To Hunt or Fish in November?
You fish all year. You follow the bass through pre-spawn. You catch them off the beds. You wait on that post-spawn topwater bite. You catch them off deep points in the summer. The fishing starts to fade and they get scattered but you still go and catch a few junk fishing. Then November hits. Bucks are in rut. They are chasing does. You love to catch those bass but it is the best time of the year to hunt whitetail deer. What are you going to do?
Let’s go hunting!
I grew up deer hunting. I love it. If you have a place to go, it is hard not to go. Seeing those bucks running around, grunting, and ready to mount up is exciting! However, it is getting harder and harder go hunting. Finding the land is getting much harder to do. Hunting land without proper scouting is like fishing without a depth finder. It reduces your chances of success. As much as I love to hunt, I do find myself going fishing more and more in November. So…
Let’s go fish!
When I started fishing full time in the pro bass tournaments, our seasons started in the fall and we fished all the way until early summer. I fished a number of pro bass tournaments in the fall. It is a great time to catch our beloved bass. In recent years, the pro tournaments don’t fish in November. I didn’t fish much in that month until recently. I forgot how much I enjoy it.
In November, I learned to love a few techniques. One is obvious to most bass anglers. One is a staple of bass anglers but might not be as obvious. The last is not as obvious but a very real contender for the best November bait.
Shallow cranking is a great technique for catching bass all fall. This does not slow down in November. Keep that SPRO Little John in your hand. You want to stay in the backs of creeks and pockets where you see bait. Cover as much water as possible and don’t forget to feel everything you hit with the bait through your line, rod, and reel. A sensitive rod like my Cashion Rods Square Bill Rod is a must. Using fluorocarbon line is also a big part of the feel. I prefer the Sunline FC Crank. With the proper setup, you will feel hidden cover that other anglers miss. Hit that cover with more casts and you will catch plenty of November bass.
The jig is one of the baits I wished I knew how good it was in November years ago. Any jig from a big football jig to a micro jig works. It is something to do with the crawfish getting ready to go into hibernation. I think the bass anticipate that and look to wolf them down. The most important thing I have seen in fall jig fishing is fall rate. Faster fall in the fall is often the way to go. The other big fall tip is using orange in your jigs in November. Whatever you do, don’t forget your jig box when you go fishing in November.
The most surprising but most rewarding November bait is a topwater bait. It does NOT matter how cold it gets. They will still bite it. Buzzbaits and Whopper Ploppers are the best November topwater baits from what I have seen. I don’t know why they can’t stand that constant gurgle. Spooks and poppers will work too. Topwaters are my favorite bait to keep glued in my hand in November.
Bass and bucks are many outdoors enthusiasts two favorite things. I am right there as one of them. November is a perplexing month because both can be good. While it is hard to stay out of the woods, don’t miss the fun fall bite that happens once it really starts to cool down.