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John's Journal... Entry 58, Day 2

Topwater Tactics For Fall's Schooling Bass

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Jackie Thompson of Eufaula, Alabama, has guided bass fishermen on Lake Eufaula for more than 30 years. This week, we'll look at his tactics for catching fall bass.

Question: Where will you look for fall bass, Jackie?
Answer: Bass will chase shad on to shallow flats that may be only 6- to 8-feet deep. I'll choose two lures to fish for top schooling bass: a spoon and a Berkley Frenzy surface lure in a shad color. As long as the bass bust the surface, I'll cast to them with one of the Frenzy surface lures, working it slowly on the top of the water. When the lure hits the water, I'll let it sit still for a few seconds, twitch it forward, move the bait 4 to 5 feet, stop the lure and let it pause. Then I'll repeat the same action. As long as the bass take the surface lure, I will continue to fish it. But when the bass go down, I'll cast the spoon to them, let it fall and use a jerk-stop type retrieve.

Question: Are these the only two lures you use?
Answer: No, I'll also use a walking bait like Berkley's Frenzy Walker that leaves a trail across the surface of the water. Also its erratic action will trigger strikes from surface feeding bass. The other advantage to fishing this lure is that I can stay well away from the bass and make long casts without spooking them and causing them to dive deep.

click to enlargeQuestion: Where can you find bass schooling at this time of year?
Answer: Once again, bass hold in the flats along the river channel and flats feeding into the mouths of creeks. Keeping conscious of wind direction will help you find the bass in the fall. The wind will often push shad into pockets in mouths of creeks on one side of the lake. Find the baitfish, and you'll find the bass.

Question: How big are these schooling bass?
Answer: They're usually about 12 inches, but as long as 20 inches in some cases. You'll also find spotted bass and largemouth bass mixed in with hybrid saltwater striped bass. These hybrid bass often weigh between 2 and 7 pounds. I'll fish with 14-pound-test Berkley Big Game line because it's the toughest and strongest line that I've found. You never know what you'll catch when you cast to a school of fish.

click to enlargeTo learn more about Pure Fishing, including Berkley's quality products like Big Game line and Frenzy surface lures and Frenzy Walker walking baits, call (800) BERKLEY, or visit the Berkley website at: www.berkley-fishing.com.

click to enlargeTo learn more about bass fishing in the fall or to fish on Lake Eufaula, contact Jackie Thompson at 110 Marina Drive, Eufaula, AL 36027, or call (334) 687-9595.

Tomorrow: Carolina Rigging in the Fall




Check back each day this week for more about How And Where To Catch Big Bass In The Fall ...

Day 1 -Lures and Tactics For Producing Big Bass
Day 2 -Topwater Tactics For Fall's Schooling Bass
Day 3 -Carolina Rigging in the Fall
Day 4 -Big Spinner Baits For Big Bass in the Fall
Day 5 -Thompson's Fall Crankbait Tactics

John's Journal