Shallow water bass can be finicky at times, and the typical running the bank routine runs flat leaving some anglers scratching their heads. But November is a great time to be fishing, the water is cooling down and bass are feeding up for the winter. Professional guide Mike Seifert notes that this is the best time to visit Lake Millwood in southern Arkansas, and that he has been experiencing several 50-75 bass days.
Lake Millwood is a classic shallow water impoundment that features a main lake (bowl) that is fed by a river. The river creates tons of skinny backwater sloughs and has multiple oxbows. Mike said bass are schooling in the main river and in the oxbows along the river. This is typical for this time of year as the bass are moving with the shad to the backs of creeks and rivers.
Bass are chasing shad in shallow flats adjacent to ditches and river channel bends. This is as simple as identifying channel swings on a map or with locators, and should be your first search point this time of year. Once you have identified areas like this search baits are the ticket to drawing strikes. Mike has seen success grinding Bomber Fat Free Fingerlings in shad patterns on flats and creek channel bends. The Fingerling is a great choice due to its mid-depth 8-10 foot cranking depth. If the areas are too shallow or weedy for the Bomber Mike opts for a lipless crankbait like a Cotton Cordell Super Spot in bright shad colors like Chrome Blue or Chrome Black. For the lipless he also looks for bass surfacing near grass or pads that are common in Millwood. Vegetation is a strong point throughout the year, but even more so right now as bass will attempt to corral the shad to places where they can make an easy meal of them.
The biggest takeaway for trying to identify bass in shallow water for the month of November is to look slightly offshore on nearby creek channel swings, and the flats that run adjacent to them. Bait is the key, so always be on the lookout for shad flickering or bass schooling. Search with crankbaits and other fast moving shad imitators and be sure to keep your hooks in good condition because you could be in for the best fishing of the year.