Fall Fishing in Arizona
Out here in the desert when the days are getting shorter and the nights begin to get cooler you know the fall transition has begun. Late Summer fishing can be absolutely brutal, especially here in Arizona. Although Summertime is probably my favorite time to fish in Arizona that doesn’t mean I enjoy the end of it. As we mentioned in our last seasonal post Finding Summer Bass, when these fish make the move out to their Summer homes those fish tend to stay there for the majority of the Summer.
When you start fishing off shore structure on deep points and humps in May- August it can make for some fun days on the water. After a few months of catching them real good, you will notice around the end of August and in September they are just tough to catch. Those fish have been pressured all Summer and have seen the same baits everyday. They then become lethargic and some have started to scatter making it even harder. It’s better than being in the office but there is no getting around it, it’s just tough. When you are out in the morning and you need a hoodie you definitely know it has started, when you see the water temp start crashing on your graphs quickly then you know it is ON!
Finding the bass
Once these bass start making the fall transition they start to bunch up and it becomes all about finding these schools. As it gets later in the fall they become even more grouped up which can make them difficult to find. But when you do find them it can make for an amazing day. These bass will start chasing the bait towards the creeks, early in the fall look at the backs of the first pockets near the mouth of the creek or flats with hard cover. Secondary points are also a great area to check out, but you want to make sure you look for hard cover. That can include rocks, wood, lay down’s etc. When looking at those first pockets look at your maps. Go to the ones that have a deep channel because they will push the bait from the deep water into the back of the pockets. Its crucial to keep an eye on your electronics to find your bait balls and look for the bait being busted up on the surface.
Since these fish are schooled up you definitely want to cover water until you get that first bite, once you do slow down and work that spot hard and you can catch a ton of them. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon is always a great time but don’t over look that late morning. When the sun gets up it’s going to cast shadows and those shadows are great places to fish. Those fish will use the shadows as cover because it’s comfortable for them and they can ambush the bait easily. When fishing the shadows it’s a great time to finesse them a bit and we will get to those baits next. When you are covering water make sure to look for some these dying shad and match the hatch!
Baits for Fall Fishing
There are many different types of baits you can excel with when the fall transition comes around. You can throw a variety of reaction baits when covering water and finesse fishing can be a great option to once that sun is up. The key is to cover as much water as you can and throw a bunch of different options until you can find that first group. Below are some of our favorites for Fall fishing in Arizona.
A great Squarebill is the Strike King 1.5 https://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Strike_King_KVD_15_Hard_Knock_Squarebill_Crankbait/descpage-SKHK15.html
When it comes to chatterbaits I love the JackHammer from Evergreen. There are some new ones on the market that have some good reviews but the Jackhammer is the definition of don’t fix something that aint broke. https://www.tacklewarehouse.com/Z-Man_Evergreen_Chatterbait_Jack_Hammer/descpage-ZEJACKX.html
Froggin might not be the number one option in the fall but when you have any of our Arizona lakes with rising water, look for that vegetation. It can be a great place to get a big bite on a Blitz Lures frog. https://www.blitzlures.com/store/c1/www.Blitzlures.com
The finesse jig is a great option when the sun comes up and you need to slow down with the shaded areas we mentioned earlier. The Peanut Jig from Queen Tackle is a killer option and the jig is always good for some big bites. https://www.queentackle.com/ Use code FISHIN48 for a discount off of your total purchase.
This is a great bait for covering water in the fall! Dont look any further than our favorite company for spinnerbaits, Persuader. https://persuaderamerican.com/collections/imaged-blade-spinnerbaits
There are many other baits that are great to throw in the fall like the swim jig, jerkbait, deeper cranks and a shaky head. The ones are above are some of our favorites and we hope this post will help you have an awesome day on the water. Remember this can be a very rewarding time to fish. If you find them or it can be a real crash and burn kind of day, so get out there and get the trolling motor moving. If you don’t have a boat and would like to get out on one of our Arizona Lakes, book a fishing trip with FishIn48. One of experienced Arizona fishing guides will help you understand everything we just went over in this post and give you a memorable day on the water.