Anyone who's a fan of fishing knows that fall bass fishing is about as close to heaven on earth as you can get. The days are getting shorter, the air colder—and the largemouth start feeding.
Fall fishing for bass is the ideal season for catching them as they become more active in feeding after the summer. However, changing water temperatures and daylight times can make it a bit tricky, so it's helpful to know a few tips and tricks of the trade.
From knowing the best bass fishing rain gear to the best gear ratio for bass fishing, we've got some advice on not only where to catch them but also how to do it.
Where to go fall fishing for bass
1) Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Lake Coeur d'Alene isn't only great for bass fishing; it's beautiful too. If your rod comes up empty, there's plenty of natural beauty to enjoy.
You can catch smallmouth here in the fall with finesse rigs and paddle-tail swimbaits. Largemouth can be fooled by swimbaits as well. Fish shallow from the shore or head out into 30-40 feet of water to catch them off deep ledges and boulders.
2) Thousand Islands, New York
This section of St. Lawrence River Valley in upstate NY is one of the nation's renowned smallmouth bass hatcheries. It's no secret, as the Thousand Islands Big Bass Challenge draws crowds of enthusiasts to compete for the big money prize each year.
Knowing your intended catch and depth is key to fishing this area. Smallmouth tend to prefer deeper water while largemouth enjoy shallower and warmer water. We recommend checking out this guide to bass fishing techniques for the area.
3) Sam Reyburn Reservoir, Texas
Some of the best bass fishing in Texas is found in this Deep East reservoir. While lakes go through cycles of good and bad fishing, we're told Sam Reyburn Reservoir is currently at its best.
With over 300 fishing tournaments held annually here, the abundance of bass in the lake makes it a perennial stop for game fishers hooking largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish.
4) Clear Lake, California
Huge fish, or stunning mountain scenery? There's no need to choose when it comes to this shallow lake home to heaps of trophy bass.
The warm, shallow, and weed-dense water of Clear Lake makes it a thriving habitat for fish, with some of the highest catch rates in the state. Simple fishing tactics will likely be more than enough to pay off.
5) Lake Fork Reservoir, Texas
Perhaps challenging Sam Reyburn for the title of best bass fishing in Texas, Lake Fork Reservoir is one of the premier trophy bass fishing lakes in the world. In fact, 15 of the 20 top Texas State Record largemouth bass were caught here.
Make sure to understand the local fishing regulations before you head out on the water at Lake Fork—bass between 16 and 24 inches must be released, and only five bass can be kept per day.
What gear to bring for fall bass fishing
Depending on where you opt to go for your fall bass fishing destination, you'll want to find proper gear for the weather. Having the best bass fishing rain gear will make the difference between an enjoyable day on the water and a miserable, freezing cold one.
Here's a quick checklist of gear for fall bass fishing:
- Waterproof boots
- Insulated jacket
- Face shield or wind mask
- Snacks (because only a fool fishes hungry!)
For cold-water fishing, dressing with multiple layers that can be easily shed or added is vital. You're not summiting Everest, so there's no need to go crazy with the down-filled parkas. When in doubt, make sure it's waterproof. Gore-Tex is your friend!
With all this information for fall bass fishing, now comes the hard part: choosing your destination. Don’t sweat it too much, though—you really can’t go wrong with any of these beautiful spots. Remember, as Albert Einstein once said, “a bad day fishing still beats a great day at the office.”