As I packed up my truck and boat to head down to the cabin for Labor Day weekend, I realized that this was finally the first time I was going to be able to be at the cabin for one of the summer holidays this year. The previous two, the river made the cabin not accessible. This coupled with normal water levels and hungry fall bass made me eager to head south.
The water levels finally allowed the bass to position themselves on and along the main river channel and had them feeding heavily to prepare for another Midwest winter. Even though I wasn't in a tournament, nor pre-fishing for one, I still fish these spots like I am. Meaning I leave my Onyx Inflatable Life Jacket on and make about 10 casts to the spot, if I get bit or see the bass schooling I'll stay, if not, then I'll fire up my engine and move on to the next spot.
Why I do this? This late summer/early fall pattern of fishing has both largemouth and smallmouth schooled up and the more time you can spend fishing the productive areas the better. As a search bait, I'll start with a topwater popper, such as a Storm Chug Bug or Rebel Pop-R. Deciding which bait to use, will depend on the size of the bait the fish are eating and how active they are.
The two key items that gave me an edge over the guests in my boat, were using a topwater specific rod, like the Wright & McGill Tessera Series rod. This rod, has a soft tip which allows me to give the bait action and also give when I get a hit so the treble hooks don't rip out of the fish's mouth. I was also using the new Seaguar monofilament line, Senshi, is just plain awesome, with it's soft and supple properties.
Here is a pair of beautiful bronzebacks that hit on back to back casts, in the same 1' ft. area. Paying close attention to where the bass are positioned in the current will help you locate the sweet spots.
I also targeted some largemouth in the remaining vegetation by using a Snag Proof Frog. Locating the areas of lily pads that had clean water around it was key and once I found those fish holding areas, there were numerous bass willing to bite. So once I got bit, I would drop my Minn Kota Talon and make numerous casts until I got them dialed in.
With cooler temperatures on the horizon and hungry bass willing to bite, I'll be on the water chasing some of the big bass that will be on the prowl this fall!