4) The Deep Crank: Whether you're throwing a big 10XD, a Rapala DT-Series (because Ike says so), a slim profile like the Deep Six, or my old standby DD-22 you can't go wrong with a deep crank. We throw a lot of the shad patterns including those with lavender, chartreuse, or brown backs. We even branch in to the craws a bit. Whatever it is you choose, the deep crank will let you cast farther and reach deeper to catch those fish other anglers are overlooking.
5) The Lipless Crank: Who could possibly overlook this crank? Whether you're burning through the fading grass, fanning flats, or ripping off the bottom around docks and cover, the lipless is probably the most versatile bait during the fall. Again, stick to the shad patterns. If I could only choose one lipless it would be the Lucky Craft LV-500. Like many Western anglers I've discovered the benefits of the fast sinking, loud rattling bait. Try Chartreuse Shad, Ghost Minnow, Wakin if the fish are really active, or even Crack if the water has some stain to it.
What "Top 5" list would be complete without fudging and including some extras? Because 5 baits really is tough to do, the rest of the baits that really should have made the cut are the Swim Jig (California Swim Jig to be exact), the spoon (both Jigging Spoon and Flutter Spoon, The Jerkbait (ripbait if you live on the west coast), and the paddle tail swimbait (I'd go with the 6" basstrix or 4.8 Keitech on a Dirty Jigs Swimbait head).
Put these baits to work for you and have a great fall. Good luck out there!
Is your favorite bait on the list? Did I miss something? Let's hear what's on your top 5 list.