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October Bassin'
Bob R. Myers - Pro Field Editor
October, 2001

Here in Oklahoma, our fall bass fishing is at its best from mid-September until mid-November. However, Mother Nature can frequently alter this timetable.

Our dog days of summer can linger until late September and artic cold fronts have been known to filter down from the north as early as
October. On the other hand, there have been temperatures recorded in the low 70's during November and even December. Our Oklahoma weather can indeed be unpredictable, but fall fishing usually produces good numbers of bass and often bigger bass. And with the exception    of early spring, it is the best season for catching trophy bass.

I don't know that any one angler or biologist has ever determined
what causes this fantastic fall bass fishing. Some anglers theorize that the shorter periods of light are the primary factor, while others
believe that it is the dropping temperatures. I am inclined to believe it is a combination of the two that sends bass on one grand feeding spree before winter sets in.

I especially like fall fishing because school has started, football
season has finally arrived and the lakes are beginning to settle down due to the decrease in water activity. Water skies, jet skies, and pleasure boats are usually being put up until next year, and for the most part, lakes are isolated.

Of this entire fall fishing period, without doubt my favorite month
is October. As we get into October in Oklahoma, I referred back to my fishing logs (a dairy of fishing trips) to see what lakes, lures,
patterns, and types of water, were most productive for me during October in past years.

One particular item that really stood out was the fact that nearly
all of my October fishing days mentioned cloudy, cool, rainy weather. This may sound like a dismal month to fish, but my fishing logs also revealed that over the years I have taken numerous big bass during October.

Since I primarily guide for smallmouth bass in clear water lakes
like; Murray, Texoma, and Arbuckle, the most perfect day to fish on
these lakes, is when you have cloud cover or rainy conditions.

One of the best smallmouth that I have ever taken out of Lake
Murray was caught on November 2. I was on a guide trip with a couple of anglers from Michigan. The weather was cool at 48 degrees and there was a steady rain the entire day. We caught 17 smallmouth on spinnerbaits, with many averaging between 2 and 3 pounds, a couple over 4 pounds, and I had the big fish of the day, a good brownie that went 5-14.

My favorite baits this time of the year are either a spinnerbait, a
Super Fluke, buzzbait or the Splash-It topwater bait, made by Don

I like to fish the small 1/8 ounce Terminator Tiny-T Spinnerbait
or the Terminator Tiny-T buzzbait both in a solid white color around
rocky points, along rip-rap, or over the top of submerged islands. In
the past few guide trips on both Texoma and Murray, all of our bass have been taken on the white Terminator Tiny-T spinnerbait fished on shallow points close to deeper water.

A pearl colored Super Fluke can also account for lots of October
bass when fished around any type of structure, especially rocks up
shallow. I like the Splash-It in the gray ghost color best and often you can catch bass from daylight to dark this time of the year on this bait. I fish the topwater bait in the same areas as the other baits, keeping in mind that smallmouth often roam in packs this time of the year and if a school of brownies surfaces, the action can be fast and furious.

A couple of years ago, we found the smallmouth schooling on a
cloudy day in October on Murray and we caught and released well over 70 smallmouth in a day's fishing all on the gray ghost Splash-It.

Whether you're fishing a buzzbait or a topwater lure this time of
the year, the key to being successful is to be mentally prepared for a strike at "all" times. Smallmouth can be so aggressive this month, that if you aren't paying attention, they can literally take a rod and reel away from you.

For me, the month of October and smallmouth bass go hand in hand and from now until the first Artic Front blows in fishing here in
Oklahoma, should be as good as it gets.

Until next month, remember to practice catch and release.


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