Other places the Yamaha Pro recommends fishing include flooded timber and stumps, especially when they’re located in shallow water near a deeper water break or channel edge. These same places will also produce fish later in the autumn as bass begin migrating back out of the tributaries toward main lake winter structure.
“Cover is important in this type of fishing because the bass are using it as a hiding place,” Wolak continues, “and you can catch those bass because there aren’t as many shad. I’m always surprised at how shallow the bass may be, too, because I’ve caught them this way in water less than a foot deep.”
Spinnerbaits are ideal lure choices because they not only produce flash and vibration to attract bass, they’re also basically weedless and they can be fished many different ways. In addition to the stop-and-go retrieve Wolak likes, he also pops the lure with his rod tip to make it jump, and occasionally speeds his retrieve enough to bring the spinnerbait right to the surface.
“I’m trying to imitate an injured or dying shad,” notes the Yamaha Pro, “which is what the bass will notice first. It represents something easy it doesn’t have to chase.”
Over the years, Wolak has settled on a 3/8-oz. tandem willow leaf spinnerbait with one nickel and one white blade, a pearl/white skirt, and a white plastic trailer with crawfish-type legs that help produce more water movement with the lure. He likes 14 or 16-pound fluorocarbon line because of its lack of stretch and abrasion resistance, and he uses a 7-foot heavy action rod because he is catching bass in and around cover.
“Bass start following the shad migration into the tributaries in late September and stay in them for several months,” Wolak concludes, “and it’s a wonderful time to be on the water fishing, but there are times when there are literally too many shad for an angler to compete with. That’s when I start working away from them and looking for the ambush spots. Most of the time, I never leave the creek, either.
“It’s a pattern I’ve been able to use for many years, and all I need to make it work is a spinnerbait.” Y