The fall season is here. The nights are getting cold, the water temperature is dropping and the water is getting clearer. That all adds up to mean that bait is what bass fishing is all about. With that in mind let’s talk about the best fall bass lure. And yes, there is only one. It’s the great baitfish imitator — the spinnerbait.
The way we need to fish our spinnerbait is by burning it. That can be done the best with an ordinary, but heavy, size spinnerbait. The key to this technique is weight and a size that’s not too small and not too big.
My choice is the Molix Venator in the 1/2, 5/8, 3/4 and full ounce size. Leave your little ones at home. You won’t need them. When it comes to picking a color I’ll tell you what I’ve said a thousand times: MATCH THE HATCH. The forage in the lake or river you’re fishing is the key. There is no best color except whatever matches what they’re eating.
I downsize the biggest blade to one that’s a size smaller, at least one size. And, it should always be a willow leaf. A Colorado blade will add lift. I sometimes throw a double blade model and sometimes modify it to a single blade. There’s no rule for this. Give them what they want.
It’s also important to thin out the skirt. I do that by trimming the length of the skirt to just below the bend of the hook. Then I thin it out some more by pulling out some of the strands. A guess is that I remove 20 percent of the strands. But, this is not science. It’s art. Whatever looks good to you will probably look good to the bass.
What we have after our modifications is a heavy bait with not so much lift. That means we can burn it back fast without it traveling up in the water column.
Something else is that I never — not ever, not for any reason — add a trailer. A trailer adds bulk and lift. That’s the last thing I want. But, I do add a VMC IKE Approved Trailer Hook. Fall bass are aggressive but they have a tendency to headbutt the lure. A trailer hook will catch them. This is absolutely critical.
Don’t even think about fishing a spinnerbait in the fall with a trailer or without a trailer hook. I like the 1/0 or 2/0 size for my trailer hooks.
My rod is one that’s not too stiff. I prefer a 7-foot or a 7-foot, 4-inch medium action model. My preference is a IKE Power Series Casting Rod. They have a 7-foot, medium action model that’s perfect for burning a spinnerbait.
I mount a high speed reel on it. I like the Abu Garcia REVO IKE Casting Reel with an 8.0:1 gear ratio. However, they also have a REVO Rocket Casting Reel with a 10.1:1 gear ratio. It’s good, too.
Fluorocarbon is the line to use. It sinks. Braid and monofilament floats. For me, the perfect line is 15-pound-test Berkley Trilene 100% Fluorocarbon. That handles 99 percent of the conditions and fish I face in the fall.
Now, the whole key to this technique is to make the fish react. We don’t want it to have any other option. It’s looking up. The bait is getting away and the water is clear so we don’t want it to get a good look at it, either. This is a pure reaction bite.
Keep your rod tip high, not at 12 o’clock but maybe at 1 or 2 o’clock. This helps you keep the bait moving but it also gives you enough play in the rod and line to let the fish take the bait before you set the hook.
After that, it’s burn away baby! But don’t do it steady. Pause occasionally and make it twitch. That makes the blades bang together and make sounds. Those little pauses and twitches, along with the sounds, will trigger bites.
There’s no better way to fish for bass in the fall than to burn a spinnerbait that’s been properly modified and is being fished with the right tackle. Put everything you need for this technique together, launch your boat and go get your arm ripped off.
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