Keeping Up with Fall BassBy Shane Beilue - October 27, 2020
Successful fall bass fishing is all about keeping up with hungry bass chasing very transient pods of shad previously ganged up along deeper main lake structure breaks but now found migrating to the backs of creeks and pockets. These groups of baitfish are notorious for being consistently inconsistent, meaning their migration efforts cause them to have a "here today, gone tomorrow" attitude, resulting in erratic bass fishing.
Together, these elements point to the need for a lure that allows the angler to cover large amounts of shallow cover in a day's time and is a strong imitation of the smaller baitfish. Say "hello" to my little friend, the Rapala Bx Brat. This is a small profile lure that casts surprisingly well for its size, comes through cover like an off-road vehicle and will put fish in the boat throughout the fall months.
One needs to fish a squarebill crank as a linebacker plays football: looking for contact. Bass are triggered to eat moving baits when the lure suddenly changes directions and swims erratically, so make sure the BX Brat is coming in consistent contact with the shallow bottom or any available cover in the area. The technique is to make a cast well beyond the target and make subtle adjustments to the lure's path by directing the rod tip toward the cover, be it a stump, bush, dock piling, etc. As the lure approaches, slow your retrieve just enough to allow the bill of the Brat to deflect off the cover, then speed the retrieve as the lure clears the cover to accentuate the erratic action of a wounded baitfish.
Finally, keep an open mind when approaching fall bass. Much like the stock market, past performance is not indicative of future gains in fall bass fishing. As previously indicated, where you caught them yesterday may be void of fish today, so stay on the move by changing locations within the creek or running previously unexplored shallow pockets. Think "stick and move" this time of year to keep up with the migrating bass.