Strike King pro Tristan McCormick uncovers some of his key locations to find bass in Zone 3 during November.
“November bass fishing in Zone 3 can be really fun. A lot depends on the weather,” McCormick begins. Because of the declining temperatures, bass are starting to prepare for winter. “For the most part in November, fish start to get in their winter stage. What I mean by that is I basically call it their ‘wintering holes,’” McCormick says. Their “wintering holes” consist of a few key places. “They will school up heavily on long points or creek channel turns – somewhere easy for them to sit there and feed. In some states it’s current related and that’s when you will see them set up on current breaks, points with current rolling over them or creek channel bends,” he says. If there is no current present, McCormick offers a few other suggestions. “States in Zone 3 without current force bass to set up on points, deep holes, springs,” he shares.
There are some crucial baits that McCormick uses that excel in Zone 3, especially in November. “The number one bait for me is by far the Rage Swimmer. I can fish it deep with a ¾- to 1-ounce head and I can also fish it in that medium depth with a ½-ounce head. Once you get a bite there will be more than 1 there without a doubt,” McCormick says. “Jerk bait is also a really good bait to get some bites. Once you get that school fired up on a swimbait you can pick a XD up and catch them every other cast. It can be a lot of fun when you find that sweet spot the fish are setting on,” McCormick assures.
If the water is clear, McCormick prefers Ghost Shad. In stained water, he switches to Electric Shad. For muddy water, he will favor Pearl Flash.
If fish are not chasing a fast-moving bait, the Rage Swimmer will often trigger fish to respond. The beauty of the Rage Swimmer is that the legendary tail maintains its swimming action whether burned through a school of feeding fish, or slowly crawled across the bottom or through cover.
McCormick’s choice for clear water is Sexy Shad, while he opts for Pro Green if the water is stained. Oyster is his go-to in muddy conditions.
Lethal action and the perfect combination of roll, wiggle, and flash, the KVD J300 Deep dives up to 11-feet and has a proprietary weight transfer system for increased castability.
He opts for Citrus Shad in clear water, and switches to Powder Blue Back Chartreuse if the water is stained or muddy.
If looking for a stealthy approach, the 5XD Silent Crankbait is a great option when ledge fishing or targeting schools and provides the same action and diving ability as the original 5XD.
If the water is clear, he will throw Chrome Blue, while more stained water calls for Chrome Sexy Shad. McCormick prefers the Royal Purple in low-vis conditions.
The Red Eyed Shad has incredible action and features some awesome paint jobs, premium hooks, 3D eyes, and free-floating rattles to give you the best action and sound of any lipless crankbait.
He opts for Blue Glimmer in clear water. If the water is stained or muddy, he will throw Chartreuse Blue Glimmer. McCormick uses a Pearl Flash Rage Swimmer trailer in all water conditions.
Strike King’s Tour Grade Tungsten Thunder Cricket has changed the game for vibrating jigs. Its innovative design provides maximum swimming action, flash, and thump, with a superior hookup ratio.