Fall Fishing Tips from Skeeter


Fall Fishing Tips from Skeeter

By Craig Lamb

Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits and jerk baits. Those bass lures are designed to imitate fast moving baitfish, the primary forage of largemouth, especially during the fall season. In the fall, baitfish become nomadic, searching for and feeding upon plankton in anticipation of the coming winter when their metabolism and appetite diminishes. Bass follow the baitfish and stock up for the winter period as well.

Nowhere on the above list of textbook fall baits do you find the topwater frog. Most anglers think of using that lure during the hottest days of summertime when bass prowl the shallows in search of any meal they can find.

Fall Fishing Tips from Skeeter

However, Nick Lebrun, Skeeter Pro, thinks outside the box. A topwater frog is one of his favorite fall lures. That makes a lot of sense if you think about it. The bass sees an endless parade of those textbook lures. They grow wary and won’t be fooled by them. The frog is different. It emulates natural forage, is less seen this time of year, and is a proven big bass bait.

“In the fall, baitfish move shallow and the bass already are there, or they follow them,” said Nick LeBrun, a tournament angler and Skeeter pro from Bossier City, La. “A lot of anglers don’t think of using a frog in the fall when it’s an ideal lure for what we all want, which is to catch big bass.”

LeBrun, who recently won the FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American and it’s $100,000 first-place purse, extends the season for what undeniably is the most exhilarating lure of them all to use in bass fishing.

“You can’t beat watching the wake of a big bass charging up behind a topwater frog,” said the 33-year-old pro. “And then the explosive topwater strike and fighting the fish back to the boat, nothing can beat it.”

The most essential ingredient to frog fishing, even in fall, is lily pads. The predator bass hide beneath them to ambush whatever comes past for an easy meal. For LeBrun, the bigger the size lily pad, the better.

“Dinner-plate sized pads are too small, and I like to find the biggest in the area, up to two feet or more in diameter,” he explained. “Those will hold the biggest bass in the area, which is what frog fishing is all about.”

Find the biggest pads and then comes the next step. Making long casts is essential to make the most of the strike zone.

Fall Fishing Tips from Skeeter

“Covering water is the key because the bass can be anywhere in the pad field,” said LeBrun. “You also want to be very focused on looking for a sign of bass activity.”

Staying on the lookout for that “sign” is the best part of frog fishing for many anglers. The signs of good things to come are wakes and bulges in the water behind the frog as it sashays across the surface.

This is where the bane of topwater fishing enters the picture. You must resist the temptation to speed up the cadence of the frog, not grow impatient, and set the hook too soon.

“I don’t expect to catch that fish on the first strike,” explained LeBrun. “That bass will come back, so keep the frog moving along.”

Making long casts and connecting with a big bass in heavy cover make tackle selection key. A flimsy rod is no place for doing combat in the lily pads. LeBrun likes a rod designed specifically for the job. His choice is a 7-foot, 2-inch Fitzgerald Bryan Thrift Series Frog Rod, a medium/heavy action model designed specifically to manhandle big bass out of thick pads. He pairs it up with a Quantum® Smoke S3 Casting Reel with an 8.1:1 gear ratio.

“The high gear ratio is a must because a fish in the pads can come at you, and you can catch up with the faster speed reel,” he said. “That, and you can keep that big bass’ head above water.”

“Matched up with the frog rod it makes the best combination for solid hookups and getting the fish to the boat,” he added.

LeBrun favors 50-pound Fitzgerald Vursa Braided BlackLine for the job.

“Sure, I’d like to use 60 pound but it hinders making those longer casts, plus it’s more manageable and easier to skip a frog beneath cover like a dock or overhanging limbs,” he said.

Finally, his lure choice is a V&M Baits Bayou Bullfrog, designed with a special hull-shape that corrects the bait to an upright position if it lands upside down.

LeBrun chooses a Skeeter FX21 for gaining access to the froggiest of bass waters, thanks to its top performance,  smooth ride, and stability.

“It’s just the way the Skeeter is engineered with features specifically designed for bass fishing,” he said. “They think of everything, and it’s built for a hard-core angler like me.”

The 21-foot model is ideal for running across the big water and even better when it comes time to stop and go fishing.

“There is just so much room, and the layout allows me to customize the storage to fit my needs,” he said.

There is so much storage, in fact, that just one of the rod storages holds all the rods he needs for a day of fishing.

“I use the center storage, which is huge, and the starboard storage for all my utility boxes, soft plastics, and other gear,” he explained. “It’s just a great layout that any angler can use to suit his needs.”

For more information or to find a dealer nearest you, visit www.skeeterboats.com. Find Skeeter news, team activities, happenings, and events by following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.


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Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com




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