Fall can be a time of great angling opportunity, but Rose knows it’s also a time when bass can be scattered and difficult to pattern. That’s why the Arkansas angler starts his fall searches by targeting what he considers the most likely habitat.
“As the water’s surface temperature starts cooling off, the shad and the bass will move up higher in the water column and they’ll move shallow for a little bit before the water gets so cold they have to come back out to where they winter,” Rose said. “Most lakes have a fall drawdown and I like creeks that have feeder creeks in the back because they’ll have a trough.”
Rose typically starts in about 5 feet of water and works his way back into the cleanest water he can find. His top pick for this scenario is a Strike King Redeye Shad; a lipless crankbait that allows him to cover water and mimic the baitfish bass seek. He’ll start with a 1/2-ounce and move to a 1/4-ounce as he ventures into shallower water.
As for fall fall colors, Rose says you can use whatever you like, as long as it’s chrome. There’s a good dose of logic here, as a vibrating bait with shiny sides looks a lot like the shad that are running for their lives this time of year. Rose favors chrome/black and chrome/blue and he’ll modify each for a more eye-catching look.
“I’ll take a pocket knife and scrape a line right down the middle of the bait,” he said. “This just gives it a little different profile and adds a little bit of white to the chrome.”
The only downside of using treble hook baits in the fall is the fact that the fish’s super-aggressive fall mood means a lot of slashing bites and occasionally minimal connections. Rose keeps his lipless game solid by adding Mustad KVD Elite trebles for dependable hookups that bring more fish to the boat.
Later in the fall season, Rose will also start integrating a 3/8-ounce jig into his game plan. He’ll pair this with a Strike King KVD Chunk trailer for a more subtle profile that looks tempting as it rumbles down rocky banks. If he’s around bigger fish, he’ll go with the 3 1/2-inch Senior size; otherwise, trimming his jig skirt shorter and using the 2-3/4-inch KVD Chunk Junior works well.
In deeper water, Rose often turns to a Strike King KVD Jerkbait, both the 4 1/2-inch 200 size and the 4 3/4-inch 300 size depending on the size of the baitfish. His color preference comes down to water clarity — natural colors for higher visibility and more vivid patterns for slightly stained water. Here again, switching to Mustad KVD Elite trebles is a difference maker.
Rounding out Rose’s typical fall lineup is his signature Strike King Mark Rose Lil Ledge Spoon in chrome pearl. Built with a Mustad KVD Elite treble hook, this bait’s ideal for tempting schoolers over deeper water.