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Fall Largemouth Question


mike rousseau
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Hey gang

 

This year I put some serious time into bass fishing for the first time since I was a kid and had a lot of fun doing it 

 

Even though the next 6 weeks are my walleye prime time season... i was thinking about getting out one last time for largies either this weekend or next 

 

I was primarily flipping/punching floating mats of weeds lodged in reed beds on the st lawrence river all summer and into September... 

 

what I’m wondering is... would those fish still hold in those same reed beds under mats this late in the year? 2-5’ of water? Water temps are <50 degrees now 

 

I have read largies move deep in colder water but I catch em ice fishing in under 10 feet while crappie fishing all winter so I don’t know what to think 

 

I think I’m gunna try either way but looking for insight from those who have targeted largemouth this late in the year 

 

thanks 

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One of my buddies won a tournament here in early December ripping a blade bait off the bottom and letting it flutter back down in weed pockets on a flat that wasn't deeper than 6 feet. This time of year locating them maybe more of an issue, they are probably still feeding for winter and will probably be following food, they may be deep or shallow.

Years ago I had a good shallow bite working for largemouth at Pointe Au Baril in mid to late September, a couple days later they were hanging out with the smallies in 20 feet of water? food?

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LOL...when you find out how to get them let us know.  I always believe that they look for some constant temperature, so I don't usually fish shallow for them. My experience also told me that there are short periods of time throughout the day when they bite. This is my experience in the Kawarthas and I don't target them anymore there because I suck at it.  LOL

In smaller lakes, I usually find a wintering spot and they are bunched up near some deeper water where they can go shallow if they want.  I usually catch large numbers in these spots.  8-10 feet deep with 25'+ close by.

 

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Typically your summer shallow water patterns wont hold at this time of year. Start looking for green weeds in 6-10 ft.

They tend to group up together and get very condensed in specific locations. So it becomes more of a game just finding them. If you do find one you will find many. When you do find them, stick with it as there should be more around. I was out last weekend fishing some of my go to fall spots. Water temp was at 50 degrees. I did find some fish all around 3.5-4 pounds but could not locate that large pod of fish. I was unable to determine if the fish had already vacated the spot or if it was just starting to stack up.

I like to fish suspending jerkbaits to locate them and then slow down with a jig n pig or senko.

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I usually fish bass right to the end of November. Yes, finding them is where your time is usually spent. The good thing is, once you find them, you will usually catch a bunch of quality fish. A couple of things that I have found over the years:

1. If they are holding somewhere, as opposed to actively feeding, it's a "spot on the spot" scenario. They will be super concentrated on some small, subtle feature. If you can hit them on the nose, they will likely bite. I have had 5-6 large bass off one small weed patch in 18 FOW. But, miss the weed patch by 2' and I won't get bit.

2. Watch the birds! If there are diving ducks/gulls in the shallows feeding don't be afraid to go right into 2-3 FOW and fish fairly aggressively. The bite usually doesn't last long, but can be as hot and heavy as any warm water bite. I usually go after them with flukes or preacher jigs fished fairly fast.

3. Depth matters! If they are in deeper water, IMHO, they won't move up or down much to bite. Read some of the In Fisherman articles on fishing "in space". If they are hugging bottom, it's easy. If they are 10' down, over 30' of water, that's tough. But, if you want easy, fish walleye ;)

 

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Usually I fished until Thanksgiving here, but once October hit the focus was more on the Lake Erie smallmouth action. The St. Lawrence is also famous for it's smallmouth and if you start catching 4 - 6 pound smallies on spinning gear it can be a lot of fun!

Just some thoughts, never fished the St. Lawrence and we have nothing like it here with that current, I can't really picture largemouth sitting out in that current unless they are on food and can't find it out of the current.

Just from watching videos like the bassmaster elite series it seems pretty rare for them to be sticking big largemouth out in the current, smallies yes and just from my experiences from fishing Erie this time of year they also will school up, it makes it easier for them to corner baitfish.

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Bass are heading out to the secondary weed lines. As you look at the weeds when they are dying back the O2 levels start to go down which pushes the minnows out further. Look for areas that have deeper weeds and baitfish still present. Once you find them a rattling crankbait is a good bet as the day warms up meaning getting up at the crack of dawn is no longer needed. While scouting a bonus on the secondary weedline is warmer water even if it is only a degree or two. I look for rock points or feeder creeks entering the lake or large masses of rock that hold the heat. The fish are feeding in smaller areas and less often so slow down the presentation using a rattling pig and jig or blade lures jigged up and down. While you are moving about some of the minnows are now balling up in deeper water and fishing the edges and underside is a good way to find fish that are actively feeding. Try not to break the ball up with noise or casting into the middle of it. If you do come on a busted ball that you feel was not because of you then send a rattle trap thru the middle of it looking for feeding fish. Hope this helps 

Art 

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everyday can be different as water temps get below 50f greens will move up into shallows again to feed get many a November largie jerk baiting shallow water over 50 there usually 8-12 feet weedlines  run cranks or spinner baits over 50 then slow it down flippin or throwing neko rigs

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Somehow site working for me now.

Our Fall Largemouth spot was a very small Upper NY State Lake. The west end of the lake was an escarpment that has a limestone cliff face that drop straight down 30 feet under water. There was a ledge about 3 feet done. The fish were either on this ledge or below it where it undercut back 3'. We called it Bassassin's ledge. If they weren't there they weren't anywhere.  We did use live frogs back then though. When you only have 1 weekend to fish before you retire you use what works. My American Uncle and Cousin were die hard hardware guys and to them using live bait was sacrilegious, the operative word here is "were."

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Thanks everyone

 

ive read they go deep however like a few of you stated I don’t know if they’ll move out into the current

 

i mean... I’m fishing 15’ weedlines all year till ice up for walleye with all sorts of techniques includingtrolling cranks... casting swimbaits... jigs... blades... harnesses... tubes... and live bait and we never catch largies deeper than 10’ 

 

i have ave a bunch of time off coming up and I think it’s worth a few hours to give it a try...I have an arena that was just full of bass so I’ll start there and work outwards

 

thanks

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Everything stated here is spot on from my experience. I typically try and target good weeds and don't pay much attention to depth. But...most of my fish come from 6-15 fow. I find the key is to try and find healthy weeds in the 5-10fow range that has deep water close by. Caught my PB last week on a jerkbait using this as a guide. Then followed it up with a nice 3lb smallie in 20 FOW when the largie bite died down.

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