The 9 Best Lures for Catching Bass in the Fall (The Secret to Successful Fall Bass Fishing)


Bass are hitting hard in the fall. They’re great fighters and can be aggressive with the right lure. They’re getting ready for the winter, so feeding is a priority during Autumn.

If you’re walking in the bait shop right now, I’ve got your back.

My top choice out of this list of best bass lures for the fall is the Buckeye Lures G-Man Ballin’ Out Jig. This thing is easy to cast and can be used as a swimmer or to drag the bottom. This type of versatility means it’s always in my tackle box, and the movement and fall colors make it ideal for the season.

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A Quick Guide to Fall Bass Fishing Lures

Where to Look for Bass in the Fall

For your lure to work best, you have to know where to cast. In the Summer, bass stay deep to stay cool. The cooler the weather, the shallower they will go to look for food.

They also really like topography changes while looking for food. In the fall, I fish where creeks meet rivers and rivers meet lakes.

largemouth bass caught with spinning lure

When to Fish for Bass in the Fall

The best time to fish for bass in the fall is dawn and dusk. Bass are feeding hardest when the prey find it difficult to see them. If you decide to fish at night check out my best bass lures for night fishing guide or pick up the ones on this list in a black or blue variation to create a better silhouette while it’s dark.

On the Hunt – Feeder Fish

Bass are hunting prey fish hard in the fall. This is important to keep in mind as you size and choose your best fall bass lures. You want your lure to look as closely to their natural dinner as possible.

I even try to match the size of my lure to how large the prey fish are at that time of year. Bass are smart fish; the closer you can get to the real thing the better.

The Best Fall Lure Colors and Patterns

Natural colors and patterns that imitate bait fish are the best options in the fall. Think either shad (silvers and greys) or Crayfish (reds, browns and oranges). If the sun is high add some flash and if the water is muddy go for a brighter color.

fisherman holding a large mouth bass

Why I Chose These Lures

These are proven lures with great reviews. More specifically though, they kill during the fall. Bass move around quickly and can be picky this time of year. They’re hungry, but very specific about what they hit. These lures focus on mimicking prey fish and critters.

Two Lures is Better Than One

Even the best fall bass lures may not attract a bite if they have settled into feeding on something different.

This list needed to have variety specifically for that reason. You’ll need at least a couple of these lures to keep things fresh and guarantee some action.

TOP 9 Best Fall Bass Fishing Lures

The Whopper Plopper

River2Sea Dahlberg Series Silent Whopper Plopper

Easily one of the best lures in any season, The Whopper Plopper is one of the best bass lures for fall because it is a silent topwater lure. I’m looking for Bass feeding towards the surface more often in the fall as the weather cools off.

How it Works

The Whopper Plopper comes in different color combinations to mimic several types of prey fish. You can reel this thing at almost any speed and still have some great results! It took its name from the whopping sound it creates when throwing water, and the fish really dig it.

This fall bass lure has a long cast length and is easy to throw long distances to the perfect hole.

Pros

  • Reel at any speed – great for beginners.
  • Topwater fishing is a thrill.
  • Great fall colors.
  • One mile cast.

Cons

  • Expensive thing to lose on a stray log.

Takeaway

The Whopper Plopper is a great topwater lure. It may be on the costlier end of this list, but it’s quality and ready to go right out of the box. Being able to reel at any speed makes it very versatile and beginner-friendly.

Norman Lures Crankbait

Norman Lures Crankbait

I always have a crankbait in my tackle box for bass fishing. In the fall, you’re looking for a shallow dive and a natural color. This Norman Lure Crankbait comes in a variety of colors. I like the shad or crawdad varieties for the fall!

How it Works

This fall bass lure wiggles its way all the way down to twelve feet, encouraging even sleepy bass to hit. The bright color options attract bass in even murky waters and is guaranteed never to wear off. The bill makes the lure dive, but also protects it against debris.

Pros

  • Priced well, get a few!
  • Tough lure, good for covering water.
  • Flashy colors.
  • Great movement.

Cons

  • I like to have the correct depth in my tackle box for the strike zone, which doesn’t always work out.
  • Made of plastic.

Takeaway

The Norman Lure Crankbait is a great crankbait solution for the fall. It has great movement, dive depth, and color options. This is my best bass lure for early fall with nice movement while the weather is still warm.

Booyah Squarebill Crankbait

Booyah Squarebill Crankbait

I like to fish cover during the fall and these Booyah Squarebill Crankbaits are a great option. When bass are feeding in shallow cover during the cooler months, these little guys are ready to get a hit.

