Locating a good school of bass is important for regular success in the fall. Conditions will change from day to day so lure choice and timing will vary just as often. But if you find where the school lives you can adjust until you find something that works.
I've learned that the most successful tournament fishermen are the ones who locate the best schools of bass. The school generally stays in the same area throughout a multi-day event so if an angler adjusts his or her lure choice along with condition changes, he stays right there to the end.
There are lots of ways an angler can locate fall bass and each lake is different. One way is to put your trolling motor on high and burn down the bank with a couple of reaction baits (spinnerbait, jerkbait,etc.) until you find success. Some of our lakes are clear enough to just look without fishing.
Another good way to locate fish in the fall is to work your way along a creek channel fishing each feature until you find where the fish are. You can often pick up and move to the next creek channel and apply the same knowledge to find out they're in the same location. For example, three quarters of the way back in the last deep area with a point or a bluff.
A third strategy to locate fall bass is to just watch from a highpoint for any activity that points to fish. Using this strategy you are able to locate fish by finding areas that other anglers would overlook because they are hidden by vegetation or structure.
All of these strategies will work well for locating bass in the fall or any time of year. The key is to work harder and be more creative than the average angler. You may find a school that nobody has ever messed with.
Apache: Fishing is fair to good. Jerkbaits and inline spinners have been productive for smallmouth. Some largemouth have been caught on watermelon colored jigs. Yellow bass have been falling for spoons and blade baits.
Canyon: Fishing is fair to good. Most of the action has been coming from smallmouth. Anglers have been successful with jerkbaits, inline spinners and drop shot worms.
Bartlett: Fishing is excellent. Anglers are averaging 30 bass a day on worms, jigs or crankbaits. Most of the fish are small, but the action is great. Points and ledges have been good if there is plenty of rock cover.
Havasu: Fishing is fair. Spinnerbaits, jigs and worms have been producing a few largemouth. Smallmouth action on the mainlake has been good if you can locate a school. Stripers have been providing the best action on crankbaits, spoons and anchovies.
Pleasant: Fishing is fair. Drop shotting, spooning and Carolina rigging are all catching a few bass. Try fishing points and curves along creek channels.
Roosevelt: Fishing is good.. Fishing for crappies has been good from 15-20 feet trolling small chartreuse/pumpkin or black/blue/chartreuse grubs. Most of the fish have been good size ones. The bass fishing has also been good with drop shot worms. Anglers are catching around 30 per day, but mostly small fish.
Saguaro: Fishing is fair. Dropshotting is producing a few bass as well as spooning. The swimbait bite should be taking off soon as they start to stock the lake with trout.