Summer Bass Fishing Tips And Tricks

Summer Bass Fishing

A common belief among bass anglers is that summer bass fishing is difficult. Factors such as the scattered nature of bass in summer, as well as the hot temperatures of summer, are often cited as reasons for this.

There is no denying that summer bass fishing is often a tricky affair. However, once an angler knows where to look and which strings to pull, bass fishing in summer transforms into an exciting affair. This guide is meant to help make bass fishing in summer not only easier but also more fruitful.

Debunking Myths On Summer Bass Fishing

Some anglers harbor certain misinformed and inaccurate beliefs about why it is difficult to fish for bass in the dog days of summer.

Firstly, there are those who think that it is difficult to find largemouth bass in summer as they do not feed in the summer. The truth is that summer is a time for bass (both largemouth and smallmouth) to replenish energy lost while spawning in spring.

As a matter of fact, the metabolism rate of bass increases significantly in summer due to the warmer temperatures which mean that bass is continually feeding in summer. Furthermore, bass best digest their food in temperatures ranging between 75 degrees and 85 degrees. Not feeding is therefore not an option for bass in summer.

(Source: TylersReelFishing)

The real puzzle for anglers hoping to catch largemouth bass in summer is to determine where the bass like to reside in summer and most importantly, where they get their food.

The real puzzle for anglers hoping to catch largemouth bass in summer is to determine where the bass like to reside in summer and most importantly, where they get their food.

There are also those who think that all bass (and especially largemouth bass) go into deeper waters to avoid the heat of summer. It is true that some bass will go into deeper waters in summer, not all of them do. It is however not true that they go into deep waters to avoid the summer heat.

According to experts, largemouth bass like heat and are known to function best at temperatures ranging between 55 degrees and 85 degrees. However, once the temperatures start going past 85 degrees and into the 90’s range, the bass start looking for cooler locations where they can wait to ambush their food more comfortably.

When food is found in shallow waters, then one should expect to find the bass there. Largemouth bass that feeds on baitfish are the ones more likely to venture into deep waters particularly when aquatic plants are scarce on the water body.

Nonetheless, it is worth noting that small bass has a higher tolerance for warmer temperatures since their bodies require less oxygen to function. Small bass, therefore, tend to reside in higher waters than larger/trophy bass. It is also worth noting that “deep” is relative to the structural features of the given body of water.

Finding the Best Summer Bass Fishing Locations

How much success one will have while fishing for bass in summer pretty much depends on where they fish. Getting the location right is of utmost importance to anglers.

1. Awareness of the Water Body

Understanding the composition of the water body is of utmost importance for any angler hoping to succeed in summer bass fishing.

Natural Lakes

Natural lakes are relatively shallow and have an abundance of different types of aquatic vegetation. Vegetation may include grass, pondweed and lily pods among other types. Bass in natural lakes seeks out areas with aquatic vegetation because of various reasons.

Firstly, the vegetation acts as a shade and as a protective cover from predators that feed on bass. The vegetation cover also helps the bass ambush their prey more efficiently. In summer, shallow waters get very warm subsequently depleting oxygen levels in the water. Bass, therefore, hang around vegetative cover because of the oxygen there. When the water is clear, bass tends to hang around in deeper sections of the vegetation cover. Similarly, when the water is stained, bass tend to hang around in shallow vegetation.

Anglers doing their summer bass fishing in natural lakes should, therefore, focus on spots that have significant vegetative cover. Most experts suggest for spots where to, or more types of vegetation are found or even spots with a distinct vegetation edge. The edge allows the bass to swim more easily while in search for prey.

Best Summer Bass Fishing

Man-Made Reservoirs

Unlike natural lakes, human-made reservoirs tend to have less aquatic vegetation cover. In these lakes, it is best to search for bass along the ledges and drop-offs which border shallow-water feeding spots. The edges and ledges act as avenues for bass to swim along when looking for food and also as they move from the spawning beds of spring to the deeper waters where the bass like to hang around in high summer.

The water on the deep side of the ledges and the drop-offs often has more comfortable temperatures for the bass. In addition to that, the deeper side also provides a higher oxygen content as well as shelter. On the other hand, the shallow side of the ledges and drop-offs is where bass find food sources such as bait fish, bluegill, and even crayfish.

During low light conditions such as early morning and towards the evening, bass tends to hang around the shallow side of the ledges and drop-offs. During bright light conditions such as at mid-day or on a sunny afternoon, bass prefers to retreat to deeper sections of the ledge or drop-off. However, on a day with ample cloud cover, anglers should not rule out fishing along the shallow sections as some bass may opt to stay on the shallow side for longer.

2. Shallow-water Options for Summer Bass Fishing

In summer, most anglers follow the popular advice of going deep. However, expert anglers have time and time again illustrated and proven that in summer bass is found even in shallow waters. Aside from spots with vegetation cover, there are other shallow water locations where anglers can find bass on a hot summer day. These include;

The backs of creeks are a good place to find bass more so in lakes that do not have any vegetation. Those fishing in river systems in which dams affect the water current should also search for bass along the backs of creeks. However, anglers should focus on creeks with current and avoid creeks without current. The current keeps the water oxygenated and also keeps the temperatures relatively cooler. The back of a creek is especially productive when it has covered such as stumps, trees, and lay-downs.

