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Mastering Fall Fishing: The Freeloader and Chatterbait Techniques with Bob Downey

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In addition to all the great summer techniques, the Crush City Freeloader is excellent on a chatterbait.

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As the leaves turn and the air crisps, anglers gear up for fall fishing, a season ripe with opportunities. In an insightful video by Omnia Fishing, Bob Downey delves into the art of using the Crush City Freeloader with a chatterbait, a combination that's proven to be exceptionally effective in fall fishing conditions.

The Technique: Bladed Jigs for Maximum Effect

Bladed jigs, known for their versatility and effectiveness, become particularly potent in the fall. Downey emphasizes the Crush City Freeloader's compatibility with chatterbaits, a type of bladed jig. This combination ensures a more streamlined and efficient movement in water, ideal for fall fishing scenarios.

Key Features

  • Rapala Crush City Freeloader: This particular trailer, priced at $5.99, is designed to complement the chatterbait's movement. Its streamlined tail and minimal appendages allow for a more natural and enticing action.
  • Z-Man Jack Hammer Chatterbait: The chatterbait, especially the Green Pumpkin variant available for $15.99, is a perfect match for the Freeloader, mimicking the natural prey of fishes in the Midwest's natural lakes during fall.

Why the Freeloader-Chatterbait Combo Works

Mimicking Natural Prey

In the video, Downey explains how the sun gill color of the Freeloader aligns seamlessly with a green pumpkin chatterbait, effectively imitating the bluegills and perch common in Midwest lakes. This color coordination enhances the bait's appeal to active fishes in these regions during fall.

The Advantage of Movement

The Freeloader’s design allows the chatterbait to hunt and glide off naturally when reeled quickly or popped free from grass. This movement pattern is crucial in triggering bites, as it mimics the erratic movements of real fish.

Tips for Fall Fishing Success

Covering Ground

Downey suggests covering extensive ground with moving baits like the Freeloader-chatterbait combo. Fall is the time when fish are particularly active, especially in the mornings. By utilizing this technique, anglers can quickly locate areas with high fish activity.

Adjusting to Fish Behavior

Upon encountering active fish, Downey recommends slowing down the retrieve. This change in pace can often entice more bites as it allows the bait to exhibit its full range of action.


Bob Downey's insights into fall fishing with the Freeloader and chatterbait provide anglers with a strategic edge. This technique, perfect for the active fall season, ensures a higher catch rate and an enjoyable fishing experience.

Transcript Summary with Key Segments

0:00 - Introduction to fall fishing techniques
0:23 - Discussion on the effectiveness of the Crush City Freeloader with a chatterbait
1:18 - Demonstration of the Freeloader-chatterbait combo in action

Full Transcript

We got a nice crisp fall morning here and we're on just a little offshore grass hump right now covering a bunch of water with chatter bait and a really good trailer for really any time of year but something that really allows the chatter bait to work and hunt on its own like it's meant to be is the new crush city freeloader a real streamline tail not a lot of appendages so that thing just basically follows that chatter bait as it was meant to work and what I mean by that is a chatter bait tends to hunt the faster you reel it or when you run into grass and you pop it free felt like a bite um it tends to hunt off to the side and glide off and that's what really triggers a bite and a trailer that has minimal appendages on it with more of a pin tail versus a paddle tail or you know a creature style bait with a bunch of appendages allows that thing to really shoot off and hunt and that's really what triggers your bite so that's why I prefer more of a pin tail or a smaller tail chatter bait trailer this is the sun gill color matches up really well with just a green pumpkin chatter bait we're on a natural lake here in the midwest and lots of blue gills perch around on these offshore humps so it imitates it really well and fall time of year I like to cover a bunch of ground with moving baits those fish are really active on these spots especially in the morning time and that's a really good way to put a bunch of fish in the boat and really locate areas that have a lot of activity um the chatter bait and freeloaders are great trailer to put on the back and just go please start running into fish and then slow down a bit. (mellow music)