The key to navigating creek and river arms safely is a no-brainer: go slow and take your time. Use your GPS, or at least take mental notes of the route to help you next time. It’s worth the slight risk, because it’s hard to find more consistent action in a given location than up a creek. The current pushes fish to shallow cover, making bass easy to locate. The moving water is generally more fertile and stained, making bass more apt to commit to striking. Fall shad migrations into the rivers give the bass plenty to eat, and this prey is easier to ambush in the more confined areas. Last but not least, the tributaries will cool much faster than the main lake as the weather changes, which means you’ll see fish in these areas putting on the fall feedbag sooner than you will in the open water.