ypically, anglers don’t see the seasonal
condition changes happen quick like a light
switch. When the change from summer to fall starts to happen, the shallows and its temps will be
the first to be affected.
This change will push some of the shallow bass out
onto the deeper weed flats where they will hold and ride
out the falling water temps.
Many times, the initial cold front will not last long,
stretching out the change giving
another month or so for the transition.
This offers anglers some time to
concentrate on fall finesse before the
big change will be complete and take
effect. Pay close attention to what the
bass are doing and that will show keys
on just how much adjustments must
Here we review three top finesse
tactics and how to adjust for the
changing fall conditions.
SHAKY HEAD T
First up is a shaky head option. My first bait choice at this time of the season is a 6” Big Bite Finesse worm. This is a perfect bait choice to start your search with. To get a few different looks and action out of my shaky head, I will switch between a 6” finesse worm and a 5” Big Bite Trickstick. These two baits have different fall rates and action when being fished across the bottom, keep this in mind when trying to get initial bites to start your day.
If I am faced with falling water temps, I will slow down and switch to an 8” Big Bite Finesse worm to give them a larger target to look for and eat. Many times, this bait change has saved my day and brought me some bigger bites at this time of the year when bass are starting to put on the feed bag and look for bigger forage in the process.
Another option that I have fallen back on is a 4” creature bait or a tube. A creature bait could be a few different things to a bass. It could resemble a craw or a lizard, so giving them a different look can generate strikes for different reasons.
I will usually start out by throwing a 1/8- to 3/16-ounce shaky head. I will choose my shaky head size according to depth and wind conditions. For this size, I use a 7” Denali Attax AS702M.
If I move towards deeper water conditions or if fishing in stronger wind conditions, I will up size to ¼- to 3/8-ounce. With this size shaky head, I will then go to a 7” Denali Attax AC702F. I use a medium-action
baitcaster to get better control of the bigger bait in the tougher conditions.
In both situations I will vary my line choice. If I can get by with fishing 10-pound fluoro, I will. I use Sunline Assassin. If I need better feel of what my bait is doing or if I am faced with fishing in windy conditions, I will switch to a braided line choice. I use Sunline Xplasma Asegai in 16-pound-test and team that with a 10-pound fluorocarbon leader.
Next in line is the drop shot. This is going back to the drop shot roots as it come to the United States from Japan. When the drop shot first got to the West Coast, it was mainly used as a bait presentation to trigger and catch cold water bass in deeper water situations during the fall and winter months.
That was until Aaron Martens grabbed ahold of this presentation and changed drop shot fishing as we know it for the better.
So, what has changed in drop shot fishing over the years? The biggest change is the use of braided line.
When the drop shot first showed up, it was fished with 6- to 8-pound mono or fluorocarbon line.
Yes, you caught fish; but the bites were hard to detect and sometimes even harder to get into the boat. Braided line has changed all of that.