Open Water and Squarebills: Howell Hints How to Hammer Fall Bass - Major League Fishing
Open Water and Squarebills: Howell Hints How to Hammer Fall Bass
2y • Mason Prince • Major League Lessons
Alton Jones Jr. Shares his Three Best Baits for Big Texas Bass
4w • Bass Pro Tour
MY BEST BAIT: Why Brett Hite Relies on the Yamamoto Zako as his Key ChatterBait Trailer
2m • Major League Lessons
Brandon Coulter on Why Different Rod Lengths for the Same Technique Makes a Difference
3m • Bass Pro Tour
MY BEST BAIT: Why Fletcher Shryock is Crazy About the Yamamoto PsychoDad
3m • Major League Lessons
FRED ROUMBANIS: Swimbaits and Bridges Just Make Sense on a New Lake
4m • Bass Pro Tour
A Frog is the Perfect Spawn/Postspawn Bait, According to Bradley Roy
4m • Bass Pro Tour
1 BAIT/5 REASONS: The Flatsided Crankbait That Carried Bobby Lane Through REDCREST 2022
4m • Bass Pro Tour
Let’s Watch Keith Carson Work on a Couple of Bedding Largemouth
5m • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit
Neal’s Early Winter Advice: Start Shallow, Speed Up and Scale Down
9m • Tyler Brinks • Bass Pro Tour
Josh Bertrand’s Three Favorite Combos for Winter Fishing
9m • Bass Pro Tour
Sprague’s Yo-Yo Tips Will Help you Catch more Bass on a Lipless Crankbait
9m • Tyler Brinks • Bass Pro Tour
Why Jimmy Washam Is All-In on Fishing Gloves
9m • Jody White • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit
Murray Gets ‘Back to Center’ for Early Winter Bass
9m • Tyler Brinks • Bass Pro Tour
JT Kenney Ready for Wintertime Punching (and Big Florida Bass)
9m • Dave Landahl • Bass Pro Tour

Open Water and Squarebills: Howell Hints How to Hammer Fall Bass

Image for Open Water and Squarebills: Howell Hints How to Hammer Fall Bass
Randy Howell gives his tips on how to catch fall bass. Photo by Phoenix Moore
October 21, 2019 • Mason Prince • Major League Lessons

The first couple of cold fronts have found their way to most of the country, which means that many anglers are already well into fall fishing mode. As the grass begins to die off in your favorite local reservoir and the trees begin to look barren, you may find yourself trying to locate transitioning fall bass.

MLF pro Randy Howell is all too familiar with the difficulties of honing in on the bass come fall.

“Fishing gets tough in most reservoirs when fall comes around,” Howell confirmed. “A lot of the fish start to leave the deeper waters and head out to follow the bait fish when the bait fish move shallow. Because of that, the bass start suspending, so they get harder to target and harder to catch.”

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Howell points anglers toward the creeks of their local lakes as a good starting point in the fall. But instead of casting topwater baits at obvious shoreline cover, the Alabama pro really enjoys using a squarebill crankbait more. Howell says that one of the biggest mistakes anglers make in the fall is not paying attention to what may be behind them.

“A lot of times, bass fisherman are drawn to something that looks good to the eye like a shallow dock or a fallen tree,” Howell explained. “Everyone loves to fish those kinds of cover, and I think they’re great things to target as well. However, with everyone fishing those types of areas, they may not be as good after a while. A lot of the fish that get overlooked are behind your boat and in the middle of the creek you’re fishing.”

Sure Bites with a Squarebill

A Livingston Lures Howeller Squarebill is Howell’s go-to bait when fishing away from the bank in a back-end creek. He usually throws a squarebill on a 7-foot Daiwa Tatula Elite Series medium-light rod paired with a Daiwa Tatula Elite baitcasting reel. He prefers 14-pound Gamma fluorocarbon to keep his bait from diving too deep, and for the line’s abrasion resistance.

Howell targets shallow offshore flats with the squarebill instead of the standard list of stumps, rocks or trees. He says that if you can find a sandbar with bait, bass will frequently hover around or suspend beneath the bait.

And while you may not see any obvious cover out in open water, Howell says to trust the process. Just remember that where there’s bait, there’s sure to be bass.

“I cover a lot of water throwing at what looks like absolutely nothing,” Howell said. “There might not be anything out there but a sandy or muddy bottom, and you’re cranking your bait fast. If you see the bait near the surface, that’s where you’ll find the bass suspended underneath them. Remember, though, that it’s important to make really long casts and to try and get your bait as far away from the boat as possible so that you don’t run up too close.”