Shallow Water Fall Fishing for Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass

Strategic shallow water fall fishing for 60-Degree Water Temperatures

Fall is a fantastic time for bass fishing, and as leaves start to change colours and the water temperatures cool to around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, largemouth and smallmouth bass become more active and accessible. Let's explore the best techniques and locations to target these prized species during the fall season.

Bass Behavior in 60-Degree Water

Before we dive into the tactics, it's crucial to understand how bass behave in 60-degree water temperatures. During this transitional period, bass are still in the late fall phase and exhibit certain patterns:

Shallow Water Gorging: As temperatures drop, bass become more active to pack on calories before winter. They're more likely to chase prey, making them easier to catch.  Keep and eye out for bait fishing busting the surface and in clear water look for crayfish darting in and out of cover.

Shallow Migration: Bass tend to move from deeper waters to shallower areas, following schools of baitfish. Look for them in water depths ranging from 5 to 15 feet.

Cover and Structure: Bass continue to seek cover in the form of submerged vegetation, rocks, fallen trees, and docks. Finding these structures is key to success. In the great lakes look for rock piles, rock/sand transitions, weed lines.

Techniques for Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are known for their preference for shallow, weedy habitats. Here are some techniques to target them in 60-degree water:

Topwater Lures: Early morning and late evening are prime times for topwater action. Use buzzbaits, frogs, or poppers to mimic surface activity. The Rapala Skitter V should be tied on and ready to throw, it is a proven bass catcher

Crankbaits: Shallow-running crankbaits in natural colors can be effective in mimicking injured baitfish. Retrieve them at varying speeds to find the right cadence.

Jigs and Soft Plastics: Slowly work jigs and soft plastic creatures around cover such ad lily pads and weed lines. The slow fall of a jig can be irresistible to bass in cooler water. When flipping a jig the X Zone Muscle Back Craw makes an incredible trailer.  For a slightly smaller profile try of these 3 awesome baits.  Don't forget the best flipping weights in the business, Tackle Outfit Flipping Weights 

1. X Zone Adrenaline Craw Jr. 3.5"

2. X Zone Adrenaline Craw 4.25"

3. X Zone Adrenaline Bug Jr. 3.5"

Smallmouth Bass Strategies

Smallmouth bass, on the other hand, are often found in clearer waters with rocky structures. Here are some tactics to target them:

Tube Baits: Tubes in earthy tones, such as green pumpkin, mimic crayfish, a favorite smallmouth snack. Cast and drag them along rocky bottoms.  Did you know X Zone Tubes are some of the best in the industry with an awesome price point.

Suspending Jerkbaits: When the water cools in the fall, smallmouth bass can be enticed by suspending jerkbaits worked erratically. Pause between twitches to imitate wounded prey.  The Rapala X Rap  and the Rapala Husky Jerk are must in your tackle box for fall fishing.

Drop Shot Rig: A drop shot rig with finesse worms is a reliable method for smallmouth bass. It allows precise presentation and maintains contact with the bottom.  When if come to finesse baits for the drop shot presentation X Zone is the best in the business, check out some of these to get you started.  Don't forget the awesome collection of Tackle Outfit Cylinder Drop Shot weights and Teardrop Drop Shot weights.

1. X Zone Finesse Slammer 3.25"

2. X Zone Original Slammer 4"

3. X Zone Hot Shot Minnow 3.25"

4. X Zone Stealth Invader 3" (NEW for 2023)


Ontario, Canada, offers a wealth of bass fishing opportunities, but these strategies can be applied in various locations:

Lakes and Reservoirs: Look for rocky points, humps, boulder piles and submerged vegetation in these bodies of water. Pay attention to wind patterns, as bass tend to gather on windy shorelines.

Rivers and Streams: Focus on deeper pools and eddies in rivers. Smallmouth bass often congregate near current breaks and rocky structures.

Ponds and Small Lakes: Don't overlook smaller bodies of water, as they can provide excellent bass fishing. Target areas with submerged logs, weed beds & rock piles.

Additional Tips

  • Use polarized sunglasses to spot bass and their movements.
  • Check local fishing regulations and obtain necessary permits.
  • Practice catch-and-release to preserve bass populations.
  • Experiment with different lures and presentations to find what's working on a given day.


Fall bass fishing in 60-degree water temperatures offers exciting opportunities to reel in largemouth and smallmouth bass. By understanding their behavior, employing the right techniques, and exploring the best locations, anglers can enjoy a successful and memorable season on the water. Whether you're in Ontario, Canada, or any other bass fishing destination, these strategies will help you make the most of your fall outings.

Tight Lines!