By Billy “Hawkeye” Decoteau

“October is Prime-Time to fish for bass and without a doubt it’s my favorite time of the year to be on the water,” says NASCAR Ranger Pro Angler Pete Gluszek. (www.PeteGluszek.com)“The lakes are less crowded; weather patterns offer cooler more pleasant conditions for angling and best of all the bass have one thing on their mind…. eating, eating, and more eating!” Indeed October or Fall-Bass’n is a season of transition, a glance at natures surroundings alone signals changes as foliage above the surface brightens the shoreline harvesting colors in hues of bronze, yellows and gold’s worthy of a kings ransom. But, the true treasure, at least to us Bass Fanatics, roams beneath the surface in an aquatic world of dying vegetation. Cooler nights and shorter day’s bring forth less light infiltration causing a drop in water temperature with a constant rising change in the thermocline as vegetation begins to die off within the shallow water areas. “This is when the bass fishing really explodes in my opinion,” advises Gluszek. Adding with a smile, “The bait fish begin to move out of the dying vegetation, schooling up along the outer edges, then make a transitional move to harder cover, such as rocks, docks, or down timber.” According to New Jersey’s Pete Gluszek ‘Location’ is the key word to success!

After spending time reviewing a map to locate large flats with vegetation, this Rogue Rod Pro (www.RogueRods.com) will then idle his Evinrude outboard, while monitoring his Garmin electronics in search for hard bottoms adjacent to these large weedy areas. “It’s amazing but small structural differences like rock piles, humps or extended points will become staging areas for schools of bass just waiting for the opportunity to feast on schools of bait fish,” says Gluszek, who claims “anglers can throw just about any bait they want and catch bass.” “At these times of the year the bass become extremely aggressive and it’s not unusual for anglers to have 30, 40 or even 50 fish days!” However, Gluszek warns anglers still need to work their presentations around the prevailing conditions. “It’s imperative that anglers utilize the techniques that match the conditions at hand, and most importantly be prepared to made changes instantly as weather dictates!”

During calm periods, such as early morning Professional BASS angler Pete Gluszek will work topwaters like Pop-R’s or Gambler’s ( HYPERLINK “http://www.gambler-bang.com” www.gambler-bang.com) soft plastic Stud and Super Stud stick baits varying his cadence until he triggers strikes. Add in some wind and Gluszek quickly switches to larger baits. “Windy cloudy weather will make the bass become more aggressive! This is when I tie on larger reaction baits like Killer B-3 and Fat Free Shad crankbaits, or big-bladed spinnerbaits. But, the key is to cover a lot of water concentrating on areas with hard bottoms and ambush points, until you locate where the bass are schooling,” advises Gluszek.
2009 Bassmaster Classic Qualifier Brent Chapman agrees with Gluszek, “October is definitely a time to land large numbers of bass and an opportune time for a lunker. I believe that once turn-over has occurred and water temperatures idle in the fifty-degree range the bass really become aggressive in their feeding habits.” Fall patterns call for covering a lot of water and Chapman heads his Triton/Mercury Bass Boat towards some of the nastiest looking shallow water cover available. (www.MercuryMarine.com) “While my trolling motor might be locked in high speed, I’m looking for stick-ups, brush piles, lay-downs, or any isolated pieces of cover including docks.” Once, the Bassmaster Elite Pro locates any of the above cover he then down-shifts switching from fan-casting his ½ oz Terminator spinnerbait with either #6 or #7 willowleaf or Colorado blades to a ½ oz Terminator jig paired with a large salty chunk trailer, making precision pitches into every nock and cranny he can find. “It might take 20-30 cast on a key piece of cover before you entice that bass to bite, but when he does it is usually a good one,” says Chapman. “Anglers need to keep an open mind this time of year and not overlook any available cover.

This is one reason why I start in the shallows and work my way towards forty-five degree sloping banks, rocky shorelines and bluff walls.” Brent Chapman’s arsenal of baits includes large square billed balsa crankbaits and Ambush Lures ( HYPERLINK “http://www.ambushlures.com” www.ambushlures.com) Stealth lipless crankbaits for erratic action, retrieved on ALL Star Crankbait Rods ( HYPERLINK “http://www.allstarrods.com” www.allstarrods.com) paired with a Pflueger Patriarch series fast retrieve reel. “I’m keeping my baits in some heavy cover so all my baits are tied to 20-25lb Gamma line.” When it comes to choosing colors for your baits these professional anglers keep it simple letting the water clarity dictate their choices; in stained water they opt for baits with chartreuse, orange or darker colors, when in clear water watermelons and natural shad patterns take precedence. While Ranger/Evinrude’s Pete Gluszek and Triton/Mercury’s Brent Chapman may tie on different baits and cast them in different areas, each professional angler will be following the baitfish, chunk’n and winding large profile Big Baits for Big Bass!
God Bless and Best Bass’n

Bill Decoteau is an outdoor journalist with a strong passion for pursuing the Black Bass. His activities include covering professional bass trails, the New England Paralyzed Veterans of America Bass Trail, as well as coordinating classroom seminars for Bassmaster Universities programs, or sharing winning techniques utilized by some of the nationals’ top-bass pro’s at many of the regional sportsmen shows.