Heat of the Summer Largemouth Strategies
The “dog days” of summer mark the end of the early summer feeding binges that most fish including bass go through. Not only are lakes really warm but they are chock full of food including insects, frogs, crawfish, baitfish and fry from all species. Suffice to say that fish have plenty of food and cover available to them. So consequently it can make it just a little tougher to entice a fish into taking your presentation.
A lot of anglers will set their minds on fall when temperatures will cool down and fishing will generally be a little easier. However you don’t have to leave the boat in the garage until then, simply refine your strategies to start catching fish again.
Where To Find Them
With plenty of sunlight and warm temperatures, water surface temperatures climb into the eighty’s and sometimes even hit the ninety-degree mark. These temperatures and conditions drive the majority of fish out of the shallows in search of deeper, cooler water. The high sunlight also drives the fish into cover. Thick cabbage, coontail or milfoil patches will allow bass to hide from direct sunlight and also provide them a great place to ambush prey.
Drop an underwater camera such as the Marcum Pursuit or Marcum VS485C in any thick weed bed and you will see the nice canopy and all the places for bass and baitfish to move around in and also hide. Another great place to utilize the camera is on the outside edge of a deep main lake weedline. Bass can find cover when they need it, plenty of food and comfortable water temperatures.
Deeper locations that have hard bottom areas adjacent to it are bass magnets and they will school up really good in these areas. When you find these areas you can experience some of the best catches of the entire year because so many fish will congregate there.
Boat docks and shore stations also provide a great place for bass to hide from direct sunlight. This shade will consequently provide water that is a little cooler than that of it in direct sunlight.
How To Catch Them
When fishing the thick cover, it requires heavy line and heavy rods. Also remember, to be looking for thick weeds and the deeper the water the better. Pitching weedless bass jigs and texas-rigged soft-plastics such as tubes, worms and crawfish style baits will produce well. You will need to use a heavy enough jig (or sinker) to penetrate the upper portion of the cover so that the bait can sink to the bottom where the bass will be. Pitching into natural pockets in the weeds is always a good choice. Choose lure colors that are known to be good such as black and blue, green pumpkins etc.
When it comes to the edges of the weedlines it does open up the lure choices because of the open water. You can certainly work the edges with the aforementioned bass jigs or texas-rigged soft plastics but there are other baits that will produce as well. Crankbaits such as the Rapala DT-14 and DT-16 are staples for this time of the year. Big hair jigs such as the chicken jig are also fantastic baits to use on the edges of weedlines and in deeper hard-bottomed areas.
Docks and shore stations hold fish year-round and the ones that extend to deep water are better in the dog days of summer. Jigs, tubes and senko’s are some of the most popular lures to use while fishing docks. Be a little more patient in the heat of the summer and allow the bait to soak a little longer than you would a few weeks before.
Don’t just put the rods away because of the warm weather. Just go with the mindset of doing the same thing we all like to do and that is to find a shady, cooler place to hangout. With just a few modifications to your methods, you’ll be able to have “bass thumb” once again.