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Fall Tactics


EBass

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This past weekend was a big bummer for me. No bass and two small pike. I thought bass were supposed to be active in the fall?

I skipped docks with a creature bait and didn't get a nibble. I tossed out the super fluke, cranks, and spinners and nada except for the two pike. I worked mostly shallow.

Can anyone give me some pointers on fall tactics to put more bass on the line? I didn't try topwater since I didn't find any active bass. I did see some minnows, but the pike were there.

Thanks,
EBass

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E-Bass,

Find patchy milfoil just under the surface, and buzz them, or throw plastic at them. This has been working for me in the west metro. Buzzing has produced the most though. Docks and that kind of cover have not been good until late evening for some reason. I have thrown everything in the boat at them, but they are not active enough until evening. I don't get out in the morning, but I suspect the same for the morning hours.

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Thanks for the suggestions. Yup I was on Tonka in Cooks Bay. And I was up pretty shallow for the most part. The pike were hit about 4-6 ft and so did a small bass that my buddy caught on a crank.

I will try out deeper next time. I know they are there. My buddy who wasn't in my boat but was out there the same time caught 10 bass. 18" Smallie and 17" Largie were the big ones. But he was near an island somewhere.

OK I'll look to deeper water and look for milfoil patches. Thanks for the tips.

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Look for milfoil that reaches out to about 10-12ft. The best ones have sparse coontail growing out a couple feet past that. I like small jigs with seven and ten inch power worms. The milfoil is dying and produces CO2 which depleats the O2 content in the weed patches, this is why you see concentrations of bass on the edges during the fall. Hit the breaks in that 12ft range and cruise along until you hit weeds. This is one of the easiest ways to run and gun this time of year. Stay in at least ten ft, and out to 14ft. Just keep going along the breaks looking for this scenerio and I'll all but guarantee a good day of bass fishing.

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Two weeks ago I had excellent luck using skirtless short armed Gopher Tackle spinner bait tipped with fat heads. They outfished everything else we used. The arm is the same length as a regular spinner bait, except halfway up, the arm is bent at a 45 degree angle. Caught several bass and northerns using a yo-yo retrieve.

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Hey EBass, was that on Tonka? I'll be out there later this week/weekend.. Normally the weeds in the most shallow water will start to die off first.. A lot of times in fall, the fish will move deeper as the cover dwindles (weeds die off). Baitfish also follow the cover that is available and will go deeeper as the shallow weeds die off. Another theory is that CO2 coming from dying weeds pushes fish out deeper.

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That is the nice thing about this forum. I don't have to compete with you guys. I really enjoyed fishing Tonka this last July!
I just didn't have time to visit Crystal Bay. Maybe next time...
Thanks for the compliment!

How about those Vikings and T-Wins!!

Just Win Baby!
Dan

[This message has been edited by dan sexton (edited 10-01-2003).]

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We fished from 5 pm until dark and had 8 keeper bass total.

We started out fishing a hump/break without luck. I spotted a blue heron on a lay down tree and asked to fish that bank which also had docks. (I love dock fishing!) I tried spinnerbaits, rattle-traps, and a buzz-bait without a strike. So I started skipping a wacky rigged senko (junebug and laminate bass= watermelon/white). And proceeded to catch 3 fish real fast (1 pound and 3/4 to 2 lbs.). Then we stopped at another spot with a dock over deep water and I caught one just under 3 pounds (it weighed like 2.94 on the scale) on a buzzbait. Our other 4 came on a mojo (split-shot) 6" (purple death color) custom worm. A milky white w/blk flake tube on a 1/16 oz dart-head. We missed a few fish on the senko. One fish had some sores on it like it had been attacked by a musky or something. All the fish were fat. I would like to spend a year there!!
I also caught a couple of pike.

Funny story is my Mom lives a few blocks from Lake Natomas (but she just moved 5 miles from Tonka, yesterday!!) so I just woke up before light on the last 2 days we stayed there and I smoked the pike on buzz-baits before 6:30am. I enjoyed that! I am just a fishing reaction junky. I think I need some professional help before my wife and kids leave me!!!! Na, I am spending this weekend without a rod and reel...I think...I can...I think I can...

