With summer soon transitioning into fall, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Jason Christie will be on the lookout for schooling activity. Bass feeding heavily for winter often drive baitfish to the surface where the forage runs out of room and the predators gobble as many as they can catch.

This creates tremendous opportunities for anglers, not only in the immediacy of a surface bite, but also in strategic recon. The bass will run around and follow baitfish, but there’s always something holding fish in that area, besides the food – a home base, of sorts.

“If they come up schooling, they’re usually living in that general area,” he said. “So, not only can you catch them on top, but you can go over and figure out where they’re living; whether they’re suspended in trees, on a brush pile or on a gravel bar.

“More so in September than any other time of the year, that’s all I’m doing – looking for activity on top of the water.”

Christie’s first choice is a Heddon One Knocker Spook – a bait he feels will catch the bigger fish. If they won’t bite the topwater, or if the bigger fish are holding low and refusing to come up, he’ll throw  a YUM Money Minnow on a ½-ounce head and swim it through various levels of the water column.