by : Michelle Thomason
The “dog days” of Summer are one of the most difficult times of year for catching bass, so I want to look ahead to the upcoming Fall and talk about 2 Cashion rods that can be used with multiple baits during the Fall transition. Nights will begin to cool off and with shorter days, the temperature of the water will begin to fall, triggering the fish to get more active and engorge themselves eating shad. The bass will instinctively know to fatten up and they will be looking up, keying in on those forage fish, so it’s a good idea to always have a topwater bait rigged and ready to go. A spook style bait is an ideal bait to throw in the fall, and I actually prefer to rig it on the Cashion Chatterbait rod. This Medium-Heavy rod with fast action is ideal to deliver an instant hookset and has plenty of power to drive hooks and muscle the fish back to the boat. When these frenzied bass are chasing shad, a walking bait will definitely draw their attention, as well as a heart-stopping strike from these aggressively feeding bass. I prefer to throw the Evergreen Shower Blow because it casts well and is easy to walk, and use 50 pound braid, along with an 8.1:1 gear ratio reel on the Cashion Icon Chatterbait rod (model iCh71MHF).
A chatterbait is a fantastic way to catch lots of fish any time of year but is definitely effective in the Fall because it attracts the attention of bass so well. It is capable of inducing strikes and searching for bass that are feeding, especially along shallow flats with scattered grass or pad stalk fields. When fishing a chatterbait, an essential piece of the puzzle is the rod. If you have ever used the Cashion Chatterbait rod, you will understand why it is one of the best rods on the market today. It is lightweight, with outstanding sensitivity and control and has a strong backbone with a fast tip to quickly load when you are hooked up with a fish, and with the Kevlar grips of the Icon, you can feel every vibration of the bait and when it comes through grass or over rock. I prefer to throw the Jackhammer Chatterbait on 16-20 pound fluorocarbon and use a 7.3:1 gear ratio reel.
Even though the iCh71MHF rod is designed for the chatterbait, there are other techniques that can be used on this 7’1” Medium-Heavy Fast Action rod that make it a true workhorse. I also trust this rod for throwing a squarebill crankbait, which is excellent at triggering bites during the Fall. In this transition, largemouth have just snapped out of their Summer lethargic state, and are determined to fatten up for Winter, so a squarebill will get bites, especially in stained water or when the bait is deflected off any cover that bass are holding to. Bass can’t resist the squarebill’s erratic action that mimics a wounded baitfish or one that has gotten away from the group and looks like an easy meal. The Rapala DT6 would be a good choice to cast around rocks, docks, or wood, and I would rig that on 16-20 pound fluorocarbon line and a 7.3:1 gear ratio reel on the Icon Chatterbait rod.
In early Fall, a buzzbait is a good technique for covering water and determining what the fish are on. You want to match the profile of shad that the fish are eating, so you could downsize the trailer if needed to match the hatch. I throw a buzzbait on 50 pound braid with an 8.1:1 gear ratio reel on the Icon Multi-Purpose Rod (model iMP74MHMF). This all-purpose rod is true to its name and is a favorite of many anglers because it can handle many different baits and performs flawlessly.
I rely mostly on moving baits in early Fall and another staple would be a lipless crankbait, because it can “match the hatch” so well. Giant balls of bait will be migrating into the backs of creeks or pockets, and bass will follow them and feast on this bait until it is gone. With their meals readily available, the bass can be hard to catch, but a lipless crankbait is the right size to mimic exactly what the bass are feeding on. I like a ½ oz-5/8oz lipless on 16-20 pound fluorocarbon, and I alternate from a straight retrieval presentation to a yo-yoing technique. The Cashion Icon Multi-Purpose rod works like a charm for a lipless crankbait, offering excellent casting capability. This rod is also powerful and great for ripping chatterbaits or rattle traps through grass. If you are looking for a rod that can handle most anything, cover multiple techniques, and be great at all of them, the Cashion Icon Multi-Purpose Rod is it.
As the Fall season approaches and we have a few cold fronts, keep watch on the water temp, look around for bait activity, use those reaction baits to match the forage, and hopefully we can all trigger some big bites this Fall.