Top 5 Fall Fishing Mistakes

Top 5 Fall Fishing Mistakes


Nick Smith (The Informative Fisherman), walks us through his Top 5 Fall Fishing Mistakes.  These are common mistakes that nearly every fisherman makes.  So watch this video and learn my friends.

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    Video Transcript: 

    Hey, what's up guys? Nick, The Informative Fisherman here on behalf of MONSTERBASS. And in this video, I'm going to be going over the top five fall fishing mistakes. This is mostly based around bass, but this works for a lot of species, so keep an open mind around this. Let's break it down. We're probably not going to need the box. Let's get it going.

    Number one, moving too slow. This may sound obvious to you, so I'm going to explain this, because this may not make a ton of sense to you. When you first get out there, I don't care if it's the middle of the day in the fall, first thing in the morning or the evening, you need to move fast with fall patterns. Now, let me break down this big stigma about fall fishing baits. Everybody goes their top five. Yeah, that's subjective for where you live or what bait is in your lake.

    You may live on a pond or only fish a pond that has crawdads and bluegills and that's the forage base and their top five fall baits that look like a shad or was a shiny bait fish doesn't even apply to you. So let's just say a bait that moves fast. If you have nothing but crawdad and bluegill, maybe a chatter bait that looks like a bluegill, a little soft plastic swim bait that looks like a bluegill, a square bill crank bait that you can cast out there and move fast. The basis when I say move fast, is try a lot of things. Try rock, try dirt, try timber, try deep water, try top water, try the bottom, make long casts and bring it in fast. Don't start off slow. Put the spinning rod down unless you're casting and reeling something relatively quick on it that's small, you need to cover water and cover as much as that lake as possible.

    You're going to start on the windy banks where that winds coming in. It's going to mix up a lot of food. Once that water starts to cool in the fall, the fish are going to want to actively feed. So you're going to find much more active feeders on windblown banks. That could be a large area of the lakes who do not slow down until you start getting bit, and that's actually a really good time. If you went through there, you threw a reaction bait, threw little swim bait through a little crank bait, you caught a fish, you threw it again, caught another fish after that, you didn't get a bite. Now reach for your drop [inaudible 00:01:57], reach for your wacky rig, your jerk bait. Slow down a lot and see if you can catch those additional fish because they progressively start to school as the water gets colder, winter comes, they kind of dissipate back out. Some of them stay in schools, but you need to cover water fast, bounce around. Don't take your sweet time just knowing that you caught them before. That's a huge mistake.

    Number two, we're going to go back to that little bait thing, not knowing what bait is readily available. Okay? And a lot of the time you'll get to a lake, you won't really know if they're shad. You won't know if there's gobies, bluegill or anything. You won't really know what they're eating. So if you want a basic clue, you can call around, ask around, go on Facebook chats, find out what the common bait fish is there or even if you catch a 12 or 13 inch bass, stick them in the live well. Don't stick a call clip or anything, stick them in the live Well. A lot of the time in the fall, they're trying to eat a lot, so they're going to regurgitate what they're eating. You could tell what type of crawfish, you could tell the color, they'll regurgitate gobies, bluegills, baby bass, and it's going to allow you to match the hatch.

    Therefore, your bait selection is going to become much easier to match up. A lot of the time, they may be keyed in on a Gobi this small, and you had a little green Ned rig that looked just like that, but instead you were throwing a crank bait and even though you caught one of those Gobi eaters on a crank bait, you see that he spit up two gobies in your live well, you make the switch, go back to that same spot. You're putting additional fish in the boat. Okay? That being said, look for the bait.

    As the water temperature starts getting below 55 degrees, the crawdads have a secondary spawn that happens between 55 and 50. A lot of different species of crawdads do this. It varies around that 55 to 50 they're going to be on rocky banks or look for soil with holes right along the waterline. If you ever see that soil with holes, those crawdads are going to be just below that waterline price, six foot or less. Perfect time to bounce off the bottom there and see if crawdads are actively working that, they're chewing up on in the fall. Pay attention. Look for obvious signs, look for white birds, those wind blowing banks. Look for grebes, the birds that dive on the bait. Most white birds are bait fish eater. The grebes that dive down are getting minnows where ever those guys are, there's going to be bait fish prevalent. So look for those obvious signs of bait. When you're driving to your first spot, or you first come to an idle look for bait balls on your fish finder.

    Look for freckling on the water at low light hours. They're shad that are going to come up to the surface. They're going to be around that bait. If you don't see the bait birds, if you don't see grebes diving, you don't see bait on your fish finder, chances are it's either going to be a Gobi bite, a bluegill bite, or a crawfish bite. If you see obvious signs of white birds, it's most likely going to be a bait fish bite. So make your bait choice a selectively according to the signs that you're acknowledging.