Boat docks and piers on reservoirs also tend to attract bass in summer. Some experts suggest fishing piers with pilings rather than floating piers. Bass will often hang around the shady side of the pilings near the bottom of the water. When it comes to floating piers, the bass like to hang around under the dock itself.

Lakes in the West and Midwest are often deeper and have clearer waters than other lakes. The oxygen levels in these lakes are normally depleted in late summer. As a result, the bass is likely to frequent spots with standing timber and any other vertical cover.

Many anglers often overlook bridges, yet they are some of the best locations to get bass. Bridges provide shade from the bright light and the summer heat. What’s more, Bridges may have pilings, logs and other debris that serve to attract and hold bass during summer.

Rip-rap refers to the loose rocks that are used to armor shorelines and shoreline structures such as bridges. Firstly, most of the rocks have algae growing on them. This means that minnows, crayfish and other smaller fish frequent the rocks to feed. Some of the smaller fish may also use the spaces between the rocks as shelter. Bass feed on these small fish and will therefore frequent rip-raps.

Summer Bass Fishing Lures and Techniques

Identifying the most prime locations to find the bass is not the end of the road for summer bass anglers. It is also important to learn how to target this bass using the right lures and the right technique.

1. Best Lures for Early Summer Bass Fishing

Fishing for bass in early summer is not quite the same as fishing for bass in high summer. In early summer, the bass is scattered all across numerous locations, and most are actively feeding. Furthermore, the temperatures in early summer range between the high 60’s to the mid 70’s and are therefore ideal for bass.

Since most of the bass are scattered and on the move, lures that support power fishing techniques are preferred in early summer. Power fishing is a technique that utilizes fast moving lures. Power fishing allows anglers to cover more distances and also attract hungry bass.

Summer Bass Fishing Lures

Shallow diving crankbaits are especially effective when used along the shorelines and in waters that are between 1ft and 4ft deep. Anglers can either deflect them off the cover, off the bottom or any other water structure.

Spinnerbaits are also recommended as they move quite fast. Experts also recommend using them when the sky is bright which makes them ideal for summer.

Buzz-baits are very effective in the summer and especially in early summer when most basses are still in shallow waters. Buzz-baits cause splashes and commotion which alert and entice bass to emerge from shallow cover and follow them. They are therefore ideal when fishing for bass in spots with aquatic vegetation or another cover such as timber and rocks. Since buzz-baits are topwater lures, they also cover large areas of water quickly. They are particularly effective on a calm and quiet day.

Although rubber worm lures are not ideal for power fishing, worm lures effectively all year round. They are ideal for attracting feeding bass from covers such as boat docks and piers.

2. Best Lures and Techniques for Bass Fishing in High Summer

Once the dog days of summer kick in, the activity rate of bass reduces which ultimately means that the bite reduces as well. Although the bite seems to reduce, the truth is that this is one of the best times to target bass. The approach was chosen when fishing for bass at this time of summer matters a great deal.

Firstly, early morning (between dusk and 9 am) is normally the best time to fish for bass along the shallows and the shorelines. This is because bass like to come up for food when the sun is still not too hot/bright.

Topwater lures are preferred for early morning summer bass fishing since there is not too much light and also since the waters are still calm. Poppers and walk-the-dog lures are especially effective for early morning fishing. Anglers can either choose to run the lures tight to covers or even in the open water. Experts suggest casting as close to the shoreline as possible then gradually moving towards the deeper water. Topwater lures and techniques are also preferred for late afternoon summer bass fishing.

Punching jigs and soft plastics are especially effective for bass fishing in spots that have heavily matted weeds and other vegetative covers. Punching is a technique through which the angler throws a lure through the surface of the vegetative cover to attract fish hiding below.

Once the lure has broken through the surface, one should let it sink quickly to the bottom. The darting movement of the jig or creature bait is similar to a crayfish diving for cover, and this attracts the attention of bass. The best way to do this is through the flipping and pitching technique. This is a technique where anglers are meant to gently swing-cast lures at targets that are close.

Topwater frogging is also an effective summer bass fishing technique. It is useful when fishing for bass hiding under surface vegetation. All the angler has to do is slowly drag the lure across the weeds/vegetative cover and wait for the bite. A major disadvantage of this technique, however, is that bass tends to attack the lures with so much aggression that they don’t always get a good bite.

When fishing lakes that have a little vegetative cover, it is best to target shallow spots such as boat docks and even the spots around low hanging trees. Skipping plastic worms such as wacky worms under docks and piers is an effective technique at this time of summer.

Skipping is a technique through which the angler casts the lure in such a way that it skips along the surface. Accuracy is of utmost importance for this technique to work and practice is therefore recommended.

. A common complaint among most summer bass anglers is that they only catch small bass. However, as mentioned earlier, small bass tolerate warmer waters more than large bass which means that they hang around higher waters more. It is important to use baits or lures that are heavy and which can plunge into deep waters.

Deep diving crankbaits, heavily weighted Texas-rigged jigs, drop shot baits, football jigs and even Carolina jigs are all effective for deep water summer bass fishing. Experts also suggest using depth finders, GPS and even U.S Geological Survey maps to identify the best deep-water bass fishing locations.

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