremely fast or slow, it can be cast a long ways, or pitched short distances. It also represents a shad quite well, which is the main meal for fall bass. A good technique to try is to rip it threw schools of visible shad to draw reaction bite from a hungry bass. Jig fishing can be good as well, because it can be fished quickly around shallow cover and slowed down if necessary on deeper structure. Donít rule out top-waters until surface temps. Drop below 55 degrees. They can entice some viscous strikes which are exciting to watch. Last but not least a rat-l-trap can be used to catch bass in the cooling temperatures of the fall. It works good around schools of shad and is a great lure to cover a tremendous amount of water when the bass are feeding.

Fall is like the spring in the sense that it brings a lot of cold fronts with it which can hinder the fishing at times. The difference in fall bass fishing is that not every front shuts the fish down like in the spring. Sometimes a front blowing in from the north can actually start a feeding frenzy for the bass in the fall. The greatest factor to fall bass fishing is probably got more to do with how cold the nights are. The colder nights drop the temperature of the water and due to the shortening of daylight hours in the fall there is just not enough time to re-heat the water surface after a real cold night. The result is that the temperature of the water begins to slowly drop and sometimes quickly drop. Usually, the more stable the weather is the more consistent the fishing stays. The truth is you just never know how the fish are going to react to the weather here in Oklahoma. That is, unless you are like myself and you get out there and find out. Fall fishing can be tough at times, but if you hit the water on the right day it will leave you with an experience youíll never forget.