Fall Largemouth Bass Patterns

Fishing - Fall Largemouth Bass Patterns

Bass are known to make seasonal movements due to changes in water temperature, daylight hours and lake turnover. By understanding their patterns, one can better anticipate when and what type of bait fish they may follow.

Fall’s cooler temperatures prompt bait fish schools to seek refuge in coves, creek arms and river tributaries with dense food sources; providing largemouth with an opportunity to fatten up for winter’s spawn.

Water Temperature

Water temperature plays a key role in fall bass behavior. The cooler waters that flood northern reservoirs during the autumn months is an incredible game changer for these fish. During summertime, oxygen-depleted waters form what is known as a thermocline in most lakes – as temperatures cool off this layer begins to mix, bringing oxygen-rich waters closer to the surface. Bait schools become active once again as largemouth bass fishers hunt them down as an easy meal source.

The fall turnover also alters the structures largemouth bass use as cover, such as hydrilla, water willows, and lily pads that they rely on to find sustenance. Hydrilla die-off begins during this transition period as forage fish displace forage from their hiding places to concentrate around remaining vegetation – creating an opportunity to fish heavy cover using shad imitators lures as largemouths search out food in these patches of vegetation.

As temperatures in the water decrease, humps, rock piles and long deep points become increasingly appealing to bass. Rock structures like these typically retain heat longer than their surroundings which attract bait fish as well as larger predators such as bass. Furthermore, it serves as an effective ambush site when looking for food higher up the food chain.

Early fall fishing locations should be prioritized prior to water temperature drops becoming too dramatic. I have had great days targeting these locations using small swimbaits or suspending jerkbaits on light jigheads. Also worth exploring in early fall is shallow crankbait fishing; by dragging this bait along rocky points or thick beds of lily pads you could find some of the biggest bass of the year! This method requires minimal equipment beyond rod, reel and lure that resembles baitfish (e.g. your favorite baitfish-shaped lure).

Water Clarity

Water clarity is a significant component of fall largemouth bass patterns. As water temperatures decrease, bass shift towards areas that provide oxygen rich environments more conducive for forage fish such as shad. They also seek sheltered spots that tend to be warmer than surrounding waters such as hard rocky shoreline features or river channel banks – these may not provide as many predatory opportunities, but still offer enough food and cover to support predatory instincts within these bass populations.

Once bass have located food and cover during their short excursions, they are poised to return deeper water through turnover – typically starting in September. As this occurs, vegetation such as hydrilla, water willows and lily pads begin to thin out which has two impacts – first it reduces places for bass to hide while accessing remaining cover more easily; and secondly it allows more light penetration which triggers feeding to fatten up for winter months when food supply may become scarcer.

As the transition period advances, bass may migrate multiple times daily between deeper and shallower waters, requiring patience, persistence and an adaptable mindset from bass anglers. On-the-water experience coupled with reading books/magazines/the internet are invaluable assets in finding bass.

Largemouth bass during their transition period should look for breaks with plenty of cover and depth options that abut a deep bay or long, deep ledge that contains clear waters with deep bays or long, deep ledges. Once in these spots, largemouths tend to “refuel” on large threadfin shad that remain abundant here until moving off again in search of colder deeper waters; topwater lures like Zara Spooks make ideal choices at this time of year.


Long summer days bring largemouth bass out into shallow waters to spawn and feed heavily to prepare for the coming winter. They typically move into coves, creek arms, and small river tributaries for optimal feeding opportunities; typically the bait fish they follow this time of year are more tightly packed together than they were during Summer, making it easier for bass to locate them.

Transitioning from Summer to Fall fishing can often prove frustrating due to unpredictable water temperature changes reaching their spawning and feeding triggers, and an individual lake warming up at different rates than its neighbouring bodies of water.

As temperatures decrease and vegetation thins out, bass will move into the back reaches of coves and creeks to ambush unsuspecting schools of shad. A lipless crankbait in chrome or colors resembling those seen on school shad, suspending jerkbait, spinner bait with willow leaf blades or small swimbait rigged on a light jighead are all effective tools when fish are actively hunting them down in coves and flats.

Bass will roam near the surface at dawn and dusk during early autumn, gorging themselves on shad thrown into the air by feeding hordes of spawning shad. Look out for large schools of baitfish on the surface or use binoculars to locate these spots; topwater stickbaits such as Zara Spooks or shallow running crankbaits rigged on weedless worm hooks can produce lots of quality bass during this period.

As temperatures cool off, bass tend to move into deeper water in search of energy reserves for their upcoming winter habitat. They may appear in middle or lower areas where shad are commonly stocked as they seek their winter homes – though deeper, main lake areas will likely also offer them shelter from predators.

Weed Cover

Weed cover is one of the key factors in fall Largemouth bass patterns. From July on, anglers have seen large schools of bass devouring baitfish in shallow, weedy areas – often feeding off of them while they remain active until temperatures decrease and feeding behavior shifts due to winter-like temperatures. When temperatures change again they adjust accordingly with their feeding behavior adjusting as temperatures do too.

As temperatures cool off, weed beds and milfoil begin to die off, bass move toward the edges where they can still feed on shad and other baitfish that have moved there to escape dying weeds. Now is an excellent opportunity to fish these lines using various lure presentations such as lipless crankbaits, suspending jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits.

On days with clear water, bass often gather around hard cover like wood, rip-rap rocks and manmade structures. This pattern typically starts early fall and may last weeks to even months depending on lake conditions.

As temperatures drop and the bass become colder, they will move back into deeper waters to prepare for another harsh Northern Winter. They may seek shelter in back waters coves bays creek arms or river tributaries while hunting baitfish to fatten up before the winter and searching for cover against frigid winds.

Fall transition is an ideal opportunity to target all forms of water structure. Search for bass hunkered down underneath docks, on sloping points or along rock bluffs; stacking in back of creeks feeding on baitfish such as shad or carp. Areas where creek arms meet the main lake can also be effective bass spots; once found work your lure along that entire weed line to catch more.

One of the BEST patterns for EARLY FALL bass fishing!

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