Bass fishing is a lot of fun, but there is a method to doing it well. Sometimes, catching the biggest bass, you need to put in a bit of extra effort and do some thinking. Every season will require a different approach to bass fishing for the best results.
To locate bass in the summer, you will have to change your fishing technique because the fish behave differently. Using live bait and depth-finding electronics will help you get hold of the bass that seems to have disappeared when the water became warmer.
As summer comes into full swing and the water reaches less-than-ideal temperatures, your bass fishing experience will change. In this guide, we’ll show you how to up your game and have more success bass fishing despite the difficulties that summer poses to all fishermen.
Thinking deep is a great way to get started on locating the eluding fish – literally! You will have to go deeper to find the bass ‘fleeing’ from the warm water. Sure, you can still find bass in the shallow waters, but they will be small and won’t feel like they’re worth the effort you put in.
Although productive depths depend on the lake you’re fishing at; you should aim to go between 6 and 12 feet (1.83 and 3.66 meters) deep during early summer. At the height of summer, bass fish can go as deep as 20 feet (6.1 meters) to avoid warm water, so you’ll have to go as deep too.
Where Do Bass Go in the Summer?
There are several places that you will have more luck in finding bass than others. Here are the best areas to look for the fish:
Bass need two things to survive – oxygen and food. They get this from currents, and as such, you should be looking for currents that will please the fish. The bass will position themselves close to or in a current that will provide them with food and oxygen with the least effort required.
You don’t have to be looking for the biggest, strongest currents. Even mild currents are enough to attract bass.
You’ll have to explore your favorite fishing spots to find the areas with the best currents for your summertime bass fishing adventures.
Bass love to gather in the shade because they don’t enjoy summer heat all that much like many of us. Water in the shade can be up to 10 degrees cooler, providing much-wanted relief from the sun.
The cooler water will attract the smaller fish that bass eat, and there is more oxygen than in warmer water. This provides the perfect feeding environment for bass and the ideal location for you to catch them.
Look out for all kinds of cover that could provide the fish with enough protection from the heat. This includes boat houses, trees, and docks. The low overhanging cover gives more shade, and you’ll find more fish gathering under it.
Drop-offs and Ledges
If you like to fish at reservoirs, certain areas will have more bass in the summer. You’re very likely to find bass at the drop-off edges between deep channels and shallow flood areas.
If you’re fishing in low-light, the ledges are a good idea, and you should start on the top and expand your search a short distance into the shallow water. If the light is right, you can explore the depths close to the walls.
Dense and Floating Vegetation
When fishing in natural lakes, you will have more success beneath dense and floating vegetation during the summer. Like man-made structures that provide shade, nature can also provide shade in the form of lily pads, hydrilla, and hyacinth.
This kind of cover is even better for bass because it gives them ample ambushing space to wait for unsuspecting prey.
Should you ever be lucky enough to find a raft of hyacinth that drifted into a bed of lily pads or hydrilla, you’ve hit the jackpot.
The denser the vegetation, the bigger the fish that you will find. The only problem you’ll have then is catching all the bass you discovered.
It’s recommended that you dig out baits like rats and frogs and drag them over the top. You’ll then have to hang on and be prepared for some exciting bass fishing.
Under the Moonlight
Sometimes, it’s not a question of ‘where’ but ‘when.’ Heading out after night could be a good idea as nocturnal fishing can be very useful. You might just manage to catch bass where no one else had any luck during the day! Be patient when fishing at night; it’s not the same as during the day. Slow and steady wins the race in this scenario.
What Is the Best Lure for Bass in the Summer?
Fishing bass in the summer can be fun, but you need more than the right location to catch them. It would help if you also had the right lure.
We’ll look at the top five bass lures that are most likely to help you catch as many fish as possible.
Jigs are considered a fantastic mid-summer lure for bass. There are different jig styles, and the most popular one is the swim jig. This is an aggressive strategy, though, so you’ll have to be prepared to work fast.
You’ll have to cast the jig over structure or in heavy cover, then reel as fast as possible. Take intermittent breaks to allow the lure to fall before you start to reel again. The point is to entice a reaction from the bass.
