Autumn Topwater

Pop-R, One Knocker Spook Crazy Shad, Pad Crasher

Any time you can tie on a lure in the morning and fish it confidently all day, that’s a good thing. Make that a topwater lure that prompts violent attacks, and a good thing becomes a great thing!

Welcome to autumn.

Moderating water temperatures, an instinctive drive to “feed up” before winter and shallow congregations of shad and other forage species make bass active and prompt them to look high in the water column this time of year. Surface lures get their attention and prompt strikes all day long.

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Bad to the Bone

Bomber 15A Long A, Bone

Bad to the Bone

“Bone, of course.”

Even if the words, “of course,” aren’t stated, they are implied in the answer any time you ask a Bone enthusiast what color is producing.

Strikingly simple, highly visible and fabulous for suggesting the whitish flash of many forage fish species, the lure color “Bone” transcends being a good color in the minds of many anglers. For certain applications – like waking a Bomber Long A across a slick-calm surface – Bone is seen by many as the only color.

Beyond a Long A, other baits that Bone owns among certain anglers include several classic topwater lures. Heddon Spooks in various models, Rebel Jumpin’ Minnows, Cotton Cordell Pencil Poppers and Bomber Badonk-A-Donks all have core users who choose Bone over anything else because it offers great visibility from a below in a broad range of conditions and looks like dinner (and, most importantly, because it produces fish!)

Bandit Series 100, Series 200 and Series 300 crankbaits, Bandit Rack-Its and Bomber Long Shots are among the most popular sub-surface lures in Bone.

Two brand new Cotton Cordell Red-Fin colors, Pale Perch and Bone Appetit, are painted on a Bone base, providing Classic Bone visibility and appeal as a backdrop to natural color patterns.

Bone, although productive year ‘round, works extra well during autumn, when shad congregate and migrate shallow in reservoirs and saltwater baitfish of various kinds push close to beaches, opening frenzied fishing opportunities for everything from stripers to bluefish to tarpon.

How about you? In what situations, do you insist on Bone, and what species do you expect to catch?

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Shad Time

Super Spook, Sonar, Bandit 200, Thin N, BOOYAH Spinnerbait, Super Spot


See surface dimples, scattered splashes or water that appears dark in areas from hordes of baitfish swimming just beneath the surface? You could be close to tapping into excellent autumn fishing action.

Late in the summer, shad congregate in massive schools, and as summer begins giving way to autumn, those schools begin moving predictably into tributary arms of reservoirs and eventually onto shallow flats well up creek and river arms.

Not surprisingly, where thousands of shad gather, feeding bass are typically nearby. Although some fish will continue to relate to crawfish, bluegills or other forage and can be caught various ways, there is no more dependable way to find and catch bass this time of year than to locate shad schools and use lures that “match the hatch.”

Because the shad play such an important part during fall, it is prudent to spend time searching out the biggest baitfish concentrations before making a cast. A reservoir’s largest creek arms typically attract the biggest schools, which show up first near creek mouths and work their way back as the season progresses. Sometimes you need electronics to find the bait. Often, you will spot little rings on top when the shad roll or will see the shad themselves if they are high in the water column and the water is reasonably clear. Other times, bass pushing shad on the surface will give away the bait and the bass.



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Big Walleyes from the Bank

Smithwick Rogue Bomber 15A

Better from the bank?

Many areas provide quality fishing access to anglers who don’t own boats. Often, though, these seem like bonuses, where shoreline anglers “also” can enjoy fine opportunities. The fall walleye night bite contrasts this notion. In many places bank fishing or is substantially better than boat fishing and provides outstanding big-fish opportunities.

On autumn nights walleyes push surprisingly shallow to feed. Moving tight to the shore in many lakes and onto bars at the heads of holes in river, they get in spots that would be difficult to work effectively from most boats and where navigation could be treacherous after hours. Anglers who work from the shore, or occasionally by shallow wading, but still on foot, can fish key zones very thoroughly.

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