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The Ultimate Guide to the Best Fall Bass Lures

The transition from summer to fall is a period of profound change in the aquatic world, impacting the behavior and feeding habits of fish, and consequently, the strategies and tools anglers use to catch them. One such tool is the lure, a device designed to attract fish and provoke them to bite. As water temperatures drop and fish metabolism slows down, the efficacy of lures can vary dramatically. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the best fall bass lures, exploring their unique attributes, effective application, and strategic implementation to maximize your catch.

‍Photo by mirandableijenberg on Pixabay

Understanding the Behavior of Bass in Fall

Before diving into the intricacies of fall lures, it’s essential to understand the behavior of bass during this season.

The Sense of Urgency

The onset of fall triggers a sense of urgency in fish, particularly bass. They instinctively know that the cold winter months are impending, during which food becomes scarce, and survival becomes challenging. This instinct drives them to feed aggressively, packing on weight to ensure their survival through winter.

The Impact of Falling Water Temperatures

Falling water temperatures play a critical role in shaping the behavior and feeding habits of bass. As the water cools, the metabolism of bass slows down, reducing their activity level and food intake. However, the drop in water temperature also seems to trigger a feeding frenzy in bass, pushing them to bulk up for the colder months ahead.

Impact of Wind and Water Currents

Wind and water currents can also influence the behavior of bass in fall. Wind-driven currents can churn up food, creating feeding opportunities for bass. In addition, wind can stir up sediment, reducing visibility in the water and creating perfect conditions for bass to ambush prey.

The Best Fall Bass Lures

Now that we understand the behavior of bass in fall let’s explore the best fall bass lures that can help you capitalize on their feeding frenzy.


The first fall bass lure that deserves your attention is the spinnerbait. Its flashy blades and vibrating movement make it an effective tool for triggering a reaction strike from bass feeding on shad. A 1/2-ounce spinnerbait with tandem willow leaf blades that mimic the size of the shad is an excellent choice for fall bass fishing.


Swimbaits are another effective lure for fall bass fishing. They are designed to imitate baitfish closely, making them irresistible to predatory bass. A 5-6″ swimbait in a shad or bluegill pattern is perfect for attracting big bass in fall.


Crankbaits are a versatile lure that can be used effectively in various depths of water. In early fall, a square bill crankbait in a shad pattern or chartreuse with a black back can be effective when banged into logs and stumps along flats loaded with shad. As the water temperature drops further, a medium-diving crankbait can be more effective.

Topwater Walking Baits

Topwater walking baits such as a Zara Spook are perfect for fishing in clear water when bass are busting baitfish on the surface. On windy days, a noisier topwater plug such as a Whopper Plopper can draw bass to the top on a choppy surface.


Jigs are an effective lure for inactive bass after a cold front. A slow-moving jig like the Heavy Metal Football Jig can coax a finicky bass into biting. A 3/8-ounce jig with a magnum-sized plastic trailer makes for a slow-falling combo that a bass can’t resist.

Umbrella Rigs

Umbrella rigs are particularly effective in reservoirs where schooling baitfish such as shad, smelt, cisco, or perch are common. They often outfish any other presentation in rivers and lakes. A 3- to 4-inch swims bait such as Big Bite Baits’ Finesse Swimmer or Pro Swimmer is an excellent choice to use with an umbrella rig.

Fishing Techniques for Fall Bass Fishing

While having the right lure is crucial, knowing how to use it effectively is equally important. Here are some techniques you can employ to make the most of your fall bass lures.

Lipless Crankbaits

When fishing with a lipless crankbait, cast it to a windblown bank and slowly pull the lure off the bank, letting it fall on a slack line between cranks. This technique can trigger a strike from a bass that has recently moved up shallow to chase bait.


When using swimbaits, cast the lure past the obvious ambush points in the pond. A big bass that might have ignored the bait a month ago may now be willing to travel to eat the big bait due to its increased strike zone.


When fishing with jigs, swim the jig along the sides of boat docks or flip it to any shallow cover. This strategy can catch lethargic bass waiting to ambush shad that swim by their hideouts.

Umbrella Rigs

When using umbrella rigs, you can fish at any depth, from 4-foot flats down to breaklines and ledges from 10 to 18 feet deep. A slow and steady retrieve works best with umbrella rigs.

Final Thoughts

Fall bass fishing can be a rewarding experience if you know what lures to use and how to use them effectively. As we’ve seen, the best fall bass lures are spinnerbaits, swimbaits, crankbaits, topwater walking baits, jigs, and umbrella rigs. By understanding the behavior of bass in fall and using these lures effectively, you can maximize your catch and make the most of your fall bass fishing experience.