“Speed kills,” at least when it comes to shallow fishing big baits in the fall months. Bassmaster Elite Series Pro and premiere Lake Fork guide Lee Livesay instructs us how to fish multi-jointed swimbaits for fall bass using the speed reeling technique to trigger big bites in the dirt.
FEATURED GEAR & TACKLE (retail links)
- SWIMBAIT – 6th Sense Trace, 6″ Floating
- HARD BODY & MULTI-JOINTED SWIMBAITS
- ROD – Halo Fishing HFX Casting Rod, 7’3″ Medium-Heavy
- REEL – Shimano Metanium MGL 150 Casting Reel, 7.1:1
- LINE – Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon, 20-pound
- TROLLING MOTOR – Minn Kota Ultrex i-Pilot Link, 112-pound
In most fisheries located in the southern regions of the U.S., a large population of bass head to the bank in the fall to chase shad and other forage types. Most baitfish (shad) have grown to extensive lengths by this time of year which presents the perfect opportunity to fish bigger lures, assuming you fish them correctly. Livesay harps that speed is an essential trigger, especially with multi-jointed hard swimbaits. Speed reeling allows you to make more casts and cover water, a necessity during this time of year, and creates a large, loud presence in the shallows that triggers big ones.
During this awkward time around lake turnover, bass seem to scatter amongst the shallows. Livesay informs us that fish will be stacked up in a different spot than they sometimes are during shad spawns. He looks for one or two bites per spot by focusing his efforts on main lake points and other high-percentage areas. The bites he does get, however, are the right ones. Livesay uses his trolling motor’s Spot-Lock function to digitally anchor the boat so he can thoroughly fan cast around to prevent missing stragglers once he’s located a high-percentage area on a point.
Keep it simple when it comes to the rod setup. A 7-foot, 3-inch medium-heavy rod supports long casts across expansive areas. A fast gear ratio reel is a must to burn the swimbait across the surface of the water. Fill the reel with 20-pound fluorocarbon, and you got yourself a combo that is sure to put big ones in the boat.