Swim jigs are ideal for fishing along weed beds and deep structures. The BOOYAH Boo Jig Bass Fishing Lure is an excellent option if you don’t have some of your own yet.
This kind of lure is great during any season but works exceptionally well when fish are aggressive because of the summer heat. You can cover ground trolling with crankbaits; they’re also great casting lures.
These lures are ideal when you want to target bass that are about 10 to 15 feet deep. The wLure Minnow Crankbait is a trusted product for bass fishing.
If you’re looking for tough but affordable lures while bass fishing, plastic craws are fantastic. They also come scented and can replicate many things that bass love to eat. You can use plastic craws with a hook on their own, on a spinnerbait, and on a Texas rig – it’s all up to you.
With topwater bait, you can get into shallow, though, and weedy areas more easily. This means you’ll get closer to the fish and will be more successful in hooking them. Much of the food that bass eat is at the surface of the water, such as frogs and flies. Using topwater bait is always a good idea.
The best-performing topwater lure is the ‘frog.’ It works equally well in weeds as it does in grassy areas.
And its appearance isn’t limited to only frogs. This lure can mimic almost anything that sits on top of the water. Bass don’t know the difference between species; they just react to movement on the surface.
BOOYAH’s Pad Crasher Topwater Hollow Body Frog Lure is a popular choice when looking for the best lure.
This lure is excellent for luring all kinds of fish and works well when you’re out bass fishing. It’s one of the most versatile bass fishing lures, and if you add a scented trailer, it’s even more effective.
Spinnerbaits mimic baitfish movements that swim across the water and use vibration to attract from a distance. If you need to fish in shallow water, these baits will be perfect.
You can get them in different sizes and designs, and the TB Tbuymax Hard Metal Spinner Baits Kit is one of the best options on the market.
What Colors Do Bass Like in the Summer?
There are two rules when bass fishing and choosing the colors of your bait. Rule one: clear water calls for light and subtle colors. Rule two: use brightly colored bait in muddy or dingy water.
Silt hampers bass’ visibility, so colors such as green, orange and yellow are better than duller options such as pumpkinseed. Clear water is unobstructed, so more natural colors are better and will attract more fish.
Take the Plunge
As we’ve discussed earlier, big bass don’t like hanging out in the shallow water during summer. So, you’ll have to take the plunge and go after them where they lurk in the deeper water. Small bass have a higher tolerance for warm water because their systems don’t need as much oxygen. That’s why you’re more likely to get small catches if you’re not willing to go deeper.
The best way to make sure your bait reaches the bigger, lower fish is to make sure the smaller fish have less opportunity to grab onto your lure. You can do so by using weighted plastic and jigs. Just be prepared to lose some of your tackle during this process.
Employing simple jigs is the fastest way to go, and slider-style jigs are an excellent way to go. You might encounter problems in water that has a lot of rocks on the bottom.
In this case, your jigs might get snagged. To counter this problem, at least a little bit, you can borrow a fishing method from salmon fishers – bottom bouncing rigging.
Tie a three-way swivel to your mainline, a Texas-rigged plastic on a foot and a half of 12-pound (5.44-kg) test, and a half-ounce (14.17-g) weight on a 6-pound (2.72-kg) test. This setup should help you navigate the waters easier.
Work With Jerkbaits
Although many anglers prefer to use jerk baits only to search, they can effectively catch bass in the summer. You should consider the color of the water when choosing the color of your bait. As you probably know by now, colorful baits work in murky water, and natural colors and patterns are better for clear water.
Use slow-sinking or suspending jerk baits because they way more and can help you cast your line further. It also stays in the ‘strike zone’ for longer and won’t float to the surface.
Use Realistic Swimbaits
If you’re planning to fish in early June, you’ll find that using a realistic-looking swimbait does the job of luring in bass pretty well. The Bassdash Multi Jointed Swimbaits come to mind as good choices.
When using swimbaits, slowly drag for bottom or cruise the bait along in the water. It can be very effective but note that this method doesn’t work as well towards the end of June anymore.
