September 29, 2022
By Bryan Kidd
Edited by Graham Purcell
Fall is settling in quick for a lot of us across the states. This usually means aggressive feeding and bass in all the water columns blasting bait with reckless abandon. Below, I will be outlining my top four presentations and must have gear for the season. These are all baits that I am actively catching them on and I think they will start to pull numbers for you too. These shouldn’t come as any surprise to most of you who have been around for a while, but I hope this helps some of our newer anglers.
Technique #1: Bladed Jig
As the bass push back into creeks and bays and the temperatures start to Fall, the chatterbait bite will continue to get better. For me, it is difficult to beat a Z-Man Jackhammer in those scenarios. A lot of us are seeing more rain now and the water is getting dirtier. The heavy thump of this bait is key to triggering bites.
- Colors of choice: Baby Bluegill, B-Hite Delight, Dirty White, and Blueback Herring
- Alternative Baits: Berkley Slobberknocker, Strike King Thunder Cricket, or any of Z-Man’s Chatterbaits
- My Gear: Champion XP 736CB Glass – Shimano Metanium MGL151 – Sunline Assassin (15 lb.)
- Alternative Rods: Dobyns DC734C, Expride 72MH Glass, G. Loomis IMX-Pro 883BJR
Technique #2: Topwater Walking Bait
The Megabass Giant Dog-X is one of my favorite walking baits. It is very easy to walk, casts like a bullet, and it flat out gets bit. This is a must have this time of year as bass are pushing shad to the surface.
- Colors of choice: Gill, NC Ayu and HT ITO Wakasagi
- Alternative Baits: Evergreen SB-105, Heddon Super Spook, or Heddon Super Spook Jr.
- My Gear: G. loomis GCX 845CBR – Daiwa Steez SV TW 7.1:1 – Sunline Armilo (17 lb.)
- Alternative rods: Dobyns Champion XP 705CB, 764, or 765CB
Technique #3: Ned Rig
I will always have a finesse option ready to throw year-round. You’ve heard me beat the dead dropshot horse to death so I will mention my next runner up, the Ned rig. This technique gets especially deadly during fall cold fronts or around schools that otherwise aren’t hitting baits. I particularly like how the Z-Man Finesse TRD mimics a dead/dying bait fish and it is, after all, the OG commercial Ned Rig bait. You’ll notice this time of year I choose colors that look like baitfish.
- Colors of choice: Mud Minnow, The Deal, White, Game Changer
- Alternative Baits: Yamamoto Ned Senko, Missile Baits Ned Bomb, or Roboworm NED Worm
- My Gear: G. Loomis NRX+ 821 NRR – Shimano Stradic 2500 – Sunline SX1 (12 lb.) – Sniper Leader (7 lb.)
- Alternative Rods: It is hard to beat the NRX+ NRR, but you could substitute with a 2 power Dobyns Kaden, Champion XP, or Champion Extreme -or- Any Medium Light Shimano spinning rod in the Zodias or Expride series.
Technique #4: Jerkbait
No respectable fall list is complete without mentioning the tried-and-true jerkbait and no respectable jerkbait angler’s arsenal is complete without what many consider to be the best bait in this category; The Megabass Vision 110. I list the vision as the pick because of its unmistakable performance. You can change it out for whatever brand had your confidence as long as you don’t leave it at home!
- Colors of choice: Mat Shad, Elegy Bone and French pearl OB (If you have these 3 you should be able to cover every situation)
- Alternative Baits: Berkley Stunna 112, Jackall Rerange 110, or Spro McStick 110
- My Gear: My Combo: Ark Reinforcer 6’8 M (Coming Very Soon) – Shimano Metanium MGL 151XG – Sunline Sniper (10 lb.)
- Alternative Rods: Shimano Expride 610M, Megabass Orochi XX Jerkbait Special, or St. Croix Legend Tournament 68M XF
This can be a very frustrating yet rewarding time of year to fish. Frustrating because you’re often competing with massive clouds of baitfish in an effort to present your bait and rewarding because you’re fishing for the gluttonous bass stuffing their bellies with those same baitfish that you’re fighting against.
We hope that you’re able to get out on the water as much as possible before the temperatures push fish out into their Winter haunts. This season has a tendency to slip away from us as quickly as it arrives, so get out there and bend your rod on some giants before Fall ends!