Days grow shorter; appetites grow larger. Water temperatures will be falling, but bass aggression is spiking.

That’s the game plan for the annual fall ‘gorge-fest’ and the state’s premier fishery, Toledo Bend, provides awesome theater for showcasing this seasonal opportunity — and learning a few pointers on how to maximize your productivity.

There are lots of ways to break this down, so let’s keep it simple with a sampling of what to do — and what not to do — during the fall feeding frenzy.

The do’s

Fish the creeks: This is where you’ll find the majority of the shad, which head toward these protected areas sometime in late-September or early-October. The formula is simple: Bass follow the food. But FLW regional pro Stephen Johnston said the degree to which this proves true may be surprising.

“A lot of times people don’t realize how far into the creek the fish will follow the shad,” he said. “You want to follow the creek as far as you can and fish shallower than you might normally think to fish.

“The bank of the creek may be a foot or two deep, but the creek may be 3 ½ to 4 feet. If you can find a little dog leg or a creek bend before it gets too shallow to get a boat in, you don’t want to go too far, but you want to go far enough so you have the deepest part in there.”

Start early: The fall feeding motivation could yield good action any time of the day, but the first gilded rays  of sunshine to fall upon the water