Catching Bass in Fall: Highland vs. Lowland Reservoirs and Rivers

As the air turns crisp and leaves start to fall, anglers across the country gear up for one of the most exciting fishing seasons: fall. Bass behavior and location change with the dropping temperatures, especially when considering different terrains like highland and lowland reservoirs, and rivers. The Bass will start to switch into the fall feeding mode when the air temps at night start to dip down into the 50's. Let's dive into the specifics to help you increase your chances of landing a trophy catch.

Highland Reservoirs

Where to Find Them:
In highland reservoirs, bass tend to move deeper as the water cools. Look for them in main lake points, steep rocky banks, and drop-offs. They will often gather near structures like submerged trees, deep creek channels, and rock piles.

Lures & Techniques:
- Jigs: A football jig with a craw trailer can be deadly in rocky terrains. The jig mimics a crayfish — a favorite snack for bass in these areas.
- Deep Diving Crankbaits: These can be effective when targeting deeper structures and ledges.
- Drop Shots: This finesse technique can be the ticket when bass are suspended in deeper waters.
- Slow-rolling Spinnerbaits: Especially effective on cloudy or windy days when bass are slightly more active.

Lowland Reservoirs

Where to Find Them:
In lowland reservoirs, bass often follow baitfish like shad into the shallows, especially in the backs of creeks and coves. Look for grass lines, submerged vegetation, docks, and timber.

Lures & Techniques:
- Lipless Crankbaits:Perfect for covering water in shallow flats, especially those with submerged grass.
-Squarebill Crankbaits: Ideal around stumps, logs, and rocks in shallow waters.
-Topwater Lures: On warmer fall days, bass might be active on the surface, especially early in the morning.
-Soft Plastic Flukes or Swimbaits: These mimic baitfish and can be deadly when bass are actively feeding on shad.


Where to Find Them:
In rivers, bass often situate themselves in current breaks like behind boulders, logs, or any other structure. They move shallow to feed and can be found in eddies or slack water areas.

Lures & Techniques:
-Spinnerbaits: These work well in moving water and can be retrieved with the current or cast perpendicular to it.
-Soft Plastic Craws: Presented on a Texas or Carolina rig, these can imitate crayfish, a major food source in rivers.
- Crankbaits: Shallow and medium-diving crankbaits can be effective around wood and rock cover.
- Topwater Lures: Walk-the-dog style lures or poppers can be great during low-light conditions.

Final Tips:
1. Follow the Baitfish: In fall, bass behavior revolves heavily around baitfish. If you locate the baitfish, chances are, bass won’t be far behind.
2. Be Versatile: As fall weather can be unpredictable, bass behavior can also fluctuate. Have a variety of lures on deck and be prepared to switch techniques as needed.
3. Pay Attention to Water Temperature: As the temperature drops, bass metabolism slows. You might need to slow down your retrieve accordingly.

Fall fishing can be both a challenge and a thrill. With the right strategies in place, you'll be well on your way to a memorable catch. Tight lines!