Written by Andrew Schadegg
It’s getting hot!! June is upon us and summer is settling in very soon. With that comes bass behavior that becomes predictable for the longest period of the year for most lakes in the country. June, July, August and for some into September are typical summer pattern months that you can identify what works day in and day out.
June’s Lucky Tackle Box is all about the HOTTEST summer baits!! So let’s talk about the 5 best baits for catching summer bass:
Hollow Body Topwater
We'll start with topwater. It’s fun, it’s exciting and summertime is a fantastic time for all sorts of surface baits. Morning is open season for topwater, but once the sun comes up and the heat sets in, it’s time to put the other baits down and pick up a frog or a similar hollow body bait.
These are so effective in the summer, because they’re made to be fished in the thickest junk. Bass live there in the summer because they have shade, oxygen and a plethora of meal options. When they sense that disturbance over their head, they will blast through the canopy and destroy your bait.
Reaction baits can be great in the summertime, especially first thing in the morning and in the evening. However, on overcast days or when the fish are more active, these shallow water techniques can catch them all day long.
Fish them along weedlines and around docks, taking advantage of the shade they create. Wind and spinnerbaits are best friends. When the water is kicked up and bait moves toward the shore, bass can’t resist the flash of a spinnerbait. Find a mudline along a windy bank and you can find a fun day of fishing.
It’s well known that worms work year-round. Whether you’re fishing a 4-inch drop shot or a 12-inch monster worm, there is something about the wiggle of a worm that just incites a visceral reaction in bass.
Try flipping a Texas-rig around brush, laydowns or weedlines. Drop shot a smaller worm in deep water around humps or ledges. Try dragging a giant worm on a Carolina rig across points. Worms are incredibly versatile and you should have multiple different shapes and sizes rigged up in the summertime.
We’ve already established that thick cover is a giant, multi-unit, bass apartment complex in the summertime. They just live there and the deeper you can get your bait into the middle of their living room, the better chances you have of getting them to eat what you’re offering. This is where heavy cover flipping or punching comes in.
Any sort of beaver or slender creature bait is perfect for this technique. Rig it with 65 pound plus braided line, a bobber stopper, a weight heavy enough to get through the cover (up to 2 ounces!!), and a solid heavy flipping hook. You need a stout rod for this technique, so if you don’t own a good flipping stick, it would be worth the investment.
No summer article would be complete without talking about crankbaits. Undoubtedly, deep cranking is one of the most popular summertime techniques and there is a good reason for that. Bass move out to those deep, cooler water areas and they’ll position themselves in areas that attract schools of baitfish.
Just like shallow bass, deep water bass are lazy feeders, looking for those highways of food to just swim across their plate. Enter the deep diving crankbait. Long casts and getting them on the bottom is the name of the game, so make sure you can feel it bumping around down there and you’ll load the boat in no time.