Summer Bass Fishing

As both the water and air temperatures rise, the summer doldrums of bass fishing are quickly approaching. With the opportunities that spring and early summer bring for bass fishing, they get spoiled by the time the peak of the summer arrives.

These fish tend to disperse in the summer season, which leaves angler’s heads spinning in confusion. In order to get the best out of summer bass fishing, anglers need to understand bass behavior.

Low Oxygen Conditions

During summer, water temperatures rise, causing the oxygen levels to lower. This is the main driver of bass behavior during the summer season. It drives them into searching for cooler temperatures which impacts their feeding.

With higher temperatures, a fish’s metabolism works fine, but their strike zone for feeding becomes smaller. They are less inclined to chase down meals because they might not have full access to high oxygenated water which, just as in humans, can cause fatigue and lack of energy.

Bass Behavior in the Summer

As the thermocline (the depth of water where there is a significant change in temperature over just a few feet of depth) builds up, the bass begins feeding inside of covers such as stumps and brush piles. So, for anglers to catch bass, they need to fish slowly to get bites.

You should consider five things when fishing summer bass.

Early Bird Gets the Worm

With the temperatures being high during summer, bass tend to spend their days in the cooler water. Deeper water is less impacted by the summer sun so the temperature is more stable and lower than shallow water.

Early in the morning, after the cooler night and before the summer sun beats down on the water, bass will be out feeding in shallower water. This is where you will catch the bass in the summer heat.

Cool Water Temperatures

As mentioned above, bass are looking for cooler waters in summer.

Try to fish in freshwater runoffs such as creeks and backs of pockets.

Look for ledges on the main lake, river, or a large creek. A ledge is where the old original river or creek channel used to be before the water level raised.

Look for areas where the depth of the water changes quickly and in a short distance.

Look for underwater islands with deep water close by or humps.

Shade

The shade will always prevent the water from getting too hot and give the bass a place to hide and ambush its prey. Thick matted vegetation or shaded banks and the area under boats and piers are ideal places for finding bass.

Food

Bass will always be swimming around prey during the summer; therefore, look for food sources such as baitfish, shad, bream, and other types of bass prey like frogs and insects.

Current Condition

The current in the water acts like dinner bells for bass in the summer, and it will activate the bass any time of the day in shallow or deep water.

Bass Spawn

Summer is normally considered the transition time for bass because they move from their spawning flats to deep water in search of food.

Knowing this little information will help you figure out what areas bass is hunting, and you can cast your bait in those particular spots rather than wasting expensive gasoline as you motor around then entire lake looking for a decent catch.

Summer Bass Fishing Lures

Flukes

A fluke is soft plastic bait that is used to catch a variety of fish, including bass.

These soft jerk baits are great for newbie anglers.

Throwing weedless Texas rigged flukes into a heavily vegetated mat work well in catching bass. In summers, when the temperatures spike, fish need to find cover in cooler waters and hunt for prey.

Therefore, grass provides a great ambush when the bass are hunting.

Position Casting & Retrieve

Positioning yourself with the wind to your back and cast high in the air to allow the wind to maximize your casting distance.

Bait should have the ability to go far when it is being cast. Slowly move the fluke through the water, gently twitching it every 3 seconds.

Flutter the bait through the vegetation; the bait will get snug in the weeds, causing noise, which will attract the bass towards it. Your bait needs to be weightless for it to suspend on the weeds for an easy target.

Which Summer Fluke and Line to Choose

The most effective fluke is made by Zoom-the Super Fluke. Experiment with dark and light color profiles to produce great results. Use a hook paired with a heavy 30lb braid.

Jerkbaits

Some anglers use jerkbait as a search bait, but it can be used to catch bass too.

When the temperature rises in the summer, the bass like to suspend just above the thermocline. The thermocline is a layer between warm water that is heated from the sun and cooler water below.

Use a fish locator to find schools of baitfish, grass, structure, and points around the 10-15 foot depth. You know what they say ‘where there is bait, there is bass’.

Which Jerkbait to Use for Summer Bass Fishing

The color of the bait is determined by the water conditions you are fishing in.

If the water is clear, go for a lighter, more natural colored bait, but if the water is murky, use a darker color.

Slow sinking baits are ideal for the summer season; they weigh more, which generates a greater casting distance and increases the strike zone by 10 fold.

Position, Casting and Retrieve

Each angler has a different retrieve method when catching bass. The standard retrieve is jerk one second pause, then a jerk twice, reel in, pause for one second.

Experiment with different pause times and speeds. Make sure to target transition points and creek channels, look for areas where two different sections of water meet or where a certain channel narrows.

Top Water Hollow Body Frog Lures

When fishing in heavy vegetation, which is floating, use a weedless bait such as a topwater frog. Some anglers only use them in the early morning or sundown, but they can be effectively utilized all day long.

