As many of you know, the crankbait is by far one of the best fall fishing lures when it comes to bass fishing. Between its range of diving depths to the sound it produces, for many bass species this lure is irresistible. Often, many questions come with crankbait fishing in the fall; what depth crankbait should I throw? Which patterned crankbaits work the best in the fall? Why am I not catching any bass on the crankbait? This short bass fishing article covers all of these questions and more by going over our top three crankbait fishing tips for the fall season and some other minor pointers that you may not have thought about before!
Crankbait Tip #1: Research your body of water
To know what depth or pattern of crankbait is best in the fall, it’s often easiest to look at the specific body of water. Things like the water temperature, wind conditions, and baitfish in the water are all very telling as to what type of crankbait you should throw. In a previous article on Late Fall Fishing Tips, we talked about the importance of these things and how the bass patterns correlate to this. For crankbaits specifically, a good rule of thumb is if the bass are still up shallow gorging on bait, a shallow diving squarebill crankbait is the best. If the bass are transitioning to deep waters, a slow wobbling deep diving crankbait is often ideal in this instance. As far as the colorway, it’s often best to mimic the forage in your body of water. For example, if you saw a dying shad on the surface, chances are a shad pattern crankbait would be the best thing to throw. If you know there is an abundance of crawfish in your waters, a crawfish-themed crankbait would likely do the trick. In any season, the lure or pattern choice comes down to the conditions at your body of water, and even though this is a general tip, it applies to fall crankbait fishing seamlessly.
Crankbait Tip #2: Switch up your retrieval
Oftentimes when throwing crankbaits, anglers steadily reel in the lure time after time. Although this can be effective at times, it’s best to experiment with your retrieval speed and see what gets the most bites. Sometimes a slow wobble is the key to landing a fall-time bass, but other times a mix of fast and slow retrieval is the way to go! Like mentioned, during fall a lot of baitfish die off because of the colder temperatures. While they are still alive, wounded baitfish swim at different speeds frequently, which is why this crankbait retrieval method is so important. When alternating between fast and slow retrieval, the crankbait acts as the perfect imitation of a wounded or dying baitfish, and the bass are far more likely to eat something effortless for them to catch. The retrieval method is a simple way to get more bites when tossing the crankbait, so don’t be afraid of switching up your speed next time you hit the water!
Crankbait Tip #3: Use BIG, Flatsided Squarebills
It’s common for anglers to start downsizing their crankbaits in the fall because they believe the bass are getting more lethargic, but this is more often than not the incorrect thing to do. Bass eat less frequently in the fall, but when they do it’s usually a big meal. Due to this, some of the best fishermen in the business swear by throwing big, flat-sided squarebill crankbaits in the fall. These crankbaits are larger and have a slow wobble action that the bass find irresistible. It may seem unorthodox to throw bigger lures when the bass eat less often, but trust us when we say this is one of the best fall fishing tips for throwing the crankbait.
To sum it all up, crankbait fishing in the fall can be difficult. Despite this, if you research your body of water, experiment with different body styles of crankbaits, and switch up retrieval methods, you should have no problem tracking down some trophy bass! We hope you take what you learned today, apply it next time you hit the water, and maybe even share it with a friend!