As day-length wanes and air temps begin to drop in late summer and early fall, bass change their habits, and for anglers who’ve spent the summer dissecting weedbeds, they can be difficult to find.
To confuse things even more, natural lakes and the vegetation they hold don’t all respond to the change of season in the same way. In some waters the weeds in the lake, or a section of the lake, all seem to deteriorate at the same time; in others the process is more gradual. Each requires a different approach.
Where masses of weeds turn brown and become covered with algae, count on the oxygen content of the surrounding water to drop, driving baitfish and largemouths from the area. The bass most likely won’t travel far, however. Look for fish on rocks, hard-bottom points or other structure that’s close to the weedbeds they’ve been using all summer, especially if open-water baitfish are in the proximity. Crayfish, too, will attract largemouths, so mix jigs into your presentation strategy.
Some lakes will maintain green weeds well into late fall, but they’ll be deeper than the beds anglers pounded all summer long. Focus on the edges, particularly the shallower inside edge where bass could be active all day long.
Underwater humps, steep drop-offs and acute inside turns along the breakline are also prime spots to find fish when the weed growth dwindles.
The onset of autumn can mean different things on different lakes, but the one constant is that bass seldom travel far from their summer haunts. Start your search on structure closest to the dying weedbed.