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Late-Fall Largemouth Bass: ChatterBait Time!

By Lake-Link Staff - October 19, 2022
While October and November finds most Midwest anglers hitting tree stands and flushing birds, there's a hardcore group willing to brave the elements for one of the best largemouth bass bites of the year. The only problem? Given unpredictable weather and water temperatures largemouth bass can be literally anywhere on a body of water, from shallow to deep. Our advice? Put the bowmount trolling motor on high and cover lots of water-and use your electronics to your advantage.
One of the very best power fishing plays to cover water effectively is using a ChatterBait like the Ron Davis-designed original, the multi-tournament-winning ZMan JackHammer or larger-size ZMan BigBlade ChatterBait. We talked with southern Minnesota-based B.A.S.S. Elite Pro, Seth Feider, and picked his brain about late-fall largies on bladed jigs. Truly a master with the ChatterBait-his tournament record speaks for itself-he spent time with us outlining his late-fall, early-winter bass program. While Feider loves to hunt, he doesn't put the boat away until the very bitter end... If he's not in the tree stand, you can find him pounding water for largies throughout the Midwest.

Feider's ChatterBait Program

"I think fishing ChatterBaits is probably the best way to fish late-fall to early-winter largemouths," says Feider. "Like a bladebait is to fishing smallmouths in the same conditions, the ChatterBait rules cold-water largies in late season. I throw the heavy 3/4th-ounce bait and just slow roll it along the bottom. I also fish it like a bladebait , pumping it and letting it fall back down to the bottom, which often triggers bites. But typically I fish it on a slow crawl over hard bottom or the last remaining weeds."
In late-season Feider throws 3/4-ounce baits exclusively to keep the presentation along bottom where the fish are typically feeding. "The rest of the year I'm throwing a 3/8- or ½-ounce, fishing them high in the water column like a spinnerbait. I use a little lighter line, too, in late-fall and early-winter with the ¾-ounce bait-15- vs. 20-lb. fluoro-to keep the bait down along the bottom in 10- to 12-feet of water."

With regards to rod/reel set-up, Feider likes the moderate, parabolic action of a Daiwa Tatula 7'4" heavy-action fiberglass rod with 7.1:1 Tatula SV baitcasting reel.

High-Probability Locations

"Depends on the lake, but on clear waters with a lot of vegetation I'm looking for that last bit of good grass that's hanging on in 6- to 8-foot of water," says Feider. "Everything else kinds of dies off in shallower and deeper water. In dirty water lakes I'll fish hard bottom areas like rocky points and any rock, gravel, and sand I locate on my electronics."

Bait Color? Match Forage

"Although I carry rods with whitish and black and blue ChatterBaits which will catch fish, I tend to stay with the green pumpkin bait colors in the Midwest to match the bluegill and crawfish forage. ZMan makes one, the Brett Hite Delight, that's green pumpkin on the back with a little bit of chartreuse on the belly. I like that one a lot, or just plain green pumpkin with the painted blade if I'm in a clear water situation. I really try to mimic bluegills that are low in the water column. But sometimes white works well too, especially if there are shiners or shad running, like in a river situation," shares Feider.

In terms of dressing the ChatterBait with a trailer, Feider uses the ZMan Razor Shad to streamline the bait. "You get so much action out of the bait I don't think you need a big boot-tail plastic. Subtle action can be better when it's cold."

Get On the Water Now!

Looking some late-season largemouth bass action? Take B.A.S.S. Elite angler Seth Feider's advice and sling a ChatterBait on the waters near you! Even in low water and air temperatures, they just flat-out perform.
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