Fall/Early Winter Bait Choices, Part 1

Mike Iaconelli with SS Lover
Mike Iaconelli

We’ve had a few cold nights here in New Jersey. Fall has arrived. I’m excited about that because it’s one of my favorite times to fish for bass. Big or little, they’re aggressive so you don’t need a tackle box that weighs 40 pounds to catch them.  All you need to do is find the forage and throw any of the five baits I’m going to tell you about over the next month.

You can’t put too much importance on what I just said about the forage. There is no time — and I do mean NO time — of the year when forage is more important than in the fall and early winter. The bass aren’t thinking about anything other than eating, absolutely nothing else matters to them.

Because I have five primary fall and early winter lures I’m going to do this blog in five parts. The first will cover buzzbaits. Then we’ll talk about walking sticks, single arm spinnerbaits, triple blade spinnerbaits and, last but darn sure not the least, swimbaits.

Here we go…

Once the water drops to 70 degrees or lower I love to break out my buzzbait collection. Bass will absolutely kill them as they churn across the water’s surface.

My favorite is the Molix SS Super Squeaky Buzzbait. It has a design that’s different from other buzzbaits. The point of the hook is in line with the shaft of the rotating blade. This makes it fish more like an inline lure than a traditional buzzbait.

Molix SS Super Squeaky Buzzbait
Molix SS Super Squeaky Buzzbait

The biggest positive about that is that you can get this bait to the top with just a couple of turns of your reel handle instead of the usual eight or nine. That’s a big advantage. That puts it in fish catching mode longer. In addition to that we put a rivet in exactly the right place to create a loud, fish attracting squeal as the blade turns.

This bait comes in seven colors and weighs 1/2 ounce.

Molix Lover Buzz SS Mini
Molix Lover Buzz SS Mini

If I want something a little more subtle, I go with the Molix Lover Buzz SS Mini. It has the same basic design but only weighs 1/4 ounce. It’s offered in six colors.

Color choice at this time of the year can be important. I like to think of fall and early winter colors in three categories — light, dark and flashy. I use light when the forage has a light hue to it, dark when it doesn’t and flash when the water has some color to it or when I want to show them something they aren’t seeing every day.

These lures are at their best when you’re fishing around cover. Tree limbs extending from laydowns is the classic example of what I’m talking about, but they’re also good in leaves and twigs that have fallen into the water as well as around docks and whatever grass you can find.

If I’m not worried about fouling my bait or snagging it — open water — I’d rather fish a walking stick. We’ll talk about that next time.


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