The fall season has a way of making me nervous like time is running out. Ever feel that way?
The worst is being stuck on what lures brands to go with as you watch leaves fall like hourglass sand.
In an attempt to enjoy bass fishing this season in its entirety, I settled on a set of dependable, must-have bass lures made by companies that have a consistent streak of quality products. I have to say I’m impressed. From soft plastics to hard-bodied baits, these brands have a special touch. And their lures catch fish!
1. Reaction Innovations
Reaction Innovations are, in every sense of the word, elite. Founded in Alabama in 2002, Reaction Innovations have proven to be a staple in the world of bass angling with some of the most effective baits on the market. Some popular lures include;
- Sweet Beaver
- Skinny Dipper
As far as creature baits go, the man-bear-pig has taken the all-star status. In a way, it resembles the Zoom Brush Hog only beefed up with flailing leg appendages and a streamlined, ribbed body with detachable sidearms for additional action. Another notable feature can be found on the tip ( head ) of the bait – a small, reinforced piece of soft plastic designed to hold your bait firmly in place on the hook and prevent tearing when you hammer on a big fish.
How To Fish It
Texas Rig. You can hop the bait along, drag it, punch it, or let it fall and sit. Try dead sticking it, watch your like for jumps, and maybe give it some movement and wait, this is where you’ll often feel the thump. A Carolina rig is also effective when rigging this bait, especially in early Spring. Dragging it with an intermittent twitch, and the bait will find itself in the crosshairs of a bucket-mouth beast!
The Sweet Beaver
The Sweet Beaver is the perfect flipping bait for cover. Whether you’re fishing grass, punching mats, flipping docks, or dragging along the bottom, this bass lure is a perfect, all-around, and effective bait. It also doubles as a jig and swim-jig trailer. Each bait has a ribbed body and beaver-style tail. For greater action, you can separate the two tailpieces.
How to fish it
On a texas rig, you can fish it virtually anywhere, and it holds a tight grip on the hook. As far as mileage goes, you’ll get a lot out of these lures before the wear and tear sets in.
If I’m cruising the shoreline on a slow troll and hitting grass patches, boat docks, and cattail lines, you can bet I’ll be flipping a texas rigged sweet beaver with a 3/8 oz sinker, pegged. And trust me, this bait gets hammered, a lot! As the bass begin on their way along the migration paths to spawning grounds, I’ll intercept with a slow crawl/drag along shallow shoreline. And boom.
2. Venom Lures
Right off the bat, I’ll say that Venom Lures catch fish. No question.
I recently tested their 5″ Skip Shad in the black shad at a small lake known for its grass. Rigged weightless on a straight shank worm hook, I ripped it through milfoil and achieved that darting action I get with a Zoom Fluke. Additionally, it descends with a wounded minnow action and receives everything from timid nips to a full-blown clobber and beat down by the biggest fish on the pond.
To me, It’s obvious when a lure company replicates the mold of another successful company and took little time to produce a unique action for their baits. Venom is the opposite; It’s clear they’ve poured passion, creativity, and experience into their products, giving them a unique vibe in the water.
Other Venom products I’d recommend;
- Venom Good-ball tube Jig
- Donkey Snatcher Swim Baits
- Small Mouth Grubs
Additionally, Venom produces good quality micro jigs and terminal tackle, as well as some pretty cool-looking clothing. These guys do it all!
If you’re looking to break from the traditional lure design, then BioSpawn has you covered. And trust me, these lures were designed to catch fish, not fishermen.
With a wide selection of soft and hard baits, BioSpawn has proven itself to be worthy not only of Karl’s Mystery Tackle Box but in any angler’s bag looking to hunt predator fish.
Are you ready to hunt?
My personal favorite from BioSpawn is the Vile Bug, a durable, creepy and elongated, and almost villainous creature bait. It’s perfect for slipping into territory like submerged vegetation, and if you’ve read my previous posts, you know I’m a huge fan of flipping into heavy grass such as Milfoil, Hydrilla -you name it- and I always keep a sharp eye for an effective grass bait. The Vile Bug competes strongly with the Berkely Pit Boss and Sweet Beaver in this way, which are some of my go-to’s when selecting any fishing lures for bass.
I have to say that the vile bug also meets the true definition of green pumpkin ( Pictured above) and has a moderate action to it; perfect for year-round fishing. Whether flipping docks, grass, or hopping along sandy bottoms, this soft plastic is now front and center on the ol’ pegboard at home.
Other awesome Bio Spawn Products:
- Vile Craw
- BioSpawn Rattlebot
All in all, BioSpawn lures present a fantastic forage for bass. Their soft plastics double well as swim jig trailers and can be fished vertically, across the top of the water, crawled Carolina rig style, texas rigged, and even modified for improved action. The versatility of these baits is most impressive, second to their unique designs.
4. Dirty Jigs
Jigs are an essential part of bass fishing. And Dirty Jigs have established themselves as a must-have bass lure brand on the market today.
Dirty Jigs appear to be all about simplicity. I say that because, for many new anglers, the jig universe can be overwhelming. With all the brands out there pushing their self-proclaimed best lures and the wide diversity within the jig categories, Dirty Jigs makes it easy to understand and offers an insanely large product line, which is well described and neatly categorized on their website.
It’s clear that Dirty Jigs pays great attention to detail and precision. They have a selection of cool skirts with diverse colors that match water tones around the country. I’ve been using their No Jack flipping jigs in bluegill and craw color. One feature I’m impressed with is the industrial strength of their weed guard; you CANT penetrate this thing.
Other heavy jigs may claim to hold against dock pilings and wooden structures, but if I can brush my finger across the guard and still feel a poke, it’s a deal-breaker for me. Other Dirty Jig products include tour-level football jigs, casting and swim jigs, and some pretty cool apparel.
( Pictured Above), Dirty Jigs’ 3/8 oz flipping jig with a Reaction Innovation Sweet Beaver trailer. Compact, tough, durable, and perfect for flipping into tight corners, vegetation, and under docks. They get a lot of bites!
Would any list be complete without Rapala?
If you’re fishing the fall season, you better be using a baitfish imitator. Rapala has a perfect set of lures for this.
They’ve dominated the twitch-and-pause action for years.
For the Fall season, Rapala products I’d go with are;
- Rip-stop ( pictured above)
- Rip-stop 12 ( pictured above)
How To Fish It
Find those lake points, back bays, and inlets of your water, and keep an eye out for baitfish. Use electronics to locate bait balls or identify overhead birds or boils on the surface. This is where the bass will be, staging up at the mouth of these locations, shoaling baitfish toward shallow choke points. Cast out, let your lure settle as the ripples disappear.
Then, start twitching your rod tip and a twitch and pause cadence. Let that lure rest. You’ll often get a bite here on the pause. And there’s nothing more thrilling like a giant smash on a jerk bait.
As winter settles and those fish begin migrating deeper, Rapala produces a line of jerk baits called Shadow Raps ( Pictured Below) that’ll entice a lethargic bite. These Jerkbaits are designed to be fished slow – twitched and paused, of course – but slow, very slow.
These are my go-to brands for when those nights begin to cool and days are shorter, and leaves begin to fall. Without hesitation, I’ll jump right to each brand’s hard and soft style baits and get cranking. But I’d recommend you explore your own style and pair it to the behavioral traits of the fish on your waters. For additional information, check out Top 10 Bass Lures for an overall rundown of what to throw during the year.
I’ll see you on the water!