November's a great month to fish Columbus Lake in eastern Mississippi on the Tombigbee River, which begins to settle down and get in shape for bass catching during this month.

Soon, the bass will be pulling out of the river moving into the backwater areas. You can follow two good patterns this month - fishing the grass and fishing as far as you can up Tibby Creek, the largest arm off the main river channel at Columbus Lake.

Tibby Creek's wood

In the back of Tibby Creek, you'll find plenty of wood, including stumps, blow-downs and standing timber that holds bass. Because of all the structure in the creek, you must move slowly, working your way through the timber to get as far back into the creek as you can.

If you don't know the channel, take your time as you travel up the creek. From the main river, you can travel 5 or 6 miles back into the creek. Once you reach the back of the creek, stay in the channel, and pitch a jig around the lay-downs, stumps, logs and any other cover you see near the bank of the channel.

In November, the baitfish will run into the backs of creeks, like Tibby Creek, and hold there. When the shad travel up the creeks during the fall, the bass follow to feed on them.

My favorite rod, reel and bait combination to use in this region in November is a black/blue 1/2-ounce Mann's Stone Jig with a Mann's HardNose Craw or Strike King Rage Chunk as a trailer on 30-pound-test Stren Super Braid Line and a Quantum Tour Edition PT Signature Series Greg Hackney 7-foot, 11-inch flipping stick matched with a 6:1 gear ratio reel.

Although all the cover in the creek should be holding bass, my favorite targets are lay-down logs. I'll flip my jig into water from 1 to 3 feet deep. Don't expect many bites when you're fishing Tibby Creek, but do anticipate catching bass weighing from 3 to 5 pounds. A 5-pound river fish is a great bass, and if I can catch eight to 10 bass as I travel up Tibby Creek, I'll have had a good day.

Get them in the grass

Just as you start moving up Tibby Creek from the river channel, you'll see numerous flats in the backwaters on both sides of your boat. You'll find the most grass while traveling up the first 2 miles of Tibby Creek from the river channel.

A Mann's Super Frog and the new Mann's Weasel, which comes through the grass like a frog, are my favorite baits for fishing grass in November.

You can swim the Weasel in open holes or when you come out of the grass. With a tail like a rat, the Weasel barely goes under the surface when you put it down, but it has lots of action. On an extremely bright day, I prefer a white-colored Weasel or Frog. On most days this month, I like to fish darker-colored baits on 30-pound-test Stren Super Braid Line.

In November, the bass will hold in the grass, but the grass will be breaking up this month. So anytime your bait comes to open water, expect a bass strike. Although you may get several strikes in the grass, remember not to set the hook when you see the strike.

When I'm fishing the grass, I'll generally wait a little longer after the strike to set the hook than when I'm flipping, cranking or using any other technique because I want to be sure the bass has the bait in its mouth before I set the hook.

I'll usually start fishing the area with a Frog, but I'll have the Weasel tied onto my other rod as a follow-up bait. If the bass miss the Frog, I'll cast directly to the same spot with the Weasel.

Because the Weasel has a different shape, look and action, I often will entice a bass that has missed the Frog to take the Weasel. If a bass misses a lure on the surface, it usually won't return to take a surface bait. But because of the Weasel's ability to swim just under the surface, the bass will return to eat that bait.

When a bass blows up on my lure in the grass, I'll take three shots at it before I give up. If the bass doesn't take my Weasel, I'll throw back to that same place with a cigar-shaped worm hooked wacky-style. I'll cast to a hole and simply let it fall. Most of the time, the bass will take this worm on the fall, but if they don't, I'll let the it stay on the bottom and dead-stick it for awhile before reeling in the bait.

To strike a topwater lure, the bass must be really aggressive. However, you should be able to catch the bass using follow-up baits like the Weasel or a shaky worm. You'll catch numbers of 12- to 14-inch bass on the lake, but you also can catch 5- and 6-pounders in November on Tibby Creek.

Bet on both

When I go to Columbus Lake in November, I'll begin fishing the grass on the flats, expecting to catch 15 to 20 bass. Then I'll leave the grass and head up Tibby Creek. At this time of year, I'll also be fishing a 3/8-ounce chartreuse/white buzz bait, moving it on a steady retrieve, and in November, you can fish the buzz bait all day. If you want a great day of November fishing, my top choice is Columbus Lake on the Tombigbee River.