Reports I have received on bass fishing from most lakes is that the bass are active on crank baits.
During this time of year the bass will move up along banks and feed on shad schools. The bass will watch for the weak and injured or dying shad and will pick these off first. They are an easy meal and will not last long.
The crank bait looks and acts like a weak or dying shad. This makes it a top lure choice for feeding fall bass. There are several colors and patterns that work well but a shad color is hard to beat. There are several patterns that look like a shad that have different names like Tennessee shad, silver minnow, and many others.
Baits like the lipless rattle trap work very well on active bass. The bass will use the rattling noise given off by these baits to locate and hit them. This makes this type of bait a top lure choice for fall bass fishing.
The crank bait has long been one of my favorite bass baits for fishing just about all year long. In recent years new coldwater patterns for deep diving crank baits have been used by some wintertime bass anglers. The crank bait is divided into three basic groups: shallow, mid range and deep diving baits. Most fishermen are using the shallow or mid range running baits now because the bass are in 4 to 8 feet of water chasing shad close to the bank.
Once you find a bank that bass are working the shad, position your boat so you can make your casts parallel to the bank. Make your casts past the feeding bass and start working the bait back through the bass. Most of the time bass will hit the bait as it comes close.
A good crank bait rod will help in fishing a crank bait. A crank bait rod is a long rod in the 7-foot range and has a strong bottom section and a limber tip. The long rod will help in making long casts and with picking up slack line off the water on a hook set. The limber tip is very important because when a hooked bass is pulling and trying to throw the hook, the limber tip will bend and hold pressure on the bass, making it hard to throw the bait.
On your next fall trip give crank baits a try.