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Coast to coast, fall offers lots of great opportunities to catch a variety of gamefish, as cooling water temperatures spark hot bites for everything from trout, catfish and crappies to bass, redfish, and walleyes.
To help you reap the autumn harvest, we offer the following "best of the best" tips from some of the Vibe Pro Field Staff to help you catch more fish and have more fun.
Colan Bukowski - Miami, FL
My favorite fish to catch in the fall are big speckled trout. The best bait for these trout is anything that resembles a live mullet, because they are chasing the mullet schools this time of year.
Tip: With the fall mullet run in full swing, make sure to cast your lure on the outskirts of the school of bait to make it seem like an injured fish. This will help trigger the bite of the jacks, tarpon, snook and trout that may be following the schools.
Billy Reynolds - St. Louis, MO
I tournament fish for bass, so this time of the year I’ll be concentrating on the biggest largemouth I can find! Since the bass are trying to fatten themselves up before the water temperature drops, I always try to grab a bait that will trick them into thinking I am offering up the biggest, tastiest meal on the lake. That means I always have a jig tied on, as well as a couple of different top-water baits.
Tip: This can be a great time to dropshot a fluke if you find schools in deeper water. My preference is the ZMan ShadZ, usually in watermelon red. If you hit the school at the right time, you can literally wear yourself out with a dropshot. I prefer the ZMan ShadZ because it is made from ElaZtech. The ElaZtech will hold up to multiple fish, so I save time having to put a new bait on my hook. Time can be money in a tournament situation.
Joseph Person - Bergheim, TX
Fall is my favorite time to fish redfish and flounder, and redfish eat just about anything that won't eat them first. Regardless of their size, redfish hit a variety of artificial baits, from an inch-long fly to a magnum topwater plug.
Tip: Autumn is a great time to find big schools of redfish on the marsh flats. During this time, the flats drain with the outgoing tide; all the bait is forced to move out with the water, and redfish are always around. A topwater plug, which takes reds over shell reefs in open bays, along jetties and in the surf, is a great choice. The Heddon Super Spook Jr. drives redfish crazy with its side-to-side action.
Jeff Jones - Mobile, AL
My favorite species to target during the fall is speckled trout. During the months of September and October, mullet of all sizes start their migration out of the bays and into the bayous of the gulf coast. Due to this, the trout follow them and will feed on the biggest mullet that can fit in their mouth.
Tip: A MirrOlure Catch 2000 is a perfect mullet imitation and will entice even the wariest of fish.
Erica DeLana - Dahlonega, GA
Smallmouth bass are definitely my favorite type of fish to catch during fall fishing season, and I like to bait them with square bill crankbaits.
Tip: Bass only have one thing on their mind during the fall, and that is FOOD! They’re busy this time of year eating anything and everything they can find preparing for colder temperatures. These bass will be cruising the shallow banks looking for a meal, such as shiners, shad and small crawfish. Throwing a squarebill crankbait or a spinner bait will cover a lot of water to help locate a fish. Once a fish is found, I’ll slow down and fish a craw imitation.
Send us your favorite tip and or fish to catch and we may feature you on our social channels. Be sure to tag it with #tipsforvibekayaks. And if you are interested in keeping up with the pros, check out their bios on the Pro Fishing Team page of our website and follow them all on Instagram.