Growing up on the Coosa River, I have spent a lot of time chasing spotted bass. In fact, I have been fishing for spots in the Coosa since the day I learned how to hold a rod and reel. I have a special affinity for spotted bass and have been lucky enough to have some success catching them in tournaments.
Spotted bass move a lot during the year, but you can find them in the following locations throughout the fall months.
Downriver side of dams
If safely accessible, a great place to start looking for fall spotted bass is directly on the downriver side of a dam. The turbines produce a really strong current and spotted bass absolutely love current.
Fish as close to the dam as you safely and legally can. At times, I find my boat bumping up against the dam, and more often than not that’s when you get the most bites. If you don’t have a fishable dam, main river current is an excellent alternative.
Backs of creeks
The back of a creek can be alluring to a spotted bass. Typically, they are going to position themselves on the deeper side of the creek.
Don’t race to the back of the creek. While the water temperature is still in the high 60-degree range and above, the bass will be located from the mouths to the midway-point of creeks, often in depths exceeding 5 feet. Once the water temperature reaches the mid-60s, start making your way to the backs of creeks. I like to start on the deeper side of the creek, but be careful not to overlook the shallower side—especially as the water temperatures continue to drop.
Spotted bass feel at home around isolated wood. I have found that the bigger the wood, the better it holds fish. A freshly fallen or cut tree—especially pines—can hold magnum spotted bass. While a single piece of wood can hold multiple fish, a fallen tree can hold entire schools of fish. If you can find wood, you can find spotted bass in the fall.
Rocks near current
Rocks in or very near current can produce good spotted bass fishing as well. Spots love current, so water rushing over a rocky bank or jetty usually holds good fish. When you run across a rocky point being hit with heavy current, it’s always worth a few casts. Spotted bass will let you know quickly if they’re there and it’s very possible to catch a heavy limit with just a few casts. Rock and moving water are the perfect ingredients for a great spotted bass habitat.
Concrete seawalls may not look very appealing, but they can be great this time of year. Some of these seawalls are rather small, but they can hold large fish.
When these walls are put in, a lot of rock, wood and scattered debris litter the base of the wall, creating many small nooks and crannies for spotted bass to live in. These concrete walls also hold heat, which attracts both baitfish and bass as the water temperatures drop into the low 60s and high 50s.
Spotted bass are extremely aggressive in the fall, so if you target these areas throughout your fishing day, it shouldn’t be too difficult to have a lot of fun.
Guest blog by FLW Tour pro Clent Davis