Catching Smallmouth Bass in Early Fall: Lures to Use in Rivers in September and October

In the early fall, smallmouth bass are active in rivers in the Eastern United States, and larger fish seem to make more appearances. This is really about the only time of year when it seems as if large fish are just as willing to eat as are smaller ones. But to be successful fishing for smallmouth bass in September and October, the right lures and baits have to be utilized.

Using Jig and Pigs for Smallmouth Bass in September and October

Jig and pigs are large baits that resemble crayfish darting along the bottom. These baits are also great in the colder months for smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass will take them in the early fall as well. Large, dark colored jig and pigs are best for smallmouth, as the larger fish certainly seem to prefer these big, bulky baits.

As always, jig and pigs should be worked slowly along the bottom. They should be allowed to sink, and then retrieved by twitches of the rod, and slow reeling, which gathers the slack created from the rod's being twitched. When fished by anglers who know how to work these baits, jig and pigs truly are about the best bait for large smallmouth at all times of the year.

Fishing with Large Plastic Worms for Smallmouth in September and October

Although plastic worms work in spring, summer, and fall for smallmouth bass, they are some of the very best lures to use in rivers in September and October. Larger worms, such as Yamamoto senkos are excellent baits to use for smallmouth in the early fall.

These may actually be rigged weightless, on a worm hook, because when the lures are poured into a mold (as they are being made) sand is poured in along with the plastic, giving them weight. Senkos are best in dark colors for smallmouth.

Dark brown, gray, smoke, and green colors are best, and, although enticing to anglers, chartreuse tailed senkos may frighten fish, so solid-colored dark lures are best. Five inch senkos are better than smaller worms for large fish. These should be worked slow, with twitches and jerks on the rod, followed by slow reeling.

They are great in eddies and along the shore. Senkos are undoubtedly one of the best soft plastic baits made, and they represent sure success in the early fall.

Catching Bass in September and October with Tubes

Tubes are another great all around smallmouth bass bait. They may be fished quickly, to represent fleeing baitfish, or slowly along the bottom, where they mimic crayfish and hellgrammites. In the early fall, it is best to work these baits slowly along the bottom.

They are best when fished like a jig and pigs, but they do require more time in sinking to the bottom. These baits should be fished along flat, rocky bottoms, as areas of bottom that have sharp rocks and logs may generate snags for anglers using tubes.

Dark, natural colors, such as pumpkin, watermelon, and smoke are best. Larger tubes are also better than small ones in the early fall.

There are numerous ways to catch smallmouth bass in September and October, but it is important to realize what baits work best. Large, bulky baits are better in the fall than during the spring and summer, so they should be used by anglers who anticipate success on the river in September and October.

Donald S. Cochran

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