Bass love submerged aquatic grass—so much so that they cling to it even late into fall. As the water chills, the surface mats formed by this vegetation over the summer break up and die, and the bass go deeper and feed in whatever grass remains.
Walk a stickbait
Stickbait Photo by Kyle Thompson; Illustrations by Robert L. Prince
In late fall, most of your bites will come 7 to 12 feet deep. Should a warming trend cause baitfish to rise to the surface, however, you could enjoy some topwater action as pods of baitfish ripple the water. Walk a large stickbait over the grass with a sluggish sashay. Try Lucky Craft's Sammy 115 in a shad pattern.
Twitch a soft stickbait
If the bass won't smack a topwater plug (they'll typically feed at the surface until the water temperature drops back below 50 degrees), pick them off with a soft stickbait. A pearl 5-inch Strike King KVD Perfect Plastic Caffeine Shad is a good one. Rig it Texas-style with a 5/0 offset hook and give it a pokey twitch-pause action.
Rip a rattler
When the autumn bass are feeding a bit deeper in the grass, repeatedly rip a rattler—a 1⁄2- to 3⁄4-ounce XCalibur One Knocker works well—through the top of the grass and let it fall back a foot or so. Most strikes happen on the drop. A stiff baitcasting rod and 50-pound braided line will snap the lure free of the grass.
Slide a jig
Get down to bottom-hugging grass bass with a pointy jig that slides through the greenery, such as Terminator's Pro Series. Dress the hook with a plastic chunk, make 20-foot pitches, and let the jig sink straight to the bottom on a semislack line. Fish the lightest jig—usually 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 ounce—needed to penetrate the grass.