Summer months are arguably the toughest time of the year for bass fishing. As we head into the dog days of summer, we're going to talk about some of our favorite lures and techniques for putting bass in the boat during this hot and difficult time.
BIG Worm on a Texas Rig.
Throwing a 10" or longer worm can feel crazy. Pulling a lure of that size out of the package for the first time almost seems comical, but they absolutely catch hawgs during the summer. There are a few reasons that this technique works.
For one thing, they get the bass' attention. If you're fishing around a brush pile, these monsters see small bait fish swimming around all day, but when they see something as absurd as a 10" worm, their interest gets piqued.
The second reason they work so well this time of year is that large bass are looking to intake as many calories as possible without spending a lot of energy. Just as we can feel exhausted after a few hours in the summer sun, bass get lethargic when it gets hot. That having been said, they still need to feed. Eating a large and slow moving meal is much easier than chasing many small meals.
Is there anything as exciting as having a largemouth bust a top water lure? I don't think so. This is the perfect time of year to find out just how amazing it is to bring a bass to the surface, especially in the early morning or late evening.
While the big worm technique really shines with "ambush" bass that like to live in solitude during the summer months, top water lures target schooling bass that have decided to chase bait instead of waiting for it. These fish will usually be smaller in size than the ambush predators, but that doesn't mean that this is a technique to be overlooked.
Newer anglers will often have trouble resisting the urge to set the hook as soon as they see the bass bust on the lure, but waiting to feel tension on the line is key to getting the fish into the box.
Depending on the situation, there are several techniques/lures that can be used. Heavy surface vegetation is great for hollow body frogs, schooling bass love a popper cast right in the middle of their frenzy, and a buzz bait is great for covering a lot of water in a limited amount of time.
Did I mention that this is the most exciting way to catch a bass?
Spinnerbaits are a pretty great lure for most times of the year. A white spinner bait when it's a little overcast and windy, focusing on grass lines and shaded areas can be deadly when everything else has failed.
An entire blog post could be dedicated to the spinner bait because of how versatile it is. In the summer, slow rolling is a great option. Pumping-and-reeling is another great way to put a few fish in the box.
With pumping-and-reeling you'll want to let the lure sink to the bottom and point your rod tip at the bait. Slowly pull your rod tip up until it is pointing at the sky, then bring it back down to the starting point while reeling up the slack. You can experiment with different speeds and how high you pump it until you find exactly what presentation the bass are looking for.
Sometimes better for the fish and the fisherman alike, night fishing is a great way to get some lunkers into your boat while avoiding the hot sun.
To avoid the daunting heat of the day, bass will often become nocturnal hunters. I think this is a pretty great deal for anglers, because we can do the exact same thing when hunting for them!
I have always preferred to throw a black spinnerbait, trying to create as much vibration as I can. Bladed jigs are also a great go-to lure that puts off a lot of sound and moves a lot of water.
The idea is that if the bass can't see what they're hunting, their going to rely on other senses to make the attack. I would advise fishing in a straight line so that the fish can really hone in on your lure.
An often overlooked part of fishing in the summer is the extra safety precautions that need to be taken. You can't catch fish if you aren't healthy, so this fits right in with bass fishing tips.
Stay hydrated! Once you realize that you are parched, it is usually too late. Keep water with you on the bank or on your boat and remember to drink it throughout the day.
Sun protection is a must. A quality sunscreen and skin protecting clothing can mean all the difference between a good trip and a painful one. There are obvious health risks that come along with sun burns, so take the extra steps to prevent them from happening.
Watch for other boaters. While fishermen can enjoy the waters almost completely to themselves during the fall and winter, the summer makes our lakes a crowded venue. Too many boats, alcohol, and inexperience behind the helm can make these months dangerous for bass fishermen as well as the casual boater. Remember to always be vigilant and aware of whom and what are around you.
Have fun this summer, and good luck. And remember to check out our Store while your here.
The catch of a lifetime can happen at any moment!
Chase Buie is Co-Owner of Flipside Outdoors and writes for the website’s blog.