With a great stretch of warm weather I wanted to take advantage of the great fall fishing that the lakes and rivers in the Midwest have right now. This past weekend I made a trip down to the cabin and was very eager to wet a line as October is one of the best months on the Mississippi River to not only catch a lot of bass, but also quality sized ones.

This was my first time fishing the river in October in several years do to finishing up college and the last couple years the river was high in the fall, which made our cabin not accessible. But knowing that the bass would be feeding heavily on shad and that the water was low and vegetation was limited, I went looking for shorelines that had a slight break on it with wood. To find this slight break and submerged timber I paid close attention to my Humminbird Side Imaging unit as I drove along possible fishing locations.

To search out these bass I relied on a variety of shallow running crankbaits, predominately square billed ones. These baits are designed to deflect off of the cover they hit, which allowed me to bring them through and over the wood and not get hung up. Several things that can help increase your hook up ratio with crankbaits and ensure that the fish make it into the boat are:

  • Put high quality treble hooks on your bait, like the new Trokar Treble Hooks.
  • Use a monofilament line so the hooks won't rip out of the fish's mouth when the run, I tried out the new Seaguar Senshi 15 lb. test and it worked incredible.
  • A crankbait specific rod also helps you keep the bass on until you are holding them up for that great fall photo. I was using my 7' Wright and McGill Crankbait rod.

The other key tactic I used this past weekend was topwater plugs, both poppers and walk-the-dog style baits. It was not uncommon to have several bass blow up on my bait at the same time, which is why once I found a key area of shoreline that had fish, I would drop my Minn Kota Talon. This allowed me to stay in one position and not disturb the area more than I had to.

Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate and the temperatures will slowly descend because now is the time to get out on the water and catch the fantastic fall feeding frenzy for bass.