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Adjusting To The Fall-Winter Transition

By Jaxton Orr - November 20, 2020
Nothing is better than the magic of fall fishing. Frigid water temperatures paired with cold, windy and rainy weather provide the perfect recipe for catching feeding bass in quantity. The conditions for catching a lunker are optimum during this time of year as Mother Nature sheds her leaves and orchestrates her transition to winter. The period ranging from the middle of October to the end of November has always been, by far, my favorite time of the year to go bass fishing.

Toward the end of fall, bass will relate heavily to cover such as weed lines, suspended grass flats, submerged rock and wood. When bass are relating to rock, any crank bait that dives deep enough to ricochet off of the rocks is key. My favorite (and most successful) crank bait to throw during the fall-winter transition is the Rapala DT series in the dark brown crawdad pattern. I am also a big fan of a Ned rig and a football jig in any type of green-pumpkin to amber-red pattern during this time. When fishing wood, it is always a great idea to have to have a structure jig and a square bill tied on. The fish are very lethargic this time of the year and it may take ten to fifteen casts on a given laydown just to get a single bite.

Personally, my favorite way to catch fish during the late fall months are on prominent weed lines and grass flats. Weed lines act as highways for the bait fish to travel. Largemouth are predators and strategically create their own camouflaged cubby holes just inside the grass lines where they can ambush any bait swimming by. Ideally, I position my boat on the outside of the weed line and cast perpendicular and parallel to it using a vibrating jig in a natural color (hint: it always helps to have a sprinkle of red or orange in the skirt). My absolute favorite rod to throw a vibrating jig on is the AXC70MHF, hand crafted by St. Croix Rod. Since the water temperatures are so cold during the fall-winter transition, it's always very important to reel painfully slow because the cold water slows the fish's metabolism and causes them to be lethargic.

Moving on to grass flats: think of a grass flat as a rest stop for fish. More than likely there will be bait on almost every grass flat that you find. The bait will not normally be densely grouped together, nor will they be moving very fast, but they will be scattered throughout the weeds. Spinnerbaits, weedless swimbaits, and vibrating jigs are always productive on grass flats. The key is a slow retrieve as you work your chosen through and above the grass.

The fall-winter transition is definitely an ideal time to get out, catch an abundance of fish and possibly set a new personal best. No matter where you live or how cold the water temperatures might be, the fish are there and ready to bite. Success is simple: fish where the fish are, throw the right baits and have the right equipment to get them in the boat.

Gear Used

Jaxton Orr
Jaxton Orr is an exceptional kayak angler from Fort Wayne, Indiana, competing in national and local kayak tournaments for the past four years. Jaxton has amassed 20 first place finishes, ten second place finishes and seven third place finishes. was most recently the runner-up KBF National Champion. He exudes positive energy through his passion for the sport, his heartfelt humility, and his eagerness to teach others about the joy of fishing.
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