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Publication: Bass Matters
Fall Transition Bass

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><> ><>        BASS MATTERS - August 16, 2006        ><> ><> 

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        * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Hello Anglers,

Always check your drag on your reel before making your first 
cast. Most drags will not work smoothly after they have been 
set up. You have to 'unstick' them before you can depend on 

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: Tips For The Beginner
By Rick McFerrin 

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"! 

Over the next several paragraphs within this article, it is 
my intention to share with you some of the techniques and 
patterns that I look for during this time of the year. There 
is one thing you must keep in mind concerning "Season Change". 
It doesn't always mean that there will be a hungry bass next 
to every log, under every boat house, hiding in every weed 
bed or suspended off every creek channel point. 

But under normal circumstances it does mean this...Large-
mouth will almost always repeat the same migration routes 
that they used in the spring. If you will stop right there, 
and think about that for a moment it will give you some real 
insight where you can begin your search for Fall Transition 
Bass. Let's examine this fact a little further. 

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 understand 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 

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 its mouth I always by pass the first portion and head 
straight toward the back where the creek narrows at its 
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 Temps 

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 "Consistently 
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 unchanging pattern. But now change is in the air. 
Even as I write this article-day time temps are reaching the 
low 80s but instead of those 70 degree nights we were 
experiencing just a few weeks ago the norm is now the high 
40s to mid 50s. 

Just like you and I feel the temperature change and begin to 
reach for that sweat shirt or light jacket in the mornings 
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 
becomes a preparation and mental game. You have to be will-
ing 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 Tennessee 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 accordingly. 

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 

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Question of the Week

                  FISHING JOKES CORNER

While sports fishing off the Florida coast, a tourist cap-
sized his boat. He could swim, but his fear of alligators 
kept him clinging to the overturned craft. Spotting an old 
beachcomber standing on the shore, the tourist shouted, "Are 
there any gators around here?!"

"Naw," the man hollered back, "Ain't been any for years!"

Feeling safe, the tourist started swimming toward the shore. 
As he got closer to shore he shouted to the guy again, "What 
did you do to get rid of the gators?"

"We didn't do nothin," the beachcomber said. "The sharks got 
'em all."

Questions? Comments? email: Email brock
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