On the Move
Oct 6th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Oct 6th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
FLW Tour pro Sean Hoernke likes to be aggressive when he’s chasing bass this time of the year. He prefers baits with plenty of motion, tending to stay away from slower presentations like soft plastics or jigs when he’s trying to find bass in the fall.
“The way I like to attack fall fishing is with moving baits,” said Hoernke. “Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are my number one choice for fishing in the fall.”
Hoernke likes the flat approach for cranking.
“One of my favorite crankbaits in the fall is a flat-sided crankbait,” said Hoernke. “A flat-sided crankbait has a very tight wobble that simulates a baitfish. I catch the majority of my fish in the fall on flat-sided crankbaits.”
He prefers a crankbait that runs between 3-and 7-feet deep. Color choices are simple, shad patterns in most conditions and a bright firetiger pattern if the water is stained.
Cover dictates line size.
“I choose my line size based on the cover that I am fishing,” said Hoernke. “If there is very little cover then I prefer 10-pound line, if I am cranking heavy wood cover that is shallow then I will go as high as 20-pound line with my crankbaits. Obviously the heavier the line, the shallower the bait will dive.”
Plain Jane is the rule for spinnerbaits.
“I prefer a ½-ounce bait in either chartreuse and white or plain white skirt,” said Hoernke. “The best blade combination is a spinnerbait tandem blade combination with a small Colorado blade on the front and a willow leaf on the back.
“I like smaller overall blades when the water is clear like a 4.5 willow and when it is stained I prefer going as large as a number 6. I usually throw the bait on either 17-or 20-pound line depending on the cover.”
In the fall baitfish begin migrating to the backs of coves and pockets.
“Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are very effective when fishing the backs of coves and pockets because of the vast amount of water you can cover in a short amount of time” said Hoernke. “One of my favorite techniques with a spinnerbait is to wake the bait in the back of the coves. The best situation is to put your boat in the creek channel preferably with the edge of the channel being 3-to 7-feet deep on the edge of the channel.
“Simply throw the bait out on a long cast and bulge the surface of the water with the blades making sure not to let the blades break the surface of the water. I have never been bit on a cast where the blades break the water. The tandem blade combination will give you more “lift” in your bait than a double willow or double Colorado blade combination, therefore allowing you to slow the bait down; it will draw fish up from further distances.
“The main key to remember in fall fishing is to cover as much water as you possibly can and focus on the back ends of pockets and creeks and you will find the fish.”