Fall is a wonderful time of year for bass anglers. The best bass lures for fall include anything that imitates a shad or a bait fish. The fall is when a bass’ location becomes more predictable and they begin to feed aggressively on bait fish. Once you understand how to find bass in the fall, choosing the right lure is the next step.
Top Bass Lures for Fall Fishing
1. Lipless Crankbait
The lipless crankbait does a great job catching bass all year. But it really excels during the fall months. Using a lipless crankbait in the backs of creeks can really produce good numbers of bass. When compared to lipped crankbait, the lipless crankbait has a really tight wiggle and does a good job of imitating a shad. The bass attack these lures aggressively in the fall and it’s hard to fish a lipless crankbait wrong this time of year. The only adjustment to make is the speed. If you are not getting bites then adjust the speed of your retrieve. If you are fishing where the fish are, you’ll catch bass.
By far, my favorite lipless crankbait is the 1/2 oz Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap (chrome with a blue back). You can find articles all over the internet about how well this lure catches bass. I’m not sure when this lure hit the market but I have used this lure since the early 90’s. In fact, I caught my first bass on a Rat-L-Trap in the fall. However, there are a lot of choices when it comes to lipless crankbaits and colors.
The best way to use a lipless crankbait in the fall is to work it along grass lines and around schooling bait fish. Look for bait balls on your graph and cast around them. The bass won’t be far away. If the grass is an issue or your lipless crankbait is getting snagged then try a spinnerbait.
In my opinion, the spinnerbait is the most popular bass lure of all time. Rightfully so too, it’s super easy to use and it catches bass. It is an effective lure throughout the year but it’s very productive during the fall months. Many anglers consider a white spinnerbait one the best bass lures for fall weather. During the fall months, the bass really go after moving baits and the spinnerbait offers a lot of flash and vibration much like a lipless crankbait.
The biggest reason you would want to choose a spinnerbait over a lipless crankbait is water depth or grass. Either of those two conditions will make it hard to use a lipless crankbait. The spinnerbait can be fished over grass and kept shallow. It is common to still have grass around the shoreline and in the back of creeks during the fall months, especially in the south. Whenever there is still grass I have to deal with, I will primarily use a spinnerbait.
A spinnerbait is really effective when fished along grass lines. A lot of novice anglers hate dealing with grass and will avoid it but it’s where a lot of fish are hanging out. Fish along the grass and other structures in the back and mouths of creeks during the fall. Really work the creeks where you see some waterfowl present. Early in the morning and late afternoons during and after sunset are the best times for me. In most situations, I will always use a white spinnerbait with a willow leaf blades and small Colorado blade. In stained or muddy water, use a black spinnerbait with a large Colorado blade. The black color makes a good silhouette that bass can see and the Colorado blade makes a lot of vibration, helping the bass find your lure in low visibility.
The buzzbait is a great bass lure to use in the fall while the bass are chasing shad. The buzzbait moves a lot of water, it makes a lot of noise and demands the bass’ attention. If you love topwater action then this is your lure. Using it during early mornings and late evenings has been the most productive times for me. The buzzbait is one of the best bass lures for fall because you can cover a lot of water with it quickly.
Just find submerged grass or timber and start running a buzzbait over the top. If bass are there, they usually will strike it. You don’t only have to fish it around submerged cover. I have caught bass in the middle of the creek during the fall. When the bass are in the right mood, they will come up from 10′ to 15′ of water to hit a buzzbait.
This is the only lure on this list that is best fished with specific gear though. A reel with a fast ratio like 7.3:1 to 8.3:1 works best as it’s easier to keep your buzz bait working across the top of the water.
The jig is the kicker on this list. I could have stopped writing after No. 2 because 95% of my fall bass have come off the first two lures. But I have to add the jig as one of the best bass lures for fall, maybe I should say late fall to early winter. Mostly because when the conditions are not favorable for the other lures on this list the jig fills that void. In northern parts of the county, the water gets colder sooner and the bass start to get slow and lethargic in cold water. This is when you want to throw a lure that moves slow and stays on the bottom.
When the water starts getting into the low 50’s and 40’s, bass are reluctant to use a lot of energy to chase food. So a jig works in cold water best because a jig is fished slow and has a big profile. The larger profile allows the bass to think that it’s getting a large meal very easily. So the jig is a good lure for the late fall and early winter transition period. If the lake water gets down into the low 50’s and colder in your neck of the woods during fall, then try a jig. Because at the point, the bass are not chasing food around anymore.
The best bass lures for fall are ones that imitate shad or something swimming. Some additions that could have been on this list are glide baits and paddle tail swimbaits. Those are good baits this time of year too, but the first two I put on the list will catch 95%+ of all your bass during the fall. Keep in mind the key is to find where the baitfish are hanging out, that’s where the bass will be too. So if you have a fishfinder, use it.
If there are lures that work well for you during fall, share them in the comments below.