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Publication: Bass Matters
Fall Fishing

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><> ><>       BASS MATTERS - October 18, 2006       ><> ><> 

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Hello Anglers,

Some people are fanatics about salvaging every shred of
meat. I'm not one to promote waste but it does little good 
to salvage 10% more meat but have 100% of it turn out with 
a poor flavor or to many bones. I am specifically talking 
about removing all bones or blood line when cleaning. I 
might through away a small amount of meat by cutting the 
ribs off of fillets or removing blood line but if I didn't 
do this I couldn't enjoy eating it, and that is the ultimate 
goal when cleaning fish.

P.S. You can discuss this issue or any other topic in the new 
Bass Matters forum. Check it out here...


Bass Matters Forum

Enjoy a week of fishing!
email Brock


Fall Transition Bass

When Mother Nature takes her brush and paints the leaves 
on our trees orange, yellow and brown. When Friday night
and Saturday afternoons are spent cheering on your favorite 
high school or college football team. When the air temp 
gets a little cooler at night and not nearly as high at 
mid-day. When the water temps in the upper regions of the 
lake begins to turn downward, it’s a signal that "Fall 
Transition" bass fishing is getting ready to "CRANK UP"!

Where Do You Begin?

It has been my experience over the years that bass will 
travel in the Fall right back to the same areas that I 
found them in during the spring spawning season. I begin 
to search out creeks and pockets in the upper region of 
the lake that has a lot of cover and where fresh water 
runs into the creek. This is an important fact that many
beginning bass fishermen either overlook or don’t under-
stand completely. Remember "Spawn" and "Fall Transition" 
bass patterns will always appear nearer where the river 
comes in verses areas nearer the dam. The larger the body 
of water the truer this fact becomes.

If weather patterns are normal, the fall season will bring 
us rain and falling temps. Fall also will bring "Cold 
Fronts" that we will talk more about later. Influx of fresh 
water will almost always result in greater oxygen levels, 
a greater shad population within the creeks, which in turn 
results in bass following the shad into these areas. Let’s 
talk a little bit about creeks.

Concentrate on Creeks In the Fall

As I stated earlier I like to concentrate on major creeks 
toward the head of the river first before in I attack small 
creeks, ditches and mid lake creeks. I like creeks that 
have plenty of cover. Creeks that are laden with lay down 
timber along the bank. Creeks with stump rows, chunk rock, 
sunken brush around boat docks and when possible grass and 
other aquatic weeds. I like creeks that have arms that 
provide multiple points. The ideal creek would be one where 
this structure is close to the dominate channel.

The reason for being close to the channel is four fold (1) 
Most of your major reservoir creek channels will have 
"Current" (2) Current means "Oxygen" (3) Current means 
"Food" "Shad & Bait Fish" (4) And "Deeper Water Access" .

If the creek that I have chosen is a big creek, that is 
wide at it’s mouth I always by pass the first portion and 
head straight toward the back where the creek narrows at 
it’s source and the channel is more defined. There is 
three reason for this (1) If a good shad population is 
present-it is much easier to stay on the bait, which is 
a vital link in being successful (2) Your chance of being 
closer to the creek current is much greater, which will 
help you take advantage of the structure that is available. 
(3) If your area should happen to experience a substantial 
rain, the influx of this dingier water many times will 
ignite bass into feeding frenzies.

To help you locate creeks and areas like we have discussed 
above you can use (1) a good topographical lake map (2) 
GPS with Maps capabilities (3) your electronics or (4) 
LUCK……I think I’ll try the first three. If you’re serious 
about being successful on the water you have to do your 
home work. 


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What About Fall Cold Fronts And Water Temp’s

In many respects we bass fishermen are a lot like the bass 
we pursue. For several months now everything has been more 
or less the same. It may been hot-but it’s been "Consist-
ently Hot" We learned to adapt to that and so did the fish. 
The bass found the right depth that provide them with the 
thermo cline and oxygen that they needed. If you worked at 
it, you were rewarded by catching bass in a fairly un-
changing pattern. But now change is in the air. Even as I 
write this article-day time temps are reaching the low 80’s 
but instead of those 70 degree nights we were experiencing 
just a few weeks ago the norm is now the high 40’s to mid 

Just like you and I feel the temperature change and begin 
to reach for that sweat shirt or light jacket in the morn-
ings the bass feel it to. Their metabolism and activity 
levels will begin to slow as we head into the late fall-
early winter time frame. Am I painting a picture of "Gloom 
& Doom for Fall bass fishing? No, not at all. I’m convinced 
that everything that I have outlined above can have a 
"GREATER" effect on the fisherman than it does the bass 
they say they want to catch. This time of the year it be-
comes a preparation and mental game. You have to be willing 
and able to adjust to these changes around you. Let me give 
you an example.

Let’s say your lake has experienced several days of cloudy
conditions and then a moderately severe cold front comes
through and you’re left with no clouds and only blue bird 
skies. What do you do? Pack up and go home? Watch football 
instead of fish? Not me! I stick with my creek game plan 
and work even more closely to the cover nearest the channel 
and slow my lure presentation down. But let me also add that 
in lakes like my home lake Old Hickory in Nashville Tenn-
essee a two or three degree drop in the surface temperature 
will have little to no effect on shallow fish. Those in 4 
feet of water or less. But if the sudden drop is greater 
than three degrees it can have a negative effect. This again 
enforces that fact that you need to know your creeks and 
where structure is close to the deeper channel areas that 
has moving water or current so that you can adjust according-

I guess the worst conditions would be if you experienced a 
drastic temperature drop that was accompanied by heavy cold 
rains that elevated the lake level. This cold water instead 
of pulling shad and baitfish up into the backs of the creek 
will push them out instead. My suggestion at that point 
would be to begin to move out further and further in the 
creek to try to find some stability in water temperature 
and shad activity. And there are times when you just have 
to let these situations pass and let the lake settle back 
down. I’ve had days in the Fall that were unbelievable in 
numbers and quality of fish. 

By: Rick McFerrin 


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