The dog days of summer. Everybody knows ‘em. It’s when the oppressive heat of the blaring sun puts everything from porch pooches to grandpa into summertime lazy mode. Like any creatures looking to cool off, largemouth bass will look for any opportunity to “jump in the pool” and cool down in shadows, under structures and get deep. Here’s a few tactics to convince bass to hit during those heated days.
HUNTING IN SHADOWS
Structure fishing is tops in summer as bass hang tight to docks, branch overhangs, bridge abutments and lilypads – anywhere they can cool off in the shadows and hide from the sun’s rays. Work shadowlines by dropshotting Senko worms rigged wacky style or casting chatterbaits to convince bass to come out of the shadow and hit. Once you are 10 feet out of the shadowline, reel up and make a quick cast again as many times the bass was interested but not committed and will be back to hit the second time around. A well-placed live shiner cast on the outskirts of the structure will also get looks from a largemouth.
When the sun is just below the horizon at dawn and dusk, these are opportune windows where largemouth will be on the feed as waters are spared from the sun’s rays. Those low light hours at morning and evening are prime to toss topwater baits such as the old school Jitterbug, Heddon Zara spooks and Jointed floating Rapalas. Work around sunken logs, weed mats, and floating structures. Pop the lure slowly and let it rest every 5 feet or so as bucketmouths will follow a lure and pounce once it appears the prey is tired and appears to be a sitting duck.
MID-DAY LIVE BAITS
When the sun reaches its apex, bass will go into deeper waters and root around in the weeds. Wild shiners or fathead minnows work their magic as they flit about and stay in the strike zone longer than lures generally will, making them perfect offerings to tease up a bite during lazy mid-day hours. Send out live baits around submerged weeds and allow the baits to swim deeper where bass hanging in the comfortability and deep cover of the stringy weeds will pounce on a flitting baitfish.
Summer sweetwater sessions are always a relaxing time. Adjust your tactics and you can convince lazy largemouths to strike with aggression.
Photo Courtesy of What the Fin.