By Scott Norton

Bass have been on the move for weeks now and they should be settling into the fall pattern. Just like the spawn, bass will come into this pattern in waves but if you have been fishing the transition, these bass have been on the move. You will find them one day and they’re gone the next. In those different waves are two groups of bass, those in the deep and those in up shallow. Those up shallow will hold to hard cover to ambush forage and the ones down deep will corral and push shad to the surface where bass have the advantage.

When selecting baits for this kind of application, think of shad, or small panfish on their menu. Lures to use for bass up shallow are square bill cranks, flukes, spinner baits, glide baits, and top water walking baits. Targeting bass in the deep, I recommend deep cranks, spy baits, jerk baits, blade baits, flutter spoons, burrito baits, lipless cranks, swim baits, and top water walking baits. These baits will cover all the situations you come across in the fall. There are more baits that a will work, just make sure they imitate shad or pan fish. In fisheries, they feed on crayfish so imitate this around rock.

Where these bass end up are backs of the bays, creeks, and fingers. They will eventually push all the shad in all these places and then they will feed there until the water cools to a winter temperature. Once they reach this destination, you will see these bass go into a frenzy feeding up for those winter months. Just make sure you adjust your baits’ action to the attitude of the bass. Do not use slow finesse baits during this time. Use the reactive, loud, and flashy baits instead. Aggressive baits will fire up schools of bass and you can load the boat with numbers of fish.

Another advantage in the fall is that most anglers turn to deer hunting at this time, and the crowd will thin out the closer you get to those hunting seasons. There is lots of great fishing all the way into deep winter if you’re determined to keep fishing. Your opportunities will grow for bigger and better bass, especially in the winter. Just prepare for those cold mornings. Being comfortable helps you focus on the prize. Have fun this season and introduce a new person to fishing.

Scott Norton is a Western North Carolina native. Born in Asheville, N.C., he is a long-time hunter, angler and weekend warrior.