As the water gets really cold, the rock bass will move away from their normal cover and head deeper into the lake or river.

Temperature Changes

Lake and river temperatures drop off beginning with September. As the temperatures drop off, the Rock Bass head deeper, they slow their metabolism and eat much less than they do in spring and summer. Southern locales see good fishing up to October while northern parts of canada see a reduction in rock bass activity as early as late August.

However, in the early fall, the same techniques used in summer can be applied to fall. Two techniques that work well include dropping the line off a boat to about six inches above the lake floor or off the end of a dock. The other technique is to add a bobber or float to the line and cast out. The use of worms is highly recommended. While they will strike at crayfish, fathead minnows, golden shiner and gizzard shad, worms are cheap, easy to find and don’t require much effort to keep alive.

Plastic Worms

Plastic worms are used by many anglers for smallmouth bass and other game fish. The worms used to catch these game fish are too large for smaller fish like rock bass. However, most bait shops, and certainly online stores, carry smaller plastic worms which are ideal for smaller bass fishing..

Rock bass are relatively dormant in late fall. They feed very little once the temperature reaches 45°F. The run from direct sunlight, preferring the cover of shade that comes from docks, piers, bridges and other heavily shaded areas. When morning arrives, they can be found away from their normal cover and in shallow areas. It is in these areas that will chase after their food as the currents usually travel in these areas.

While there are many jigs and lures that will work, try using worms and leeches as these are simple and highly cost effective. Cast your line so that the bait rest close to the bottom as rock bass are primarily bottom feeders. Where the bottom is free from logs and other items that cause snags, run your bait across the bottom, allowing it to jump from time to time.

Going Deep

As the water gets really cold, the rock bass will move away from their normal cover and head deeper into the lake or river. The best way to find them, and pretty much any fish in deep water, is through a fish finder. However, for most, late fall ends the rock bass fishing season.

Are They Worth Fishing?

The answer is, "that depends." For children, rock bass are a lot of fun and offer a good size and they school with perch and sunfish. As far as food fare is concerned, their meat contains a lot of parasites and not recommended to eating.