For most of the country, fall is upon us. The leaves are starting to turn, most people have left the lakes for the woods, the water is getting cooler, and the bass are feeding up for the winter. When the water starts to drop into the 60s the bait begins to moves shallow, and the bass aren’t far behind. There are a lot of baits that work on these aggressive fish, but my favorite is a lipless crankbait.
I believe the thing that makes these baits so effective that they are the exact same size and shape of the shad this time of year. But lipless crankbaits are an often misunderstood tool. They hold stigmas that they only work in cold water or in grass filled lakes. While these are true, traps can make awesome open water baits. The key is you have to get them moving fast enough that the fish have a hard time deciding between it and the real deal.
As the shad begin their migration farther back into the creeks they begin moving around frantically. You often see them darting around the blades of your trolling motor. They become less and less related to structure and become more vulnerable. The bass also leave the safety of structure, and often in large groups’ gang up on the helpless shad.
Using a Dobyns Champion 705 Cb, a 7.1:1 Gear Ratio Daiwa Zillion, 15-20 pound Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon line, and a ½ ounce Strike King Red Eye Shad I target these fish by putting the boat in the middle of the pocket and fan casting. Focus on the places where the creeks flatten out and you have a lot of water between 5 and 10 feet. The bass roam these flats and get fat eating the confused shad.
Fall is my favorite time of year to fish. The weather is perfect, the lakes are empty, the bass are feeding, and you don’t have to finesse them. Speed trapping is power fishing to its core. It is a workout, and believe me you’ll be tired when the day is over, but it is one of the most rewarding patterns this time of year. If you think you are reeling too fast, reel faster!
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