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Four Baits for Fall Fishing

October 30, 2013

By Chris Erwin

We are deep into fall fishing now and while there are many good days left on any of the lakes in our area, it’s time to start thinking about using some different methods to prolong the fishing season. As long as the water temperature remains above 50 degrees, chances are good that you can have a great day on the water.

I’m getting ready to spend 10 days on Cave Run Lake and while I will be a little handicapped because of a blown engine, I plan to make the best of what good season we have left.

If you haven’t heard, my water pump went out on my 150hp motor. To make it worse, the warning buzzer didn’t go off and my boat slid to a stop — smoke filling the air from the motor. That puppy was hot enough to BBQ a rib-eye steak! I trolled on, and found out later it blew the top two cylinders. I have made arrangements to bring it into Rockdale Boat Mart for repairs after this 10-day trip.

While I may be limited in distance on my trip, it will be a good test to see how well I can do under these circumstances. The water on Cave Run will be approaching winter pool. The temperature will be near or below 60 degrees, and it looks to be clear. However, if the water temperature falls too quickly we may start the fall turnover. Water turns over more quickly in the river than on the main lake because of volume and current.

Turnover accrues when the water from the bottom of the lake becomes warmer than the water on the surface. When this happens, the water flips. This action dissolves the thermocline and usually scatters the fish.

Author Chris Erwin holding a fall bass caught on Cave Run Lake in October 2012. (Photo by Christina Erwin)

Author Chris Erwin holding a fall bass caught on Cave Run Lake in October 2012. (Photo by Christina Erwin)

So, under these conditions what baits will work and where should I fish them? I will start out using four basic baits: topwater, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jigs. I know this doesn’t sound too different than any other time throughout the year. However, only one of the four may work. Understanding weather, wind and falling leaves can affect which will be the “go to” bait on any given day.

In the next 10 days, I hope to document what works and when. We can both benefit from this time I spend on the water. I plan to share with you my success or the lack of it. If the weather turns bad, I may have a hard time of it.

I will start the day using a crankbait and jig. The water temperature will give me clues on how to use each. Shad movements will also help us to decide where I will spend the most time. During this time of the year, the fish usually don’t bite all day. So, I will try to be on the best spots during the warmest part of the day.

If the water temperature is above 60 I will switch out to a buzzbaits and topwater jerkbaits while the water is slick, spending time on flats, points and channel bends where the deep water comes close to the bank.

If the air temperature is cold, I will use jig fishing slow around the same areas. This is where an A rig may pay off. The key will be to work slow spending longer than normal in spots were I have caught fish before in these same conditions.

In my next column, I will take you along on my trip. I will be fishing with my old fishing buddy Hershell Crum. It will be our first trip together in a long time. Wish us luck.



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