Written by Andrew Schadegg
It’s hot! The water temps have skyrocketed all around the country into the 70’s and 80’s and maybe even hotter in some places. This is the time of year when bass are lethargic during the heat of the day and it can be tough to figure out how to catch them.
Plastic worms have been a staple in bass fishing for the last 50 years and there is no better bait to have tied on the summer. But with so many shapes, sizes and styles lining your tackle shop wall, which do you choose? What presentation is the best? Let’s find out!
One of the best (and my personal favorite) techniques for worm fishing in the summertime is getting out the monster 10-12 inch worms and rigging them up Texas style. This technique is a favorite among many anglers in the summer, because it tends to catch better quality fish. Bass in the summer don’t want to travel far for their meals, so when something a little bigger falls in front of them they’ll snatch it up quickly.
It’s a versatile technique as well, because you can flip it up shallow around docks or in the weeds, but you can also toss it out deep off ledges and points, hopping it or dragging it.
If the giant worms aren’t your style, the other option is to go really small. This is also a great technique, as bass are frequently feeding on the freshly spawned bluegill, baby bass, and other species in the 2-4 inch range. This is an excellent time to throw a drop shot with a 4-inch worm or even a smaller Ned Rig style plastic in the 3-inch range.
Consider going ultra-light on your line as well. Especially in clear water or high pressure situations, the thinner the line, the better.
Oxygen is the name of the game when it comes to hot, summer fishing and deep water has what the bass are looking for. They go deep because the water is cooler and the oxygen is better. This is when your deep water drop shot techniques, shaky heads or the old-school method of dragging a Carolina Rig can be really effective.
Look for points, ledges, drop-offs, humps or any other deep water depth changes where bass might hold to. Quick, vertical access to shallow water is important as well, as many bass will come up in the mornings and evenings and retreat to their deep haunts during the heat of the day.
Don’t like fishing deep? No worries. Summertime is also a great time to fish shallow. The key to shallow fishing is the same as it is for deep fishing. Oxygen. Bass need it, so any shallow area needs to be full of life. If everything is dead and the water is still with no appearance of life, get the hell out of there. If the weeds are green and lush and see bluegill or other fish darting around or kissing the surface, bass will be there somewhere.
Find the shade or weed canopies, docks with vegetation or current and moving water. This is where the bass will stage up in the summer. Work those Texas-rigs, stick baits, shaky heads and flipping baits in and around these areas.