Many times, the bass will wait to ambush any prey as they might stray from their path and end up near these shallower areas. Or, they will move balls of bait up onto them to increase their success rate of capture.
SPOT ON SPOTS
Not all bends and points have an equal appeal. Some are relatively mondain and others are very detailed. The specifics I tend to look for are the most exaggerated. Meaning, I’m targeting the deepest, sharpest and most narrow bend. Or the longest, most ridge-like point. Then with a perfectly placed rockpile, group of wood or other cover nearby and it will definitely be a productive location.
So, we’ve discussed the intricacies of these channels, and this is why.
SHAD MIGRATION IN THE FALL
The shad or baitfish will always push to the backs of these feeder arms in the fall. The hardest part is to determine how far back they are. They are usually not all the way back for long, so we must determine on any given day, what is their progression. Based on water temperature and weather conditions we begin to look. Starting on the main lake intersection where the creek channel ends, and working our way back is a tested approach.
Above the water, we watch the graph, the surface (looking for flickering or busting shad) and are aware of all indicator birds (shad eaters). Below the surface, we use a variety of search baits to cover water. I always say, “we are not looking for a little, we are looking for a lot”.
Whether it be with our eyes and electronics or the rod, reel and lure, we are hunting for the masses.
TOP TWO SURFACE SEARCH BAITS
As long as the water temperature dictates using topwater, I’m going to use it. My favorite fall topwater is has to be a walk-the-dog style lure. Going
with a match-the-hatch mentality, shad, bone and white would be my colors of choice. And some of the smaller versions will also replicate the appropriate size as well.
The second choice would be a popper, as it has the ability to start and stop the bait near targets will trigger strikes when a steady retrieve lure won’t.
TOP 2 SUBSURFACE SEARCH BAITS
There is a time when the topwater is just not working anymore (usually when the water drops below 60-degrees). Then it is still a chuck and wind/cover water approach, just subsurface. For getting bites and locating fish I believe a small 2.8-3.8 swimbait on a ball head is hard to beat.
Being able to fish various depth is also a major bonus. And the other lure of choice is “old school”, but a double willow spinnerbait can be deadly in the fall. And, the fishability around cover is bar none.
TOP 2 VERTICAL BAITS
Vertical baits are not typically the best search bait, but once you have located fish, they are a must-try. Firstly, I will attack them with a vertical jigging spoon. If they become wary of the flashy ripping chunk of metal, I will sneak a dropshot in on them. Any shad patterned worm in the appropriate size will keep them fired up.
To further your understanding of these essential channels, current flow, migration routes and feeding zones, study a map prior to your next outing. Whether its online,
paper map or electronics you will gather some
valuable insight. Look for these intricacies, mark
them, tie on your favorite shad-like lures and
catch some fall-feeders. •