Wired2fish connected with Brandon Palaniuk for a quick rundown on his favorite fall bass fishing lures, which are proven for their ability to generate bites regardless of where he’s fishing in the country throughout the fall months. While fall smallmouth bass lures are more nuanced, Palaniuk’s roster of fall baits is relatively basic and universal yet spans the gamut from big and aggressive moving baits to refined vertical finesse presentations.
Bottom line, with these 5 setups, Palaniuk feels he can go to any lake in the country and catch a bass.
FEATURED TACKLE (retail links)
- GLIDE BAIT – Storm Arashi Glide
- JERKBAIT – Rapala Shadow Rap Deep
- CRANKBAIT – Rapala DT-8 and Rapala DT-6
DROP SHOT SETUP
- PLASTIC – X-Zone Lures Deception Worm
- HOOK – VMC Finesse Neko Hook
- WEIGHT – VMC Tungsten Teardrop Weight
- JIG – OutKast Tackle Stealth Feider Jig, 1/2-ounce
- TRAILER – X-Zone 3.25″ Muscle Back Finesse Craw
*Additional links at the bottom.
- Glide bait. Palaniuk is a glide bait expert, designer, and true believer in their ability to trigger big fall bass. As he states, it’s a “great way to contact the larger than average sized bass” in any given lake and learn how the bass are positioned as water temps drop. From an energy expenditure standpoint, a big meal provides more net caloric yield, and the cooling temps of fall seem to get the big fish chewing.
- Jerkbait. Another fall bass fishing classic, the jerkbait is among the best lures for trigging bass. For Palaniuk, jerkbaits dominate with forward-facing sonar due to the angler’s ability to manipulate the bait in real time based on how the bass responds to it. Jerkbaits also excel at covering water fast while allowing you to slow down your pace after you’ve found fish. It’s a staple anytime you can see bass on live sonar.
- Crankbait. Palaniuk reaches for a crankbait when targeting fall bass along bottom transitions such as rock and gravel to grass edges. Outside grass edges are prime for precision depth cranking. Green weeds absorb and hold heat, thus attracting baitfish and bass. A crankbait is an excellent trigging tool in and around the grass, but Palaniuk recommends ones with a subtler, more refined wobble, as they tend to come through the grass cleaner.
- Drop shot. Sorry, leaving a drop shot rig off a “top baits” list is hard. A drop shot is an anytime confidence setup for Palaniuk. He prefers a 6-inch straight tail worm in the fall, usually during warming trends, calm conditions, or high skies.
- Jig. No fall bass fishing list is complete without a jig. They’re an excellent blend of bulk and refinement and fish excellently around cover like docks, laydowns, or grasslines. Palaniuk prefers compact jigs, as he feels they’re a good match for young of the year forage. He pairs his jig with an aggressive trailer in early fall and transitions to subtler action trailers as water temps reach the low 50s.