How it Works

Same as other crankbaits, Booyah’s Squarebill is great for covering ground in search of bass. They have great movement vertically and laterally. This lure has a rattle-free swim while it dives, with lots of wobble and flash.

Bass will hit even before it reaches the bottom! The square bill makes it exceptionally resistant to debris once it gets there. Pros go for the foxy shad color variation.

Pros

  • Well priced, get a few!
  • Great for cover.
  • Rattle-free swim.
  • Big side-flash and wobble.
  • Resistant to snagging.

Cons

  • Shallow water only.
  • Made of plastic.

Takeaway

I love fishing cover for largemouth bass in the fall and this is my go-to lure. I like that it’s silent and covers a lot of ground without snagging. I get plenty of hits before I even hit the bottom to drag.

What’s the difference between a Crankbait and a Squarebill?

Crankbaits dive deep and are great for fishing structures or currents. This is often where a fall angler will find smallmouth bass.

Squarebills are more resistant to snagging and are great for fishing cover. They do not dive as deep, but are not meant to. Fall anglers use them to look for largemouth bass.

Any type of crankbait is great for covering water in search of bass. They can attract at bite at any depth and have great movement at an efficient speed.

Strike King Mini-King Spinnerbait

The Strike King Mini-King Spinnerbait is what you want to reach for if you’re looking for the best fall smallmouth bass lure. Smallmouth like structures, current and small lures. This spinnerbait fits the bill and comes in many different colors to simulate your local fall feeder fish.

How it Works

The Tennessee Diamond blade offers both flash and vibration to generate a strike. The skirt disguises the hook well and offers a variety of colors. Reel it fast to cover lots of ground looking for your fall smallies.

The silver head/clear red skirt color combo is especially effective in the fall!

Pros

  • Inexpensive, get a couple colors!
  • Fast moving, great for finding the fish.
  • Good for fishing structures.
  • Durable construction.
  • Flash and vibration, this lure will get noticed.

Cons

  • Small single hook, fish must commit.

Takeaway

I find this lure to be the best hunter on the list for fall smallmouth bass. Strike King offers a large selection of colors to match the prey on your waterway at an inexpensive price point. Consider a larger size if you’re after largemouth bass this fall.

A word on smallmouth

Smallmouth fight hard! You may be tempted to downsize your rod and reel combo when hunting these smaller fish, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Your tackle may downsize, but a smaller rod could snap right in half fighting one of these angry fish.

War Eagle Double Willow Spinnerbait

War Eagle Screamin Eagle Double Willow Spinnerbait

This War Eagle Spinnerbait is top of its class and ready to catch bass. This spinnerbait is pricier than its peers, but more versatile for fall fishing. It can be used in both cover and open water effectively.

How it Works

The spinner blades provide lots of flash and vibration. In most lure varieties they come in two different colors, making this lure versatile in many fall conditions. In addition, the added weight under the lures skirt allows for faster reeling and more water coverage without adding your own. Pros grab the mouse color which closely imitates a fleeing shad.

Pros

  • Extra weight under the skirt to reel fast.
  • Two different color spinner blades.
  • Versatile fall lure.
  • Fully weighted with a small profile.
  • Great at covering water.

Cons

  • Expensive for a spinner.
  • Single hook design.

Takeaway

This is my go-to best fall spinnerbait for bass. It can get a little pricey to lose, but the fish love this lure. With the extra weight and double blades, a fall angler can just tie on and cast. Try the hot mouse color in murky water!

Buckeye Lures G-Man Ballin' Out Jig

Buckeye Lures G-Man Ballin' Out Jig

I try to keep my lures efficient and versatile and G-Man’s Ballin’ Out Jig certainly fits the bill. Bass aren’t always looking for prey fish like shad in the fall, they are often hunting crawfish, and in this circumstance there’s nothing better than a jig.

How it Works

G-Man designed this circular jig head to work in most situations; it’s effective in lots of different cover types. This is a time saver while you’re fishing and a space saver while you’re packing.

In addition, the fiber weed guard is great at keeping me out of trouble in deep cover. When bass are finding cover in the fall this is a great jig to throw, but it can also be used as a swim jig.

Don’t forget to match with a trailer. Any crawfish trailer will do, however, the colder the fall is the less movement you want from your trailer tails.

Pros

  • Effective in different cover types without changing heads.
  • Tough fiber weed guard.
  • Designed and used by Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle.
  • Great crawfish action.

Cons

  • Requires trailer.

