Spicing Up for Autumn Appetites
By John Peterson with Noel Vick
The next best venue is an established outside weedline,
but only one that materializes off a large weed flat. Additionally, my top weedlines setup
next to major drop-offs and incorporate a few weeded fingers. And as far as weed
composition goes, nothing outshines deep coontail. Unlike cabbage and milfoil, coontail
holds its characteristics baitfish sanctuary, oxygen, shade, etc. throughout
With spots established, out comes the heavy artillery. Humongous spinnerbaits were
introduced in the opening narrative. These bladed wonders are bass slayers and see plenty
of time on the field, but before spinnerbaits come crankbaits.
In autumn, nothing pinpoints bass faster than a bulky crankbait. And besides its ability
to locate fish, a crankbait will frequently return with weeds, providing samplings of weed
types and physical conditions. With any luck, itll sport dark green coontail, and if
it does, toss out a marker.
My preferred crankbaits are DT Series Rapalas and Down Deep Rattlin Fat Raps. Both
models dive deeply and are appealing to bass. For example, fished with 10 pound test
monofilament, a #7 Down Deep will dive to 18 feet, and do so in a hurry. As far as colors
go, consider shad in clear water; parrot when its a little stained and hot mustard
in sullied conditions.
Now, suppose youve encountered a scrumptious weededge. Position the boat beyond the
vegetation and cast back past the weedline, onto the flat. The plan is to make the
crankbait tickle the weed tops and afterward cut through the outer verge. Reel slowly. The
crankbait should be wobbling not burning. Baitcast reels with low gear ratios, like 4:3,
execute best. And match the reel with a 6 ½ to 7 foot, medium action rod for maximum
If you should get snagged, shake the rod tip, dont rip it. Oftentimes the crankbait
will come unglued and float slowly toward the surface. Most hits befall at the
weededge to about 30 feet beyond the greenery. And when a bass does take, dont stick
it hard. Instead, make a sweep with the rod and continue reeling; setting too hard results
in more misses than catches.
Not much changes when the blades come out; same spots, similar casts. Crankbaits are
effective at finding bass; spinnerbaits are superior at hooking and holding, as well
persuading less aggressive fish.
Typically, I fling ¾ to 1 ounce spinnerbaits big offerings with white and
blue skirts, sometimes white with black. It needs flying saucer sized blades too, usually
tandems, and a combination of styles as well, such as a willow blade with a Colorado. The
Northland Tackle Bionic Bucktail Spinnerbait is a fine example. The oversized creature was
built for muskies and pike, but I like what it does to autumn bass.
Mimicking earlier crankbait casts, hurl the bait beyond the weedline. Allow it to settle
and pull it back over and through the weeds, but at a lesser clip yet. Basically,
youre rolling it through the greenery, letting the spinnerbait flutter and fall
occasionally. A modest snap should free the bait if it gets hung up.
Trite but true, fall is short. Birds are up and flocking. Ruts just around the
corner too. Trigger fingers are getting itching across our great nation. Im a hunter
too, but after all the hours I banked this summer sweating for big bass, theres no
way Im passing on cherry picking season. Ready the cranks and blades
Editors note: Scott Bonnema is a touring professional who fishes
bass tournaments and offers instructional seminars throughout the Midwest. Hes a
member of the Rapala Team, and Pro Staffs of Fuji Film, Northland Tackle, Ranger Boats and
In this issue:
Twitching Your Way to a Bass Bonanza
- Spicing Up for Autumn Appetites
Boat Winterization Saves Headaches Next
Spring - Lodge Classifieds
Featured Outdoor Products
Fishing News - Downloadable Lodge Guide
NEW ONTARIO FISHING CHAT
to the Ontario Fishing Network