Fall Fishing Tips and Tricks

Connor Heitman, Outdoors Writer

MHS Senior Shane Siterlet holding a nice summertime bass.

Many anglers know that when the summer draws to a close, fishing can be very difficult as the bass scramble to get on a new pattern in the transition days between summer and fall. The variable weather can cause fish to be on a summer pattern on an overcast 60-degree day while the very next day they could be on their fall pattern on a sunny 76-degree day, since they try to adjust depending on the weather, and when the weather changes so much day to day, it can throw them off and cause them to not follow a traditional pattern. It’s hard to master this transition period, but once it’s over, bass begin to gorge in preparation for the long, cold winter months that follow, when they suffer large periods of inactivity due to the freezing water temperatures in Michigan. This period is known as the fall bass season, and it can lead to fish that can rival pre-spawn weights.
Luckily for us, Milford High School boasts a great deal of anglers who love fishing so much that they couldn’t wait to share their tricks and tactics for targeting those fall fatties that any fisherman would love to catch. When asked about their fall fishing habits and how they plan on targeting big bass in the autumnal months, here’s what they said:

QUESTION: Do you enjoy fishing in the fall? Why or why not?
ANSWER: “Yes, because the bass are up shallow (and feeding)” -MHS Junior and member of the bass fishing team here at Milford Luke Parmeter
QUESTION: What’s your favorite season to fish for bass in?

ANSWER: “My favorite season to bass fish is probably pre-spawn in the spring when the bass move up shallow and you can really hit them on the jerkbaits” -Recent MHS graduate Nick Oslin, as well as original co-founder of the MHS fishing team
QUESTION: What do you use most in the fall?
ANSWER: “Anything that can resemble dying shad, as it’s what bass feed on the most in the fall” -MHS Senior and loyal Culver’s Hartland Employee Caleb Homes-McGahan
QUESTION: Any tips or tricks for fall bassing?
ANSWER: “Bigger baits work better in the fall since fish are feeding before the winter.” -Trevor Leigh, MHS Senior and frequent Long Lake Angler
ANSWER: “Go early in the morning” -Garrett Morfe, MHS Senior and avid angler on the lakes of Milford
ANSWER: “Target those trophy fish since you can get them in the fall” -Local business owner Dylan Morgan (Candy Baits Tackle Company)

It would appear that the students of Milford High School will definitely be getting on some big fish this fall. Some of the hottest lures will be Storm Rat-L-Traps and other varieties of Lipless Crankbaits, a structure jig, specifically

the Strike King Denny Brauer Cobra Head Structure jig, which will help anglers navigate over submerged logs and rocks without getting snagged when trying to target the fish that are close to the shore, and finally a spinnerbait –any kind will do, preferably using willow blades to replicate baitfish near the shoreline.

Karl’s Bait and Tackle

In other news in the bass fishing world, Karl White, longtime writer of the “What’s It Worth?” section of Bassmaster magazine, has decided to step down from his position due to his growing vision problems and will retire to tend to his world-class vintage tackle museum in Branson, MO. Mr. White will be missed, as well as his section that identified antique fishing items and their worth that has been in every Bassmaster Magazine issue since 2000. There should be some exciting Bassmaster Open and Elite Tournaments this fall, especially down south, including a Bassmaster Elite down on Lake Chickamauga, where we can expect to see some nice 80 pound-plus four day totals that’ll place well in the standings.
Fall fishing is viewed in the bass fishing world as a great time to catch trophy bass, and yet also a very difficult time for some anglers, as it’s very possible to spend four hours on the water when it’s only 58 degrees outside and catch nothing. Hopefully, some of us will be able to have successful seasons as we go into whatever our next season may be, be it deer season, ice fishing, or spring pre-spawn bass fishing.