Dan

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Hi EBass,

This being the TOC time for most curcuits here in California (not to mention fishing 12 months every year for the last 16 years) I have some experience. I agree with all the info I have read so far about oxygen depletion...Here are a few suggestions that have worked well for me.

This time of year I like cranking the deep diver baits (Rapala 20' diver, Norman DD 22+ suspend, Poe 400 w/12# Mono) and just covering main lake points. I like white (shad patterns with some blue color somewhere on the bait as well as tan craw patterns w/orange bottoms).

Every year is different so these tactics have worked as well:
1)Super spooks (chartreuse flash color)
2)Rapala "Shad Rap" (#7 w/10# mono, shad color)
3) you can't forget the rip bait! I have had awesome days covering water with a TD(Team Diawa) minnow (the largest shallow rip they make, it's like 4-1/2", weighs a 1/4 oz) in the rainbow trout pattern. They just cannot resist the action at times..(sweep and pause action)

When the cold fronts start rolling through I am forced to drop the bait size and drop shot 3-1/2" custom poured leach baits (salt and pepper w/ blue flake) and split shot (mojo weight) mini (4") zoom lizzards (grn pmkin is my favorite color in this small lizzard).

Don't forget to keep an eye on the fish finder in deeper water (crystal bay) for balls of bait! The tighter the balls, closest to the bottom, the better your chances of spooning some quality bass. My experience has been that the colder the weather the tighter the bait gets. And I have spooned the heck out of them with a 1/2 oz. silver/blue castmaster (tipped with a feather treble). You just never know from year to year where they will be. I have read that they are a little more dependable in Minnesota lakes because you don't experience the large fluctuations of water like we have.

I am fishing a TOC next week at Shasta, the water is close to 100' from high water and falling. The kicker is that it's still 300'+ at the dam. This lake is a monster with three river arms that are each over 20 miles long from the Dam...wish me luck!

Oh yeah...if the fish are busting shad you need to throw a pop-R at the boils...

Hope this info is useful, Good fishing!
Dan

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Hawgtide,
Any place outa the wind. Actually if it's real windy I probably won't go. Like last Sat was just frusterating with the wind. I launched from Champlin and was off the sippi in 10 mins.
A lot of people talk up the Elk River section. I've never had any sucess there. Up near Monti I have. Hmm.. I may hit up down town just to get outa the wind. Close to home to.
I'm going with BigMike whom I've never met personally before, but should be a good time as most people on FM are pretty cool and he seems cool from his posts.

I just want a decent weekend weather wise.

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Ebass,

Last weekend I had to throw my anchor on shore and wedge it against some big rocks to finally hold on a point. Then I would put down the second anchor down to keep from swaying to much. If ya want you can barrow my 18lbs anchor too.

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Thanks Mr. Special. I think I'll be alright. I'll find some outa the wind river bend or something. Sunday is Tonka time with Bill's bass boat. I can't wait, should be less wind on Sunday. Plus Bill will drive and I can just fish.

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HawgTide,

How did you do? We ended up on the Rum. Only two fish. Mike caught a 19.5" and I got one that was 16.5". And that was that. Pretty slow. We missed some to, but they were not aggressive at all. Had to put the lure on thier nose to get them to react.

Tonka was another bust. One 18" bass and that was it. Maybe the sippi will be niceer to me.

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I went to the Dayton area on Saturday for about 2hrs. Caught 5 smallies (no size)pretty quickly. I thought the fall frenzy was on, but they slowed down when it got cloudy and I went home.
Yesterday I went out with "River Wader" between Monti and Elk River. We caught 8 smallies. I caught one that was 1/4 inch shy of 20" on buzz bait. I should have weighed him, but I hate keeping them out of the water to weigh and measure them. I usually do one or the other. My guess was around 4 1/2lbs. That's the 2nd largest one I've caught out there. You're right about them not being aggressive(except for the one on the buzz bait).

I'm taking off tomorrow to fish. It looks like a nice day forecasted.

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HawgTide,

That's a big fish and atleast you caught more than one. Yup they sure are slow. Hmm, this warm weather should get them going for a bit. Well I hope so.

Report back please I'm going to try to get out for a little bit to tomorrow.

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How did you do? I got skunked on the sippi and went to the Rum and met a stranded Ron Schara and pulled him home. Got one small pike there. Not enough time. Hope you had better results.

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