Wired2fish’s Kobie Koenig braves heavy winds to target fall smallmouth bass congregated around isolated main lake rock piles. As the seasons transition, so do the behaviors of smallmouth, making it a prime time for anglers who know where to look and what tactics to employ. Koenig shares his process for finding and catching big fall smallmouth using his electronics and armed with a unique straight-tail plastic presentation (Berkley PowerBait Power Switch).
TACKLED USED (retail links)
- BAIT – Berkley® PowerBait® Power Switch®: Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- ROD – Abu Garcia Pro Series Spinning Rod, Avena 7’4″ Medium: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- REEL – Abu Garcia REVO SX SP30 Spinning Reel: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- LINE (braided mainline) – Berkley Jordan Lee X9 Braided Line Flame Green, 10-pound: Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- LINE (fluorocarbon leader) – Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon, 10-pound: Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Tackle Warehouse
- HOODIE – AFTCO Reaper Windproof Pullover: Buy at Tackle Warehouse, Check out Fishing Clothing at AFTCO
*Additional gear links at the bottom.
HOW TO FIND SMALLMOUTH BASS IN THE FALL
Koenig begins his day following a cold front, with water temperatures plummeting, signaling the bass to start their pre-winter feeding frenzy. However, this sudden change often shocks the fish, necessitating a slow, methodical approach from anglers. The key, Koenig reveals, lies in locating isolated rock piles, especially larger boulders, within offshore structures. These areas provide the perfect wintering area for smallmouth bass in colder conditions. He meticulously scans structure using side imaging and drops waypoints on promising spots.
HOW TO CATCH FALL SMALLMOUTH WITH STRAIGHT-TAIL PLASTICS
Koenig demonstrates the effectiveness of moping for bass using minnow-imitating plastics, which mimic a wide variety of baitfish. The real magic happens when these lures hover around the rocks. Koenig emphasizes patience, detailing how subtle movements or a perfectly timed pause can make all the difference.
ROD SETUP FOR DAMIKI RIGGING
Koenig prefers a longer rod when Damiki rigging, specifically a 7’2″ or longer medium power setup, explaining how it improves bait control and helps slow the presentation. More hang time can be essential in cold water when bass are more lethargic. He pairs his 3000-size reel with a 15-pound braided mainline to a 10-pound fluorocarbon leader, optimizing sensitivity and strength.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR SPINNING REEL DRAG
Koenig concludes with advice on managing spinning reel drag. He stresses the importance of adjusting the drag during the catch, especially when the fish suddenly dives or leaps. He keeps his drag tight to drive bigger gauge hooks home, then manually gives the fish some line during close-quarter boat side surges and jumps.
ELECTRONICS & BOAT (retail links)
- TROLLING MOTOR – Minn Kota Ultrex QUEST: Check out at Minn Kota
- FISH FINDERS (bow stack) – Humminbird APEX 13 MEGA SI+ Fishfinder/Chartplotter: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- FISH FINDER (console) – Humminbird APEX 16 CHIRP MEGA SI+: Humminbird SOLIX 15 CHIRP MEGA SI+ G3: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- 360 SONAR – Humminbird MEGA 360 Imaging: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- LIVE SONAR – Humminbird MEGA Live Imaging Transducer: Buy at Bass Pro Shops
- MAPPING – Humminbird LakeMaster Premium VX Digital Map Chart Card (Great Lakes): Buy at Bass Pro Shops, Buy at Humminbird
- BASS BOAT – Lund 2075 Pro-V Bass XS
- MOTOR – Mercury 250hp Pro XS: Check out at Mercury