Westernbass Magazine - FREE Bass Fishing Tips And Techniques - Fall 2016, Page 19

Westernbass Magazine - FREE Bass Fishing Tips And Techniques - Fall 2016, Page 19

some end up passing by, or milling around docks.

Add to this the timeless attraction of shady cover on a sunny fall day and these structures can be absolute fourth-quarter gold mines.


While summer tactics focus largely on irritating a heat-weary fish tucked way back in the coolest shadowy part of a dock, fall efforts take on a more active approach. Not to say that flipping/pitching techniques will not produce, but mimicking baitfish — primarily shad — is a more seasonably applicable strategy.

“I fish reaction baits almost exclusively in the fall,” said Bassmaster Elite Series pro Brent Ehrler. “So it’s either a Lucky Craft 1.5 on the sides and corners of docks and then skipping a vibe jig with a Yamamoto Zako in white with a white or shad color skirt.”

John Murray, the long-time western pro, now making his home in Tennessee, also likes skipping a bladed swim jig. Like Ehrler, he knows that bass holding farther under a dock rarely see such presentations deep in their sanctuary. Interrupting a midday chill with this kind of flash and vibration brings out the beast in a bass.

Murray also likes walking the dock’s perimeter with a River2Sea Rover and swimming a 6-inch Basstrix swimbait tight to the cover. Similarly, Elite pro Mark Menendez

FALL 2016

likes a 1/4-ounce Hack

Attack swim jig with

a white Strike King

Menace and a Strike

King Rage Swimmer

for fall docks. Because

the fish are oriented

to horizontal cover,

he likes the fact that

he can pause the

bait, keep his rod

tip up and keep it in

the strike zone for

a longer period of


To mix up his


Menendez also

likes a KVD 1.5

squarebill in the

Moongill color and

a Denny Brauer

flipping tube in green pumpkin or black neon with a 5/16-ounce Tour Grade Tungsten jig.

For Elite pro Randall Tharp, a buzzbait does a good job of mimicking the frantic flickering of fall shad, while a spinnerbait with double willow blades also deserves a spot in the rotation.

When Murray passes an empty boat slip, he’ll cast

a Neko-rigged Gene Larew Tattle Tail Worm into the

far corners and work it back

out on a semi-slack line.

Spinning gears is his choice

here, so Murray minds his

angles, in case he has to slide

into the slip and secure the

fish before it tangles, wraps or

snags his line.

Also on the finesse side,

Elite pro Matt Lee always has a

dropshot on his deck and even

though fall fishing often follows

a peppy pace, he likes the ability

to focus on a particular spot to

work on stubborn fish, or follow

up a near miss on one of his

moving baits.