By Dustin Elder

Noted guide Mike Siefert loves to target shallow water bass, like at his home waters of Lake Millwood in southern Arkansas. These are his tips for skinny water bass fishing in the fall.

Mike said the biggest tip he can give for the fall on shallow water impoundments is to be sure that you have strong line, because the fishing is at one of its peaks with the cooler temperatures settling in. He recommends a strong copolymer line such as Silver Thread AN40 for crankbaits and other reaction baits, and Silver Thread Fluorocarbon for slow moving lures like jigs and plastics. The need for the line stems from the success this time of year, the last call I made with Mike he described catching anywhere from 50-80 per day. Most of his catches were coming on crankbaits like the Bomber Fat Free Fingerling and Guppy around stumps, standing timber, and lily pads in backwater areas.

The first question I had when he described the lures, and areas he is targeting was how do you find the fish in these spots? His answer was pretty simple, and that was he follows the movement of bait as they follow creek channels. Bass in the fall are very baitfish driven due to their internal alarms going off warning them of the coming winter and lack of food ahead. Most times he can find the bait by identifying breaking fish chasing schools of shad to the top near the breaks in the various rivers that flow into Lake Millwood and shallow flats adjacent to creek channel bends. If Mike finds a population of bass he targets them from all angles with crankbaits like the Fat Free Shad, and with overhead presentations with Cotton Cordell CC Spoons. The Spoon is the closest shad imitator and can be lights out when bass are found stacked up on a creek channel bend or over cover.

Lakes similar to Millwood with shallow water and abundant cover such as standing timber, rock, and weeds have similar occurrences in the late fall with the bass being very reliant on shad. So, to be the most efficient try following a creek as far back as you possibly can and key in on visible cover while you work your way out to the mouth of the creek. At some point in this search you are sure to run into some bass and hopefully put together a decent pattern.