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Now is a good time to catch a whopper

The fall season is a time for trophy fish. In fact, fall is just a good time for fish in general.

Fish of all sizes go on the bite as the water starts to cool and the days get shorter. They instinctively know that, in many areas, their metabolism is going to slow down and they won't be chasing food like they have been for the past several months. They need to put some fat on now to get them through the winter. Largemouth bass in many regions get pretty aggressive in the fall.

Here are some ways you can improve your odds of catching a truly big largemouth bass in the next couple of months.

First of all realize that in most bodies of water, the bass are going to be close to deeper water. They might be in the deep water, or they might be in shallow water that's close to deep water. They like to be close to a deep water sanctuary in the fall. In a river they might be up on grass flats, but the grass flats close to the channel will be the best areas.

In a lake, they might be in the rushes, but the rushes that provide quick access to deep water will be where most of the bass are.

If the bass are in the shallow areas, they will most likely be willing to eat your bait. This time of year, when the fish are shallow, they're going to be on the bite. Shallow water fish can be spooky, so make long casts. It's tough to beat a Pro-Series Reed-Runner spinnerbait with a large blade and a bulky trailer. You want something that's big and throws a lot of vibration. Big bass like a big bait this time of year, and the additional vibration from the larger blade will call the bass in from farther away.

In some bodies of water a swimming jig, something like a Jungle Jig tipped with a bulky tail that has good swimming action like a four inch Impulse Swim'n Grub, will outperform the spinnerbait, especially in clear water. The swimming jig is pretty much the same as the spinnerbait except it has no blade.

When the bass move out of the shallows, pay attention to the areas that drop off from the shallows the quickest. This is jig or crankbait territory. Sometimes the bass will be right on the bottom at the base of a weedbed, other times they'll be suspended up a bit. And there are also times when they'll move away from the drop-off and relate to suspended baitfish like shad or bluegills.

If you are really serious about catching a big bass, you need to spend as much time on the water as possible. However, the best bite is often at mid-day. I've had days when an overcast sky was good, but I've also had days when the bass were really liking the warmth that a bright sun was providing. My advice on this: Go fishing regardless of whether the sky is cloudy or clear.

If you don't go fishing, you sure aren't going to catch anything. If you've got a bait in the water, your chances for fishing success go up significantly. Fall is a great time to be fishing. Discover that for yourself sometime soon.

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