Do you hear them calling? The summer heat can be brutal, but if you are anything like me the fish are always calling no matter what temperature it may be outside. Like the saying goes “No one ever caught a fish by sitting on the couch.” Getting out there and experimenting with different techniques, lures, and areas is what breeds successful trips. I am going to give you a few tips that work for me if you feel froggy enough to brave that summer sun.
Nothing is set in stone
We could probably write a book about all the myths we heard growing up and as adults involving bass fishing. Just remember though, nothing is set in stone when it comes to catching these fish. I have caught all my PB (personal best) while trying a different lure, technique, or area other than what I had original started with.
Just because a spinnerbait may have caught you a nice 6 pounder last month doesn’t mean it will this month. Be observant of your surroundings. Take the time to look at what is going on around you and try to present a technique or lure that best represents that.
Where are we going and why?
My go to summer hot spots are the river and back creeks that connect to them. These are the most underrated spots but could possibly hold your personal best bass catch. Not only is there endless amounts of cover such as downed trees, overhanging bushes, and rocks, but these waters are more oxygenated in the summer months compared to a pond or lake. They also are easily influenced by small amounts of rain and normally are cooler due to underwater springs. PERFECT for those hot summer days!
“It’s too hot out, nothing is going to bite!” We are all guilty of saying this once or twice as anglers but nothing could be farther from the truth. Warmer water temperatures actually don’t slow the bite, on the contrary it speeds things up! They are cold blooded creatures and adjust their body temperatures to their surroundings.
Warmer water speeds up the largemouth’s metabolism meaning a lot of energy is being used up which in return requires a lot more food consumption.
Three Target Hot Spots
1.) Creek mouths (Where the creek feeds into the river)
● They provide current which helps prevents stratification.
● Adds oxygen to the water
● Provides a cooling effect
● Is a highway off ramp for disoriented bait
● Provides a nice shady cover for bass to ambush their prey
● Downed Trees/Bushes/Limbs
● Rocks/Rock Ledges
● Under bridges
3.) River Bends
● Provides food from the erosion of the bank
● Provides deeper holes
● Provides a current
● Provides fresh oxygen in the water
● Creates new structure spots
Not sure what it is officially called or if anyone else tries this technique this way but I purposely throw my lure into overhanging bushes or tree limbs right above my intended target and kind of bounce it off like a bank shot in basketball.
Largemouth bass are sensitive to light so they tend to lay under cover and look up. This technique provides the perfect presentation for that strike. You will need to make sure your hook is tucked into your lure weedless style so you do not actually get hung up.
Also no need to throw through the object you’re “plopping” off of. Just lob it and apply a small amount of pressure once your lure hits the bush or limb. It should fall right into the water then “WHAMMY!” FISH ON!
When you are casting be sure to work the area hard. Just because you don’t immediately catch a bass on the first cast, doesn’t mean they are not there. Hit that exact same spot 4 or 5 times and then move on.
WORK IT! WORK IT! WORK IT! I can’t say that enough. Make the most of
every cast. Get familiar with every inch of the water you’re fishing. Be patient and don’t give up.Trust me, they are there. A popular fishing truisms says it best “Catching fish is easy, finding them is the hard part.” Put in that work and you will find them.
Finesse is Best
In the summer I am throwing a 5″ Fox’d Up Senko, a Big Bite twisty tail worm with a Woo! Tungsten Never Chip Flipping Weight, or a Zoom Fluke. I will rotate between these three setups.
For the area I fish in the swamp, I feel they represent the natural food source the best. I cast, “tree plop” it, slowly let it drop to the bottom and then slowly retrieve. No need to rush. Take in your surrounding and be sure to learn the water with each cast. Normally they will strike it while it is sinking.
The Sun Does Not Play
Fishing in the summer heat can be very fun and rewarding but it can also be dangerous. Always be sure to put your safety and well being first. Some important safety measures to take are as follows:
- Properly hydrate the night before and the day of. (Drinking a bottle of water before you fish doesn’t count as proper hydration). Heat stroke and dehydration can be extremely dangerous, especially deep in the woods or swamp.
- Apply Bug spray or have a Thermacell. Sweat bees, No See Ums, flies, mosquitoes and other biting insects will eat you alive plus often carry diseases. (Try to avoid applying near your tackle or setup. Bass have a great sense of smell).
- Cover your skin or apply sunscreen. HUK has some amazing shirts and face shields that will keep you not only cool but protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays if you’re like me and don’t really like wearing sunscreen. (If you do use sunscreen be sure to wear gloves or wash your hands after).
- Be aware and cautious of the wildlife around you. Summer heat brings out a lot of creatures that could be sunning and you don’t want to accidentally step on one. Here in Florida we have a ton of poisonous snakes, spiders, alligators, and wild boar. Normally if you leave them alone they will leave you alone.
- Know your location and how to get back. Getting lost could definitely ruin a good bassin trip. Especially if you’re low on water.
I hope this gives you a little more confidence about summer bassin. Trust me, they are there. I make it a point to hit the water at least twice a week and I believe every single trip I learn something new that shatters myths I have heard about these aggressive river assassins.
Some of the biggest bass I have ever caught were during the hottest time of day and the year. Like I said previously, nothing is ever set in stone with these fish. Get out there and put in the work. By putting in the work I mean hit every inch of the area you are fishing. Get to know the structures and
nearby food sources. You do this and I promise you, you’ll catch what you’ve been waiting for.
Don’t limit yourself to only catching bass during certain seasons. You can catch them anytime. Yes, even the big ones! Also don’t forget the most important rule of bassin…HAVE FUN!!