    Number three, I've already mentioned this staying out of the wind. In the fall, zooplankton, which are microorganisms, get moved by the wind a lot. Okay? So on those windy banks, the micro food is going to end up there or below into those mouth of those Creek channels, the mouth of those points, and the shad are going to start feeding on those. Bluegills are going to start feeding on those, any sort of minnow, Shiner minnows, they're going to start feeding on the zooplankton and all of your bigger fish are going to move in there.

    Now it's even more than that. Okay? They're all moving in there, but what happens is where those waves start kicking over and smashing up against the bank. It's creating dissolved oxygen, so it's giving the fish more energy in that area. It's kind of like putting the fish on steroids. They're hyped up. They want to start a fight. Big bait comes through their, pow. They're ready to fight, they're going, they're out of their mind. They also make mistakes easier in rougher water. That wind crashing and the wind coming across the surface, disguises the sound of your trolling motor, disguises the sound of your bait landing in the water. Oftentimes you can catch multiple fish out of the same spot. They don't notice another one being caught. Wind is your friend. Even though it can be very difficult to fish with it, try to get it at least blowing on your side or to your back.

    If you're fishing directly into the wind, use a heavier bait or throw the bait that you would normally throw on a bait caster on a spinning rod at that point because they don't backlash as easy. But when you're in that wind, be 100% positive you're in the right area because wind can become very frustrating for boat control, it drives me crazy. But I have to tell myself, "Look, I'm on the juice. Big ones going to make a mistake here. As long as I stay focused and don't get flustered with dealing with those windy conditions." It lowers the visibility in the water. They have to grab easier. It's a win-win, guys. Don't let it beat you because it's definitely beating the fish.

    Number four, ignoring what normally works, and this is kind of a weird situation. Weird kind of example to explain right here, but a lot of the times you're going to go out with this fall pattern in mind, "Oh, they're going to eat a top water, they're going to meet at moving Bay," and you go and you try it in and none of it's working. Not all bass follow fall transition rules.

    Believe it or not, what you had working two months ago may still be happening. So don't ignore what was working previously, but definitely start off covering the water fast, looking for those fall patterns, trying those different fall baits, moving towards the Creek channels, move into secondary points inside those Creek channels and see if they're pushing bait back in there. If it's not working, definitely and go back and give what was working a couple months ago a try. Believe it or not, sometimes it'll start to cool, fish will start to move into those fall transition patterns. It'll get warm again, they'll suspend and some of them will even pull all the way back thinking it was a cold trend in the summer that made them move. The fish don't know what time of year it is, guys. They're strictly reacting off water temperature changes, condition and forge moving around them, so don't eliminate what was working before.

    A lot of the time it seems like fall, the fall patterns will start to work. You go out the next day, struggle for the first couple of hours and then you're like, "Maybe I'll go try what worked before," and you start hammering them. But don't overlook it, it could go right back into a full fall swing just a few days later. Just be prepared to try what previously worked.

    Last but not least, number five, going off of previous fall locations. Keep it in mind where they were before, but you need to realize this, that bait fish get moved around from the wind. Sometimes oxygen levels are different in that part of the lake this time last year as it is this year. And I am so guilty of this myself and I'll be just straight up with you, to where I'm like, "Well, they're always here this time of year and I've had it like three years in a row." And I'll spin my wheels there trying. I know fish are here. I know fish are here. And then I call an audible and move to another spot that's kind of similar, that I didn't catch him on in the previous years and bam, they're there. And if I wasn't so reluctant and so stubborn to say, "Oh, because of previous fall knowledge, this is where they were."

    Not all weather's the same, it's not all the same all the time. Oxygen could be different. Water clarity can be different. The wind could have gone a different direction. Certain parts could've warmed different, faster because there was water running in. It murky the water in warmed up faster. They're not always in the same spot every fall, guys. And even more common, is the ones over five pounds change spots even more often than that. You can get a bunch of less than five pound, bunch of two and three pound fish that refrequent in your spot. And last year there was big ones there, but believe it or not, the big ones bounce around a lot. So go back to number one, keep searching. If you're catching them, try a little bit bigger bait in that spot. If the bite slows down, pick up your finesse stuff, but don't be reluctant to put on the emergency brake, stab that power pole on the bottom and just soak there because you're not catching them.

    Fall is an absolute great time to run around searching fish out. Hopefully these tips helped you guys. Remember, subscribe to MONSTERBASS, if you're not already. We're putting tons of great baits in the box. I'm reviewing them. I'm suggesting what they should get, guys. It's a win-win. See you later. Best of fishing.

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