Why guess at the best lures to use when you can call on the expertise of one of the world’s most accomplished bass anglers?
Early fall bass fishing presents challenges. The fish stay on the move and can be in many different types of areas. With changing conditions, they also can be a bit moody. That said, if you understand seasonal bass behavior and use lures and approaches that capitalize on that knowledge, fishing can be very good this time of year.
With that in mind, we talked with Jason Christie and got his picks for the 10 best lures for early fall bass fishing. Plus, we're going to give your 15% off Jason Christie's featured top 10 early fall bass lures. See below for details.
The One Knocker Spook, which is Jason Christie’s favorite Spook due to its distinctive sound and its size, plays a critical role for early fall bass fishing because he can use it to cover water and call up bass. Easy to cast and work quickly, a One Knocker Spook helps you find fish over structure or bait schools and to work broad areas. It also excels for casting to schooling bass, which commonly come up unexpectedly this time of year. The Bone Head color, recently created exclusively for the One Knocker Spook by Christie’s request, uses a classic Bone base and suggests a shad extremely well.
The Covert Series was built to Christie’s specifications, so it’s probably not surprising that he keeps at least one on his deck all the time during early fall. The 1/2-ounce Tandem, which is a Colorado/willow combination, provides versatility to easily cover the entire water column. You can cast close to the bank, fish it parallel to a laydown or through stumps or other cover, or slow roll it just of the bottom. You can probably guess that the JC in JC Special stands for Jason Christie. It is a chartreuse/white combination with black on the back that imitates shad extremely well and provides good visibility in a range of conditions.
Matted vegetation plays an important role on many lakes during early fall, and a Pad Crasher is ideal for calling fish from that kind of cover. Don’t limit this lure to mats or lily pad fields, though. It’s outstanding for working banks quickly to find feeding fish in shade pockets, beside bushes and near all kinds of cover. You can fish a Pad Crasher through virtually anything, and it prompts explosive strikes. Christie likes Cricket Frog best this time of year because the white belly suggests shad.
Many bass anglers don’t associate a glimmery color like Tinfoil with a classic flipping bait like a Christie Critter. However, Jason Christie considers any failure to make that association a significant oversight. Again, bass are relating heavily to shad right now, and Tinfoil flashes shad-like colors and provides great visibility. Christie always has one on for early fall bass fishing, and he picks up that rod frequently until the water temperature sinks to the low 60s. A Christie Critter is outstanding for pitching or flipping around laydowns and docks, which often have shad around them, and for swimming through vegetation.
A BOOYAH XCS 100 has a square bill that allows it to deflect cover extremely well, and runs true, even when fished quickly, prompting reaction strikes. It is 2 5/16 inches long, which is a perfect size for matching the smaller shad that tend to be prevalent during early fall, but at 1/2 ounce it is heavy enough for long casts, allowing you to cover water efficiently. Christie especially likes an XCS 100 Series crankbait for covering water when it’s too windy to effectively flip or fish a frog. Foxy Shad is his color of choice for imitating shad in a broad range of conditions.
A buzzbait suggests fleeing baitfish and allows you to work banks and edges of weedlines quickly to find active bass during early fall. Not surprisingly, Christie favors White to suggest shad. He opts for the 3/8-ounce size for the sake of a slightly smaller profile to match the forage. The War Eagle Buzzbait has a loud squeak right out of the package for added attraction, and it planes well to get to the surface easily and stay there.
Dingers are simply too productive and too versatile to not have in a top 10 lures mix. They produce bass year-round and can be hooked weedless or with an open hook and fished weighted or unweighted, opening a host of options for different waterways and for largemouth, smallmouth and spots. Green Pumpkin Purple Flake is a highly natural color that bass cannot resist, and a Dinger in this color provides an excellent subsurface option for working around cover in areas where the bass are feeding primarily on bluegills.
The Screamin Eagle spinnerbait is all about speed, which makes it ideal for early fall, when fish stay on the move, following schools of baitfish, and covering water tends to be important. It has a small frame, even in the 3/4-ounce size that Christie favors this time of year, which helps it match smaller shad. Christie picks up a Screamin Eagle when he wants to get a bait deeper but still wants to keep his lure moving quickly. He likes the Nickel Double Willow for the sake of maximized flash with less resistance, again for the sake of working deeper but still being able to cover water.
As important as it is to fish quickly and find fish during early fall, bass are still bass, and some of the big ones will bury themselves in treetops and other cover, especially when late-season storms add color to the water. You need a bait you can put in front of those fish and that is equipped to get big bass out of the thick stuff. Everything about the JIU-JIGSU’s design facilitates getting into the thickest cover without snagging and then prompting strikes and hauling bass out of the cover. GP Orange Craw can suggest a crawfish or a bluegill and provides good visibility in stained water.
Rounding out Jason Christie’s top 10 for early fall bass fishing, a BOOYAH Boss Pop provides an excellent topwater option for calling up fish that are holding close to laydowns, under docks, along weedlines or close to other cover. You can work it quickly to cover water, when needed, but you also can create a commotion without moving it far from a piece of cover to coax bass into attacking. A Boss Pop imitates a bluegill effectively, and bluegill and related sunfish commonly provide important forage near shallow cover. With that in mind, Christie likes the Bream color best.
Use the code TOPPICKS at checkout for 15 percent off Jason Christie's featured top 10 early fall bass lures. Offer expires Nov. 30, 2021.