The fall transition can be one of the most difficult times of the year to locate and catch bass. After reading through this guide you will have a better understanding of what bass are doing, where they are going and how to catch them.
During the fall bass are chasing bait fish trying to bulk up for the winter. The transition begins when nighttime and morning temperatures start to cool off. This generally takes place over a 1-2 month period between September and October, depeneding where you are in the country.
Fall Transition Periods
- Early Fall – During the late summer, early fall is some of the toughest fishing of the year. August and September are considered by many to be two of the hardest months to fish. During this time bass are constantly moving between many different areas of the water column. They might be suspended, roaming chasing shad, moving to different depths.
- Mid Fall – The mid-fall is when you start to have significant temperature drops, particularly at night. These temperature drops at night will start slowly lowering the water temperature. Water levels will often start slowly dropping during this time too. This will kick off the first noticeable transition. Bass will start being a lot more active up shallow. This is when you can start catching more bass on topwater, spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and other moving baits. If your lake has a lot of suspended fish you will notice they start coming up to the surface around main lake points and secondary points. In lakes that are clear with 5ft+ of visibility, bass will start to group up deep in really big schools. This is the perfect situation for catching big bags of fish.
- Late Fall – During the late fall, you will notice a more radical change in water temperature. During late October and November, you will see water temperatures 15 – 20 degrees colder than they were in the early fall. Once you start getting water temperatures in the 50s you should notice an improvement overall fishing. This is when you will have big schools of large bass (3-5lb) move up shallow. They often go in the back of coves.