Written by Andrew Schadegg
Catching fish this time of year, can be challenging. To put bass in the boat this summer, you need to shift your focus to deep water, heavy cover and flowing current.
1. Deep Water
Oxygen is the major determining factor for bass location in the summertime. Bass are going to seek out these deeper, cooler, more oxygenated areas as the water temperatures start getting above 70 degrees. They will also gravitate towards places that have a food source readily available. Baitfish tend to go deeper in the summer, particularly during the heat of the day.
Find those underwater points, humps or ledges in main lake areas. Work bottom presentations like a Carolina rig, football jig, deep crankbait or swimbait. Use your graphs to find tightly balled-up bait schools, because there will be bass underneath them and feeding frenzies can take place at any time, where you can catch multiple fish back-to-back.
2. Heavy Cover
Grass, reeds, milfoil and a plethora of other types of vegetation are magnets for bass in the summertime. The thicker the cover, the better. Any place that has a canopy for bass to comfortable, with cooler water and an ambush point to attack the bluegill and other susceptible prey that hang in the shallow, are perfect areas.
The right presentation is really important. Frogs over the top of the cover and punching rigs that will cut right throw the mats are excellent options. Also try stick baits on the outside edges or reaction baits paralleled to the cover. Look for good, healthy vegetation and lots of activity in the area. Remember if it looks dead, move on.
3. Flowing Current
We’ve already learned that oxygen and access to a consistent food source is really important for bass in the summer months, so the fact that they are attracted to current is not surprising. It is a constant source of both of those biological needs. This is why creek inlets, waterfalls, tidal fluctuations and even wind generated current can be excellent places to target when the water is hot.
When you find moving water, try throwing a jerkbait, spinnerbait or squarebill crankbait. Bass in current tend to be more active, as they are typically chasing faster moving bait that flow through the area. If that doesn’t get you bites, try flipping jigs or Texas-rigs behind anything that is blocking the current. These are key ambush spots for bass to attack their prey.