October Zone 4

Zone 4 – October

Strike King pro Trey McKinney shares his secrets for getting big bites with topwater baits during October in Zone 4.

“This time of year can be truly a blast for moving baits and topwaters,” McKinney shares. Heading further into fall, he expects to see lots of active bass because of the falling water temperatures. “Going into October, we will see water temperatures in the 70’s and sometimes even the high 60’s, which really makes these fish get active, especially when the main source of food is shad and even bluegill,” he says. 

“One of the biggest keys to catching fall bass is matching the hatch,” emphasizes McKinney. Hungry bass will be following food, so locating shad is key to huge catches. “The shad tend to move to the backs of pockets and main creek arms which make them easier to locate. Most bait will still be smaller – which bass will key in on – so they will only hit the smaller types of shad resemblance baits,” McKinney advises.

“My favorite when the cooler water temps hit is to throw topwater,” says McKinney. There are a few key locations that McKinney targets during fall. “Sometimes in the fall you can get bites throughout the whole day, but your five big bites (and most bites) will come around shad or vegetation or transitions of rock or any scattered cover that they can ambush bait fish on. That’s the key to triggering those bigger bites,” McKinney

Strike King KVD Sexy Dawg
Strike King Sexy Dawg


BAIT 1: Strike King Sexy Dawg

If the water is clear or stained, McKinney prefers Bone. In stained water, he switches to Black Lab.

McKinney chooses the KVD Sexy Dawg because it’s a premium, “walk-the-dog” topwater lure with great action. When bass are chasing bait near the surface, he always has one tied on.

Tour Grade Swim Jig
Skip’N Buzz


BAIT 2: Strike King Skip'N Buzz with Toad trailer

McKinney’s choice for clear or stained water is Black, while he opts for White if the water is muddy.

Strike King’s Skip’N Buzz is specifically built to help anglers target out-of-reach fish in places where few baits will go. The Skip'N Buzz features a 4/0 hook positioned perfectly to not hinder the baits skipping ability while maintaining maximum hook ups.

Strike King Tour Grade Football Jig Head
Sexy Frog


Bait 3: Sexy Frog


He opts for Stump Jumper in clear water, and switches to Green Pumpkin if the water is stained. Black is McKinney’s go-to in muddy conditions.

The KVD Sexy Frog has strong hooks and an easily collapsible, hollow body for better hookups. The best of its kind, the Sexy Frog has a sealed nose and free-floating rattle for superior performance.


Pro Model Series 3 Crankbait
KVD Finesse Spinnerbait


BAIT 4: Strike King KVD Finesse Spinnerbait


If the water is clear, he will throw Gizzard Shad, while more stained water calls for Super White. McKinney utilizes the Chartreuse Sexy Shad in low-vis conditions.

KVD worked diligently to perfect the all-around perfect spinnerbait. Chief among the KVD Finesse Spinnerbait features is a smaller, redesigned Perfect Skirt® with natural colors for a realistic look and smaller profile in the water.


Strike King Tour Grade Spinnerbait


BAIT 5: Strike King Denny Brauer Baby Structure Jig with Rage Menace trailer


He opts for Peanut Butter Bug in clear water. If the water is stained or muddy, he will throw the Black Blue.

The Denny Brauer Baby Structure Jig is aimed at reducing hang ups and increasing hookups. The shape and weedguard angle reduce hang-ups while the wide footprint of the head helps increase your feel of the bottom.