The water temperature will drop about 30 degrees in about a 2 month period from the beginning of October to the end of November. During this time, the fish will go on a feeding frenzy to store up fat for the winter. This is also when many of the fishermen trade in their rods for bows and guns, so there is often much less boat traffic. This can be some of the best fishing of the year.
In the early fall, fish can be caught in the same places as the late summer pattern. Once the water cools, the fish scatter and can be caught on about any pattern imaginable. You can find them shallow in the backs of coves or you can catch them on the deep road beds.
Fall is the time I encourage beginners and kids to fish. So, I will have a lot of days where I teach someone to throw a baitcaster. If I have beginners, I prefer to start by fishing deep. This way, we can use heavy baits - which are much more forgiving when learning how to throw a baitcasting reel. If I have more experienced fishermen, I may start the day with topwaters and/or spinnerbaits in the shallows. Once the sun is up, I spend most of my day on the deep humps and road beds. Jigging spoons and tailspinners are very easy to throw and can bring lots of action from black bass, white bass (sandies) and yellow bass (barfish). The yellow bass are some of the best eating fish around and there is no size or quantity limit. It is not uncommon to catch hundreds in a day in addition to the black bass that you also catch. Largemouths will feed on those barfish, so barfish patterned rattle traps, spoons, and crankbaits will catch some nice bass in the same places the barfish bite. If you only want to catch largemouths, fish plastic worms in the deep water on either a drop-shot or a Carolina rig. You will rarely catch whites or yellows on them - although they do tend to bite the weights a lot.
Fall fishing does have its drawbacks. You can have droughts in early fall which will cause the lake levels to drop and the bite to slow. Conversely, you can have flooding which will precede the gates opening (it may not happen again now that they are supplying Dallas) which will also cause the bite to stop. Flooding, strong winds, and the Fall turnover also makes the water color change dramatically. This can also lead to tough fishing. In addition, you have lots of fronts coming through in the fall which makes for the toughest fishing of all. With a 30 degree water temperature decline in 2 months, you can just imagine the shock the fish are getting.
Fall fishing can be as unpredictable as any season. There will be some very good days and some bad days. The best recommendation I have is to be flexible. If you book a trip with me in the fall, I will give you the option to postpone the trip if the water temps are cold and we get a major cold front. I can't always forecast when the fishing will be great, but I can often predict a slow day ahead of time.