Pro Tips For Catching Mid-Summer BassPrint This Post
It is often said that only two things in life are certain, death and taxes. However, the months of July, August, and September make one all too aware that oppressive mid-summer heat should be added to this list of inevitabilities. Few know this better than die-hard anglers who sweat through the summer’s swelter in hopes of boating a few mammoth largemouths.
We strike out for the water, despite the skyrocketing mercury, in hopes that our efforts will pay dividends. For some, a successful day on the water will result, for many others, however, an empty livewell and a sunburn of epic proportions will be all that is left to show for their trouble.
During the summer, bass can become lethargic, and often suspend in various locations as they seek refuge above the thermocline. This can present tough conditions, under which many anglers struggle to thrive. These conditions often lead one to question how the nation’s top pro anglers continue to find consistent success, despite these than ideal circumstances.
The following is a rundown of several tactics employed by B.A.S.S., MLF, and FLW pros, when the summer heat turns unbearable.
If you have been keeping up with the world of competitive bass fishing during the past year, Hank Cherry is likely a name that you know well. Cherry took home the 50th Bassmaster Classic Championship in March, after jumping out to an early first day lead, which he never relinquished.
During the hot summer months, Cherry puts down the baitcaster, opting instead to probe the depths with his spinning gear and finesse tackle.
“During the summer of the year, I love to dropshot. It really doesn’t do anything for my personality at all. But, since I have learned more and studied, I have found dropshotting to be highly effective in most situations during the summertime,” Cherry said.
With over 20 years logged on the B.A.S.S. circuit, including several first place wins and six Bassmaster Classic appearances, you can say that Mark Menedez is no newcomer to fishing at the sport’s most elite level.
Menendez applies a working knowledge of how bass react in a physiological sense during the summer’s oppressive heat, in order to take advantage of their instinctual nature to draw bites.
“When water temperatures are high, above 85-degrees, you find that a bass’ metabolism is moving at Mach-1, yet their mobility slows down as they get into a conservation mode. So I use the biggest baits that I can get away with, using only light sinkers. I really like using soft-plastic baits, with the Anaconda Worm being one of my very favorites. I may fish that off of a ledge with a 3/16 or 5/16 weight for an ultra-slow fall, or flip shallow with a ⅛ ounce,” said Menendez.
2016 Bassmaster Classic Champion, Edwin Evers, is no stranger to success on bass fishing’s biggest stage. Evers, who now fishes the MLF circuit, has amassed a substantial sum in overall career winnings, and does not look to be slowing down anytime soon.
Evers feels that the single biggest obstacle to overcome when fishing during the hottest portion of the summer, is that of locating the various depths at which fish are holding. The second biggest obstacle, Evers says, is reaching the bass with your lure once they are located.
“In the hot summer months, I like to throw the Berkley Digger. It is a crankbait that comes in all sizes. It is offered in 14.5, 17.5, 20.5, 22.5, and 25.5 depth models. So as those fish progressively get deeper, I have a bait that I can just go right to the next depth. In the summer, I keep it really simple. They are feeding on shad, so I like to throw the bait in a shad color,” said Evers.
Todd Auten is another vetran of the professional tournament angling scene, who has squared off against lock-jawed summertime bass found in a number of lakes and rivers across the nation. Auten began his professional angling career in the mid 1990s, and has remained competitive throughout the 2 ½ decades since.
Auten opts to take a slightly different approach when attempting to boat summertime bass with consistency. He focuses his efforts on coaxing bass from the waters below, with a little topwater action.
“I’ll throw a topwater. Even in the heat of the summer, it seems like the brim are still bedding, and once you find those brim beads, you can throw any topwater that you like. You can throw a frog, a prop bait, or I even like throwing a buzzbait with a frog on it,” said Auten.
Fishing Through The Dead Of Summer
Summertime bass fishing can often prove to be difficult in many parts of the nation. However, crafty anglers have devised a number of methods and techniques, which they use successfully to consistently boat bass, no matter how unbearable the temperature becomes.
By applying any or all of the above mentioned tactics to your current fishing repertoire, you will likely find the bass bite to be every bit as hot as the water which you fish. With an ample dose of patience and a little luck, you should catch much more than a sunburn when on the water this summer.