Every fall, bass focus their efforts on baitfish. Whether they are threadfin shad or gizzards, blueback herring or any other small forage, all species of bass are gorging on them across the country. There are many ways to catch them when bass have their eyes on schooling baitfish, but this time of year professional angler Michael Murphy is throwing the ima Glide Fluke because of its ability to perform in many situations and because it has a knack for catching larger fish.
Early Fall Glide Flukes
We all know that shad and other nomadic fish head for the backs of creeks and into the shallow water once fall begins and Murphy says this occurs once the temperatures start to cool and the days begin to get shorter. “Length of day, water temperature and rain are three of the triggers for the baitfish migration, and this time of year the bigger bass are following them into the shallows,” Murphy says.
“Usually this time of year I am using a standard cast and retrieve with the Glide Fluke. It is a lot of fun, and I will use it all of the same places where you would think to throw a buzzbait,” he begins. “I’ll cover water quickly and focus on shade lines and hard cover like docks and rocks that bass use to ambush shad.”
He uses both the 125 and 178 size Glide Fluke, but he feels that the sinking version of both is better than the floating models this time of year. As far as which size to use, the larger 178 is his pick if the fish are eating Gizzard Shad and the smaller version if they are eating smaller forage. A simple “match the hatch” approach is how he decides which of the eight colors offered for the Glide Fluke gets tied on first.
While he uses a regular cast and retrieve, he does like to fish it fast. “Doing that gives it a nice erratic action. If I bring it near a corner post on a dock or piece of wood, I will give it a quick twitch of the rod and then give it a very brief pause,” he shares. “This causes the bait to kick and is usually what triggers them, and they will come out like a rocket from under the cover to get it.”
Late Fall Glide Flukes
While Murphy generally runs the banks in the early stages of fall, he moves to points as autumn moves along. “The fish start to get back out of the creeks and head towards the mainlake. It is just the bass following the food, and sometimes it is as easy as locating diving birds to pinpoint where the bass are,” says the South Carolina pro.
According to Murphy, late fall is a period where the sinking Glide Fluke is the best choice to catch fish feeding on baitfish. “The best times to use it are when it is a little too cold to still be throwing topwaters and when the fish are not positioned on the bottom. You can fish the Glide Fluke at any depth and fish it both fast and slow and still catch fish this time of year,” he says. This temperature range varies based on region, but generally, the 60-degree mark is prime late fall Glide Fluke time.
How he determines how deep to fish it comes through utilizing his electronics as well as trial-and-error. The same applies to the speed in which he fishes it. The old adage to “let the fish tell you how they want it” definitely applies here.
Cold Water Glide Flukes
Murphy feels that when the water temperature cools to a certain point, there are lures better suited for bass fishing than the Glide Fluke that he designed. He believes that mark is right around 55-degrees and has learned that at that point jigs and other baits fished on the bottom will outperform his creation. With that being said, he still has one rigged up and ready to go if a specific situation arises.
Murphy has learned by watching his electronics that once a fish is hooked and brought up towards the boat, other fish may follow. These fish often stay suspended for a short period, and Murphy has figured out that they will eat a Glide Fluke in these situations regardless of how cold it is.
“It could be 25-feet deep, and you get one on a jig on the bottom and start to reel it in, and the rest of the school will follow it halfway and then suspend 10-feet down. I’ll throw the sinking version and count it down 10-seconds or however deep they are,” he begins. “I’ll use a more meandering retrieve with four or five steady cranks and then give it quick twitch of the rod or harder crank to trigger a reaction.”
He adds that the sinking version of the Glide Fluke has a rate of fall of approximately one second per foot and uses that in his approach to catching suspended bass in all situations regardless of the season.
There are many scenarios where the Glide Fluke will catch bass, but during the early fall to the winter, this is how Michael Murphy utilizes the lure. Knowing the habits or how bass feed and figuring out a way to catch notoriously difficult suspended bass has helped Murphy have success with this lure throughout fall and winter.
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