Take Advantage of Gadgets
Although it is fun to rely only on yourself when bass fishing, some gadgets will make things a little bit easier for you. Electronic fish finders can be quite useful when trying to locate bass in the summer.
These gadgets are a bit pricey but can save you time and effort, so you can just focus on reeling in the big fish like you want to. The Lowrance HOOK2 is a portable fish finder that will make your fishing adventures a lot easier.
You can also make use of a castable fish finder, which costs less than boat-mounted finders.
Be Aware of the Best Times of Day
During summer, the best times of day to catch bass tend to be when there isn’t much light. Fishing during the early morning and late afternoon can result in better catches. Many bass anglers like to fish from dawn until two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset until dusk.
You can fish during other hours, but you’ll have to find a good shade to get close to the fish.
Monitor the Weather
Much like humans, bass are more active when they’re comfortable. During summertime, they will become busier when there is a break in the heat.
If there is an overcast, cloudy, or rainy day, head to the water and make the most of it. A break in the weather will have bass leaving their cover and roaming around for prey.
Catching fish in the rain (when there’s no lightning) is a popular method for all kinds of fish.
Channel Your Success
When temperatures start to rise during summer, flooded river channels in lakes and ponds with shallow bottoms can be great fishing spots. Like with air, colder water sinks, and warmer water rises.
When the weather is at its hottest, these channels have the coolest ribbons of water, which will attract bass. If the channels also have some water flow-through, there will be more oxygen and even better chances of bass hanging around.
You can combine this method with the idea of using gadgets to find the best locations with bass. Ledges and bends are great spots where bass will wait to ambush their food.
Use Old-Fashioned Live Bait
Although live bait has become less popular over time and has been replaced by more modern options, many anglers still swear by it.
The way you hook your live bait will affect the results you get while fishing. Instead of hooking through the nose, as most anglers do, you can hook through the breastplate.
Using this hooking method will see the fish swimming away from the line instead of toward you. This will simulate more natural swimming, which is much more enticing.
Ensure that your bait is full of life and fresh because dead and glassy-eyed bait is far from enticing. Also, keep in mind that there are regulations around the collection and use of live bait, so make sure you know your area’s laws.
One of the best live baits for bass fishing is crawfish. You can find it at a bait shop or catch the crawfish yourself.
Nightcrawlers are also very effective, even if they’re the oldest trick in the book. Using nightcrawlers is still one of the best ways to catch most kinds of fish.
Bass Fish With Flukes
Flukes are popular lures that can be very effective when fishing for bass in the summer. They work well when used in a Texas rig and cast into heavy grass. Because bass hides away from the heat, these guys will help you reach them in the cool areas where they’re waiting for food to come along.
Position yourself with the wind to your back so you can cast your line as far as possible. The wind should help maximize the distance you get. Then, slowly move the fluke through the water using gentle twitches.
A 3-second pause will add some realism to the movements of your lure. Make it ‘flutter’ through the vegetation where the bass are situated to catch their attention. It is best to use weightless flukes because weights will make them sink to the bottom too fast.
Spending summer days outdoors fishing (alone or with friends) for bass is a great way to get away from everyday worries and stress. Although fishing can get stressful, if you have the right information, you’ll have more success, and fishing will be more fun.
This article taught you how to locate bass in the summer by discussing the best methods and looking at bass behavior. Now nothing is stopping you from reeling in big boys and showing off to your friends!
- Bass Pro: Five Top Places to Find Summer Bass
- Best Bass Fishing Lures: The Texas Rig
- Kinsey’s Outdoors: 5 Bass Rigs for Summertime Success
- Bass Pro: A Simple Guide to Choosing Lure Colors for Bass
- Begin to Fish: What Does Pound Test Mean For Fishing Line?
- Berkley Fishing: BOTTOM BOUNCER RIGGING
- Sport Fishing Mag: Hook Placement When Fishing with Live Bait
- Game and Fish Mag: Best Live Bait for Bass
- Shop Karl’s: The 3 Most Effective Ways To Rig A Nightcrawler
- Game and Fish Mag: Sizzling Tips for Summer Bass Fishing