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Fall Feeding Frenzy
by Tom Lester

If you have not been out to Richland-Chambers reservoir lately, you might want to consider a trip in the near future. The bass are beginning their fall pattern, which means they are moving to the mouths of and into the creeks chasing shad. The sandbass and hybrids are also schooling on the south end of the lake, according to some local anglers, like Bill Young of Corsicana. Bill and his family recently caught 60-70 sandies and hybrids schooling on the top, near the dam. 

This is the time of the year you can find fish gorging themselves with food getting ready for the winter months ahead. If you can find a creek with shad in it, you can probably catch bass there. The key is to use your electronics to find schools of shad or watch for them "flipping around" on the surface. For sandbass and hybrids, watch for the birds feeding over open water. If you see birds diving down to the water for shad, chances are good that there are fish beneath them. 

I have been catching largemouths on jigs, crankbaits and soft plastics. Near the edges of the creek channels, I have caught 4-6lb. fish on white, 3/8 oz. Bulldog jigs with a Kalinís hand-poured frog trailer. These trailers, which have salt and crawfish scent built in, have proven to make a big difference for me. The scent literally "oozes" out of them while you fish, making them irresistible to the fish. 

White and other shad colored Deep Little Nís and DD14 crankbaits, by Norman Lures, are catching fish holding out between the shoreline and the edges of the creeks. I have found that varying the speed of the retrieve from fast to slow will often trigger a bite. 

If I catch a couple of fish in a particular area on the crankbaits, I will usually work back through the same area with my jig or a soft plastics. In clearer water, if the jig isnít producing or for a different look, I pitch a 5" shad colored Salty Lunker Grub rigged with a 3/0 hook and a 3/16oz weight. The lighter weight allows the grub to fall slowly beside a lay down or in a cedar tree, resulting a strike. The fish are usually suspended this time of the year. The injected salt found in the Kalin grubs, like the jig trailer, seems to make a difference in the number of strikes I have been getting. 

The sandbass and hybrids that are found schooling under the birds can be caught on topwaters and Rattletraps. The best colors seem to be chrome and chrome with a black back. The Ĺ oz. Rattletrap is good for catching sandbass while the ĺ oz. bait has worked well for the larger hybrids. If it is a cloudy day, gold Rattletraps should work if the chrome ones donít produce. 

Whether you are going after largemouths or sandies, the cooler temperatures make the experience more enjoyable than an outing a couple of months ago when temperatures were in the 100 degree range. Fall is my favorite time of the year. The fish bite better and hunting season is upon us. What a great time to go out and enjoy the Texas outdoors. 

Until next time, enjoy the Texas outdoors.

Tom Lester

Author Information.

Tom Lester owns and operates Four Seasons Lawnscape, a landscape and lawn maintenance service, in Corsicana, Texas.  He has fished for most of his 36 years to some degree or another.  He fishes competitively in bass tournaments and is beginning his professional bass fishing career in the BASS invitational circuit and the Everstart Series.

Tom lives with his wife, Kelly, in Corsicana, Texas, only a few miles from Richland-Chambers reservoir, one of the hottest new bass lakes to open in Texas in the past ten years.  He formerly resided in Cleburne, Texas, where he guided part-time for largemouth and smallmouth bass.  Tom is currently on the field staff for Abu Garcia, Norman Lures, Inspiration Lures, and Bill Lewis Lures, and on the pro staff for Kalin's, CastAway Rods, P-Line, and Nuwave Products.

Tom enjoys fishing, hunting and writing his outdoor column for the Corsicana Daily Sun and freelance writing.  He is a former high school Agricultural Science instructor and animal health pharmaceutical sales rep.  He graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S in Agricultural Education and a Master of Education degree.  Tom likes being his own boss so he can take off to go fishing, whenever he likes, and leave his wife in charge of the business.

Email Tom at lester01@airmail.net
Visit Tom at his web site: Fishing Pro Staff

 
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