There are two types of frogs anglers use.

Frog with a Cupped Mouth

These types of frogs are also called popper frogs that have a cupped mouth that splash water when they are retrieved.

Throw popper over open waters or when it is windy and then retrieve them slowly while twitching the popper frog 1, 2, and 3 times before a long pause. Bass will bite the bait during the pause, so be patient.

Frogs without a Cup

Frog Bait

Any frog without a cup is perfect for use in heavy vegetation.

Look for small areas of open water, also known as ‘blow up holes’, use a steady retrieve while the bait is running on top of the weeds, then pause.

The bass will identify the bait under the vegetation and then wait for the perfect time to strike. Although bass usually strikes when the bait is paused, it might even bite it while it is floating through the weeds, so be prepared for action at any moment.

Hookups

The only issue with fishing with weedless frogs is their hook-up to bite ratio. Some anglers set the hook too early, i.e., exactly when the bass attacks, and this often results in a missed opportunity for the angler.

To catch the fish, wait for a second or two before setting the hook and wait for the bass to swallow the frog deeper.

Soft Plastic Worms

Plastic worms are considered deadly weapons when fishing for bass in the summers.

Hook and Swivel

Boat docks in water no deeper than 6 or 7 feet, lay-downs, vegetation, or any isolated structures around the shorelines are where you will get your bass.

Use a heavy 3/0 hook and a swivel but do not use any weights. The heavy hook and swivel give the worms perfect fall speed, which resembles a dying or injured prey.

A Finesse Approach

An angler must adopt patience when finesse fishing.

Flukes, Jerkbaits, and topwater frogs entice a reaction strike, which means that the bass will hit the bait out of pure instinct (power fishing).

Whereas fishing with worms produces a hunger attack, which means that the bass will bite the bait because they consider it an easy meal.

Below are some tips on how to fish with soft plastic worms.

  • After your launch, the cast, allow the worm to sink slowly in the water
  • While the worm is sinking, reel in excess of your line until you are left with only 2 or 3 feet, all the while keeping your rod low.
  • Reel in the few feet of additional slack until the line is tight and then raise the pole vertically until the rod is facing straight up.
  • Reel in the slack again with the tip of your rod until there are only a few feet of the slack left.

Hookups

You need to identify where the water meets the line. This is the most effective way to spot a strike. If the line is moving away from you, you must reel in the rest of your slack and make a solid hook-set. You have to ensure your rod tip is low because having the tip of the rod high up in the air will not allow enough motion.

You can hold the line with the tip of your index finger to feel bites that you are unable to see visually.

This is a helpful technique when fishing in windy temperatures because the wind moves the line around in the water giving the impression of a bite. While raising the tip of the rod, hold the line so you can feel if the worm is getting pulled by any structure or grass.

This effect can also fool you into believing it is a bite.

Summer Bass Fishing with Spinnerbaits

Spinnerbaits have declined in popularity, but they are a reaction strike lure, which you can use to your advantage because they have no treble hooks.

Spinner Bait

Casting and Retrieve

Let the spinnerbait sink in the water for 4 or 5 seconds, subsequently using a fast retrieve in. Cast it around the sunken tree limbs, and once your lure hits the structure, let it sit there for a few seconds before retrieving it again, this will surely cause the bass to bite.

There are many different blade styles and sizes of spinnerbaits, but the one that works almost every single time is a single Colorado Blade 3/8 oz in size.

Try to match the color to the time of the day your fishing; for instance, during the night, choose midnight blue or black, and during the day time, choose bright colors such as orange or yellow.

Summer Bass Fishing Tips

Pay Close Attention to the Surrounding

Look for schools of baitfish or birds since these things can lead you to fish. Once you see the fish hit the surface, you should move to that particular location. Always stay alert and move swiftly. Before changing areas, give the bait 2 or 3 minutes.

Avoid Lakes that Have a Heavy Population of Carp and Catfish

Carp and catfish are fond of eggs of spawning bass, and this is why you will barely find any bass there.

Also, avoid lakes with heavy recreational use; areas with a high volume of motorboats make the water dirty, which is avoided by the fish.

Fish the Magical Hour

The hour right before sundown is called the magical hour because that is where there is a huge influx of activity on the surface of the water; therefore, spotting schools of bait is very easy.

Take Advantage of the Summertime

All anglers are aware that everything in the tackle box is fair game during the summers. However, stepping out of your comfort zone always yields the best results. Try to experiment with different techniques, patterns, colors, and locations to get the best out of summer bass fishing experience.

We hope the tips and tricks in the article will make your summer bass fishing experience fulfilling and joyful. If done right, bass fishing in summers yields fruitful results.