October is that wonderful time of year when the scorching summer temperatures finally begin to relinquish their hold as cool fronts push through to make days on the water nice and comfortable.
But that also means bass are on the move, Luling tournament angler Steven “Rock” Rockweiler said.
“October can be challenging when fish start to move and scatter,” Rockweiler said.
But there are some good bets — especially in the watery mazes of South Louisiana, according to the angler, who with his son Eric, won their second consecutive Bass-N-Bucks Anglers of the Year title earlier this year.
“The fish start moving from the larger bodies of water where they had migrated in the warm weather to dead-end canals and smaller bodies of water in the cold weather,” Rockweiler said. “The fish can still be in the large waterbodies if the water is stable and the bait is present, and they could be anywhere between there and the dead-ends and smaller bays.”
So how can you locate fish in such times of uncertainty? Rockweiler said there’s one basic factor that will help.
“One thing about predatory fish: Find the bait and you will usually have some success,” he explained. “The bass are still on shad in September and October — but more so on panfish.
“Crawfish are buried until December or January.”
This month, Rockweiler will pretty much abandon the larger bodies of water, focusing on bayous.
“Drains and points along the bayous are good places to start, but there has to be some water movement,” he said. “I will cast spinnerbaits along the banks on either side of the point and drain first, and then work the drain itself.
“Spinnerbaits are really good search baits, and when you pick up a bass or two, you can always go back over the area with plastics to fish it more thoroughly for a couple more bass.”
Two of his favorite spinnerbaits are made by Humdinger and Delta Lures.
“I normally throw a 1/4-ounce spinnerbait if I’m fishing a little faster or through grass,” Rockweiler said. “If I’m out a little deeper, I go to a 3/8-ounce or even a 1/2-ounce spinnerbait.
“One spinnerbait I love to throw when it’s warm is a 3/8-ounce single Colorado-bladed spinnerbait with a No. 4 blade. I cast it along trees, logs and hyacinths, and bring it along the structure — and then just stop it and let it helicopter down on a semi-slack line.”
Delta Lures’ bladed jig is another tool that will pull bass from submerged vegetation.
Again, however, this angler will often go back over a run-out with a slower bait to ensure he’s gotten every possible bite.
“It’s always a good idea to work a worm or craw worm in and around the drain — they may or may not be aggressive, and I have seen them pass on a faster-moving bait,” Rockweiler said.