Fall has many distinct memories for different individuals, some think of the leaves changing colors, others think football, but for me I think BIG BASS! With cooler temperatures, less boat traffic and grouped up bass that are feeding heavily before winter, fall is a great time to get out and catch a lot of bass that are big.
Whether I’m fishing the Mississippi River or a lake around the Twin Cities, tossing a Snag Proof Frog around the remaining shallow water lily pads and grass is one of my favorite ways to target big fall bass. The bass will move up shallow into the remaining lily pads and now that some of those pads have died off, it is easier for a bass to key in on your frog as you work it over the vegetation and out into open water.
Another technique I use to target fall bass is flipping jigs and plastics to isolated pieces of cover. As the cool night temperatures begin to kill off some of the milfoil in the lakes in Minnesota, I like to go flip the remaining living, green milfoil. Since the vast majority of this vegetation has died off or gone dormant for the year, the bass will school up in the areas where the good, green vegetation is still. Not only does this help you as an angler quickly find fish, but also once you find those fish they’ll be grouped up and ready to bite.
Since I’m flipping this milfoil in anywhere from 5 to 10 feet of water, I’ll either rely on a ½ oz. jig in black/blue or green pumpkin or more commonly I’ll flip a Texas-rigged soft plastic. My Texas-rig consists of a ½ oz. Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp tungsten weight that is pegged with a bobber stop, then a 4/0 Trokar TK130 Flippin’ hook.
When flipping to this vegetation, I flip it along the edges or in the open water pockets and let the bait sink to the bottom. Once it is to the bottom, I’ll pop it up and down a few times and if I didn’t get a bite, I’ll reel it up. This bite is a very strong reaction bite, which is why I don’t let my bait sit in one spot to long. When I do find a productive area of milfoil, I’ll drop my Minn Kota Talon, so I don’t need to worry about running my trolling motor. With the Talon, I also don’t have to worry about blowing into or away from my target as I re-rig or unhook a bass.
Since you’re flipping very heavy cover, you need to get a solid hook set to get the bass turned out of that vegetation so you’ll get them in the boat. Using a braided line and flipping stick rod will help drive the hook into the fish’s mouth and then help you get them out of the cover. I use Seaguar Kanzen 60 lb. braided line and a 7’6” Wright & McGill Micro Guide Heavy Cover rod. What is so unique and beneficial about the Micro Guides is that they give you increased sensitivity because your line is closer to the rod blank, along with increased casting distance since there is less resistance by the guides.
With only another month or so until our beautiful fall has turned into winter and the lakes become hard, I highly recommend that you get out on your favorite lake or river and take advantage of some great fall fishing opportunities for big bass.
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