Takeaway

Once you’ve found your bass this Ballin’ Out Jig might be the right solution. It handles cover well and is built to hop along the bottom. If crawfish is what your bass are feeding on this fall, this lure will get a hit.

Strike King Tour Grade Football Jigs

Strike King Tour Grade Football Jigs

When the weather starts getting cold this fall, you may consider shifting to a football jig. These Strike King Tour Grade Football Jigs can’t handle quite the amount of cover that a classic jig can, but their movement along a debris free bottom is really attractive to slow moving fish.

How it Works

I like to drag these jigs with plenty of dead pauses to make the skirt flair and induce a bite. They work best on clutter free bottoms especially around offshore structures, but include a fiber weed guard and can handle some cover. These are pretty versatile for a Football Jig.

I always look for a crawfish trailer for this jig. I use it primarily in the colder months so I look for low movement from the trailer tail.

Pros

  • When the bass want crawfish, this is a great option.
  • Fiber weed guard.
  • Best for offshore structures.
  • Vibrant colors.
  • Highly rated.

Cons

  • Better to know where fish are (less versatile).
  • Requires trailer.

Takeaway

If you’ve found bass around an offshore structure this fall or have easy to deal with cover, this is the lure for you. The movement on it is great for cold weather and the fiber guard keeps me out of trouble.

Z-Man Finesse TRD

Z-Man Finesse TRD

What an incredible invention a soft bait lure is and these Z-Man Finesse TRDs are the best of the best. They can last 20 fish or more, making them a real deal for the soft bait angler. Speaking of, “The Deal” is my favorite fall color on these Z-Mans.

How it Works

These little lures are designed for a NED or “shroom” jig. Once you cast the lure and jig flutter to the bottom, creating a movement fish can’t resist. If they do resist, the lures action on the bottom also invites a hit.

Once hit, the texture and flavor of the soft bait lure will keep a bass from spitting it out.

Fish these lures on a loose line, you may not even know when there’s a fish on. When a fish hits don’t try to set the hook, I’ve ripped a couple of these out. Just start reeling him straight into your boat!

Pros

  • Gliding movement while sinking fish love to hit.
  • Action on the bottom works well too.
  • Affordable soft bait.
  • Huge variety of colors.
  • Texture and flavor keep bass from spitting lure.

Cons

  • Must know where fish are (no swimming option).
  • Easy to lose a bass if set too hard.
  • Hybrid bait good for 20 or so fish.

Takeaway

If you haven’t tried the NED style of fishing yet, you should. If you know the fish are down there, but they’re being a little picky, rig one of these Z-Man soft bait worms up and give it a shot.

LiveTarget Frog

LiveTarget Frog

This LIVETARGET Frog one of the best bass lures for pond fishing, but you don’t have to only fish for bass on a pond to use a frog lure. In fact, anywhere with tall grasses will do. This type of fishing is an absolute blast, give it a shot this fall when they’re bulking up on toads for winter.

How it Works

This wildly realistic lure is hollow-bodied and ready to hop around cover like the real deal. Fishing a top water lure in cover is peak bass fishing and a great practice in the fall when the bass move shallow.

This lure is expensive, but the hooks are angled upward to keep you out of the weeds. LIVETARGET has made one of the softest bodied hollow frogs on the market, meaning when the fish hit, the hook sinks.

The general rule to keep in mind when choosing your color is the type of vegetation. Heavy grass mats call for a solid color like black or white, while thin grasses or open water call for one of the natural selections.

Pros

  • Very soft hollow body for better hook ratios.
  • Topwater cover fishing is a blast.
  • Weed-resistant design.
  • Many color options to choose from.

Cons

  • Pretty expensive for a frog.
  • Requires specific conditions.

Takeaway

A hollow hopper is a lot of fun when you’ve got some grassy bank to fish. I like this one in particular because its soft body and realistic looks.

What About the Rest of the Year?

This is a great fall list, but bass bite all year round. I’ve compiled the best bass lures for spring and the best bass lures for winter, so check em out!

Tell me what you’re using this fall!

To sum it up, keep it natural in the fall. Unless you’re in murky water, the bass are looking hard at what they hit. The Strike King Mini-King Spinnerbait is my favorite way to find bass, especially smallmouth. Once I’m there I’m throwing the Buckeye Lures G-Man Ballin’ Out Jig to generate some hits.

What are your favorite lures to use for bass in the fall? Did any of them make the list? I’d love to hear whether you’re aiming for smallmouth or largemouth bass this fall.

Do you change your setups depending on which you’re fishing? What are your favorite color combinations in the fall?

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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