Fall bass fishing action heats up
Sept. 14, 2001
To most serious bass anglers, fall of the year means good news. Most fishermen will be leaving the water and heading to the woods. At the same time, the bassing action really heats up for the diehard anglers who remain on the water.
After a long hot summer, most outdoorsmen in Mississippi grab their favorite gun and head to the woods for a little hunting. For the serious bass anglers however, fall means prime fishing time. Although Okatibbee Reservoir is often referred to by many local anglers as The Dead Sea during the summer, the fishing in the lake usually heats up in the fall.
As the water temperature drops, the bassing action really begins to increase. An added bonus is the fact that many fishermen will head to the woods leaving most public waters virtually deserted of bass fishermen.
Fall fishing improves dramatically as the nights begin to cool, the shad start heading for the shallow waters and the bass are enticed to follow. The few anglers who venture forth encounter a bonanza. Since there is little or no natural structure left in Okatibbee Lake, the bass and shad will relate to the many ledges and creek runs. From September through November, the shad and bass will continue their migration further up the creek channels until they reach their winter haunts.
Just north of the Okatibbee dam there are a couple of channels and creek runs that hold concentrations of bass when the shad are present. Bear in mind the shad may change locations depending on the amount and direction of the wind. Probably the best bait to use to find the bass are large crankbaits. Most any modern deep diving crankbait will work fine but I am partial to the number 5 Strike King crankbait as well as the Pauls Bait made by Mann's lure company.
One of the top spots on Okatibbee in the fall is the main creek run just north of the island in the middle of the lake on the upper end. The creek channel is easy to find with the help of an LCR unit. The creek runs from near the island all the way to the Center Hill Martin Road on the North end of the lake. Depending on the location of the shad, anglers are likely to find large concentrations of bass keying on the shad along the submerged creek channel.
Worms and jigs
After locating an area that seems to hold bass I will anchor and start throwing Carolina or Texas rigged worms or jigs in watermelon seed or Junebug color. As an added enticement, I also employ the use of a bait attractant made by Dr. Ketchum. This attractant comes in a small jar and has a consistency much like shoe polish. Simply dip your worm into the jar and rub a little on the bait or take some with your fingertip and apply it to the lure as well as a foot or so up your line. Once the bass bite the bait with this added ingredient, they seem to hold on longer.
Anglers wanting to enjoy some of the finest fishing of the season should take a little time off and head to Okatibbee or your favorite fishing hole. You just might be glad you did.