Fall Bass Fishing in Massachusetts
Steve Cassidy / Sportsmens Compass Contributing Member
Lake Pearl in Wrentham MA, is one of my favorite lakes for fall bass fishing. When the water temperature drops back into the 50s, largemouth bass start hitting one of my favorite new bites – Strike King® rattle traps. While I prefer the three quarter ounce versions because their casting distance is awesome, the half ounce versions also work well.
Lake Pearl is only about 300 acres in size, so it’s easy to cover the entire lake in a day. The lake is very busy in the summer with lots of boat traffic, so I usually fish other lakes during this time. Spring fishing can be very good, where I catch the biggest bass off docks and the flats in their pre-spawn areas. My old reliable, black and blue jig produces big bass in this lake, usually near docks or around any objects that you can see – trees, rocks along the shoreline, or drop offs. One new bait that I scored well on this year was a Lucky Craft® 78DD (sinking) in pearl color. It must be worked very slow. This bait also works great on smallmouth lakes. My buddy showed me how to work this bait, and he prefers a fluorocarbon leader, which can be tied-on with an Albright knot.
In the Fall, bass fishing is great! I often throw rattle traps on outside weed edges, usually in 5 to 10 feet of water. Retrieve speed should be kept fairly constant. But changing up your speed occasionally isn’t a bad idea. A lot of hits will come after ripping the bait out of the weeds, so be ready!
I prefer a slow-tip 7-foot rod. St. Croix® is one of my favorite rod brands. They offer cranking rods, which are great. I use mostly 10 or 12lb mono on all my cranking rods. The Sufix® camo colored lines are very good.
I find that the color of rattle traps isn’t super important, but most of my fish are caught on the light blue and green colored lures. I also catch some my fish on the pearl and a few on the gold colored varieties. I believe the most important thing to remember is locating an outside weed edge, and throwing long parallel casts to that weed edge.
A bonus for this lake is the number of big pickerel. They are not huge, but in the 3 to 5 pound range. I have been fooled several times thinking I was reeling in a 5+ pound bass, only to look down on rows of sharp teeth. It helps to have a long handled pair of pliers for those toothy fish. Many of these pickerel are caught thru the ice in the winter, but that is personally not something I enjoy. Many people in New England love to ice fish.
Over all Lake Pearl is a good lake to consider in the fall. There is one special town requirement to park at the boat ramp – a non-resident parking sticker. The sticker will set you back $65.00. Your truck may get a little dirty going down long dirt road to the ramp – but it’s worth it. To me these somewhat negative aspects of the lake are worth the trouble!
Please catch and release all fish, lets save these small bodies of water from being over harvested!