As September sets in, bass become especially focused on the natural forage in the lakes, rivers, or reservoirs in which they live. Across much of the bass range, shad are the primary forage species, but where shad are not present, like in the north, bluegills or other types of sunfish take on more importance as a bass food. During September, bass anglers should select baits that are similar in shape and size to the primary forage species in the waters they are fishing.
Despite that they are feeding actively during September, bass can be tough for anglers to locate. That is why tossing lures such as lipless and deep-diving crankbaits is especially effective. Not only do these lures mimic the forage that bass are focused on, they also allow anglers to cover large amounts of water. Sling lipless crankbaits over large beds of vegetation and make sure to allow the lure to make contact with the vegetation. Green vegetation is especially attractive in September, since it continues to give off oxygen. If you are fishing around areas where the bottom changes from shallow to deep, throw a deep-diving crankbait. Bass during September often are in large schools, and anytime you reel a deep-diving crankbait past their noses, one of them is bound to bite.
After a bass or two have bitten your crankbait, or you find a green bed of vegetation that you believe will hold bass, slow down the pace of your fishing. Doing so likely will result in you catching more, and bigger, bass. Two of the best lures to use in this situation are jigs and pigs and plastic worms. These lures are better for fishing in specific spots where bass are located and may appear even more natural than a crankbait. Big baits are a good idea since the forage species that bass are targeting are as big as they have been all year. As a result, do not hesitate to use a 10-inch plastic worm or a 3/4-oz. or heavier jig and pig.
Search for a School
Bass are likely in large schools in September, especially during the second half of the month. Locating a school of bass that is feeding on the surface can bring some of the fastest bass-catching action of the year. Watch the surface of the water for dimples or other signs, like bass breaking the water, that a school of fish is present. When you see this happen, it often is because a school of bass has bait fish trapped against the surface of the water. Cast topwater baits or shallow-running crankbaits through the school. The action will not last all day, but for a while you likely will be able to catch a bass on every cast.