How To Trigger Strikes From Spooky Fish In The Fall

Fall can be a tough time to get finicky fish to strike your lures.

Choosing the right lures and using proper retrieval tactics can put you in a prime position to induce a bite!

How do you trigger reaction strikes from spooky fall fish?

Check out more below!!

How To Trigger Strikes From Spooky Fish In The Fall [VIDEO]

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When targeting fish up on the flats in both clear and turbid water in the fall, they can be a bit more skittish as the water begins to clear up and they move shallower.

Using paddletails and jerkbaits in a specific fashion, while maintaining proper casting principles, will help you trigger reaction strikes from spooky fish.

Blind Casting On A Flat

Whether it be on a mudflat or a grass flat, look for small depth changes and potholes to target with your casts.

The fish will be held up in depressions in the mud or holes along the flats.

You should use some type of jerk shad or jerkbait to skip through the potholes and structure.

Fish are going to get comfortable moving into shallower water and in turn, they will become picky with what they try and eat.

The key is to put a reaction strike type bait in front of the fish.

For this approach, jerk shads such as the Alabama Leprechaun are a go-to lure for spooky fish along the flats.

By utilizing a twitch-twitch-pause style retrieve on the edge of those potholes, the jerk shad will give off a natural movement and settle down in the potholes making for an easy meal.

You are trying to mimic a wounded baitfish which is what many fish in the fall will be dieting on.

Fall is a great time of year to prioritize baitfish presentations.

There are big shrimp hiding in the grass and those twitches and pauses imitate shrimp movement.

Dirty Water Or Windy Conditions

If you are fishing dirty water, tie a paddletail lure to your line.

Paddletails have more presence in the water and give off vibrations that jerk shads do not.

Jerk shads are tough to use in dirtier water because they require the fish to see it and cause less attraction in dirty water than a paddletail.

The goal is to retrieve the paddletail over potholes letting it drop every so often.

It is very important to allow the lure to drop on the pause because trout and redfish will strike from the bottom up at the lure.

Sight Fishing Casting Techniques

When you try to cast at a fish, it is important to aim to intercept that fish to trigger a reaction strike.

As you cast your line out, make sure it does not cross over the fish’s back because it will feel the line vibration of the line.

If the line is over the fish’s back, they will become skittish and will not touch your lure.

The best technique for sight casting at fish is to predict where it is traveling and cast in front of the fish.

Not directly in front because you may scare the fish off, but cast your line to where you can drag your lure in front of its face.

You need to “lead your shot” and intercept the fish as you reel your lure in front of their eyes.

That lure will pass right in front of the fish in its “dinner plate”.

The dinner plate is a few inches to a foot in front of its face where the fish has limited choices but to reaction strike the lure.

You want your lure to pass in front of that fish at an angle or to the side.

If the line touches the fish or it is coming straight on, the fish may be spooked.

Gear Used In This Tip:


It is extremely important to understand fish behavior in the fall due to the various conditions and situations you can find yourself in out on the water.

In clear and shallow conditions, find potholes along the bottom and present lures around fish for them to try and pick off.

Sight fishing for redfish or other species is all about triggering reaction strikes right in the “dinner plate” where a fish simply cannot pass your lure up.

Do you have any questions about generating reaction strikes out of fish this fall?

Let me know down in the comments!

➡Get the Alabama Leprechaun Jerk Shad here

➡Check out the Slam Shady 2.0 Paddletail Lure here

And if you know someone who wants to catch more finicky fish this fall, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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John Hourigan
1 month ago

Lots of good stuff! Thanks for all of your well done videos.

Jerry Dexter
1 month ago

Thanks Wyatt

George Layton
1 month ago

Vital info for nervous fish Wyatt, thanks for sharing !!!

David Brooks
1 month ago

Excellent tips, it’s a great reminder for how to change your tactics when fish are being spooky or very finicky.

Pablo Diaz
1 month ago

Great tip Wyatt !!!

Tony Prescott
1 month ago

Great video Wyatt!

1 month ago

Great tips Wyatt!


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